Professional and vocational qualifications: APL and student learner progression in the context of Business and Management education - a practitioner perspective. Stephen Grady University of Wolverhampton Business School Lifelong Learning Network • Initiative for 3 years to move under-represented students on vocational (or work-related) courses (e.g. BTEC, City & Guilds, NVQ, Apprentices, professional qualifications) into higher education – ‘widening participation’ • Why? Because traditionally 90% of students with A-Levels progress to HE but only 50% (or lower) of vocational students • Need for higher skilled people in the workplace – even in present ‘downturn’ and for possible recovery • Creation of : – Flexibility for learners – Accreditation of employer in-house provision / co-funding – Progression linked to credit e.g. in agreements – Alignment of systems for transferability – Exploring the FE/HE interface in terms of credit Project Overview • Sponsored by the Birmingham Black Country and Solihull LLN; • Mapping of professional and vocational qualifications against a range of general business and management, human resource management, and marketing courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate portfolios; • Assigning APL credit for progression purposes; • Exploring possibility of building in ‘progression protocol’ – leading to development of Progression Agreements; • More opportunities to bridge the Level 4 and 5 F/HE ‘divide’ as CMI and ILM qualifications on QCF; • APL project – Phase 1: added-value by explicitly integrating QCF Units into the formal mapping outcomes. APL mapping project – two-phase initiative • Phase-one (January-November 2009): relates to students studying/holding ILM and CMI professional qualifications and specifically for University of Wolverhampton Business School; • Following successful achievement of phase-one outcomes, invited to bid for second phase and to lead a consortium of FEC, training providers, and HEI providers of business, management and professional studies • Phase-two (November 2009-March 2011): project extended to include other HEIs, training providers, other vocational and professional qualifications, and dual awarding possibilities Phase-one of Project • Focused on assessment of entry and credit entitlement possibilities for students holding ILM and CMI professional qualifications; • Diploma level qualifications ranging from Level 3 to Level 7; • Robust model developed to ensure appropriate level of mapping for students progressing from these qualifications; • Key principle was to recognise prior professional and vocational qualifications, without compromising the students’ ability to progress on higher level courses; • Resultant outcome was an APL credit mapping matrix (see handout); • Embedded in a Progression Agreement with a number of local FECs. APL Project: Procedural Framework Credit mapping activity overseen by the CMI and ILM Project Leaders Gain knowledge and understanding of the programmes to be mapped – consultation with key facilitators and training of staff (Stage 1) Mapping commences – consultation, input and endorsement from subject experts and course leaders (Stage 2) Finalisation of the mapping proposal, with detailed breakdown of the APL credit entitlement and linkage to QCF Units (Stage 3) Formal verification of the APL mapping by the APL Assessment Board, with scrutiny and moderation by External Examiners (Stage 4) Communication of decision to key stakeholders and development of Progression Agreements (Stage 5) Example of Mapping (1) Professional Body Qualification CMI Level 4 Diploma3 in Management and Leadership University Award Module entitlement and CMI Units of Study required for accreditation to be granted Notes BA Business Manage ment BA HRM 15 General Credits, plus the two modules listed below providing CMI (QCF) units have been successfully completed: BA1018 (Learning for Business Success): , 4005 HR1014 (Introduction to People at Work): , 4004, 5012 Level 4 Diploma gives first year entry to university award, plus additional credit entitlement up to a maximum of 45 credits (i.e. three first year 15 credit modules). The first year modules against which APL can be granted depends upon the mix of CMI (QCF) units studied, as detailed in the previous column. In the case of the BA Business Joint course, the only specific mapping is against HR1014 which is a core option. Successful claims against BA1018 would therefore be set against an elective, as would the 15 general credits. In the case of the BA Enterprise Joint and BA Marketing Joint, the maximum number of credits that can be awarded is 30 (15 general, plus 15 specific), since there is no match against the enterprise and marketing modules respectively. These credits would be set against electives. However, if combined with Business up to 45 credits could be awarded. BA Marketing BA Business Joint BA Enterprise Joint BA Marketing Joint Example of Mapping (2) Professional Body Qualification University Award Module entitlement and ILM Units of Study required for accreditation to be granted Notes ILM Level 4 Diploma8 in Leadership and Management BA Business Management BA Business Joint BA HRM BA