Essential Supported Employment Toolkit

This professionally accredited course will introduce you to the principles and practices of supported employment using a person centred approach to working with job seekers. During the 8-week programme you will learn the core skills required to use the 5-stage Supported Employment process.

Who Is This Course For?

This course is suitable for staff and volunteers supporting disadvantaged job seekers who are new to the area or who are looking to develop their practical skills and acquire a clear strategy that can be used to implement job sampling / work experience / supported employment in their day-to-day practice.

At a Glance

  • Audience Job coaches employment facilitators, personal assistants, care workers, community workers, vocational instructors / trainers
  • FormatBlended
  • Duration8 weeks
  • AwardQQI Level 5 Award – 2 Component Certificates
  • Credits30 (15 per certificate)
  • Fees€450
  • Start DateAutumn 2019

Continue to Application Centre

Essential Supported Employment Toolkit
Essential Supported Employment Toolkit
Essential Supported Employment Toolkit

Course Details

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing the course you should be able to:

  • Explain what Supported Employment is
  • Identify the key features of Supported Employment
  • Describe what an employment facilitator is and outline the roles they perform
  • Understand the 5-stage process of supported employment
  • Explain the concept of career development in the context of support employment
  • Describe the management issues that are likely to arise in the supported employment process


The course is built around two workshops.

Workshop 1: Introduction to Supported Employment

  • Key Features of Supported Employment
  • Employment Facilitator Roles

Workshop 2: Employment Facilitator Skills

  • Exploring Difficulties in Getting Started!
  • 5-Stage Process of Supported Employment Career Development in the Context of Support Employment


You will need to complete a short structured assignment, undertake a project and write about how your learning relates to your practice/role. You will use the project to describe and critically examine your understanding and initial experience of supporting a job seeker through the Job Sampling / Work Experience / Supported Employment process. Your critique will identify and discuss:

  • The activities you carried out
  • The challenges you encountered and how you responded to them
  • What you feel you’ve learnt
  • This will be used to help you:
  • Better understand the opportunities and challenges the approach presents
  • Plan for personal and professional development

Taking the Course

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach which combines online learning, virtual tutorials and face-to face workshops.

Our online 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. These are accessible through our learning centre which provides a platform for you to study, collaborate and communicate with your fellow learners. Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study.

Each workshop focuses on extending your understanding of the subject matter and helping you apply it in your working practice. The one-day session will be led by a subject matter expert who also has extensive experience in providing coaching/training to people working in the human services and non-profit sector.

Essential Supported Employment Toolkit

Discussion, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged in order for the workshop to achieve one of its primary goals:

  • Facilitating the application of knowledge and skills acquired during the course to address real world challenges in a practical and effective manner.

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 learners 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. This is known as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

The Learning Experience

The Tutor’s View – Claire Hopkins
Essential Supported Employment Toolkit

Going to college can be stressful for a lot of people. How do you help with this?

We understand what it is like to return to study after an extended period of time. So the supports we provide are comprehensive. At the heart of this are our tutors who are all experienced first line professionals from the sector. They tailor their support to suit how you learn so that you can get the most from the course. We are also strive to make it as practical and relevant as possible. We show how practitioners’ skills and knowledge can be adapted to reach the goal of Supported Employment. We provide practical techniques of engaging with a new stakeholder – that of the employer.

What changes do you see in them as the course progress

Once participants get over the initial hurdle of engaging in studying again, they find that the course material unearths key skills and knowledge that they process. The content and interactive style identifies their strengths and areas in need of improvement in their practice and provides the first steps achieving real vocational outcomes with job seekers.

More generally, what motivated you to become a tutor in the first place?

I love being a part of a person’s learning journey. It is a privilege to support people initially grappling with the subject and wondering how it and indeed how they can make a difference! Then at the end of the course to see the positive impact their learning has on their personal and professional development.


The course is certified as a Level 5 Award by QQI. Successful participants will receive components certificates for the following:

  • Person Centred Focus to Disability (5N1728) (15 credits)
  • Supported Employment (5N1704 ) (15 credits)

These component certificates sit on the Major Level 5 Award: Certificate in Intellectual Disability Practice (5M3782). They count towards two components out of the eight required to receive this Level 5 Major Award.

Next Steps

Dates & Duration

The next course starts in Autumn 2019. It runs for 8 weeks.


The course costs €450 to attend.

Booking a Place

Visit the Online Application Centre.

How Can We Help?

Contact us if you want to know more about the course.

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