Adding value with ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation: Investing in Children
ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation is a bespoke arrangement in which ASDAN accredits and certificates a course that an organisation has already written. It provides curriculum endorsement by our nationally recognised awarding body.
We spoke to ASDAN-accredited organisation Investing in Children. Co-Director Helen Mulhearn and Peer Support Worker Tad Billam share why they chose to be accredited by ASDAN and how this formal recognition empowered young people.
Investing in Children is an organisation concerned with the human rights of children and young people, providing opportunities for their voices to influence services and organisations that affect their lives.
“We work with education and social care settings, health services, police and criminal justice structures to improve the way they involve children and young people in important decisions,” says Co-Director, Helen. “We create a space to enable young people to articulate their views, develop their expertise, and manage power dynamics with adults.
“We developed a Peer Mentoring Programme because young people asked for support developing their confidence and help each other with issues in areas of life they felt there was no service provision.
“After delivering the programme for a few years, some young people asked if they could have something more meaningful to support their learning portfolio. Some of our young people had enjoyed ASDAN courses in school or college and so recommended it as an awarding body.
“We approached ASDAN for their Customised Accreditation because we wanted recognised accreditation for those who completed the Peer Mentoring Programme. Through ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation service, credits can be gained and used towards some ASDAN Programmes or Qualifications. ASDAN’s Level 3 qualifications carry UCAS points for those who want to pursue a University route."
ASDAN provides support and a collaborative approach
“We worked closely with our ASDAN Relationship Manager to adapt our programme and create outcomes that made sense for the children and young people participating. Our discussions helped us decide on the incentive to award additional credits to those who became peer mentors after completing the training.
“We appreciate how we were able to work with ASDAN to create the course – we really value this co-creation,” says Tad on behalf of the Peer Support Workers.
Highly regarded awards recognised by employees
“We like offering an ASDAN-accredited programme as it helps us engage and recruit schools to train with. Schools like the idea of their students receiving an accredited course and certificate from a nationally-recognised organisation.
“Learners have benefited from ASDAN’s Customised Accreditation service as they’re able to reference their training on their CVs and personal statements when applying for university. Our young people have gained skills and confidence in communicating with people for interviews and more general social situations.”
ASDAN-accredited programme empowers young people
“The young people on our ASDAN-accredited programme have told us that they appreciate being part of, and awarded for, something really positive and have developed their own peer mentoring projects, such as mental health and LGBTQIA+ awareness groups.”
One learner expressed the value of being accredited for helping their peers: “Peer mentoring is something different from what we usually do at school – it’s nice to take some time to think about what we can do to help others.”
Another learner stated: “It’s exciting to know that if we have an idea, we can share it and it could turn into something really great.”
“ASDAN’s accreditation is a strong incentive for young people to engage and take up our offer of training,” says Tad. “Offering an ASDAN-accredited course shows that we really value our learners and are willing to invest in them. When they complete the programme, learners are proud of their ASDAN certificates.”