Skills for Health Bridging Programme (England)

Image: Bridging programme.

The aim of the Skills for Health Bridging Programme is to establish an entitlement for healthcare support workers to have their learning achievements recognised, as valid for meeting entry requirements to pre-registration nursing and other Higher Education health related vocational programmes in England.

The Bridging Programme develops the study skills that motivated and capable healthcare and social care support workers need to prepare, progress and succeed in all health related vocational programmes in Higher Education, including vocational Foundation Degrees and vocational HE Diplomas.

Combined with relevant vocational qualifications at level 3 (and any recognition of prior learning) and maths/English qualifications, the Bridging Programme is for strategic use by healthcare employers interested in ‘growing their own’ health professional staff.

“Buckingham New University supports the initiative to provide health workers with the opportunity to progress by developing the skills they would need to succeed in an HE environment. We believe that the OCNLR Level 3 Certificate in Bridging Skills for Higher Education is a vital qualification for learners in the Health and Social care field who need support to progress because it provides valuable knowledge and study skills they are unlikely to have acquired previously. These skills will assist in strengthening their applications and support their academic progress.

“We confirm that the qualification above is suitable for learners who wish to undertake pre-registration nursing degrees at Buckingham New University. We would also expect learners to have achieved sufficient UCAS points from A Levels or equivalent vocational qualifications such as Diplomas.”

Dr Alison Chambers, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Health, Buckingham New University.

Click here for more examples of HE provider support. Achievement of the Bridging Programme leads to a national qualification: a QCF Level 3 Certificate in Bridging Skills for Higher Education.

Different Awarding Organisations offer the qualification but the units, title and assessment requirements are identical – view the qualification here:

Skills for Health works with Bridging Programme partners to help them in assembling and agreeing the different elements required to create a new route for the healthcare support workforce to progress into all health related vocational programmes in Higher Education.

Skills for Health published its progress report, Crossing the Bridge in June 2015. The report outlines what we achieved in 2014-15 and set out recommendations and a plan of action for 2015-16. A brief outline of achievements and the plan of action can be read here.

Image: Crossing the Bridge (Full report). Image: Crossing the Bridge (Executive summary).

Free Webinars

To be kept informed about the Bridging Programme - including invites to free webinars - register here.

“Really interesting, the presenters went back to basics, helped me understand where the University fits. Webinar worked well, appreciated asking questions & them being answered.”

“I have already had one briefing on the project but the webinar gave me more detail.”

“We will now explore further at local and regional level as part of workforce development."

“I’m now going to feedback to colleagues at HEI and see how we may incorporate this into our admissions process."

Register now for one of our Spring 2016 webinars – Crossing the Bridge - Planning and the Bridging Programme

Image: Achievement of the Bridging Programme leads to a national qualification.

Why do the Bridging Programme?

The Bridging Programme is for motivated and capable healthcare assistants and many others in the healthcare workforce who would like to move on to a range of programmes that lead to registration as a health professional and all other health related vocational programmes in Higher Education, including vocational Foundation Degrees and vocational HE Diplomas. For many, the Bridging Programme opens up a new opportunity to progress professionally in healthcare.

Image: Bridging Programme eLeaflet.

Interested in the Skills for Health Bridging Programme?

You can download our eLeaflet with an overview here.

Who offers the Bridging Programme?

Bridging Programme partnerships (between healthcare or social care employers, FE providers and universities) have been working together to put the Bridging Programme in place from September 2015. You can find out more here: Crossing the Bridge: work in progress

The Skills for Health Bridging Programme is more than a qualification. Its implementation requires input and support from a range of partners, as well as ongoing nurturing and management from Skills for Health to ensure its success and oversee its quality assurance and improvement.

The aim is to have a full range of Bridging Programme partnerships operating across all areas of England from April 2016. Skills for Health will publish where the Bridging Programme is offered as new partnerships come on stream.

Progression Agreement

“We value the FAQ Level 3 Certificate in Bridging Skills for Higher Education (RCF) qualification because completion means Student Paramedics are better equipped to prepare for progression to this stage of development at our University. For example, the learner will improve essay and report writing skills, be able to research information and it will support their project management by completing this qualification. This results in a better experience for them and end outcomes for the Ambulance Service and the University.”

Professor Linda Lang, Dean of Faculty of Education Health & Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton

In order to offer the Bridging Programme, the Employer/FE provider must have a Progression Agreement with at least one HE provider offering health related HE vocational programmes.

A ‘Progression Agreement’ is a Higher Education provider’s public statement for potential Bridging Programme applicants, of progression opportunities and any conditions, agreed between an Employer/FE provider of the Bridging Programme and a HE provider. It is published for potential applicants to see on a relevant page on the HE provider (and or awarding organisation’s) website.

Which HE providers are currently on board?

Interested in getting involved?