Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) Project

Standardisation Project

Project Overview

Health Education England (HEE) has commissioned Middlesex University in partnership with the Open University (OU), the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) and Credit Works to establish standardised approaches for recognising prior learning within the healthcare sector.

The project will capitalise on the changing skills policy landscape to promote career progression opportunities for the sector. The aims are to maximise widening participation, levelling-up, diversity, inclusion and social mobility. Once developed, it will be tested and informed by consultation with higher education providers, employers and other key stakeholders. This will then inform the development of a standardised approach to APEL, reflecting practice in other public sector professions.

The project will focus on the recognition of prior learning in two ways. The project will initially seek to ascribe a credit value for the level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship standard. This is to enable better entry to higher education programmes. It will involve working with key organisations and stakeholders to establish a commitment to promote this professional progression. The second is by establishing a national standard for accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL), including learning achieved through work.

Project Milestones Achieved by end of July 2022

In establishing the foundations of the project to build for successful delivery, the following were achieved by their agreed date of end of July.

  1. Established a project position statement
  2. Developed a communication plan
  3. Produced a data collection and evaluation plan
  4. Established a knowledge network event series
  5. Initial evaluation of the Senior Healthcare Support Worker (SHCSW) Apprenticeship Standard – Existing
  6. Initial evaluation of the SHCSW Apprenticeship Standard – New

To be achieved by end of September 2022

Post the July 4th Network meeting where we discussed the project achievements to date, it is our mission to complete the following by the end of September to maintain momentum in delivering the APEL project and SHCSW standard.

  1. Evaluation of the standard to ascertain the appropriate credit value (or volume)
  2. Establish an engagement plan with key employer stakeholders
  3. Dissemination of findings to Higher Education Providers (HEPs) and other stakeholders, including conference platform
  4. Wider engagement with HEPs, health and social care employers and other stakeholders
  5. Initial draft of Framework
  6. Schedule and operate consultations for workstream 2 (SHCSW Standard)
  7. Produce SCHSW credit information and guidance materials
  8. Produce engagement and launch promotion materials

UVAC National Conference – 23rd November 2022

An update on the projects progression will be given in form a presentation held by Professor Darryll Bravenboer and Dr Finbar Lillis to present the project “A national industry standard for recognising prior learning in the healthcare sector”. The project overview and update will be recorded and distributed via our APEL project newsletter, UVAC webpage and UVAC social media platforms.

UVAC National Conference 2022 Tickets, Wed 23 Nov 2022 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

The Project Team

Darryll Bravenboer (Middlesex) – Project Manager

Director of Apprenticeships & Professor of Higher Education Skills

Professor Darryll Bravenboer is Director of Apprenticeships at Middlesex University. His current responsibilities include developing and delivering the University’s strategy as a major provider of higher-level skills in the region and nationally. This includes supporting the development and delivery of higher and degree apprenticeships as well as other aspects of academic enterprise, such as the accreditation of in-company training, in order to provide comprehensive workforce development solutions for employers.

Darryll is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and has extensive experience of developing vocational and work-based higher education provision in response to the needs of a wide range of employment sectors in diverse professional contexts. His research interests include the philosophy and sociology of education, higher education policy, fair access, widening participation, lifelong learning and vocational, work-based and employer-responsive higher education. Darryll is a Member of the QAA Advisory Group for the Higher and Degree Apprenticeships Characteristics Statement. He is also Chair of Middlesex University’s Accreditation Board, which includes overseeing the University’s approach to individual APEL claims as well as the accreditation of external courses and training activity. Darryll is also a Board Member of the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), a Trustee and Chair of SEEC credit consortium, Board member of Linking London and co-Chair of the Higher Education Employer Apprenticeship Tralblazer Group.

Previously Darryll was Associate Dean and Deputy Director of the Institute for Work Based Learning at Middlesex and before joining the Middlesex, he worked for the University of Hertfordshire in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies as Director for the East of England Lifelong Learning Network. This included specific responsibility for the distribution of HEFCE Additional Student Numbers across the region, Progression Agreements, Curriculum Development Projects and the Creative and Cultural Industries sector. This involved working with eleven HEIs from diverse mission groups and thirty-five FECs, as well as a wide range of regional and national industry and sector organisations and employers to promote progression to higher education through vocational routes.

Prior to this Darryll was Director of Higher Education at Croydon College with responsibility for all aspects of higher education provision including: quality assurance and enhancement, HEFCE funding, curriculum development and validation, research and scholarship development, as well as significant partnership working with a range of universities. Darryll’s broad ranging experience also includes working as a Senior Graphic Design Consultant with major corporate clients and working in Secondary Schools as a qualified teacher.

Clare Dunn (OU)

Clare Dunn is the Manager for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at the Open University.  She has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology and PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training.  Within her current role, Clare provides institutional oversight of the University’s activities in relation to RPL policy, procedures and governance.  She facilitates communication on RPL and provides advice and guidance both internally and externally.  Clare is passionate about widening access to higher education and promotes RPL as a mechanism to achieve this. Clare is currently involved in a European project led by The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) called European Short Learning Programmes (ESLP) to increase the awareness and uptake of Short Learning programmes (SLPs). Clare’s background is in education where she worked as a lecturer of Sport and Exercise Psychology within Further Education.  For almost 14 years Clare delivered higher education qualifications within Further Education Colleges and supported students in their transition to Higher Education.

Finbar Lillis

Finbar Lillis, Credit Works Services Ltd, Middlesex University Research Associate, Health Education England research consultant. Ph.D. (Discourse and Power in Adult Learning Reform). Doctor of Professional Studies by Public Works from Middlesex University.

Finbar has worked on and published extensively about national and international projects to reform adult learning, in the interests of people facing a range of institutional barriers to progression at work and in the education system.

His recent work includes: Move on Up – a new report on a real-time approach to measuring social mobility impact in higher and degree apprenticeships; Leading on a national NHS project to improve ESOL learning at work in health and care; writing the Skills for Life strategy for the NHS on English, maths and ESOL in the health and care workplace; producing [A guide to] Best Practice in Work Integrated Learning for Degree Apprenticeships; A critique of Tripartite reviews in Police Constable Degree apprenticeships.

Carole Stott

Carole has a long career in education, mostly working in further education and skills, with a focus on supporting development and reform in the UK to improve access, success and progression.

She is an experienced Chief Executive, including as the first CEO of NOCN, a qualification awarding organisation that pioneered a credit system in the UK for recognising learner achievements. She co-founded Credit Works to provide consultancy, research and development on reform of the UK learning and skills system.

Carole is an experienced non-executive director in education and charity sectors. This has included Chair of the Board of Governors at Bath College and Chair of the Association of Colleges and of WorldSkills UK. She is currently a member of the Board of OFSTED.

Carole was awarded the MBE for services to adult education in 2012 and an OBE for services to education in 2021.