In addition, the university has evaluated individual CertHE modules and the consortium has evaluated the in-service PSO workshops that are an integral part of the programme.
This article also, therefore, draws on findings from semi-structured interviews carried out with CertHE mentors and with line managers responsible for PSOs who had undertaken the course.
Training managers in probation areas were asked to identify mentors and line managers to be interviewed and asked to select staff from a range of practice backgrounds and with a variety of experiences of the CertHE. As a result, interviews were conducted with line managers from offender management teams, from prisons and from programme teams.
It is relevant to note that the interviewer was a consortium manager with responsibility for the CertHE programme and known to all the mentors and two of the line managers.
A UCPD comprises 60 credits compared with the 120 required for the award of a CertHE.
In relation to support from mentors and tutors, there was a varied response from CertHE students.
Despite its relatively short life, the CertHE programme became well thought of by PSOs and their line managers.
The evaluation also provides evidence that the CertHE improved the practice of PSOs and that the linking of the academic and practice curriculum was important in this improvement.
The lack of formal academic input and assessment in the new award does mean that, in comparison with the former CertHE routes, PSOs will not be involved in the same level of debate and discussion of concepts and ideas.
This CertHE was a generic qualification for staff working with offenders in the community.
As with this CertHE, the higher education element of the new honours degree and graduate diploma is largely delivered by distance learning methods.
The evaluation does reveal the extent to which the successful implementation of this CertHE depended on the goodwill of local line managers and mentors.