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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Derby University Accreditation - statement and response

Dear Mr Wilkinson,

As you know, the disability assessment training provided by Atos is specifically for the Work Capability Assessment it performs for the DWP.  As its name indicates, it is an individual’s capability to work that is being evaluated.

In accrediting the training you must also be of the opinion that the WCA itself is fit for purpose, i.e. it is a reliable discriminator between people who are fit to work and people who are not.   The training is merely a means to an end and if the means are sound, the end result must be too.  I of course accept that you have no way of knowing how well every WCA is undertaken by a healthcare professional, but you are in effect saying that everyone who successfully completes the training is perfectly able to discriminate accurately.   

This being the case, in your view what possible explanations could there be for the fact that a significant number (40%) of WCA outcomes are over turned on appeal?  Do you feel that this high failure rate reflects at all on the training you have accredited and/or the WCA the training underpins?

Yours sincerely

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From: Paul Wilkinson [mailto:P.Wilkinson@derby.ac.uk]
Sent: 13 October 2011 17:04
Subject: RE: Atos Heathcare

University of Derby Statement:

In April (2011) the University’s business-to-business arm, University of Derby Corporate (UDC), publicly announced it had teamed up with healthcare services provider Atos Healthcare to officially accredit the company’s own disability analysis training for healthcare professionals

Part of UDC’s business involves accrediting training that an organisation already provides internally; assessing that this is well structured, of high quality and promotes employees’ development at work through meeting specific learning outcomes at a recognised academic level. If a company’s training meets all these criteria it can be linked to a formal qualification, which the employee can then add to their CV and use to improve their career development.

This was the case with regard to Atos Healthcare.

UDC was able to accredit the company’s nurse training within an existing academic framework. UDC is not involved in delivering this training but provides quality assurance and moderates the award of a Certificate of Achievement for staff. 

Atos Healthcare’s nurse training programme, and the learning materials used in it, are the sole property of its contract holder, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Any queries on the nature of nurses’ training and the learning materials they use should therefore be directed to Atos Healthcare or the DWP. Atos Healthcare can be contacted on email enquiries@atoshealthcare.com 

From next year (2012) UK nurses will need an undergraduate degree in order to successfully qualify in nursing. UDC’s accreditation of Atos Healthcare’s training will enable existing nurses to put credit points from that qualification towards studying independently for a full degree if they wish, increasing their knowledge and patient care skills.

Atos Healthcare’s own disability analysis training for its nurses has been shortlisted in the 2011 National Training Awards (run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), which is a further endorsement of the training UDC has accredited.

Ends

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