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Recognising prior learning in the healthcare sector

Establishing a standardised way of recognising and quantifying the work experience a person has, so they can use that experience to access learning or job opportunities will help people into health and care careers and help organisations to meet their staffing needs.

The requirement for formal qualification has often taken precedence over “equivalent experience” and assessing that experience has always been at the discretion of the University or the employer.

Health Education England (HEE) has commissioned Middlesex University to work in partnership with the Open University (OU), the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) and Credit Works to establish a way of quantifying the prior learning of an applicant which healthcare organisations and universities can recognise and use when recruiting.

The project will firstly work to give credit value to the level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship standard, to allow those who have completed the apprenticeship to see how it can help them access higher education programmes. Secondly it will establish a national standard for accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL), including learning achieved through work. To do this, key organisations and stakeholders will have to work together to agree on how experience through work and apprenticeships can be measured consistently.