Accredit where it's due

January 17, 1997

Students doing voluntary work may soon be able to gain a certificate recognising the skills they have gained.

Scadu is pioneering the idea in eight student groups in early February. It hopes eventually to develop a national certificate regarding voluntary work.

Paul Adams, a Volunteer Development Worker at Scadu, said: "A certificate would help to draw together strands of learning without forcing students to jump through hoops." With the help of a mentor or student supporter, student volunteers will record in a log what they have gained from their work.

The certificate would have no academic accreditation. Mr Adams said: "We want it to be something separate from the academic route. Tying in volunteer work with other qualifications would distort it. It is still about putting something back into the community." He added that the emphasis would be on development on a personal level, and that the certificate was different from schemes such as Napier University's accreditation of volunteer work as a module for degree courses.

Kelly Drake, director of Scadu is discussing the certificate with the National Union of Students and other parties interested in student development. She said: "Students are under a lot of pressure to get experience. They want to get something for their voluntary work."

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