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UWTSD Celebrates a Decade of Collaboration with the Porth Agored Partnership

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The Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research (WAPPAR) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is celebrating 10 years of collaboration with the Porth Agored Partnership.

The Porth Agored partnership is a collaboration programme between UWTSD and a group of 12 Local Authorities from around Wales.  The Graduate Certificate in the Consolidation of Social Work Practice programme is aimed at Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW) within Local Authorities and other social work providers. The qualification is regulated and approved by Social Care Wales (SCW), and is awarded by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

This programme has been designed to recognise the professional experience that Social Workers are developing whilst in their first year of practice and provide extensive opportunities for an individual to reflect on their personal work-based practice and align it to Social Care Wales’s Continuing Professional Education and Learning (CPEL) Outcomes.

The CPEL framework was developed to provide social workers with access to high-quality learning throughout their careers. It provides social workers with the advanced knowledge and skills they need to take on more complex work and new roles. It is intended to improve professional confidence by increasing knowledge and introducing new tools and interventions for practice.

The programme is a work-based course, using the learning and knowledge that social workers gather in their day to day work to evidence outcomes that SCW feel that newly qualified workers need. It's delivered by qualified Social Workers who lead on training and development activities within their respective Unitary Authority areas and have extensive experience within the field of social work in order to effectively support learners with the development of their work-based practice. Whilst studying learners are also assigned a workplace mentor who provides ongoing support throughout their studies. Unitary Authority Training Coordinators are also a source of support to learners during this time.

Workshop sessions are designed in a way to provide learners with extensive opportunities to learn with others through group discussion and enable opportunities for personal reflection. These workshops enable learners to meet with colleagues operating in a range of specialist areas of social work and by sharing individual experiences this enhances the learning experience for all.

Ruth Griffiths works as a social worker with Gwynedd County Council and has recently completed her graduate certificate with UWTSD.

She said,

“Completing the CPEL programme has helped me to reflect on how far I have developed my learning post qualifying and has given me confidence in my future practice.”

Carol Armstrong, Chair of Porth Agored said,

“I have been involved with the programme from its beginning and seen it grow and develop to what it is now. I am proud to say that with the help and support of the university, it is a course which has adapted over the years and responded to feedback that has been received from learners and their employees as well as changes to practice that arise due to outside influences, the Covid Pandemic being an obvious example, to make it a meaningful and a beneficial course to undertake. It gives an opportunity in a very busy environment to stop, look and reflect on how as practitioners, individuals have developed their skills and expertise.

The course is constantly being reviewed and adapted to keep it up to date and relevant to the individuals undertaking the award. It’s amazing to look at how many are now enrolled on the course and how many have completed it.”

Programme Manager, Sarah Loxdale from WAPPAR said:

“This bespoke programme was designed by UWTSD and the Porth Agored partnership to respond to Social Care Wales’s CPEL framework and is an excellent example of a collaborative provision that is tailored to meet the needs of our partners. This year we are celebrating 10 years since the programme was validated and to date, we are delighted that over 1,000 learners have undertaken the programme.

The dedication and enthusiasm learners give to their studies whilst also working is to be commended.”