College of Occupational Therapists Strategic Vision and Action Plan

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					     The position statement on lifelong learning (College of Occupational Therapists
     2002) underlined the importance of lifelong learning for all by promoting the
     rights, needs and responsibilities of occupational therapy personnel as
     learners, supporters, facilitators and providers of learning opportunities. It also
     highlighted the fact that lifelong learning is directed towards equalising
     opportunities for organisational, personal and professional development, in
     the interests of client-centred practice and public protection.
        The position statement emphasised the importance of continuing
     professional development for all members of the British Association and
     College of Occupational Therapists, whether associate member, student,
     practitioner, educator, researcher or manager. The principles stated in the
     position statement are embedded in this strategic vision and action plan,
     namely to widen participation and to offer, develop and engage with learning
     opportunities for all personnel, regardless of learning experience, employment
     sector, role or specialty. The importance of developing teamwork through
     interprofessional learning and working is also emphasised.
        The strategy objectives emerged from a listening event held at the College
     of Occupational Therapists on 10 October 2002 (Rowan 2003). Representatives
     of support workers, higher education institutions, specialist sections, the four
     home countries, managers, researchers and practitioners contributed to this
     event. This event focused on exploring the needs of specific groups of people
     involved in occupational therapy and so common themes began to emerge,
     namely diversity and inclusivity of opportunities; flexibility of delivery; valuing
     achievement in learning; creativity by doing things differently; transformational
     learning to manage change; and integrated and interprofessional learning.

     College of Occupational Therapists:
     Strategic Vision and Action Plan for
     Lifelong Learning
     Introduction                                                     Need for a strategic vision and action plan
                                                                      In October 2003, there were 25,852 registered occupational
     Current learning activities facilitated by                       therapists in the United Kingdom (Health Professions Council
     the College of Occupational Therapists                           [HPC] 2003) and 25,551 members of the British Association
     Lifelong learning for the occupational therapy workforce         and College of Occupational Therapists (BAOT/COT),
     spans aspiration raising, support worker development,            including students and associate members. Therefore, in
     pre-registration education, continuing professional              developing the lifelong learning strategic vision and action
     development (CPD), postgraduate scholarship and                  plan, the needs of all these people require to be taken into
     research. Links to organisations are provided in                 account. In the wider context of the lifelong learning strategic
     Appendix 1 and specific activities are identified in             vision and action plan, there may also be the requirement to
     Appendices 2 and 3.                                              recognise the needs of those people who are not yet part of
          Lifelong learning provision within occupational therapy     the profession (in terms of awareness raising and aspiration)
     has developed as the need has been recognised and                and those people who may be the recipients of occupational
     acknowledged. The College of Occupational Therapists             therapy interventions as users of services.
     (COT) now wishes to encapsulate this responsive,                      The overarching aim of this 5-year lifelong learning
     incremental approach into a proactive, overarching 5-year        strategic vision and action plan is to create a culture of
     lifelong learning strategic vision and action plan, with         lifelong learning being a continuum within academic, work
     ongoing review. In this context, occupational therapy            and social environments. This strategic vision and action
     personnel will be encouraged to take advantage of the            plan, developed from the position statement on lifelong
     opportunities offered for lifelong learning in both formal and   learning (COT 2002) and a listening event (Rowan 2003), is
     informal learning contexts.                                      informed by the need for:

20    British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)
n   Diversity and inclusivity, which involves having a               plan seeks to embrace the learning needs of all the
    sufficient range of learning opportunities that is               constituent groups of the profession by equalising
    accessible to all regardless of background, race, religion,      opportunities for organisational, personal and professional
    culture, age, gender and disability (Department of Health        development, in the interests of client-centred practice
    [DH] 2000c), that is, equity of both provision and               and public protection.
    opportunity for the great diversity of occupational
    therapy personnel.