Marketing and BA Marketing Joint 15 General Credits, plus any two of the following modules providing ILM (QCF) units have been successfully completed: AC1138 (Business Accounting): M4.18, M4.19, M5.14 BA1018 (Learning for Business Success): [M4.03, M4.04], M4.02, M4.13 HR1014 (Introduction to People at Work): [M3.10, M4.01], M4.07, M4.11 IB1000 (Quantitative Analysis): M4.21, M4.23, M5.25 IB1002 (The Business Context): M4.22, M4.26 MK1016 (Principles of Marketing): M4.17, M4.20, M5.21 Level 4 Diploma gives first year entry to university award, plus additional credit entitlement up to a maximum of 45 credits (i.e. three first year 15 credit modules). The first year modules against which APL can be granted depends upon the mix of ILM (QCF) units studied, as detailed in the previous column. Phase 1 - Outcomes • • • • • • Development of APL mapping matrix for professional qualifications (see handout for detailed breakdown) ‘Mapping’ of CMI/ILM qualifications at Levels 3/4 and 5 and beyond Clear progression route and ‘protocol’ from FE level programmes to HE programmes QCF as ‘frame of reference’ and ‘common currency’ to enable systems to ‘talk to each other’ Robust and systematic - individuals/ groups gain credit for prior qualifications (or parts of qualifications) re F/HE progression Aligns with HEFCE’s expectations for LLNs - clarity, consistency and certainty for vocational learners progressing from FE to HE Phase 1 Outcomes continued • Mutually beneficial to both FE colleges and HEIs • Ensures that students come into HE courses at the appropriate level and supports career management/planning • Use of a ‘common language’ and common ‘currency’ – help admissions staff determine appropriate routes for learners • Tested with internal and external validation procedures at the University • Scaleable and transferable in its applicability to other professional courses and programmes Follow-up to phase-one • Framework and model for development of Business and Management Progression Agreements ‘underpinned by credit’ established • Local seminar in summer 2009 with FECs for comments & discussion - how useful is this work to them/students? Clear scope for additional collaboration • ‘Data-driven’ relationships with all FE institutions to identify demand for new LLN subject areas i.e. Bus/Mgt/Prof • Need to encourage open and transparent progression for learners • Need to extend beyond professional body qualifications and apply to more vocationally orientated qualifications e.g. BTECs, NVQs • Potential to bring-in qualifications from other HEIs e.g. UCB • Consortium-based partnership proposed to extend the benefits of the phase-one initiative to the wider network Phase-two of Project • Relationships between training providers of ILM and CMI professional qualifications and UWBS; • Relationships between various providers of ILM and CMI professional qualifications and other HEIs in West Midlands; • Credit mapping of other vocational and/or professional qualifications (e.g. BTEC, NVQ, Apprenticeships, CIM, CIPD) against UWBS provision; • Development of dual awarding possibilities. Consortium of Partners BBS LLN 11 Further Education Colleges 6 Training Providers 2 (+2) HEIs 4790 student learners on business, management and professional courses covered by TPs/FECs Network of Relationships LLN Steering Committee Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull LLN Monitoring Meetings & Progression Working Group Training Providers: Bastock Firth; Black Country Training Group; Crackerjack Training Ltd.; CSCM Learning; GB Training; Ryton Management Centre UWBS Lead Institution Higher Education Providers: Further Education Colleges: Birmingham Metropolitan College; City College Birmingham; Halesowen College; Sandwell College; Solihull College; City of Wolverhampton College; Bournville College; Dudley College; South Birmingham College; Stourbridge College; Walsall College University of Wolverhampton University College, Birmingham Aston University APL Credit Mappings and Progression Agreements to facilitate student learner progression Birmingham City University Open University Phase-two Outcomes • Further progression agreements have been developed to reflect the outcomes of phase-two of the project; • Started to develop IAG – Information, Advice and Guidance – interventions, which communicate the key benefits to staff, student learners and other stakeholders (examples of actions/materials to be distributed); • At the heart of the initiative are strong relationships with collaborative partners to ensure that the needs of student learners, career development and progression possibilities can be fully realised. Student Learner Numbers (at 22/11/10) Qualifications Student Learner Numbers Access to HE Diploma 115 Advanced Apprenticeships 309 BTEC L3 National Cert/Diploma 484 NVQs L3 (excl. AAT L3) 485 NVQs L4 (excl. AAT L4) 288 NVQs L5 39 AAT L3 221 AAT L4 160 FdAs 158 ILM/CMI L3-L7 309 HND/C Business 162 TOTAL Business Related 4790 Issues • Need to regularly update and maintain mapping matrices; • Amend promotional material accordingly; • Maintenance of partner engagement in promotion – IAG strategy/plan; • Impact of LLN disengagement. Any Questions?