In tertiary institutions throughout the world, education has traditionally been about teaching an "off-the-shelf" course. It focuses on general skills and knowledge – be it in management or design or political philosophy – and students will apply that knowledge to their careers. Capable Workplaces, by contrast, turns this concept on its head: we start with the organisations and with learners. What skills do you require? What do staff need to progress their careers in your workplace? What particular challenges do you and your staff have on the horizon that could be used as rich learning opportunities?
We then develop a programme that meets nationally recognised standards at all levels, focusing on degrees and postgraduate qualifications.
Capable Workplaces is based on partnership. Courses of study are negotiated between learners, employers and Capable NZ, with each party playing a distinct and important role.
Assessment of Prior Learning (APL). This involves looking at candidates’ learning histories, organisational knowledge and learning goals. Candidates’ existing skills and knowledge are assessed against formal academic standards. By critically reflecting on their experiences, many people discover they are already well on the way to a higher qualification, and their areas for development can be clearly identified. (link to Capable NZ website: www.capablenz.co.nz/the-process.html)
Developing a learning agreement. Candidates, employers and Capable NZ work together to determine learning priorities, a target qualification, and a pathway for reaching it. This includes agreeing detailed timelines and methodologies, which may involve a combination of online lessons, work-based projects and mentoring. Employers become clear about their commitments for supporting and enabling their employee’s learning.
Throughout the process, candidates are supported by a facilitator from Capable NZ. Additionally, workplace and other expert mentors may be appointed.
Presentation of learning. As they work towards their goals, candidates present evidence of their learning to their facilitators. Work-based presentations may also be included in the learning agreement, where candidates consider how their new knowledge – and a learning orientation – may be applied to their organisation.