n   A flexible blend of delivery, which means that the               Strategic vision and action plan
    lifelong learning opportunities are:
    – Learner centred                                                Objective 1: The COT will contribute to the
    – High quality                                                   drive for diversity and inclusivity in the
    – Accessible to all and comply with the Disability               workforce through the provision of
        Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Special                learning opportunities for all personnel
        Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA)            involved in the delivery of occupational
        principles (Great Britain Parliament 1995, 2001)             therapy services
    – Flexible in terms of entry and exit points (DH 2001)           In support of the policy objectives and initiatives within
    – Available in a range of modes of delivery                      health, social care and education, there is a need for the
    – Offering formal and informal opportunities.                    COT to recognise its responsibility to reflect the requirement
n   Valuing the achievement of learning of the individual,           for diversity and inclusivity in its own strategic vision and
    which is concerned with the recognition of formal and            action plan (DH 2001).
    informal learning through the validation and                         A strategic framework would need to identify the scope
    accreditation of prior experience and learning                   of the current diversity of the occupational therapy
    (APEL/APL) and enabling this to count towards further            workforce, identify the gaps in provision and work towards
    study and career progression (Carter 1999).                      identifying key tasks and actions that would better reflect
n   Creativity in education, which is concerned with                 the needs of the health and social care workforce and,
    supporting the Government agenda for modernisation               ultimately, clients. This could be achieved by a clear
    and change by encouraging the development of novel               recruitment strategy concentrating on flexibility of entry
    and innovative ways of supporting learning in                    routes to underpin this objective, with clear targets of how
    occupational therapy, for example, work-based learning,          the COT and its networks will collaborate to achieve change.
    e-learning and multi-mode delivery. It includes                      The intention would be to build on the current range of
    flexibility, divergent thought, originality and the ability to   occupational therapy educational provision – pre-qualifying,
    organise perceptions and emotions (Hoy 1998), which              pre-registration, post-qualifying and postgraduate –
    enables creative solutions in unfamiliar situations.             identifying emerging examples of good practice and
n   Transformational learning (Mezirow 1997), which is               developing opportunities. Working in collaboration with
    about changing perceptions to see new meanings in and            key stakeholders and other allied health professionals
    new applications and implications of knowledge that is           involved in educational provision and contracting would
    already known, producing a significant impact on the             demonstrate the COT’s commitment to an inclusive and
    learner’s subsequent practice (Clark 1993). There are            diverse approach to lifelong learning.
    three common themes in transformational learning, that
    is, that it is based on experience, on critical reflection       Action
    and on rational discourse (Mezirow 1997).                        The COT will:
n   Interprofessional learning, which is a tool for                  n Encourage the inclusion of individuals from a wide
    encouraging a collaborative working culture between                 range of backgrounds and with different cultural
    professions and agencies by learning from and about                 perspectives in support of the need for a diverse
    each other in order to improve collaboration and the                workforce (DH 2001, Higher Education Funding
    quality and integration of care across agencies (Centre             Council for England [HEFCE] 2001b). This will be
    for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education                  achieved through continuing work with the
    [CAIPE] 2003).                                                      Occupational Therapists’ Admissions Forum (OTAF) and
    The intention of this strategic vision and action plan is to:       through the COT’s networks of education purchasers
    – Provide leadership, guidance and validity to the                  and providers and will be monitored in the Joint
        activities required to maintain and demonstrate fitness         Validation Committee’s (JVC’s) annual monitoring report.
        for award, professional practice and purpose.                n Continue to collect and analyse admissions data from
    – Raise awareness of and create equality of learning                programme annual monitoring reports to demonstrate
        opportunities for all occupational therapy personnel.           and develop a recruitment strategy that will seek to
    – Encourage ownership of and responsibility for one’s               improve the diversity of students entering the profession
        own learning for all members of the profession and for          (JVC 2002).
        those who work with occupational therapists.                 n Encourage occupational therapy employers, service
    Within these parameters, the strategic vision and action            managers and education providers to demonstrate that

                                                                                British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)   21
           they are taking ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure that           modernisation projects about what works and disseminate
           employees/students from diverse backgrounds are not at      that learning.
