Professional Standards 2016
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Professional Standards 2016

Updating IOL Professional Standards

December 2016 Update


Many of you will have noticed the employers leading the creation of new Outdoor Trailblazer Apprenticeships are testing their thinking to date on the Outdoor Learning Session Deliverer Apprenticeship Standard. I hope many of you will have the chance to look at the evolving standard and offer feedback to the employers. Once this first standard is set, the employer group will look at an Outdoor Learning Programme Deliverer Apprenticeship Standard, and possibly higher outdoor apprenticeships. 

I hope members will look at the evolving apprenticeship standards and consider their relevance for future IOL Professional Standards. If we are to look at higher levels of recognition and accreditation from the Institute, it would be timely to consider the career pathways for members to get there. Asking ourselves what kind of Institute does the sector need in five or ten years time will also be essential to informing future plans. Is there a desire to have IOL accreditation or membership criteria that have a clear equivalence to QTS/QTLS, Chartered Member, Fellow or Senior Fellow in other professions? Is something else a better way for the Institute to fulfil it’s charitable aims and vision?

Neal Anderson, IOL Professional Standards Manager

Professional Standards Summary V3 DRAFT

The latest version of the Draft Professional Standards (V3) was shared at the National Conference. There was a large amount of support at the conference for the current proposals and a number of valuable discussions on the potential challenges and role of the standards. At present, IOL is looking at clarifying terms, and options for the next stages of development and consultation.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to look at the proposals and let us know how you would word things differently or propose a different structure. 

Join the Working Group or Virtual Group

To contribute to the shaping of the standards and assessment standards or be kept up to date with progress, you are invited to join one of our project groups:

Working Group - To shape the professional standards and related IOL membership model
Virtual Group - To be kept up-to-speed on developments and be asked to contribute their view via on-line consultations
  • To ADD, CHANGE OR REMOVE your name from a group please email Louise at IOL.
Evolving Development Principles

Member discussions, consultations and comments have informed the developments so far and the following principles represent where there is a degree of common agreement.

  • A career pathway should include development routes to a professional level as well as development from a professional level.
  • The importance and value of reflective practice should be upheld within any new standards or assessment processes.
  • RPIOL, APIOL and LPIOL will still be valid IOL awards whether or not we create new standards.
  • Competencies should be defined in a way to be holistic and recognise members skills in delivering learning, leading others in the outdoors, activity/subject specialisms and professional practice that includes ethics, values and critical reflection. 
  • IOL Professional Standards should demonstrate to the "public" (stakeholders, customers, participants, etc.) they will receive safe, effective and high quality outdoor learning.  
  • Employers/providers would value a common framework that could help when selecting, training and developing staff. 
  • Standards and accreditation should recognise the range of members experience and learning gained through practice, critical reflection, sector specific awards (e.g. NGB), academic study (FE, degree and postgraduate), vocational training (e.g. ILM) and other recognitions (e.g. QTS). 
  • The Professional Standards should "bring together" all aspects of being competent and allow for accrediting prior experience and learning (APEL). 
  • They Professional Standards should have relevance for all IOL members - no matter what their area of outdoor learning or activity/subject specialisms.
  • Asking "what kind of Institute does the sector need in five or ten years time" will be essential to informing plans.
Please let the project know how you would word things differently or propose different principles for the working group to consider.

Proposed Structure of IOL Professional Standards for Individual Members

One possible view moving forwards: Download Professional Standards Summary (V3 DRAFT 14/10/16)

Role indicator Deliver Develop Design Manage Lead Shape 
Typical activities

Pre-planned session and outcomes.

Sequenced sessions.
Reflection in-action.

Programme design & delivery.
Active reviewing.
Self-regulation of risk management.

Provides Outdoor Learning programmes. Management of people, resources, programmes.
Regional influence.

Pioneer for outdoor learning.
National influence.
Specialist contribution in chosen field.

Pioneer for outdoor learning.
National influence.
Specialist contribution in chosen field.

