This one year programme provides participants with the tools to take a person-centred approach to supporting individuals with an intellectual disability. This will enhance their quality of life and allow them to achieve their full potential.
Earning the Certificate in Intellectual Disability Practice will ensure you satisfy the requirement for a Level 5 qualification which organisations are increasingly demanding from people who want to work as care assistants. It also provides the perfect educational foundation for people who want to progress their career in social care.
At a Glance
- AudienceUnqualified healthcare/Social Care Assistants working in disability services, or SNAs
- AwardCertificate in Intellectual Disability Practice (5M1761)
- ModelClassroom/Part Time
- Duration1 Year
- Award TypeQQI/FET Level 5 (Major Award)
- Start DateSept 2019
- Locations: Galway/Cork/Dublin and Athlone*
- Fees€1,495 inclusive of Protection of Enrolled Learner (PEL) insurance cost (All inclusive, Quarterly instalment Payment plan available)
- *Subject to numbers
What Will I Learn?
The certificate will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills required to deliver person centred services to people with intellectual disability. During it you will study:
- What a person centred approach is
- Where it comes from
- How to use it
- Its impact on practitioners and service provision
- The opportunities and benefits it offers services users
After completing the certificate you will:
- Understand what ‘intellectual disability’ is
- Appreciate the tasks that need to be performed if you want to empower persons with an intellectual disability to make positive life and lifestyle choices
- Understand the issues practitioners face when facilitating a person to live an independent life in the community
- Have the knowledge and skills to actively support persons with an intellectual disability in the different phases of their lives
- Be able to meaningfully contribute to developing strategies that will them develop a range of functional skills that can be used in their daily life
- Possess the knowledge and skills to enable persons with an intellectual disability cultivate socially valued roles and relationships
- Understand how you can make a difference to people lives by improving service quality
The certificate is made up of ‘core’ and ‘elective’ modules. The six core modules are mandatory and have to be completed by everyone.
The electives are designed to allow people ‘customise’ the course to meet their specific personal, professional or career needs. This involves choosing two of the elective modules that most closely match your precise needs. It is important to note that once you have been accepted for the course College staff will be available to help you make your choices.
Core Modules – Required
Intellectual Disability Studies
This module serves as an introduction to the course. It explores:
- How intellectual disability has traditionally been defined and understood
- How societies have responded to people with intellectual disability
- The history and evolution of support services
- Contemporary thinking and policy in relation to intellectual disability and its impact on frontline workers
The module will make clear how delivering effective support is dependent on being able to see the person behind the label, or in other words, it will demonstrate how adopting a person centred approach will improve the quality of support service users receive.
Empowering the Individual
This Empowering the Individual module will provide you with the tools to implement a person centred approach. It will demonstrate how it can be used to enable a person with an intellectual disability to make life decisions.
In addition to exploring how the person centred approach positively effects people with disabilities, their families and your role as a frontline worker, the module will also show you how to practically promote empowerment in service delivery.
Promoting community inclusion and providing the right supports to assist service users develop meaningful links to the community are fundamental tasks in frontline work. This module will provide you with the skills to:
- Support a service user achieve active involvement in their community; and,
- Do so in a way that offers the chance to develop roles and relationships that are based on their interests, skills and capacities.
This is a practical module you that will provide you the tools to teach in a way that supports a person learn what matters to them so they can achieve their life goals.
This module focuses on your role as a member of a team and how the organisational, regulatory, legal and economic environments you work in impacts on your ability to support service users. It explores how increased professionalism and working within defined policies and procedures makes for a more effective workplace.
- Assess and reflect on your current capacities and capabilities
- Develop the key skills required of a frontline worker
These include improving your:
- Problem solving techniques
- Professional communication skills
- Abilities to work effectively with others
The module is unusual in that it runs for the lifetime of the programme. This means you can apply what you are learning in other modules to improve your personal effectiveness, while at the same time, applying the skills acquired in this module to make studying a more effectively learning experience.
Elective Modules – Choose Any Two of the Following Modules
Person Centred Focus to Disability
This module explores in detail the philosophy behind the person centred approach to disability and examines how to apply it in your day-to-day practice. In particular, it deals with the challenges you are likely to face when adopting the approach and explains how to overcome them.
Challenging behaviours can have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life but if they are seen as essentially a form of communication and dealt with using a person centred approach then the support you provide to service users can be improved.
This module focuses on the need to adopt a person centred approach when supporting a person with challenging behaviour. It will provide you with the tools required to support a person exhibiting challenging behaviour in a very person-centred way.
Sexuality & Intellectual Disability
The module explores sexuality and sexual relationships in the context of intellectual disability. Specifically, it examines:
- How sexuality and development are defined
- The legislative environment governing how sexuality in the context of intellectual disability are understood
- Ways in which personal attitudes towards sexuality and sexual identity may impact on the supports a person receives
- Your role and responsibilities
- Strategies when working with families
This module presents an overview of:
- What Supported Employment is
- How it has evolved
- The factors and principles that determine its success
It will provide you with the tools required to:
- Effectively support a job seeker starting their career
- Work with and gain buy in from employers
Working Together with Families
Providing maximum support to a person with disability is dependent on the active involvement of their family. This module with provide you with the skills to:
- Identify opportunities for family involvement
- Work collaboratively with them to support a family member
- Effectively address challenges and issues that can arise
How Will I Be Assessed?
