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Welsh Government

Careers Development Award

The Careers Development Award (Post 16) has been designed by Careers Wales to recognise an educational establishment’s commitment to continuous quality improvement.

It has been designed to meet the Welsh Government’s statutory entitlement for Careers and the World of Work (2008) for 11-19 year olds in Wales.

Why should I work towards the Careers Development Award?

The Award contributes to:

  • The ‘learning core’ of the 14-19 Learning Pathways
  • Estyn’s drive to build capacity for self-evaluation and improvement
  • Aspects of the Common Inspection Framework (CIF)

Benefits gained from working towards the Careers Development Award:

  • The auditing and development planning carried out by the establishment as outlined in the supplementary guidance document for Careers and the World of Work will self-evaluate against the Estyn Common Inspection Framework
  • It will support aspects of the School Effectiveness Framework (SEF) and complement the increasing maturity of approaches to self-evaluation

Developing a robust Careers and World of Work programme has many benefits for educational institutions and their learners, including:

  • Personal effectiveness - improving self-esteem and motivation of young people
  • Career readiness - improving career exploration skills, decision making and preparedness for transition
  • Educational outcomes - improving attendance and raising educational outcomes

Who can support me with the Careers Development Award?

The Careers Development Award is not designed to be completed by an individual, rather, it is a whole setting contribution, with 1 or 2 people coordinating it. You will also receive the ongoing support of a CWRE Curriculum Coordinator throughout the process.

Is there a financial cost to sign up to the Careers Development Award?

No, there isn’t any financial cost, but a member of your Senior Management Team will be asked to sign a commitment document.

What’s involved in the process?

The Careers Development Award is a cyclical process involving:

  1. Audit of Careers and World of Work provision to identify good practice, gaps in provision and duplication
  2. Self-evaluation of Careers and World of Work provision based on the Estyn CIF
  3. Implementation of a development plan

How long does it normally take to complete the Careers Development Award?

Depending on the development plan and when certain activities are timed to take place, the process should be completed within 1 full academic year.

Once we've achieved the Careers Development Award, how long does it last for?

The Careers Development Award lasts for 3 years, however, it is focused on continuous improvement so, it is expected that the cycle of audit, self-evaluation and development plan is revisited on a yearly basis.

How does the work get moderated?

All documentation is sent to the CWRE Curriculum Coordinator for review, but only the development plan is moderated. This process is completed by a panel of CWRE Curriculum Coordinators to ensure it is robust and fulfils the S.M.A.R.T* criteria. Your CWRE Curriculum Coordinator will support you prior to moderation.

*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound

What happens if we engage with the Careers Development Award accreditation/re-accreditation, but do not make satisfactory progress?

Your CWRE Curriculum Coordinator will agree an overall timescale for completion and a timescale for each element, for example the audit, self-evaluation and development plan. Please discuss with your CWRE Curriculum Coordinator at the earliest opportunity if you need to amend these timescales. However, if there is unsatisfactory progress, we reserve the right to remove the school from the Careers Development Award process as it won’t be possible to evidence continuous improvement.

What happens if we don’t achieve all of the agreed development points fully in the timescales agreed?

The development plan is a dynamic document. We know that things don’t always go according to plan and timescales change. Your CWRE Curriculum Coordinator will work with you and agree changes to timescales in accordance with your needs.

How will I receive the Careers Development Award?

The Careers Development Award framed certificate can be awarded in any manner of your choosing, for example in an assembly, 1 to 1 or in a small group. We will take a photo and tweet a congratulatory message on the day, please feel free to retweet. We will also send you an e-logo for use on your website.

Take a look at the process

Stage 1: Audit and self-evaluation

The first step is to audit the activities and experiences you offer your learners against the Careers and World of Work range statements in the relevant key stage.

The next step is to self-evaluate against the Estyn 5 Inspection Areas.

Self-evaluation will help you think about all aspects of your Careers and the World of Work provision, by gathering the evidence of strengths and areas for development.

Stage 2: Development planning

The second stage is to create a development plan.

Having completed your audit and self-evaluation, it will support you in identifying areas for development in your Careers and World of Work provision.

A development plan will help you prioritise, plan and implement how you will go about making identified improvements.

Stage 3: Evidence your success

While you are writing your Careers and the World of Work development plan you will also need to think about how you will evaluate the impact of your plans.

You need to establish a baseline now so that you can measure improvement later.

Think about how having a new resource or activity in place may be the first step, but how you will judge whether they improve pupil learning?

Some suggestions include:

  • Pre and post questionnaires - this will allow you to assess any improvements in a pupil's understanding of a certain subject, for example options at 18+
  • Taking photos - taking photographs is a great way to show others what took place and a good way to keep a record of the events you've arranged
  • Gaining general feedback - asking pupils to write on flip chart papers or post it notes at the end of a session is an effective way to get quick and simple feedback
Stage 4: Implementation

Now you've audited, self-evaluated and created your development plan you're ready to put it into action.

It's easy to get sidetracked in a busy work environment but keeping the development plan on target ensures your Careers and World of Work provision is effective and current.

Planned occasions such as regular meetings to which you report, will prompt you to monitor the progress of your development plan, and realistic timescales in the plan will help you keep developments on track.

Stage 5: Review

Progress should be reviewed every term during partnership agreement meetings with Careers Wales.

Gathering evidence and reviewing the progress is a key step in achieving the Careers Development Award. You can gather evidence of the progress made and decide the action still needed to inform planning for the coming year.

Stage 6: Report

The Careers Development Award offers accreditation for your process of continuous improvement so tell others about your achievements.

Let your colleagues, parents and governors know what you've achieved and how you are improving Careers and World of Work provision for your pupils.

If you post on your college social media, remember to tag Careers Wales so we can share the good news.

You can also share:

  • In newsletters
  • In parents' evenings
  • In staff and departmental meetings
  • With governors

I'm interested - what next?

Email your local CWRE Curriculum Coordinator who can support you with starting the accreditation process.