Cardiff Metropolitan University is working with the Welsh Ambulance services NHS Trust to offer a short accredited learning programme to paramedics and other ambulance staff throughout South Wales. The first session was delivered to ambulance staff across South West Wales for the first time this week at the Trust's National Ambulance training College in Swansea.
Operational Paramedics, Clinical Team Leaders, Urgent Care Service staff, Control Room and Resources Centre staff completed an intensive two day programme in Reflective Practice, with a follow-on project that will lead to them earning twenty credits of learning, which can be used towards further HE study. The training was delivered by Fiona Argent from Cardiff Met's Centre for Work Based Learning (CWBL).
The condensed training module is taken from Cardiff Met's Foundation Degree in Applied Professional Practice. This is a flexible, work based degree, offered by Cardiff Met in partnership with Acorn Learning Solutions. It focusses on personal and professional development, management, leadership and negotiated learning. The module offered to Ambulance staff is the first module of the wider Foundation degree - Introduction to Reflective Practice. The module encourages individuals to reflect on their own professional development and write about this in relation to their day to day tasks and responsibilities.
Fiona Argent, Centre for Work Based Learning Manager at Cardiff Met said, "We have worked very closely with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to design a practical training solution which can be rolled out to staff across Wales. We have had 17 ambulance staff enrol onto the 20 credit level 4 module following the workshops, from which the feedback has been excellent.
"We are always keen to partner with businesses to offer the academic theory to support practical workplace skills. This model which we are piloting with the Welsh Ambulance Service can easily be rolled out to other regional divisions throughout Wales, and could be applied to any business sector.
"Companies need training programmes with some degree of flexibility and we feel that our understanding of work based learning is important in offering a practical learning opportunity to employees carrying out a wide range of jobs.
"We aim to make access to higher education both accessible and flexible and this project will offer a clear progression route into Higher Education. Our Foundation Degree in Applied Professional Practice combines classroom based sessions with work based practices and independent learning. We would love to see staff from the Welsh Ambulance Service complete this training and potentially move onto our Foundation degree."
Amanda Williams, Paramedic; Project Manager at Welsh Ambulance said: "The training programme delivered by Cardiff Met is perfect for staff in the Ambulance Service who have an immense amount of knowledge relating to their specific areas of work, but in some cases do not have the (FE/HE) academic qualifications to underpin that knowledge. The intense nature of the learning demanded a lot of our teams but they are keen to complete the module and gain the twenty HE credits which they can take forward for further study should they wish to.
"Entry requirements for Paramedics have changed in the past 10 years and from 2016 paramedics will be educated to degree level. We need to continue to increase our collaborations with Higher Education Institutions throughout Wales to ensure that all of our employees are able to achieve equal access to both clinical and academic development opportunities, and we are very pleased that this project with Cardiff Met has generated so much interest from our staff."
Click here for further information about Cardiff Met's Centre for Work Based Learning