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Empowering learners with crucial skills for post-prison life

Providing education opportunities within prisons comes with its own unique set of challenges, from contact time with the learner to accessing materials and reviewing learner work. As Rachel Kaufman explains, however, ASDAN Short Courses have proven the perfect fit for and had a profound effect on Guernsey Prison inmates as part of their rehabilitation.   

Rachel is the Educational Manager at Guernsey Prison. We spoke to her about how ASDAN courses have been boosting their prisoners' skills in preparation for life outside of prison and paving the way for brighter futures. 

“At Guernsey Prison, we have a mixed population of around 90 prisoners, with up to a third of these studying educational courses at any one time. The duration of a prison sentence presents a unique challenge for education providers within this setting. Recognising this, we were looking for a programme that could integrate into our learners' individual timeframes and provide them with crucial life skills. The prisoners are of all ages from 16 upwards, so we also needed courses that could reflect this diverse age range, ensuring they felt valued and engaged in their learning journey.”  

“Our staff had previously been delivering courses through other providers but had found the administration confusing and time-consuming to complete. ASDAN Short Courses stood out as the perfect fit for our needs: effective, organised and easy to understand. With clear and organised materials, a user-friendly website and immense support from our relationship manager, ASDAN offered a streamlined approach that was a perfect fit for us.”  

ASDAN’s suite of Short Courses comprises over 30 titles, covering a wide range of subjects to inspire and engage learners working from Entry level 3 through to Level 1. These portfolio-based programmes allow for a high level of flexibility to meet the needs and interests of individual learners. 

“The Short Courses were easy to navigate, allowing learners to achieve accreditation with ease, regardless of their educational background. It’s important for us to deliver courses that come with certification. Our learners may not have studied in the past or left education without any accreditation, so they feel such pride in receiving their certificates.”  

“Getting started was very straightforward. After speaking with our relationship manager, we knew ASDAN offered exactly what we required. The fact that we could start with the Short Courses as soon as we had discussed the process was also an incentive. The course books are easy to use and the way the challenges are all clearly laid out were a real indicator of how the courses were there to meet the needs of the students.”  

Rachel told us how the breadth of the ASDAN offer has been so successful at the prison. 

“It's great that there are so many different Short Courses available, and our learners have thrived on the wide range of practical challenges. Foodwise is one of the most popular choices and the students love to cook. Through this course, they have acquired useful skills and knowledge, such as cooking from scratch, nutrition, healthy eating, food safety and budgeting. The lessons are inclusive and fun – the kitchen in the education block has never been so busy!” 

“The Sports and Fitness Short Course was fantastic for a specific cohort, as we had an Island Games speaker visiting the prison and the learners were able to show evidence of this in their work. One student mastered how to create and deliver a PowerPoint presentation in one of the challenges which was such a huge achievement for them.” 

“Two learners were recently involved in a prison initiative on mentoring – the Offender Behaviour Programme. Alongside this, they completed the Peer Mentoring Short Course and were able to link their ASDAN work to the initiative. This allowed students to apply their skills to support fellow inmates, bridging the gap between education and rehabilitation.” 

“We had recently been looking at qualifications we can offer to our prisoners on longer or returning sentences and we opted to start delivering the ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE). Achieving this qualification at Level 2 will enable our learners to use this as a GCSE equivalent, which will be an unbelievable boost for them in post-prison life. The fact that the Short Courses allow for progression to CoPE is so useful in our setting.”  

ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness is a nationally recognised qualification available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. The course enables learners to develop and demonstrate personal, key and employability skills through completing a wide range of activities and challenges. Alongside this, they produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their achievements. Credits gained through completing ASDAN Short Courses can be counted towards a CoPE qualification, forming a progression pathway for learners. 

Rachel concludes how ASDAN has been transformative for their prisoners. 

“The impact of ASDAN courses on our learners has been profound. Through completing their challenges they have been able to learn key skills such as research, planning and IT skills. Beyond that, it’s helped them to develop some wonderful attributes, such as kindness, patience and empathy. They have not only gained valuable accreditation but have also experienced personal growth and development. Improved confidence, independent learning skills, and a newfound sense of purpose are just some of the brilliant outcomes we have seen.” 

Please contact if you have been inspired to share your story or would like to find out more about ASDAN’s Short Courses or Certificate of Personal Effectiveness.