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NCFE and NHS Foundation Trust work together to develop new health and social care qualifications

Case Study Tuesday 20 December 2016

National awarding organisation NCFE has recently collaborated with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust – one of the largest mental health and disability Trusts in England – to develop new qualifications in the health and social care sector.

NCFE is committed to designing fit-for-purpose qualifications and encourages stakeholders to be involved in the development. As part of this, NCFE regularly organises qualification development and scoping activities, inviting relevant employers and stakeholders to participate. This enables NCFE’s development team to ensure new qualifications meet the needs of the sector, by gaining a greater insight into the knowledge that employers value from their staff.

In this instance, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust contributed to the development of the following NCFE qualifications: Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health; Level 3 Understanding the Principles of Dementia; Level 2 Award/Certificate in Behaviour that Challenges; Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Diabetes; Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Autism; Level 3 Certificate in Nutrition and Health in Health and Social Care and Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service for Health and Social Care Setting.

Kristy Hunter, Trainer at the NHS Foundation Trust, and Claire Baxter, Workforce, Policy and Service Developments Officer, attended the NCFE scoping days.

Kristy commented: “Qualification development was new to me, but attending the scoping days gave me a good understanding of the process and the benefits of getting involved in this type of activity. I thoroughly enjoyed the days and felt that my input and views were valued. It also provided a useful opportunity to network with the other businesses present.

“I think it’s great that NCFE has consulted with employers as it will be valuable to both learner and employer, helping those who undertake the courses to be better practitioners, ultimately meaning that they can provide a better service for patients.”

The involvement from the NHS was fundamental, as Kristy and Claire were able to provide an insight into the values the NHS look for in potential employees, and how these could be built into the qualifications.

Christine Paxton, Head of Product Development at NCFE, said: “We are dedicated to developing qualifications that will give learners the knowledge they need to benefit the sector, as we recognise the increased demand for health and social care staff in England. Therefore, we found it really useful to collaborate with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust to develop the new qualifications.

“We encourage employers to make use of this approach of developing qualifications, as it supports learners’ progression into employment. We’ve recently launched the ACORN online community which is open to a wide network of employers and stakeholders and actively encourages members to share qualification ideas.”

If you’re interested in working with NCFE to develop qualifications in your sector, please visit the ACORN online community or email [email protected].