Save the Children: How we’re using NCFE accreditation to raise the standard of child protection across the globe
Save the Children is an international charity for children that is currently working with NCFE in order to raise the standards of child protection implementation and practice around the globe. Here, we speak with Clare Allsopp, Learning Specialist at Save the Children, to find out how our Accreditation and Employer Services is making this possible.
Could you tell us about Save the Children and its goals?
“Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for child rights, and we champion the rights and interests of children worldwide, putting the most vulnerable first. We have over 25,000 dedicated staff across 116 countries responding to emergencies, delivering development programmes and amplifying children’s voices through campaigns.
“Our global aims are clear: to ensure that no child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday, that all children learn from a quality basic education, and that violence against children is no longer tolerated.”
For what purpose did you require NCFE’s Accreditation Services?
“We required NCFE’s help to support Save the Children in reinforcing objective and consistent standards of excellence for technical expertise and, ultimately, to contribute to the quality assurance of our programmes for children across the world.
“NCFE developed unique accreditation criteria based on our Save the Children technical competency frameworks for us to work from. Through close collaboration, these criteria resulted in the COMPAQT programme (COMpetency-based Approach to Professional Qualifications and Training), which takes the approach of identifying, addressing and improving core competencies and knowledge within participants’ existing skillsets.
“Through COMPAQT, individuals are expected to demonstrate evidence against a set of competencies which is then reviewed and improved by an internal assessor. Our end goal is for the programme to help with enhancing the lives of children and families in the many communities that Save the Children operates in.”
Can you tell us more about the COMPAQT programme?
“The programme accredits staff who for the most part do not have a formal qualification in their area of work and expertise, such as Child Protection and Child Rights, and so the competency-based approach to accreditation is even more relevant and accessible to our participants given the practical nature of their day-to-day work.
“COMPAQT has enabled us to recognise and document their achievements which hasn’t been possible previously. As well as benefitting individuals, this also helps their managers – often themselves not experts in this area – to understand the level of expertise of their staff.
“Our first pilot took place in 2021, which involved 17 participants in Asia, to recognise and support the development of their staff in Child Protection. Following its success, the programme was rolled out globally in 2022, enrolling 56 new participants in Child Protection and as of 2023, Save the Children have enrolled another 54 participants to formally accredit in two more technical areas – Social Protection and Child Rights Governance. The cohorts represent participants across 5 regions, more than 30 countries and three languages (English, French and Spanish).
“We’ve exceeded our expectations in how quickly the programme has gone from being a pilot, to being onboarded, embedded and fully established globally!”
In what ways were you supported by our Accreditation and Employer Services team?
“The NCFE team offer a comprehensive consultancy service from the design, planning through to the delivery, monitoring and evaluation of our accreditation programme. Since inception, we have regularly met with the team to collaborate on both strategic and tactical decision making, which has evolved and expanded the programme to where it is today.
“Specifically, the team has helped us to adapt and tailor the accreditation criteria and process to meet the specific needs of our audience, whilst also ensuring consistent standards. They are also readily available to support with the development and delivery of training to enrol participants, as well as supporting them throughout the programme.”
How has using NCFE’s Customised Qualifications impacted COMPAQT participants?
“Our participants have reported feeling more recognised and valued for their professional expertise. 84% of programme participants think this accreditation will help them to achieve more impact for children and 100% of our participants have recommended COMPAQT to a colleague.
“The programme has also had an impact on our staff retention; participants who have completed the programme feel more supported and clearer about their career development within the organisation, with some also leveraging their accreditation to move into more senior roles/ responsibilities.
“One of our participants had the following to say about their experience: ‘It has increased my motivation to be better and has improved my competencies in areas that I was less confident in before, such as legislative advocacy’.
“Another said: ‘This will help me not just understand the need to help and improve the lives of children, but it will help me build the capacity of team members so that we can collectively help more children.’”
Would you recommend working with NCFE’s accreditation team to others?
“Yes! The partnership with NCFE has given the scheme and the accreditation a level of credibility and rigour that we could not have achieved independently, from the design of the individual qualifications, to the training and support for assessors, to the quality assurance processes. We’ve really enjoyed working with NCFE’s very supportive and collaborative team. This accreditation programme reinforces Save the Children’s technical expertise and helps us stand out even more in the sector.
“With NCFE, you receive guaranteed expert, passionate and professional advice. Massive thanks to Michael Potts, Janet King, Kay Webber and Michael Smith – both an effective and enjoyable partnership!”
You can find out more about NCFE Accreditation Services and Endorsed Programmes or call us on 0191 240 8833.
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