THE Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is leading the way in staff development after scooping a prestigious award for its case worker training programme.
Darlington-based ISA, was set up as a national public body to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults, and has been working in partnership with Teesside University to develop a bespoke training course for its casework staff.
The course has made a significant impact in supporting ISA caseworkers to make sound, thorough and balanced decisions in what are often very complex situations.
But the icing on the cake came on Friday (November 19) when the organisation's People and Development Team walked away with the best practice gong at the Tees Valley Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Awards.
The event, which was held at Middlesbrough FC's Riverside Stadium, is dubbed as "a celebration of successful endeavour in Human Resources" within the local area.
ISA senior learning and development consultant Nikki Wright said: "It was quite a nerve-wracking evening because we didn't know whether we had won until our name was read out.
"So we were all absolutely ecstatic when we found out. It's been really hard work getting the programme off the ground in such a short space of time, so to get that external recognition is just incredible."
ISA case workers are responsible for making decisions about who should be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults because of the harm they have caused or the risk of harm they pose.
The four-month course is undertaken by all case workers, who go on to achieve a University Certificate in Advanced Professional Development (UCAPD) in Professional Decision Making in Independent Safeguarding Authority Casework.
The programme, which is worth 60 credits at degree level, covers a range of complex subjects including the purpose of safeguarding legislation, and complements the ISA's own in-house training scheme.
ISA Chief Executive Adrian McAllister said: "There is no doubt that it has been a challenging year for the staff here at the ISA, so I am delighted that their hard work has been recognised with this fantastic award.
"The People and Development team has worked tirelessly to deliver this programme with our colleagues at Teesside University, and our case workers have approached it with a positive and diligent attitude."
Secretary of Tees Valley CIPD Peter Hammond said: "The judges felt that this bespoke programme clearly supported the aims of the business and was firmly set within the context of the service.
"It identified and filled gaps and helped develop personal qualities to do the job, helping people improve themselves. It has received Home Office recognition and they are using it as an example of a best practice model to other agencies.
"As it resulted in a positive and measurable difference to the organisation and a more skilful and highly regarded workforce, the judges felt that this initiative should win the main award of the evening."
Teesside University's Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Law Mark Simpson said: "It's fair to say that we were absolutely delighted to win the award.
"It reflects the relationship that has developed in a relatively short space of time between the university and the ISA.
"It's a well deserved award that recognises the expertise and dedication of the staff from both organisations."
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Notes to Editors:
The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) was set up under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, to make independent barring decisions on people who pose a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.
The ISA also has the power to place individuals on one or both of its barred lists (ISA Children's Barred List and ISA Vulnerable Adults' Barred List) and also to remove them.
The consequence of a bar is an inability to work or volunteer within the children's workforce, the vulnerable adults' workforce or both.
For further information please contact:
Karen Faughey, ISA Press Officer
ISA website: www.isa-gov.org.uk