New accreditation for health informatics qualification

The Avoca Higher Diploma in Health Informatics is the first qualification to allow health informatics professionals to gain a qualification formally recognised as being equivalent to degree level studies through workplace experience.

It is also the first training programme wholly developed and offered by a private company to receive accreditation from the University.

The programme is run by Chesterfield-based Avoca Systems, a leading specialist in health informatics, which is the practice of information management and data processing in healthcare.

Accreditation will provide clear pathways for individuals to continue their learning and progress onto higher education provision, and it is the intention that students taking the diploma will be able to choose related modules from Wolverhampton’s provision to progress, for example, to a full Foundation degree qualification.

The new partnership also reflects Government policies to encourage a range of higher apprenticeships and to reduce unemployment.

A Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) was signed at the University by Professor Ian Oakes, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, and Shaun Regan, Director of Professional Services from Avoca Systems on Wednesday 15 June 2011.

Professor Ian Oakes said: “The University is committed to working in partnership with businesses to increase skills and knowledge within the workforce. The accreditation of the Avoca Higher Diploma will support professional development and enable individuals to have opportunities to achieve recognition for their achievements.

“This is the latest stage in the University’s Innovation and Enterprise strategy focusing on the need for higher level skills in the workplace and will form a key part of our future business engagement activity.”

Avoca is a successful business specialising in health informatics: the practice of information management and processing in healthcare. The company’s training was developed because of a lack of qualified staff in the field.

Julie Waters, Operations Manager at Avoca and creator of the course, said: “It began in 2005 as a few introductory lessons for staff joining the company. Since then 67 students and staff have enrolled on the Diploma, during which time they have also contributed to some of the most complex and demanding projects in the NHS.”

Shaun Regan, Director of Professional Services at Avoca, added: “The role of the health informatics professional is now recognised as crucial for safe and efficient patient care. It’s a challenging, constantly evolving field and having our training recognised by the University at this level is very significant for us and for our profession more generally. We hope it will encourage more people across the country to consider it as a career.”

The Avoca Higher Diploma in Health Informatics provides participants with opportunities to reflect on and use their work experiences in the completion of set assignments. The assignments are designed to express understanding and apply theory and ideas to work contexts.

It is envisioned that the partnership will lead to shorter training courses offered by Avoca being accredited by the University.

ENDS

Picture: Julie Waters, Operations Manager at Avoca, Professor Ian Oakes, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise and Shaun Regan, Director of Professional Services at Avoca signing the new agreement.

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office at the University of Wolverhampton on 01902 322736 or Mark Thompson, Marketing and Business Development Consultant for Avoca Systems at email: mark.thompson@avoca.co.uk or call (01246) 453737 ext. 4011

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