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The Integrated Vocational Route (IVR: An employer-driven learning programme in health & social care practice at the FE/HE interface. Phil Coleman Faculty

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The Integrated Vocational Route (IVR: An employer-driven learning programme in health & social care practice at the FE/HE interface. Phil Coleman Faculty of Health & Social Care, The OU in the North Felicity Mendelson Corporate Learning & Development, Newcastle City Council Slide 2 K101 An introduction to health & social care (60 credits at Level 4) - Provides an up-to-date authoritative overview of health & social care provision in the UK, using real-life case studies & taking students deep into the experience of receiving care & working in care services Slide 3 K101 Study Approach Individual study supported by comprehensive module materials & face to face, telephone, email & online forum interaction Frequent use of text, video & audio material (within bespoke DVDs) Relevant to all four UK nations (using an on-line resource bank) Designed to develop academic skills & thereby facilitate successful module completion & progression Module structure Presented twice a year 28 study weeks 6 Blocks Monthly assignments On-line project (finding care information) End of module unseen examination Slide 4 K101 students who are they? 6000 a year - Frontline care workers - Social work & pre/post-registration nursing students - Informal carers - Service users - General interest K101 status Provides a stand-alone qualification (the Certificate in Health & Social Care) Essential requirement for: Health & Social Care degree Pre-Registration Nursing programme Social Work programme Option for Childhood & Youth Studies degree Slide 5 Background to the IVR Many health & social care courses offered by colleges & universities contribute to the development of care competences, but do not achieve National Occupational Standards & qualification requirements in the National Minimum Standards (Care Standards Act 2000) Successfully completing an NVQ can be difficult & slow process with some assessment centres because of: local shortages of suitably qualified/experienced assessors insufficient time allocation for workplace assessment difficulties with the language of NVQs the requirement to cross-reference all portfolio evidence to every part of the National Occupational Standards (some 400 or so items for an NVQ 3 HSC award) NVQs dont provide the best preparation for university study & professional education & training in health & social care Slide 6 What does the IVR offer? Aim: To provide an integrated health & social care route that brings together the strengths of a supported open learning approach to developing knowledge, understanding & academic skills (the K101 An Introduction to Health & Social Care module) with a more user-friendly way of achieving a Level 3 NVQ in Health & Social Care Slide 7 Structure of the IVR The IVR currently provides a full NVQ Level 3 in Health & Social Care (Adults or Children & Young People) award Much evidence is generated by completing unit activities within the K101 module (these include reflective accounts of practice). There is also some assessor observation of performance in the workplace Evidence from K101 unit activities used for the NVQ is confirmed as reflecting the learners day to day care practice by a workplace supporter An electronic portfolio of evidence, tailor-made for the IVR is used to demonstrate achievement of the NVQ competences Most cross-referencing of the Performance Criteria & Knowledge Specifications for the NVQ is completed electronically by the OU An NVQ Assessor for the IVR is appointed by the OU & works alongside the K101 tutor to help the learner complete their studies Learners can choose to register for K101 without completing the NVQ within the IVR (so the IVR is an optional extra) Slide 8 IVR benefits No need to engage in extensive cross-referencing of evidence or master the language of NVQs before generating evidence The full IVR (the Certificate in Health & Social Care & the NVQ Level 3 Health & Social Care award) can be completed in 9 to 12 months Improves career prospects by offering two qualifications which are attractive to employers: the NVQ Level 3 Health & Social Care [Adult or Children & Young People] award & The OU Certificate in Health & Social Care Offers better preparation for progression to qualifying routes such as nursing & social work & for those seeking to take up more senior health care support worker roles Provides credit transfer for the OU Social Work & Pre-Registration Nursing programmes, so IVR students arent just gaining an entry qualification for professional education & training, they are actually completing part of these programmes Slide 9 IVR challenges Inter-departmental collaboration (building bridges between the islands) Briefing