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L&D Must Help to Design New Diplomas


Learning and development professionals need to have an active part in the development of new diplomas, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has said.

According to the CIPD employers are "crying out" for work based diplomas like the proposed qualification in engineering - but will only embrace them if they've been fully engaged in the process of development.

Martyn Sloman, Learning and Development Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development (CIPD), said: "We've long argued that learning needs to be better geared to the workplace, and that different routes to qualifications need to be recognised.

"However, it is absolutely vital that government works actively with employers from the earliest design stage of the proposed new vocational qualifications - and particularly learning and development and HR professionals.

"The government's desire to let the market decide how the qualifications framework develops in this key area is correct. But that does not absolve ministers and their officials of a clear responsibility to ensure that a highly credible, work-based diploma becomes at the very least an accepted part of the UK scene, even if it does not replace A-levels altogether.”

The new qualifications will include 14 subjects and are are set to be piloted in England next year. Earlier this week Schools Secretary Ed Balls said that Diplomas could beome the “qualification of choice” for 14-to-19-year-olds.

Sloman added: "Employers are crying out for qualifications - such as those proposed in engineering – that are more directly relevant to their skills needs. And there is a growing understanding amongst learners that the acquisition of skills relevant to the workplace is vital for the development of successful working lives. Against this backdrop, it would be a tragedy if these proposals failed because of a lack of acceptance in the workplace of the new qualifications, resulting from insufficient engagement with employers in their development and resultant poor design and implementation of the proposals."

A review of A Levels, due for 2008, has been postponed by government to 2013 and will be expanded to cover all qualifications.


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