           a disadvantage compared with other employees/students
           in the organisation (Great Britain Parliament 2001).        Action
     n     Ensure that it provides careers and learning information    The COT will:
           for potential students and careers advisers in a range of   n Encourage education providers to support and, where
           formats for students with disabilities and in languages        appropriate, work in partnership with further education
           other than English.                                            colleges to offer progressive levels of education; for
     n     Require that an inclusivity and widening participation         example, from cadetships and access routes to
           statement is included in programme documents, which            pre-registration programme schemes, and from
           clearly targets under-represented groups, especially           workplace learning to pre-registration or post-
           people with disabilities, and is supported by learning,        registration occupational therapy education. This will be
           teaching and assessment strategies that enable success         based on a coherent and transparent system of education
           (HEFCE 2001d).                                                 progression (Scottish Office 1998, Quality Assurance
     n     Develop a recruitment strategy that will raise knowledge       Agency [QAA] 2001d).
           about and expectations of occupational therapy as a         n Collect data about the range of flexible education
           career for young people and others from under-represented      programmes and practice placements delivered by each
           groups (HEFCE 2002b).                                          provider and the implementation of protected time and
     n     Expect educational programmes to give learners the             supervision by each employer organisation (Ilott and
           opportunity to experience a range of contemporary              White 2001, COT 2002).
           practice areas that underpins the philosophy of             n Support regional and local group activities in order to
           inclusivity and diversity (JVC 2003).                          provide mentoring for members, and enable facilitators
     n     Develop lifelong learning opportunities for associate          to encourage support personnel to entry-level
           members and support workers in occupational therapy.           competence (Candelin 2002).
                                                                       n Respect student diversity by encouraging programme
     Objective 2: The COT will support the                                development and delivery that reflects student learning
     development of flexible models of                                    and responsibility needs and contemporary practice; for
     learning at different levels and with an                             example, part-time workers, carers of their own
     assortment of stepping on and stepping                               dependants and students with disabilities (Scottish
     off points, in a range of locations and                              Office 1998, Audit Commission 2001, HEFCE 2001d).
     through a variety of modes of delivery                            n Encourage the delivery of client-centred learning, based
     In reflecting the needs of occupational therapy personnel,           on benchmarks and competencies, to increase
     students and potential students, the COT will encourage the          knowledge, understanding and skills and an appropriate
     development of programmes that support the modernisation             balance between academic and practice education (Audit
     agenda for education, health and social care, without                Commission 2001, DH 2001, QAA 2001b).
     compromising quality. The COT will stand firm on the issue        n Encourage members to adopt a local school (Scottish
     of maintaining standards for entry to the profession                 Office 1998, HEFCE 2002c) for aspiration raising,
     (DH 2001).                                                           careers awareness and guidance about occupational
         Each provider of pre-registration and post-registration          therapy as a career.
     education and training will be encouraged to work with the        n Encourage occupational therapy personnel to participate
     funding agencies to include education at different levels in         in mentoring and supervision schemes that will support
     its portfolio of programmes (DH 2001, HEFCE 2001d,                   their role and career development and continuing
     Candelin 2002). This will enable progression in learning             competence (COT 1997, Audit Commission 2001,
     through stepping on and stepping off points (National Audit          HEFCE 2001a, 2001d).
     Office [NAO] 2001) that are appropriate to the individual
     needs and career stages of learners. These programmes             Objective 3: The COT will encourage
     should be available to learners at a range of locations and       members to engage in lifelong learning
     times and through a variety of modes of delivery, both            while supporting the development of
     informal and formal.                                              accreditation, accumulation and recognition
         The intention would therefore be to widen access to           of learning towards the achievement of
     learning based on the provider’s knowledge of the needs of        vocational, academic or other awards
     sponsors, funding agencies, employers, personnel and              All occupational therapy personnel should be encouraged
     students (Audit Commission 2001, HEFCE 2001c, 2001d).             and will be required to participate actively in lifelong
     The COT’s commitment to a flexible and accessible                 learning in order to maintain their personal competence and
     approach to lifelong learning would be demonstrated by            continuing registration with the HPC (COT 2000).