Professional competence Engages in self-reflection.
Follows outdoor learning ethics and values
Engages in self-reflection.
Follows outdoor learning ethics and values
Uses reflective practice.
Sound ethics, values and supporting beliefs
Systematic reflective practice.
Strong values base and coherent beliefs.


Possible indicators (one or more, or equivalent) In house training and assessment.
Personal skills qualifications
Level 2 Apprenticeship
Entry level NGB qualifications.
Level 3 Apprenticeship
Relevant degree
Mid-level NGB qualifications.
Higher level Apprenticeship
Masters
Higher level NGB qualifications.
Teaching qualification
   
Typical timescale to achieve (no prior experience)  1 year 2 years  3-5 years  6-15 years  15+ years   
Professional Standard Outdoor Learning Session Deliverer Outdoor Learning Programme Deliverer Role C Role D n/a - each career path is to diverse and specialised n/a - each career path is to diverse and specialised
IOL Membership Requirements Accredited to Role A Professional Standard Accredited to Role B Professional Standard Accredited to Role C Professional Standard Accredited to Role D Professional Standard  Proven specialism and experience in chosen role or subject area
Further specialism and experience in chosen role or subject area
POSSIBLE IOL Membership Category Student Member Registered Member Accredited Member Full Member 
(Chartered title in the future)
Fellow Member  Senior Fellow Member

At present the proposals are being revised and all responses are being considered. Please get in touch or engage your local IOL Executive Committee with your aspirations.

Documentation

Updating IOL Professional Standards
Project Programme


Updating IOL Professional Standards
Briefing for Members




 

Initial Proposal

It’s been more than a decade since IOL began providing individual accreditation awards. In that time over 842 people have achieved RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL and demonstrated meeting a benchmark for good practice. The awards have been a success and have only been possible with the support of our members who volunteer their time and expertise to act as Coaches and Assessors.

However, lest we get complacent, the awards are not without their drawbacks. For example: (1) They could have a better fit with what employers/providers want when selecting, training and developing their staff. And (2) the criteria and process of the awards makes it difficult to accredit prior experience and learning (APEL) gained through other awards, FE or HE study. After 12 years the existing accreditation schemes are due for review to ensure they are fit for purpose as a professional institute. We are at the beginning of this process of change.

In parallel to these IOL reflections, a group of employers in the sector have secured permission from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to create a set of new trailblazer apprenticeships. When successful, these will enable access to funding for training outdoor instructors and leaders that will replace and extend what is currently available. The new apprenticeship standards will be focused on specific requirements for generic job roles.

IOL as the professional body in the sector are working in partnership with the employer-led initiative. The Institute will use the apprenticeship standards developed by employers to inform an update and revision of our own professional standards. A focus on end-point assessment will allow for multiple and varied routes to gaining competence and being assessed. The current proposals are based on four career points, the first three of which are likely to have compatible IOL and apprenticeship standards:

Outdoor Instructor

  • Delivering outdoor learning sessions of up to a ½ day in duration to a predefined session plan, usually in rural locations within 30 minutes of help and the business venue.

Outdoor Leader

  • Designing and providing a progressive sequence of outdoor learning sessions of up to 24 hours in duration following set business protocols and procedures and tailored to the participants needs, often 2-3hrs away from the business venue and help.

Accredited Outdoor Leader

  • Interpreting customer needs to plan, resource, deliver and evaluate a progressive programme of outdoor learning of more than 3 days and often in remote and wilderness locations potentially several days away from help.

Certified Outdoor Leader

  • Developing creative solutions to educational and development needs using a range of locations, activities and expertise. Having the skill set to lead and develop other outdoor learning staff and the capacity to hold overall technical, financial, systems, staff, or safety responsibility.

At this early stage both the Institute and the employer group are embarking on a process of collaboration and consultation. It is essential that what each party develops will meet the needs of employers and can help assure the public they will receive safe, effective and high quality outdoor learning.

Of course there will be many hurdles in the project to overcome – including working out the simplest way to transfer from RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL to a new standard. I hope that many individual and organisational members will choose to assist the employer led group to develop their apprenticeship standards or work with the Institute to shape and define our new professional standards.

