New College Lanarkshire was created in November 2013 from the merger of Cumbernauld College, Motherwell College and in 2014 it absorbed Coatbridge College.

The College provides almost two thirds of the further and higher education provision in Lanarkshire, delivering qualifications to almost 30,000 learners. It has around 1200 employees working across its six campuses in Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire working to enlighten, engage and enable people to improve their life chances through education and training.

 The Learning Programme

Dental Nursing SCQF Level 5 is a full time course spanning one academic year. This course provides foundation knowledge and skills required of a dental nurse to enable safe and effective working practice within a variety of dental settings. It also includes a practice placement within a dental setting to prepare learners for employment within their chosen profession.

The theory and clinical skills requirement of this course are delivered within the College department’s state-of-the-art clinical teaching rooms, where clinical skills are developed to the highest standard via simulated learning to enable skills to be utilised and further developed as the learner supports the dental team within their placement. Specialist dental knowledge is developed via core subjects.

Why did you decide to develop and credit rate this programme?

We discovered a need to provide clear articulation routes for learners wishing to pursue a career in Dental Nursing. At the time of SCQF Credit Rating in 2010 awarding bodies only offered one relevant qualification at SCQF Level 7. This level was proving to be a barrier to possible entrants to the profession and the College identified a market for more introductory level programmes while in discussion with the sector.

How has having your learning programme SCQF credit rated benefited your learners and your organisation?

The staff involved in the credit rating process added to their CPD through the development of unit specifications and assessments. Learners have improved their employability prospects in the dental profession, particularly through the opportunity of the placement provision.

To date, over 500 learners have participated in the course with around 450 being certificated. One of the issues for the College is that some learners are offered full-time employment even before they complete their course due to their performance in their placement.

In addition, we have been delivering SCQF Level 6 units to S5 and S6 pupils in local schools, some of whom have been able to use the portfolio of evidence gathered to support their university applications. The College has also been commissioned to support the delivery of Dental Nursing qualifications in China and India.

Jennifer Lowe, Assistant Head of Faculty for Care and Science from New College Lanarkshire commented: “The development of SCQF credit rated programmes has been instrumental in affording articulation and employment opportunities for learners. The experience of engaging in SCQF Credit rating has helped to Internationalise New College Lanarkshire by securing partnerships in China and India.”    

What future plans do you have for further programmes to be credit rated onto the SCQF?

We plan to introduce the BSc in Dental Nursing at SCQF Level 9 in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and plans are in place to develop a bespoke Dental Computer Aided Design Computer Aided Manufacturing Course with industry experts.

For more information on the benefits of having your learning programmes credit rated, visit www.scqf.org.uk/employers/recognising-your-training/ or contact the SCQF Partnership on 0845 270 7371 or at info@scqf.org.uk.

For more information on New College Lanarkshire, visit www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/.

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