     encouraging formal and informal, traditional and                      The COT wishes to encourage the accreditation and
     work-based opportunities, any time, any place, anywhere. A        recognition of lifelong learning, whether vocational or
     second intention would be to learn from current education         academic in nature. The accumulation of lifelong learning

22       British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)
should be based on a development plan designed to                of pre-registration degrees as the entry gateway to the
maintain and enhance the individual’s fitness for practice       profession (COT 2002). In striving for this goal, individual
and also fitness for purpose.                                    learners may attain the qualification in a number of ways,
    The COT believes that a clear, coherent and                  some of which could be novel and innovative. For example,
well-considered progression of learning opportunities that is    many funding agencies are creating pathways of learning
applicable to all occupational therapy personnel is needed.      such as cadetships, which could act as pre-entry
This would facilitate career development as desired and also     requirements for professional pre-registration education for
contribute to the maintenance of competence, especially          those wishing to progress (Scottish Office 1998, DH 2001).
when members change job role.                                         Other strategies have included part-time, twilight
    The intention is that the COT will continue to encourage     programmes. The increasing move towards work-based
all occupational therapy personnel to engage in lifelong         learning (DH 2000a, 2001, HEFCE 2001e) is something to
learning activities that maintain competent and safe practice    be carefully considered as an alternative mechanism to
in order to protect the public. This would be achieved by        achieving the desired fitness for purpose, practice and
encouraging the provision of appraisal, supervision and          award, leading to professional qualification and eligibility to
mentoring, upon which to base development planning.              apply for registration. Professional and regulatory bodies
                                                                 need to be engaged in thinking about these alternative
Action                                                           strategies to ensure that quality assurance issues are properly
The COT will:                                                    considered and addressed.
n Encourage higher education institutions to accredit prior           The National Health Service University (NHSU)
   vocational and academic experience and evidence               (DH 2002a, 2002c) has stated the importance of addressing
   portfolios (QAA 2001a) for credit accumulation entry to       the skills shortage in health and social care in creative and
   all programmes at all levels.                                 novel ways. It is willing to work in partnership with other
n Encourage education providers to offer support to all          stakeholders, including professional bodies, to attain its
   occupational therapy personnel to achieve their chosen        goals. The COT would wish to be involved in the debate
   career pathway or qualification, based on an individual       and to influence thinking from the outset; indeed, the COT
   learning needs assessment (HEFCE 2001d, 2002c,                has a history of innovation that it would wish to maintain.
   Candelin 2002).                                               Creativity is energising and exciting but careful
n Encourage all support personnel to find, access and attain     consideration and grounding are the key to making
   appropriate support worker qualifications by 2006 (Audit      creativity productive.
   Commission 2001) and encourage employers to support                The intention of the COT in this context is to guarantee
   the achievement of this through the provision of identified   its involvement with key stakeholders to ensure that a
   and protected CPD time, supervision and mentoring.            rational and well-considered approach is adopted. This
n Expect all occupational therapy personnel to keep a            would enable education providers to develop novel
   portfolio that demonstrates evidence of achievement and       approaches and learners to engage with them, whilst at the
   application of learning through development plan              same time ensuring meaningful learning and seamless
   objectives, leading to continuing competence to practise      progression to other learning where this is desired.
   (COT 2000).
n Expect that all registered occupational therapists will        Action
   enhance their skills in management and leadership,            The COT will:
   teamwork, supervision and mentoring, assessment and           n Support education providers in creative thinking about a
   communication, IT, clinical audit and reflective practice        variety of routes for new recruits and existing support
   (COT 1997, Scottish Office 1998, Audit Commission                workers to access pre-registration education where
   2001, Secretary of State for Health 2001, DH 2001,               desired through disseminating best practice and
   HEFCE 2001a, Ilott and White 2001, NAO 2001, QAA                 providing opportunities for discussion, in collaboration
   2001a, 2001b, Joint Committee on Higher Medical                  with funding agencies, regulatory bodies, other allied
   Training [JCHMT] 2003).                                          health professionals and higher education institution
n Encourage all occupational therapy personnel, whether             colleagues.
   qualified or support workers, to progress their careers       n Work with regulatory bodies and quality assurance
   through the achievement of vocational, academic and              agencies in ensuring the maintenance of standards and
   other awards (DH 2001, 2002c, Candelin 2002).                    clear linking of stepping on and stepping off points.
