Accredited qualifications are an important way for staff and volunteers to build skills but for a long time the sector has been calling for more flexible ways of delivering qualifications that are based on what the learner and the sector needs.
The new flexible work-based qualifications units (small pieces of accredited learning) should go a long way to meeting this need. The new units will need to be based on recognised national standards which should also help ensure that they are targeted to meeting the voluntary sector’s needs.
Our work on qualifications
We are working with partners towards developing units based on national standards to make up larger national qualifications. And we are working with other Sector Skills Councils with voluntary sector organisations in their remit to support them to include third sector qualifications in their courses. For example, we’d like someone working in childcare in a charity or social enterprise who is following a childcare course to also have the option to choose units within that course that build their skills in areas that are particularly relevant to voluntary sector organisations, such as managing volunteers.
Qualifications in the skills priority areas
From the available research about the skills needs of the voluntary sector, we have identified four priority areas that require skills development so that charities and social enterprises can meet the challenges and demands of the sector in the next three years. The four priority areas are:
- governance and leadership
- skills for business
- volunteer management
- measuring effectiveness and impact.
There are already a number of courses that lead to accredited qualifications in these areas. You can find out what qualifications are available on The Register of Regulated Qualifications.