We all do courses and training to improve our knowledge and skills, but what do these terms mean? Do they result in you being appropriately qualified to teach the new skill to your clients and customers? Tom Bell, Director of PD:Approval, with experience of endorsing REPs-recognised training for over 12 years, will tell you everything you need to know about choosing the appropriate piece of training…
In the course of our work as the endorsement body for REPs, we come across many fitness professionals, training providers, employers and general public who are unclear about the difference between a qualification and a piece of continuing professional development (CPD) training, or indeed realise there is a difference.
The simple explanation is that qualifications are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which is the national framework of UK qualifications, and the certificate of achievement is issued by an Awarding Organisation. Your certificate means you are ‘qualified’ in that subject. Certificates for qualifications included in the REPs framework will include the REPs CPD point logo.
CPD can be developed by any individual or organisation, but unless it is endorsed by a recognised body, ie PD:Approval, does not come with any safeguards in quality for learners or any support for the learner if things go wrong. The certificate will be issued by the endorsed provider and means you are ‘certified’ in that subject. Certificates for PD:Approval endorsed training will include the REPs, CPD point, and PD:Approval Endorsed logos.
There is also a lack of understanding about what learners should know about the training they are undertaking – will there be an assessment, what does the certificate mean, is my insurance affected? We hope to be able to provide a clear picture to help you in the training choices you make.
Education and training is an essential part of any profession and most professional membership bodies require a qualification or degree to gain entry. Each profession and sector is different and all have their own ways to protect the integrity of their industry and qualifications. But they all recognise the importance of the provision of recognised skills for employment so that the learner is competent as well as confident in what they are doing.
REPs and PD:Approval champion the provision of recognised skills and aim to ensure that we continue to drive up achievement within the UK through the REPs framework of qualification categories (Level 2, 3 and 4). Coupled with PD:Approval endorsed CPD training to support ongoing learning, this offers a clear career pathway for REPs members to progress whilst gaining recognition for their efforts. More importantly, it gives them peace of mind knowing that all endorsed training is covered by their REPs insurance (REPs members can use other bodies to provide their insurance but REPs insurance guarantees cover for REPs recognised training).
To be able to make a more informed choice it is important to understand the detail behind the different levels of learning.
Vocational qualifications provide the skills for employment