                                                                 n Work with stakeholders and providers to explore the
Objective 4: In recognising the differing                           development of work-based learning routes, which
needs of learners and the potential for                             could lead to pre-registration education if desired
learners to succeed, the COT will work                              (DH 2001).
actively towards supporting creative and                         n Collect and evaluate evidence of novel and innovative
innovative opportunities for learning and                           learning opportunities that enable learners to work
personal achievement                                                towards learning achievement and support worker or
The traditional view of education has seen the development          professional qualifications.

                                                                            British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)   23
     n     Encourage the development of e-learning to support          n   Work with key stakeholders and providers in
           flexible and distance learning, improve communication           encouraging transformational approaches to education
           opportunities and support students who are working              (Clark 1993, Mezirow 1997).
           remotely (Scottish Office 1998, DH 2001).                   n   Expect educators and practitioners to develop, for all
     n     With the Practice Placement Tutors Forum (PPTF),                occupational therapy staff, models of work-based
           continue to explore and develop a range of practice             supervision and mentoring that support
           placement opportunities and strategies to address the           transformational thinking and learning and its
           need to increase the numbers of practice placements and         application to and implementation in the workplace
           maintain their quality (English National Board for              (Audit Commission 2001).
           Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting [ENB] and DH         n   Promote work-life balance to give space for
           2001, Barr 2002).                                               transformational thinking and application (National Joint
     n     Engage with other health and social care practitioners to       Council for Local Government Services 2001, DH
           explore and develop additional creativity around                2002b, Department of Trade and Industry [DTI] 2003).
           interprofessional education (Scottish Office 1998,          n   Support research capacity by the creative use of sabbaticals
           Ilott and White 2001, QAA 2001b).                               and clinically based research posts (HEFCE 2001a)
                                                                       n   Support the continuing development of Master’s and
     Objective 5: In transforming learning, the                            Professional Doctorate programmes in support of clinical
     COT will support learning opportunities for                           specialist and consultant roles.
     individuals and groups that will enable the                       n   Encourage an evidence-based approach to learning that
     enhancement and development of the                                    gives individuals confidence to explore different
     knowledge, skills and attitudes required for                          applications in the workplace and disseminate their
     a changing environment and changing                                   findings (DH 2001, Ilott and White 2001).
     contexts; for example, clients and their carers,
     organisational, professional and individual                       Objective 6: The COT will support and
     Recognition of achievement enables the identification of a        contribute to the continuing need for
     standard of proficiency that leads to eligibility to apply for    integrated and interprofessional learning in
     state registration coupled with fitness for award and entry to    cooperation with other health and social
     the profession. This is, in part, a measure of the level of       care professions and relevant organisations;
     thinking that begins to prepare people for the dynamic and        for example, education, work and pensions
     ever-changing world of work (QAA 2001c, COT 2003).                The COT has a strong belief in interprofessional
         Registration and re-registration give a snapshot in time of   collaboration, whilst at the same time acknowledging the
     the capability required for state registration. They do not       unique contribution of each profession (Learning for
     necessarily provide evidence of a person’s ability to adapt to    Partnership 2001). The COT would wish to provide
     the dynamic aspects of being employed. These episodes of          leadership to promote learning between different groups
     judging achievement and competence are set against a              that would lead to effective coordination and high quality
     dynamic health and social care system, with a workforce           patient care. Occupational therapy personnel should
     whose roles, responsibilities and expectations are being          therefore respect the needs, practices, unique competencies
     redefined, redesigned and extended (Secretary of State for        and responsibilities of their own and other professions,
     Health 1998, DH 2000b).                                           institutions and statutory and voluntary agencies that
         Learning, therefore, needs to take account of this            constitute their working environment.
     dynamic interface of the skills, knowledge and competencies           Interprofessional learning is a perceived key to the
     of the worker with the capacity, changing needs and               development of effective multidisciplinary working and, if
     contexts of the workplace (Audit Commission 2001, DH              this is the case, there is a real opportunity to influence
     2001). It could be argued that learning needs to be able to       practice (National Health Service Executive [NHSE] 1995,
     transform how individuals work in health and social care,         Miller et al 1999, DH 2001, Secretary of State for Health
     coupled with the ability to transfer and apply general            2001). However, evidence is required to substantiate this
     principles to a range of service contexts.                        claim or to support the most effective models.
