News and Developments

Professional Practice Framework: University of Wales Trinity Saint David


The development of employer-responsive higher education provision is central to the economic policy of the Welsh Assembly Government. Trinity Saint David’s work-based learning team is at the forefront of universities in Wales in providing high quality work-based learning provision and employer accreditation. The University’s Professional Practice Framework was launched in May 2009 by Andrew Davies AM, in his role as Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery.

The aim of the Professional Practice Framework is to provide flexible, accessible and high quality learning opportunities to groups of staff in their workplace. It is a framework to facilitate accrediting and accumulating higher level learning in the workplace and focuses on learners’ professional and personal staff development needs. This means Higher Education is accessible to adults in the workplace who would not normally be able to study on a full-time or day-release basis.

There are three main aspects of the Professional Practice Framework:

  • accreditation of staff development programmes for employers, including employer specific modules.  We are experienced in working with the private sector, such as Murco, the public sector, Public Sector Management Wales (PSMW) and a range of local authorities, and the ‘third sector’ such as Dyslecsia Cymru/Wales Dyslexia.  These programmes are given credit that counts towards a qualification in Professional Practice.
  • commitment to the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for individuals and cohorts of staff.  We have been successful in gaining funding for a three-year European Social Fund programme for APEL for 180 learners and have worked with Murco to assess the APEL elements of their training programme for Refinery Process Operations staff.  Staff therefore do not need to repeat learning where they can demonstrate they are competent, and can concentrate on new learning.  Up to two-thirds of a qualification may be gained through APEL.
  • a range of modules (from first year undergraduate to Masters level) to enable learners to complete a qualification in Professional Practice.  All learners need to undertake a mandatory work-based project as part of their programme and we have a range of other modules available on a distance-learning basis. Learners graduate with a Certificate, Diploma, Degree or Masters Degree in Professional Practice, and their organisation benefits from a tailored work-based project to meet business needs.

The team have identified significant demand for a Professional Doctorate in work-based learning, and are working to validate this programme.  The work-based learning team are also able to provide staff development for universities wishing to specialise in this area, and for businesses seeking accreditation for their in-house training programmes.

Dr Liz Wilson
Associate Professor – Work-based Learning