Qualifications in Independent Advocacy have been created to support advocates develop practical skills and knowledge which is needed to provide effective independent advocacy support.
The qualification requires the learner to meet the required standards of the identified unit through competency , skills & knowledge.
The award consists of a number of taught hours – distance or classroom learning – and the completion of a portfolio of evidence. The timeframe from course to certificate is 12 months.
To support learners through the qualifications AT begin the journey with providing a face to face taught course where learners can receive live learning which supports the advocate to learn & share practice experience & examples. Course content & exercises have been developed to ensure a participative approach. Learners will take part in discussion, role play, case studies and other innovative exercises to enable learners to feel the impact of being in an advocacy relationship, from the advocates perspective & the recipient. This forms a valuable footing for learners to proceed to their portfolio completion.
All exercises completed & discussion from the taught course should be included in the portfolio wherever relevant. Practice reflection is the mainstream evidence and the course provides a rich platform to take away own learning & thoughts.
After course attendance the learner will be ready to commence the award. Initial paperwork & introductory communication will be sent through to the learner from the centre manager informing them of their allocated assessor. The learner will need to start on their portfolio evidence straight away to ensure they allow enough time across the 12 months to complete the award.
Assessment is explained with hard copy examples & resources on the taught courses.
Distance Learning Pathway
Learners will be provided with access to online resources, through which learners can navigate in whichever way suits them best. Questions will be set within workbooks to place learning in a real world setting and encourage learners to reflect and challenge themselves and their practice.
Learners will be provided with a Skype session with a trainer and other distance learners, during which learners can ask questions, discuss case studies and explore the real world setting of their advocacy service with an experienced and expert trainer. Reflection on practice will be encouraged throughout the session, to maximise learning. The trainer will also describe the assessment process and answer any queries during the session.
Allocation to an assessor will take place within two weeks of booking and resources will be released to the learner at the same time. The learner can begin immediately and has 12 months to complete the award.
AT assessors are all advocacy practitioners. An assessor appropriate to the unit specialism undertaken will be allocated to the learner. The assessor role is to review work submitted and provide guidance on the award requirements.
Portfolio – where do I start ?
Your knowledge, competency & skills in each of the learning outcomes will be assessed through your portfolio of evidence. A portfolio is a collection of work which demonstrates these through a number of evidence types.
The portfolio is an opportunity for you to show everyone what you do, why you do it & how you do it. It is a personal collection of evidence pieces that brings your role to life, applying the knowledge you gain to the work that you do. Someone reading your portfolio should be able to visualise you through the content of your submissions – describing the way you work, the challenges, the successes, illustrating key points with examples from your own practice & then using practice reflection. This is the theme of a good portfolio.
Each unit has a number of learning outcomes (LO) that need to be evidenced. AT have responded to feedback that guidance as to how to approach this is preferred. To this end we have developed Individual Learning Plans (ILP) for each unit, these are a plan of suggested tasks which when completed should target identified learning outcomes. If you complete the ILP successfully you will complete the unit.
Portfolio – process to submit work
You will need to complete a task as per ILP & send through to your assessor. All submissions are sent to assessor with a cover sheet to detail the task
The assessor will review the work within the 10 day task window & provide feedback. Tasks may be signed off as achieved on first submission, others may require additional evidence to meet standards .The assessor will advise.
Full guidance for AT learners on how to compile your portfolio can be found in the Portfolio-Information-Pack.
Portfolio – completion & submission
If you follow the ILP and take guidance from your assessor you will have completed all the evidence required for the award. Portfolios are to be submitted electronically, with manual hand signatures scanned onto relevant forms. Your assessor will provide you with further guidance for this.
Your finished portfolio is submitted to your assessor who will need to carry out a final review to ensure all requirements are met. The portfolio then goes for C&G verification to confirm the portfolio is of a PASS standard. Now your name can go for certification for a C&G accredited certificate… you have achieved your award!