         The intention of the strategic vision and action plan             The intention of this strategy would be to build on the
     would be to support and evidence examples of                      current range of interprofessional lifelong learning opportunities
     transformational learning.                                        and emerging examples of good practice and to develop
                                                                       opportunities for occupational therapy personnel to:
     Action                                                            – Ensure the provision of well-coordinated services
     The COT will, in collaboration with higher education              – Ensure that services are delivered in the most effective way
     institutions, funding agencies and health and social care         – Work collaboratively and in partnership with others
     professions:                                                      – Ensure that the quality agenda and the protection of the
     n Support the development of a range of learning activities          public remain a priority
         that enable transformational working/learning to occur        – Investigate the effectiveness of interprofessional education
         (Audit Commission 2001, HEFCE 2001d, 2002b, Nicol 2002).         in improving client care.

24       British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)
Action                                                                     need for the strategy and action points to be owned and
The COT will:                                                              implemented at a local level by support workers, students,
n Collect and analyse academic and placement data from                     practitioners, educators, researchers and managers. The
   programme annual monitoring reports to demonstrate                      COT would like to be informed of issues regarding
   that interprofessional education occurs during the                      implementation, examples of good practice and novel
   second and third stages of pre-registration education                   solutions that have worked well. Feedback will be welcomed
   programmes (Miller et al 1999).                                         (see Appendix 4) because, in the same way that
n Encourage education providers to collect and analyse                     transformational learning should be dynamic, so this
   data on the effectiveness of interprofessional education                strategic vision and action plan will be continuously shaped
   and its impact on practice and client care and to publish               by people’s use of it.
   their findings.
n Encourage education providers and employers to offer                     Acknowledgements
   grade-specific and multi-grade interprofessional learning               Author acknowledgements: COT Officers, COT Education and Practice
   opportunities in a range of practice-based locations                    Board, and consultation partners.
   (Learning for Partnership 2001, COT 2002).
n Encourage occupational therapy personnel through                         References
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     Higher Education Funding Council for England (2002a) Improving                 Rowan SM (2003) Lifelong learning: developing the College’s strategy.
           provision for disabled students. Bristol: HEFCE.                             Occupational Therapy News, 11(1), 22.
     Higher Education Funding Council for England (2002b) Successful student        Scottish Office (1998) Opportunity Scotland: a paper on lifelong learning.
           diversity. Bristol: HEFCE.                                                   Edinburgh: Stationery Office.
     Higher Education Funding Council for England (2002c) Funding for               Secretary of State for Health (1998) Modernising social services:
           widening participation in higher education. Bristol: HEFCE.                  promoting independence, improving protection, raising standards.
     Hoy G (1998) Imagination and creativity in education. Available at:                (Command Paper 4169.) London: Stationery Office.
           http://www Accessed on 23.01.03.    Secretary of State for Health (2001) Learning from Bristol: the report of
     Ilott I, White E (2001) College of Occupational Therapists’ research and           the public inquiry into children’s heart surgery at the Bristol Royal
           development strategic vision and action plan. British Journal of             Infirmary 1984-1995. (Command Paper 5207-1.) London: Stationery
           Occupational Therapy, 64(6), 270-77.                                         Office.
     Joint Committee on Higher Medical Training (2003) Higher medical
           training: generic curriculum. London: JCHMT.                             Further reading
     Joint Validation Committee (2002) Report of the monitoring schedule:           Agarwal D (2001) Creativity in education. Available at:
           academic year 2000-2001. London: COT.                              
     Joint Validation Committee (2003) Standards for education:                         Accessed on 23.01.03.
           pre-registration education standards. London: COT.                       College of Occupational Therapists (2000) The role and responsibilities of
     Learning for Partnership (2001) The learning for partnership network:              support workers in the delivery of occupational therapy services.
           statements on learning for partnership. Available at:                        (Standard of Practice.) London: COT.                          Quality Assurance Agency (2002) Distance learning guidelines.
