South Devon College is the first college in Devon to have three of its healthcare programs approved as higher technical qualifications by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
Paignton College went through a rigorous six-month process to gain accreditation for its Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs): Practitioner Assistant, Nurse Associate and Audiology courses.
Maria Woodger, Deputy Headmaster of South Devon College, said: “This mark of quality demonstrates that these foundation degrees are of high quality and that employers and learners can trust them, confident that they provide the skills needed for the hit.
“The National Approval Process included collecting a series of supporting evidence from employers and completing a comprehensive mapping activity for each of the Occupational Standards Knowledge, Skills and Behaviors that enable the learner to progress.”
This is the second national accreditation for South Devon College’s Associate in Nursing program. It was approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2021.
The pre-registration nursing associate degree was formalized in 2019 to bridge the gap between health assistants and registered nurses.
The two-year course based at University Center South Devon (UCSD), part of South Devon College, is designed to provide a direct pathway to becoming a Registered Associate Nurse. After two years, students can take the new nursing apprenticeship pathway or complete their studies at university to become a registered nurse.
The basic Practitioner Assistant qualification prepares students for a career in the NHS or other health and care organisations.
South Devon College has a strong partnership with national opticians, Specsavers, who take on between sixty and seventy apprentices a year. The learning path takes place in parallel with the basic diploma taught, for those who are already employed in the sector.
“Not everyone wants to go to university and the apprenticeship program allows people to work and study at the same time. It opens a variety of doors and also gives us the opportunity to grow our own workforce,” explained Sonam Sehemby, Professional Audiology Development Manager at Specsavers.
“This is a 16-month crash course with online learning and work at an audiology company.”