NEOCNNorth East Open College Network
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NEOCN accredits and develops learning programmes rooted in achievable `chunks' of learning measured as credit for the learner.
NEOCN is part of one of the country's largest awarding bodies, the National Open College Network (NOCN), which registers over 600,000 learners a year.
Paula will focus on workforce development and the voluntary sector, and will look after NEOCN members in Newcastle and North Tyneside; Hilary deals primarily with further education, but with a supporting role for NEOCN provision South of the Tyne; and Lorna Chappell is responsible for adult and community learning and also acts as the principal NEOCN officer for Northumberland and for major programmes such as the Learning Disabilities Awards Framework.
Paula, a former nurse, joined NEOCN from Independent Advocacy in North Tyneside, and has previously worked as a tutor and development worker with Women's Health in South Tyneside and the Workers' Educational Association.
"The response to these courses has been amazing, both from those that have completed the course to those that have employed the candidates." NEOCN chief executive Nigel Todd said: "The main role of NEOCN is to value the achievements of adult learners by attaching external, quality-assured accreditation to learning programmes.
With a radical change in policies for adult learning and qualifications envisaged in the Government's recent skills White Paper, NEOCN wants to ensure the North East gains maximum benefit from the "learner-friendly" principles of open college networks that are attracting Whitehall support.
Colleges, universities, voluntary and community groups, local authorities and the NHS as well as private training agencies among NEOCN's 120-plus members are being invited to comment on a view of the adult learning scene over the next 20 years.
NEOCN chief executive, Nigel Todd said: "We are very pleased with the website.
In common with all NEOCN provision, colleges or business support agencies thinking of offering the qualification can design their own learning programmes, geared to the needs of individuals or groups of participants.
Patricia McCarron, NEOCN accreditation development manager, said: "The certificate in running a small business has been thoroughly grounded in the practical realities of managing private or co-operative or community enterprises of up to five employees, though the skills would be useful in larger firms as well."
The first NEOCN Regional Awards, covering family learning, family health and information and communication technology, have been designed to confirm the achievements of adults on learning programmes that can be offered in friendly, flexible and bite-size versions.
The team at its base at West Fifteen on Whickham View is celebrating after learning that their four-week employability training courses are to be accredited by NEOCN, part of the National Open College Network (NOCN).