          Accessed on 23.01.03.                                                         Gloucester: QAA.
     Madden CA, Mitchell VA (1993) Professions, standards and competence:           Secretary of State for Health (2000) The NHS plan: a plan for investment,
          a survey of continuing education for the professions. Bristol:                a plan for reform. (Command Paper 4818-I.) London: Stationery Office.
          Department for Continuing Education, University of Bristol.               United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting
     Mezirow J (1997) Transformative learning: theory to practice. New                  (2001) Fitness for practice and purpose. The report of the UKCC’s
          Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, 5-12.                      Post Commission Development Group. London: UKCC.
     Miller C, Ross N, Freeman M (1999) Shared learning and clinical                World Health Organisation (2001) International classification of
         teamwork: new directions in education for multiprofessional practice.          functioning, disability and health. Geneva: WHO.

26    British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)
Appendix 1. Glossary and links to organisations
Abbreviation or acronym                     Full description                                      Link to organisation or example organisation
APEL                       Accreditation of prior experience and learning        
APL                        Accreditation of prior learning                       
BAOT                       British Association of Occupational Therapists        
COT                        College of Occupational Therapists                    
CPD                        Continuing professional development                   
DDA                        Disability Discrimination Act 1995                    
DH                         Department of Health                                  
DTI                        Department of Trade and Industry                      
ECDL                       European Computer Driving Licence                     
ENB                        English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and
                           Health Visiting
HEFCE                      Higher Education Funding Council for England          
JCHMT                      Joint Committee on Higher Medical Training            
JVC                        Joint Validation Committee, now PRETWG(OT),
                           Pre-Registration Education and Training Working
                           Group (Occupational Therapy)
NAO                        National Audit Office                                 
NHSE                       National Health Service Executive                     
NHSU                       National Health Service University                    
OTAF                       Occupational Therapists’ Admissions Forum
PPTF                       Practice Placement Tutors Forum
QAA                        Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education         
SENDA                             Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
UACE                              Universities Association for Continuing Education

Appendix 2. Current lifelong learning opportunities                              Practice placement education
Support workers                                                                  This is a vital and integral part of the pre-registration education (ENB and
Lifelong learning opportunities for support workers currently include            DH 2001, JVC 2002) of all occupational therapists. Practice education
regional and national study days and programmes, work-based formal and           relies on occupational therapists acknowledging their responsibility to
informal learning, and vocational and academic qualifications, and should        support the education of occupational therapy students and others and to
be based around supervision (COT 2000), appraisal and development                maintain their personal and professional competence as highlighted in
plans (Fenech 2001). Examples of formal learning include National                their Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (COT 2000). Formal and
Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), foundation degrees and modules at              informal mechanisms to achieve capability in practice education exist and
level 0 (Candelin 2002). Informal learning opportunities include job             standards are explicit in the JVC and practice placement standards (JVC 2003).
rotation and supervision.
                                                                                 Continuing professional development, research and scholarship
Pre-registration occupational therapy education                                  There are many lifelong learning, post-qualification and postgraduate
The last 20 years have seen a progressive growth in the size, number and         education opportunities in the UK. For occupational therapists these may
mode of delivery of pre-registration occupational therapy education              be profession-specific or more generic, such as an MBA. A database of
(JVC 2002). There are currently 47 programmes being delivered by                 these opportunities can be found at http://www
27 institutions (COT 2003), with growth in other areas still being               where each programme is described and the contact details are given.