academic staff for a UK-wide roll-out Engaging with stakeholders in all four UK nations The F word.......... FUNDING! Focus on evidence generation for the NVQ leads some students to be unclear about the nature of the award Workload concerns completion of two awards concurrently may be too great a burden for some students Slide 10 The IVR in Newcastle City Council Slide 11 Setting the Scene - Adult Services Four Resource Centres providing 24 hour Services Range of Services including Community Rehabilitation, Emergency & Respite Placements & Day Service Including one Resource Centre for Older People with Dementia Total Staff 132 from Domestic to Resource Manager A transforming Care at Home service providing a range of services to people in their own homes Putting People First Re-ablement, Palliative Care & Complex Care Packages Total Staff 329 from front line staff to Resource Manager Slide 12 The Bridges to Learning (B2L) Project A regional strategic partnership between UNISON, The Open University & the Workers Educational Association Focus on the Health & Social Care Sector Regional Project funded by Union Learning Fund - supports regional team & secondment of Union Learning Reps in 5 NHS Trusts & 3 local authorities Provides a sector based model of partnership between unions, providers & employers on provision of progression routes from Skills for Life to Degree level Slide 13 B2L: the challenge in Newcastle City Council To engage with hard to reach front line staff, the majority of them are mature female staff Many of them left school at fifteen Many of them have a distrust/dislike of formal learning & lack the confidence to approach it They are knowledgeable, experienced & skilled staff who consistently underestimate their own educational abilities Slide 14 B2L Project: the opportunities Many care staff have completed NVQ2 developed taste for learning Want to progress in learning & at work NVQ3 & beyond Academic/professional route not really an option Limited career pathways Slide 15 The Partnership Approach Effective learning partnership between employer & Trade Unions Learning Agreement Union Learning Reps Employer had seen benefit of skills for life programmes for Home Care staff - Senior Care Manager, Chris Dugdale, championing learning & pathways for front line staff Project Steering Group Slide 16 Why we signed up to the IVR Limitations of traditional NVQs in terms of career progression & entry into Higher Education Opportunity to open up access to Degree courses for front line staff Flexibility of online provision Supports concept of skills pathway for staff from skills for life onwards Slide 17 Raising awareness of the IVR Through Union Learning Reps Mailing to all staff Roadshows & 1 :1 sessions at the workplace including involvement of OU Slide 18 Recruiting learners Simple application process evidence of commitment to learning & development - joint interview panel 7 IVR places - group of 13 includes managers doing stand alone K101 Slide 19 Experiences to date Started October 2009, K101 examination June 2010, NVQ can be completed alongside or after 11 of 13 staff (5 of IVR cohort) passed K101 exam, 2 to resit October Some NVQs completed already, all will be completed by end of 2010 4 of 7 IVR learners enrolled on next OU course on degree pathway KYJ113 - Foundations for Social Work Practice starts January 2011 Exceptional quality of course, course materials & OU Tutor support Huge commitment from learners in terms of their own time Funding seemed complicated important to get an understanding All learners completed coursework & highly positive about the programme Slide 20 Lessons learnt Clear understanding of individual time commitment not for everybody Clear understanding of level of skills required for HE put in place opportunities to prepare Positive aspects of online learning but new to many & can be challenging Slide 21 Next Steps Full evaluation at end of programme lessons learnt by organisation & by learners Ensure IVR learners are supported on Social Work route, if that is what they want Maximise funding opportunities Involve other areas of Adult & Childrens Social Care Embed as one option in mainstream programme in Adult Services Slide 22 What do IVR students say (1)? 'I am currently doing the K101 module & the integrated IVR. At the end of this I will have the NVQ3 & an additional work-recognised certificate. The best part of this approach has been that all the activities undertaken during the units in the K101 are then used as the evidence in the IVR. This means very little additional work [is] involved Although I had to fund both courses myself, it was the certainty that I would finish with in a set timescale which attracted me. Furthermore having talked to my employer although I need the NVQ3 they do recognise that the K101 is of a managerial use & appear to be willing to accept it i

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