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Success story: ACAS

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The challenge

The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) approached The Open University because it wanted to enhance the skills and knowledge of over 150 helpline staff who answer queries on all aspects of employment law on a daily basis.

Helpline staff are located across the UK, so any solution needed to deliver a consistent level of content and support. ACAS also wanted any learning and development programme to lead to a postgraduate qualification. ACAS needed a development solution to be created quickly and rolled out within six months. Any learning and qualifications needed to fit with their existing training and development pathways, and could require no more than half a day per week dedicated study.

The solution

The OU’s executive education team developed a unique qualification – the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Professional Practice (Employment Law Advice). This new qualification built on existing training and development undertaken by ACAS staff, and added employment law content developed by The Open University Business School and Law School in conjunction with ACAS itself.

The impact

The relationship with The Open University throughout the project has been highly collaborative and they were keen to understand the business. We worked closely to develop a course that would help the students to become more self-sufficient in managing their own development, while accrediting in-house learning, expanding their knowledge of up-to-date employment law, and leading to a portable qualification.

Rob Deeks, ACAS Helpline & IDR Training Manager

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