Higher Education and Training Awards Council HETAC. Recognition of Work Based Learning Karena Maguire Head of Awards Management HETAC 29 November 2007. Work Based Learning.
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Higher Education and Training Awards CouncilHETAC Recognition of Work Based Learning Karena Maguire Head of Awards Management HETAC 29 November 2007
Work Based Learning • Work based learning has been described as learning from a non-academic work based experience which is recognised and validated as part of an overall programme design focused on specific work place knowledge, skills and competencies (learning outcomes) and leading to a qualification (major, minor, special purpose award….) on the National Framework of Qualifications. This learning can be transformed into personal, professional and organisational growth.
Benefits of WBL • Widening access to HE • Pilots for expanding & developing RPL systems • Networks/Links with Industry and Business • Organisational Training & Development • Upskilling labour force – group learning • Promoting Individual learning contracts • Cross provider collaboration • ALL underpinned by the Recognition of learning Achievement
Recognition of Learning AchievementPolicy Context • National Legislation – enhanced access to awards • National Framework of Qualifications – single point of reference, national entity • Supporting National Policies - articulating responsibilities- ATP – operational guidelines RPL - credit • European Developments • Bologna process – Lifelong learning – London 2007 • EQF for Lifelong Learning • Lisbon Recognition convention/ Diploma Supplement ENIC/NARIC centre. • Common principles • Examples of advanced International Practice - France 20,000 direct awards made since 2002
Experience to date • Professional bodies moving towards the framework (CPD) some with RPL responsibilities • New providers with closer links to the workplace and professions • Small number of established providers supporting Institute-wide activities with RPL/APEL tools • Or Existing providers just establishing formal APEL systems • Non traditional curriculum emerging from all providers and the structures such as modularisation & semesterisation • Direct awards from HETAC- Learning achievement assessed for a major award with no programme • A more informed general public – new societal demands and expectations promoted by NFQ etc.
Supports for RPL Activity • Explicit published standards • Awards based on learning outcomes • Different types of awards (non major) for WBL • Learner Assessment clearly defined • Promotes alternative forms of assessment • Quality assurance systems & review process • National approach to credit – sectoral credit system • Programme structures – modular approach • Delegated Authority – subsidiarity • Funding Initiatives – SIF projects • Increased transparency – information • Publication/availability of information
New Classes of Awards • Minor - multi-purpose awards that recognise attainment of part of a major award • Special Purpose - Special purpose awards meet specific, relatively narrow focused legislative, regulatory, economic, social or personal learning requirements. • Supplemental - Supplemental awards are for learners who have already obtained a major or special purpose award and may require refreshing or updating and continuous education and training with respect to an occupation or profession
HETAC - Two Aspects to Recognition • Programme based recognition - ATP Persons seeking entry to programmes or advanced standing through exemptions and/ or credit attainment. 2. Direct application to HETAC for an award Persons making a direct application to the Council for an award based entirely on their learning achievement without reference to a programme of study/structured learning.
Programme based recognition • HETAC Responsibilities under Access Transfer and Progression section 23 – 2(d) Act. • Initial NCEA APEL policy published in 1993 due to be replaced • SURVEY - Recent survey of providers and RPL/APEL activity Autumn 2006: • Almost all of the established providers have some RPL policy/process in place. The majority is based on local initiative and small projects. Collaboration LIONRA project • Diverse practice on APEL : ranges from central in strategic plan to no activity. Variety of approaches to structure; scope and range (full to PG or UG only, industry); support systems and dedicated staffing/funding or dealt with in local depts.
Policy Approach Provider Interaction • Integrated policy approach • Revised Policy – code of practice/guidelines • Learner Assessment Procedures • HETAC validation process • Delegated Authority - Quality Assurance effectiveness - review – Access transfer and progression - Programmatic review process supporting RPL arrangements • Inter - agency approach • NQAI –supporting the further National Approach – OECD activity • FETAC – common overall policy approach • HEA – links to the National Access Office • FORFAS skills labour analysis
Policy Approach Provider Interaction • Seminars, workshops to encourage and support a community of best practice; international expertise on advance achievements • Monitor all activities, disseminate information; link providers when capacity is problematic • Promote inclusion of the social partners; Employers WBL initiatives; professional bodies etc. • Consider sustainable centralised support • Evaluation of RPL initiatives
Direct Application to HETAC • All Awards available ‘Recognition Policy, Criteria and Process for a Direct Application to HETAC for a Named Award’ March 2006. • Awards may be based entirely on lifelong learning achievement without reference to a programme • 4 awards conferred to date (PhD/2 Master/1 BA) – 4 applicants in the process of developing evidence to demonstrate achievement – 2 more undergoing assessment. • Published standards and criteria for awards apply as criteria • National and International assessors (min of 3 in total) • Public viva voce mandatory for postgraduate awards • First award based on lifelong learning conferred in June 2005 • First PhD conferred in November 2007
Policy Approach - Direct Application • Low key implementation to date • Policy and process evolving • Process of assessment is articulate and intensive • Onus is on the applicant to demonstrate attainment of standard – self assessment process (applicants need to understand concept of learning outcomes, self reflection) • briefing assessors essential • Policy approach is to seek provider assistance on the assessment • Providers to charge applicants • HETAC to monitor and evaluate the process and benchmark fees
Looking to the future Open recognition for learning achievement to a standard Programme – based RPL activities Direct Applications Experiential assessment Integrated processes Supports – A package of supports required. Macro – New Policy under development; old policy more proactive; new reporting and monitoring arrangements. ATP & RPL systems and processes integrated in to effectiveness review. Micro – code of practice – best practice nationally and internationally; provider links;
HETAC Honorary Conferring – 15 June 2005 Lucius Emerson
Further Information www.hetac.ie ‘Recognition Policy, Criteria and Process for a Direct Application to HETAC for a Named Award’ March 2006’ Policy and Criteria for Awards Policy Validation of Taught and Research Programmes Joint awards and collaborative programmes Learner Assessment consultation discussion document