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

1 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

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

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

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

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 don’t provide the best preparation for university study & professional education & training in health & social care

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

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 learner’s 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’)

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 aren’t just gaining an entry qualification for professional education & training, they are actually completing part of these programmes

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

10 The IVR in Newcastle City Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 & Children’s Social Care  Embed as one option in mainstream programme in Adult Services

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 if I apply for a managerial position’  ‘This approach has given me a broader skills base for employability’  ‘I would definitely prefer the IVR route [to a conventional NVQ]’  ‘The information in the materials is very good …everything is explained’  ‘An interesting experience’ Sources: OU K101 NVQ Student Forum (2009), OU IET Survey (2009), OU CWP Survey (2010)

23 What do IVR students say (2)?  ‘Compared to the paper-based approach, you just open up your screen, you can see what you need to do & you can just do it; it’s so much easier. My computer skills are basic & I’ve managed with it fine. I’ve learnt quite a bit this year’  ‘I am enjoying it & I’m glad I’m doing it’  ‘The information in the materials is very good … everything is explained’  ‘I’ve really enjoyed it & I can see it being beneficial’  ‘NVQ by this route has been easy’  ‘The activities were written in an accessible way. The way it was worded you knew exactly what they are looking for’  ‘I am very positive about it’, ‘Top class’  ‘It has been so, so good. I’ve been singing it’s praises to other people at work’ Sources: OU K101 NVQ Student Forum (2009), OU IET Survey (2009), OU CWP Survey (2010)

24 What happens to the IVR in light of the new Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF)?  A new IVR is being developed to enable students studying K101 to concurrently register for one of four integrated Diplomas (within the new QCF) from 2011; namely the: HSC Diploma (Adults Generic pathway) [England] HSC Diploma (Adults) [Wales and Northern Ireland] HSC Diploma (Children & Young People) [Wales & Northern Ireland] Diploma for the Children & Young People’s Workforce (Social Care pathway) [England]  Achievement of a relevant Diploma is expected to replace the NVQ as a training requirement within the National Minimum Standards for Care

25 What happens to the IVR in light of the new QCF? (2)  Employer consultations /briefings in 12 cities in all four UK nations shaped the original IVR  Four organisations (Newcastle City Council, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust, Salisbury Foundation NHS Trust & SWIIS Scotland) were particularly influential in determining IVR design & models of delivery  Employer involvement is an important way to ensure that the IVR remains fit for purpose & practice  HSC stakeholders from England, Northern Ireland & Wales are all contributing to the new IVR framework  These stakeholders will help finalise the selection of the Diploma optional units within the IVR, scrutinise OU work in respect of evidence generation & act as critical readers for IVR materials

26 Questions? Comments? Ideas?

27 More Information  Please contact: Phil Coleman Area Manager/Staff Tutor Faculty of Health & Social Care The Open University in the North Abbots Hill Gateshead. NE8 3DF. Telephone: 0191 202 6996 eMail: Felicity Mendelson Corporate Learning & Development Newcastle City Council Telephone: 0191 232 8520 eMail:

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