Introduction The Leeds City Region (LCR) comprises of 11 local authority areas and HEART partners are located in 6 of these. LCR has enhanced skill levels in recent years but is still behind the national average and the gap between LCR and areas such as the South East continues to increase. A noted skill area requiring significant advancement if the economy is to grow is the development of stronger leadership and management.
Barrier The landscape of qualifications and delivery providers for Leadership & Management is complex and highly competitive. Overlap in content between awarding bodies and providers is believed to be a barrier in that learners are disengaged by repeating prior learning as they progress.
Proposition Working with the two major awarding bodies offering Leadership & Management qualifications on the QCF (ILM & CMI) the project aims to develop a coherent and transparent progression agreement from their qualifications into higher level awards (L4-7) at the named HEART partners. Each agreement will aim to offer clarity in relation to credit transfer applicable for each award thereby assuring learners, providers and businesses that direct and efficient progression can be secured.
Rationale The resultant agreements should reduce time and cost for learners progressing into higher level awards, produce a network of transparent progression between all ILM and CMI providers and HEART partners and encourage greater uptake of advanced leadership and management development in support of economic development in LCR.
Evaluation The pilot is concerned to ensure sustainability of the progression agreements and will therefore utilise the progression agreement framework developed by the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network and transferred and adopted by HEART. This framework requires signatories to commit their organisations to a minimum period of operation and regular periodic review of practice. Although outside the time frame for the pilot HEART will require signatories to report on numbers making use of the agreement in subsequent years. The actual pilot will be subject to internal evaluation by HEART, the steering group and individual partners and the overall operation will be evaluated by an external evaluator.
Transferability As well as having links to a similar pilot operating with Linking London initial discussions have already taken place with Higher York, Hull federation of Colleges and Higher Education Progression Partnership (South Yorkshire/North Derbyshire) with a view to transferring learning to these areas. Agreement has been obtained from ILM for reporting the pilot and outcomes on their website and agreement in principal has been advised by CMI thereby opening learning to the whole country.