Hereward College staff become CECOPS Approved Trainers for Community Disability Equipment
Three senior members of staff from Hereward College, a general FE College in Coventry with specialist facilities and services for students with physical and learning disabilities, have recently undergone training and were successful in becoming CECOPS Approved Trainers for the use of Community Disability Equipment.
Community equipment, also known as assistive technology, is provided to disabled people and is vital in promoting their independence, safety, social inclusion and quality of life. This equipment helps disabled people of all ages to overcome barriers in their daily life and get on with the tasks otherwise taken for granted. It helps to give people control over their own lives. It is provided by health and social care organisations, special schools, care homes, domiciliary care providers and others.
Hereward College has about 400 students with physical and learning disabilities, many of whom use community equipment for therapeutic, mobility, communication, educational, environmental, independence and rehabilitation needs. The college makes extensive use of community equipment including electronic communicators, environmental controls, telecare and access control equipment.
The accreditation was awarded to Hereward College by CECOPS C.I.C. (Community Equipment Code of Practice Scheme) the responsible body for managing registration, training and accreditation of commissioners and providers of community equipment in the UK. Notably the Chair of CECOPS, Sir Bert Massie CBE, was once a student of Hereward College.
CECOPS is set to become the national standard for all sectors responsible for commissioning and providing community disability equipment; it is already officially supported by the Health and Safety Executive, Care Quality Commission, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, College of Occupational Therapists and many others.
Concerning CECOPS and the Code of Practice it promotes, the Health and Safety Executive said, "HSE recognises the need for guidance, and welcomes the code of practice…The code will help organisations who commission or provide community equipment make health and safety improvements in their businesses."
CECOPS' CEO, Brian Donnelly, said, "It was a privilege to have been asked by Hereward College to train some members of its staff. CECOPS seeks to build its reputation on delivering an all-round good quality service and by having a reputable and established organisation such as Hereward College on-board as one of its Approved Trainers will undoubtedly help us in realising this aim."
With this achievement, the College will be able to provide a formally recognized and credible training programme covering all aspects of commissioning, providing and the clinical and professional responsibilities of assistive technology. Additionally, the accreditation will allow the college to improve the quality of service of assessing students' assistive technology needs and providing the most appropriate assistive technology solutions.
Paul Doyle, Access, Research and Development Manager at Hereward College, and now a CECOPS Approved Trainer, said: Having worked in Assistive Technology service provision for nearly twenty years I find it particularly reassuring to be involved with a code of practice that protects both the user and the provider in equal measure and is based on an inclusive, person centred approach.