To successfully complete the course, you will need to:
- Write a series of short assignments
- Demonstrate you have acquired key skills you will use in your role such as the ability to teach a task or hold a meeting, for example
- Write accounts of what you have learnt in a module
- Sit an exam
This may sound quite daunting but its important to understand the kind of supports we offer our students.
What is it Like to Study with Us?
We Are All Part of a Learning Community
The course uses a ‘blended’ approach. Each module combines online learning, tutorials (telephone, online, virtual) and face to face workshops. Learning materials are explicitly designed to accommodate the pressures that come with trying to balance work, life and learning. They make it possible to build study time around your work schedule.
Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study. Each one-day seminar focuses on how the module topic is impacting the sector, will deepen your understanding of the subject matter and help you apply it in your working practice.
Underpinning all of this is our learning community. This is made up of tutors who have extensive first-line experience, learning support staff who understand the human challenges people can face when attending college and our students who are defined by their commitment to supporting each other. We believe this creates a learning experience that is unique to the Open Training College, one that meets the specific requirements of people working in our sector and improves the quality of service our users receive.
How Will the Course Enhance My Career Prospects?
Having a relevant QQI Level 5 qualification is a basic requirement to access work as a care assistant, SNA, health care assistant or social care assistant in a large number of organisations. If you are working already in a service that is HIQA regulated, a Level 5 qualification is now seen as an essential requirement and this is something that is not going to change.The certificate, itself, serves as a perfect gateway to the kinds of higher qualifications you’ll need if you want to progress your career. We see it, for example, as the ideal first step for people who want to become registered as a Social Care Worker, which they can do if they complete our B.A. in Professional Social Care (Disability). Taking the certificate will test your ability to both learn and handle the commitments of undertaking a college programme. The importance of this cannot be overstated particularly for adult learners.
The certificate itself serves as a perfect gateway to the kinds of higher qualifications you’ll need if you want to progress your career. We see it, for example, as the ideal first step for people who want to become registered as a Social Care Worker, which they can do if they complete our B.A. in Professional Social Care (Disability). Taking the certificate will test your ability to both learn and handle the commitments of undertaking a college programme. The importance of this cannot be overstated particularly for adult learners.On a more personal level the course will help you deliver professional person centred services which can only enhance the quality of life of the people you support.
On a more personal level the course will help you deliver professional person centred services which can only enhance the quality of life of the people you support.
Opening Up Other Career & Educational Opportunities – Transfer & Progression to Other Courses
After successfully completing the certificate you will be eligible to apply for our QQI Level 7 B.A in Professional Social Care (Disability) degree course which may allow you register as a Social Care Worker.
How Do I Apply?
Applications for this course are accepted through our online application centre.
The College is now requesting expressions of interest from organisations and individuals around the country who wish to upskill in the area.
There are four city locations being considered for delivery of this course to individuals:
Course delivery is always numbers dependent so we encourage you now to contact the OTC if you or your team are interested in participating on this very practical course in any of these locations. Contact Conor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by call him on 01-2990580.
The next course is scheduled to commence in September, 2018.
To apply for the course, you will need to:
- Satisfy the entry requirements for the programme
- Provide a range of documents to support your application
- Submit a personal statement explaining why you want to apply
What are the Course Entry Requirements?
You can apply for this course if you:
- Work at least part time in a disability service or as an SNA in a school
- Volunteer for at least 2-4 hours per week in a similar service
If you do not fall into these categories but are interested in the course, please contact us either using the form at the bottom of the page or calling us on (01) 298 8544
What Supporting Documents Will I Need?
You will need to provide us with a range of documents as part of your application. These are:
- Proof of identity. Common examples included scanned copies of a driving license or passport (for international applicants).
- Volunteer Form: You will need to complete a Volunteer Form if you are currently working as a volunteer. This is available for download below.
- Personal Statement: This document essentially explains why you want to take the course and how you see it helping you achieve your professional and personal goals. You can learn more about it below and download a simple document that will help you write it.
What is a Personal Statement and Why is it Important?
A personal statement briefly describes:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you hope to achieve in your career on both a personal and professional level
- How you think the course will help you achieve your goals
Personal statements are particularly important for us when assessing individual applications. We believe in selecting students not just based on their previous academic achievements but on how a particular educational programme can help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Personal statements help us understand why you want to take the course and if it is the right one for you.
PLEASE NOTE: We’ve also provided a checklist to help with your application. We generally recommend you gather together all the documents you will require to support your application before you begin but our online application system will allow you add documents as and when you have them once you’ve begun submitting your application. You can learn more by visiting the Online Application Centre.
Start Making Your Application
All applications are processed through our application centre where you can:
- Submit your application
- Learn about what happens after you’ve made your application
- Monitor the progress of your application
Apply by visiting our Online Application Centre.
A Special Note About Protecting Enrolled Users
Open Training College (OTC) has approval to offer students learner protection insurance in respect of Protection of Enrolled Learners (PEL) for this course. Find out more about PEL here.
How Can We Help?
Contact us if you want to know more about the course.
Call or eMail
Call: (+353 1) 298 8544
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