Decision makers, who administer Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance within the Pension, Disability and Carers Service (PDCS), part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), have been awarded professional accreditation thanks to a ground-breaking programme delivered by the University of Chester.
Staff from PDCS, who are responsible for determining customers’ entitlement to benefit, have completed a Work-Based Learning programme in Professionalism in Decision Making and Appeals (PIDMA). This supports Decision Makers in developing and professionalising skills in gathering and evaluating evidence.
The participants were awarded their certificates by Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, during a ceremony at PDCS offices in Blackpool.
The event also saw the launch of a report, entitled Thinking Critically, Higher skills for better public services, highlighting how the partnership between the University and PDCS is the first in the country to introduce this flexible programme of learning that is enabling the 1,300 decision making staff to be awarded professional accreditation.
Professor Tim Wheeler said: “The University has spent more than two decades developing the means to accredit and recognise learning that occurs in and through the workplace, and everyone involved is delighted with the success of this excellent programme.
“This work in partnership with the PDCS is a perfect example of how the University’s accreditation framework for work-related learning can be used to create a bespoke programme according to the needs of a particular organisation and its employees.
“The University’s partnership with PDCS is ground-breaking, and the launch of this report is a significant step forward in the drive towards employer engagement in Higher Education.
“With the 21st-century economy placing significant emphases on personal and professional development within the workplace and organisational change, I recommend the report wholeheartedly to all public and private sector employers as an example that may be of use to others.”
The Thinking Critically, Higher skills for better public services can be downloaded from http://www.hefce.ac.uk/econsoc/employer/resources/