   In 2003, there were 5,200 students enrolled on pre-registration               Return to practice reorientation and updating programmes
occupational therapy programmes in the UK, which offer a variety of              The COT recognises that members who have had a career break may need
full-time or part-time 2-year, 3-year and 4-year pre-registration degrees,       a programme of reorientation and updating when they return to work
for example:                                                                     (COT 2001). All have differing learning needs and are required to develop
n First-degree BSc (Hons) programmes last 3-4 years (COT 2002).                  and evidence their competence to practise. The COT therefore encourages
n Accelerated 2-year full-time programmes are also available for                 occupational therapy service managers and returnees to work to negotiate
      students with a previous degree, leading to a variety of exit awards.      the development of a learning agreement/contract. This should be based
n Four-year in-service/part-time programmes are available for students,          upon the needs of the organisation, the access to individual resources, the
      some of whom will already be employed either as an occupational            returnee’s personal circumstances (COT 2001) and the requirements of the
      therapy support worker or a technical instructor. It is anticipated that   HPC in meeting minimum standards of proficiency. Learning
      creative strategies will continue to emerge that address the               agreements/contracts should include planned work experience in all areas
      modernising the workforce agenda.                                          jointly identified as requiring updating.

                                                                                               British Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2004 67(1)         27
     Appendix 3. These examples, drawn from the lifelong learning listening event, are given as activities for each of the groups of
                    personnel involved in occupational therapy service delivery
      Support workers, examples included:        Aspiration raising prior to working                Practitioners’ CPD and scholarship,
                                                  or studying, examples included:                           examples included:
     n Learning opportunities being offered in  n Careers literature that raises the     n Maintaining fitness for purpose and practice should
         a range of locations and modes of          expectations of being able to study      reflect HPC and national policy
         delivery                                   occupational therapy and increases   n Within the interprofessional setting, being confident
     n Formal supervision with a focus on           knowledge about occupational             and secure in the core skills and values of occupational
         work/development of knowledge              therapy as a career                      therapy
         and skills                             n Strengthen links with schools          n Return to practice education
     n Flexibility of access and completion         through, for example, shadowing,     n Offering practice education, supervision and mentoring
     n Vocational and academic courses              associate student schemes, and local n Using research to change and inform practice
     n Collaboration with other professions         careers events                       n Advanced practice and clinical specialist courses
     n NVQ level 2 or 3 for all support workers
     Educators and researchers,                                                          All groups stressed the need for learning opportunities to:
     examples included:
     n Collaborative research posts in higher                                            n Be accessible to all, in a range of locations and modes
         education institutions and practice
         which promote research to advance
                                                               Lifelong                      of delivery
                                                                                         n Be based on the needs of the professional, the
         scholarship                                           Learning                      organisation, the profession and society (Madden and
     n Jointly appointed practice placement                                                  Mitchell 1993)
         tutors to increase the quality and the                                          n Strengthen career and learning progression routes
         number of placements
     Practice educators, examples               Interprofessional and common             Pre-registration occupational therapy education,
     included:                                  learning in all settings, examples       examples included:
     n   Range of placements to reflect contemporary    n Encourage the implementation of         n   Programme retention strategies to include uniquely
         practice and wider approaches to learning,         interprofessional learning/common         designed support for students
         for example, virtual learning environments         learning for all sectors of the       n   Programme inclusivity statements to include
         and skills laboratories                            profession, for example, specialist       accessibility of appropriate support and learning
     n   Maintaining educator skills, for example,          sections                                  resources and flexible modes of assessment
         through CPD requirements and mentoring                                                   n   Recruiting students from under-represented groups
         and support for the educator role                                                        n   Interprofessional placements in second and third part
     n   The qualities of the educator are important,                                                 of course
         not his or her professional background                                                   n   Interprofessional/agency-working/team-work skills
     n   Quality audit of placements related to                                                   n   Role for public and clients and cultural competence
         clinical governance

     Appendix 4. Request for comments on the strategic vision and action plan
     The Strategic Vision and Action Plan for Lifelong Learning has been approved by the College of Occupational Therapists for implementation. The COT
     welcomes and is seeking comments on the strategy. The comments may be provided under the following headings:
         – Diversity and inclusivity
         – A flexible blend of delivery
         – Valuing achievement in learning
         – Creativity in education
         – Transformational learning to manage change
         – Integrated and interprofessional learning.
     Alternatively, please feed back your comments as you wish.
        Comments should be sent to:
        Group Head, Education,
        British Association/College of Occupational Therapists,
        106-114 Borough High Street,
        London SE1 1LB.
        Tel: +44 (0) 20 7450 2362 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7450 2365

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