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The Integrated Vocational Route (IVR: An employer-driven learning programme in health


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

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Title: The Integrated Vocational Route (IVR: An employer-driven learning programme in health

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
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
Module structure
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
  • Presented twice a year
  • 28 study weeks
  • 6 Blocks
  • Monthly assignments
  • On-line project (finding care information)
  • End of module unseen examination

K101 students who are they?
  • 6000 a year
  • - Frontline care workers
  • - Social work pre/post-registration nursing
  • - 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
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
  • local shortages of suitably qualified/experienced
  • insufficient time allocation for workplace
  • 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

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

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
  • 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)

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

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

The IVR in Newcastle City Council
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
  • Total Staff 329 from front line staff to Resource

The Bridges to Learning (B2L) Project
  • A regional strategic partnership between UNISON,
    The Open University the Workers Educational
  • 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
  • Provides a sector based model of partnership
    between unions, providers employers on
    provision of progression routes from Skills for
    Life to Degree level

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

B2L Project the opportunities
  • Many care staff have completed NVQ2 developed
    taste for learning
  • Want to progress in learning at work NVQ3
  • Academic/professional route not really an option
  • Limited career pathways

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

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

Raising awareness of the IVR
  • Through Union Learning Reps
  • Mailing to all staff
  • Roadshows 1 1 sessions at the workplace
    including involvement of OU

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

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
  • All learners completed coursework highly
    positive about the programme

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

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
  • Embed as one option in mainstream programme in
    Adult Services

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)

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 its so much easier. My
    computer skills are basic Ive managed with it
    fine. Ive learnt quite a bit this year
  • I am enjoying it Im glad Im doing it
  • The information in the materials is very good
    everything is explained
  • Ive really enjoyed it I can see it being
  • 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. Ive been singing
    its praises to other people at
  • work
  • Sources OU K101 NVQ Student Forum (2009),
  • OU IET Survey (2009), OU CWP Survey (2010)

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 Peoples
    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

What happens to the IVR in light of the new QCF?
  • 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
  • HSC stakeholders from England, Northern Ireland
    Wales are all contributing to the new IVR
  • 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

Questions? Comments? Ideas?
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