The provisional timetable is below:

Employer-Led Apprenticeship Development & IOL Professional Standards

Professional standards timetable july 2016


It is exciting times as we build on the successes of the current accreditation awards.
Please do follow progress on the IOL website and get in touch with me directly to discuss your thoughts and comments.

Neal Anderson
IOL Professional Standards Manager

Email or 07899 856518

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some of your drives for changing the professional standards?
The principle reason is to ensure the IOL accreditation schemes are fit for purpose as a professional institute. The needs we are addressing are:
a. They can help assure the public they will receive safe, effective and high quality outdoor learning.
b. They fit with what employers/providers want when selecting, training and developing staff.
c. They recognise prior experience and learning (APEL) gained through sector specific awards (e.g. NGB), academic study (FE, degree and postgraduate), vocational training (e.g. ILM) and other recognitions (e.g. QTS).

2. Are the standards for field studies tutors or activity instructors?
Both. We want to develop standards for generic roles in the outdoor sector that will fit whatever the subject or activity specialism.  Each role will require a different set of skills and will reflect a different level of responsibility.  It will be similar to having a general professional standard for a “chef”, “architect” or “nurse”.

3. What will the professional standards cover?
For each role, the standard will define the knowledge, skills and behaviour required for someone to be competent in that role. These will be described in six areas:
Activity/subject skills and knowledge, Leadership, Delivering Learning, Professional Approach, Business Operations, Personal Skills.

4. Are the standards already set?
No. The titles and levels already described are a starting point for discussion and definitionWe expect many changes and refinements to ensure we have relevant standards across the whole sector.

5. Is it worth signing up for RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL if things are going to change?
Yes. The new standards will not be live until late 2017 at the earliest and those who already hold RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL will find it easiest to get accredited with the new standards.

6. Will my RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL still be valid after the change?
Yes. They will still be valid once the new professional standards are live. You will have the opportunity to transfer to one of the new standards if you wish.

7. How will I transfer from RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL to a new professional standard?
Once the revised definitions and competences of each new standard are agreed we can look at the easiest way for people to move to holding a new award. That may be automatic, via telephone interview or via assessed short application.

We expect many of the RPIOL and APIOL criteria will be relevant to the new standards - you will only be asked to evidence meeting those criteria that are NOT covered by your current RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL.

8. Will you still need IOL Coaches?
Yes, for new applications to the professional standards the support of an IOL Coach is likely to be essential.

9. Will the process of assessment change?
It is very likely the style of the application form and assessment process will change.
It will be essential that employers can have complete confidence that someone who has achieved a standard is competent in all the criteria that are assessed.

10. Are these changes part of IOL exploring being a Chartered Institute?
Not in themselves but we will ensure the changes are compatible with IOL being able to apply to become a Chartered Institute should it wish to in the future.

11. What is the relationship between IOL and the Employer Led Apprenticeship?
IOL as the professional body in the sector are working in partnership the employerled initiative. The Employer Group has asked one part of IOL to take a project coordination role in helping that group consult and produce its standards, assessment thinking and governance thoughts for submission to BIS.

The Institute will use the apprenticeship standards developed by employers to inform an update and revision of some of our professional standards.

12. How can I get involved in the Employer Led Apprenticeship Development?
If you are an employer and would like further information or to chat about the opportunity to get involved please contact:

Mark Lavington
Employer Led Trailblazer Chair
PGL. Manager – HR External Partnerships.
Mobile: 07977 987712
Office switchboard: 0333 321 2100 - Email

13. How can I get involved in the IOL Professional Standards Development?
We hope to release dates of consultation meetings very soon. You can follow progress on the IOL website and get in touch with Neal directly to discuss your thoughts and comments:

Neal Anderson
IOL Professional Standards Manager

Mobile: 07899 856518 - Email



 Role A Role B  Role C  Role D     
           
       Chartered Member Fellow  Senior Fellow 

Updating IOL Professional Standards Webinar

Updating IOL Professional Standards Presentation

Thu, Sep 8, 2016 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM BST

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