Work-based qualifications provide a route for Entry level learners

Published

SENDI is a Leonardo Transference of Innovation project that has been jointly developed by several international institutions in five European countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain.

The aim of the project was to develop an evaluation method for base competences, which initially was modelled on the P-scale system designed by the Qualifications Curriculum Development Agency in the United Kingdom. P levels provide a way to identify the progress of students with special educational needs who are unable to reach Entry level within the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework or indeed in the EQF. The project also aimed to utilise low-cost certification from a model developed by The Learning Machine Ltd.

The objectives of the SENDI project are:

  • To transfer the innovative methods and technologies that enable low-cost certification in the European Qualifications Framework for those students with special needs
  • Support progress within the European Qualifications Framework through an online programme for students with special needs
  • Reduce the barriers to using information that exists for students with special educational needs

The main members of the project represent a range of organisations, including awarding organisations and teacher networks, and a good geographic distribution in Europe. All the members have specific interests and knowledge in the area of equality for students with special educational needs and disabled students.

P Scales proved to be set at a stage of development that was too low to capture achievement at levels of performance required in the workplace. The units that were written, approved as qualifications on the QCF in the United Kingdom and used by learners were set instead at Level 1 in the EQF (Entry 3 in the UK QCF). The long-term objective remains to obtain a mark of fully recognized certification by the EQF.

The project has certificated eight courses of different formative subjects. The students certificated were operating below the previously expected level for entry into the labour market. The qualifications have been trialled and 700 have so far been awarded to Entry level learners. These subjects were chosen by the project group due to the specific labour opportunities that are currently available in participating countries. The titles of the available courses are:

  • Catering
  • Facilitary Services
  • Packaging
  • Order Picking
  • Cleanroom Processing
  • Green Jobs               
  • Cutting and Construction
  • Safety in the Retail Work Place

More information on these qualifications and their component units, including teaching resources, can be found on the project website.

If you are interested in any of these qualifications or some of the single units that can be provided, please contact the evaluation centre in Spain: