|The APEL Route To Social Work|
|Written by The Editorial Team|
|Thursday, 18 May 2006|
Page 1 of 3
Care Appointments meets two men who've made the transition from Social Care to Social Work...
So just what exactly is Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)?
One man who has first hand experience of how successful the APEL process can be is Alex Jack, who, since completing his qualification, has become a fully fledged social worker in South Ayrshire Council’s Fostering and Adoption team. Alex was also one of the first social workers to qualify through APEL in South Ayrshire.
We asked Alex what he was doing before commencing on the APEL route to Social Work?
“I was a Social Work Assistant based in an acute hospital with links to rehab, long stay and mental health hospitals. I was involved in assessment for services needed to facilitate the discharge home for hospital patients, nursing home care, care management and development of services.
So what made Alex decide to embark on the APEL programme?
“I have always been interested in training. The APEL was the next step for me following HNC, SVQ coupled with my experience. I felt that the course was tailored to my training needs - it enabled me to work on my studies, providing a degree of flexibility and all the support that comes from university level of study. The Regulation of Care and the profile of the department is also being raised at this time.
Being qualified has enabled me to approach work, and research around work, in a professional manner. This is due to me understanding more about social work and its place in society, through study. Being qualified has also enabled me to be a part of a research study focused around my present area of work. All in all, the job has taken on new meaning and direction both personally and professionally.
What encouragement and information was Alex given up front?
“There were several information days explaining the universities’ and departments’ roles, and what I would need to expect of myself. My local authority were very keen to take part in the initial steps towards the APEL. My own line manager and team were also very encouraging. This enabled me to work out study periods during my working week feeling that my team were behind me.”
We asked Alex what the process had involved and what his experiences - good and bad – been?
“The study involved two nights a week and sometimes a Saturday at the university, with the majority of the time in study needed down to my own motivation and determination. One of the best aspects was building relationships with fellow students and staff - we were all in it together so we developed camaraderie and being the first students through the route our input to university staff was very welcome and beneficial they told us, for future students.
“Finding anything bad is difficult - I have to say there were teething problems but the staff were very helpful and determined that this route of study should succeed. You have to be willing to sacrifice your own time and be determined to stick to the plan. I also have to recognise the wonderful support from my long suffering wife Sandie!”