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Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

News January 2021

Product Developer by Day - NHS Hero by Night

Thursday, 28 January 2021


Open College Network West Midlands is exceptionally proud of our team who work tirelessly to create and award exceptional qualifications that change lives. 

We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service to our providers and are passionate about enabling learning and releasing the potential of people and their communities, and that includes supporting our team members to develop their own skills and knowledge in areas they are passionate about too.
Adrian McDowell develops our qualifications and has worked within our Product Development Team at Open College Network for almost 2 years.
With the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and the pressures the NHS currently finds itself under, Adrian wanted to do more to help.
Having researched local volunteering opportunities within the NHS, he enquired about becoming an active member of the Patient Transport Services High Dependency Team as a Community First Responder (CFR) with West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, through a CFR charity scheme called FastAid Black Country.
Along with 35 other CFRs from across the region, Adrian undertook a weeklong period of intensive training to work on High Dependency Patient Transport Service Vehicles as an Attendant. The role involves transporting patients with particular clinical conditions to and from hospital in a safe way and to assist the Ambulance Service with Category One patients.
The Senior Leadership Team at Open College Network supported Adrian in his aspirations, by enabling him to spend a week receiving essential training that provided him with the knowledge and skills required to do this role.
This work builds on his First Aid skills and is done in his own time, outside of work hours.  

Adrian started his first shift on Saturday (23rd January) and said:

“I am very grateful for the support from the senior management team at Open College Network West Midlands to allow me to undertake this work and I am looking forward to utilising new skills to help the NHS in this critical work.”

Kevern Kerswell, CEO, Open College Network West Midlands said:

“We are extremely proud of the work Adrian is doing to support the NHS – especially given the extreme pressures they are experiencing right now.
“Open College Network West Midlands is a leading awarding organisation whose core values are all about enabling learning and releasing potential and if we can do our bit to support and develop our own employees to help them in the fight against this pandemic, we will always do just that.
“Adrian leads on the maintenance of our First Aid qualifications and having this experience in the field may also benefit the ongoing development of that qualification. We wish him every success in this vital role, helping others".


A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: 

“In these extraordinary times that face our country, the Trust has taken extensive steps to substantially increase staff numbers, upskill hundreds of existing staff and is also receiving additional support from many volunteers, like Adrian, who give up their spare time to help us.
"We are currently recruiting Community First Responders in a number of areas in the Region, to find out more visit”
Open College Network West Midlands: Enabling Learning, Releasing Potential!
For all press and media enquiries, please contact Jas Jandu – Marketing and Communications Officer on 01902 624230.
Main image: Adrian McDowell ready for business.
Second image: Adrian McDowell demonstrating CPR.

Notes to Editors:

Open College Network West Midlands is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.

We work in partnership with employers, training providers, colleges, universities, schools and voluntary and community organisations to offer vocational credit-based qualifications, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and quality assured Customised Accreditation that enables learners gain employment or to progress into further learning and Higher Education. We also Quality Endorse organisations internal training and skills delivery.

We are committed to providing a high quality and responsive accreditation service that promotes widening participation, social inclusion and lifetime learning for all. We support flexible, responsive and quality assured learning opportunities in a wide range of contexts, including in the classroom, at work, in the community, and through distance and e-learning.

Open College Network West Midlands is a not for profit organisation. We invest our resources in supporting our existing products and services, the development of new qualifications and the expansion of our services. We are proud to be a registered charity promoting charitable objectives.

As an Ofqual regulated awarding organisation we are authorised to develop and offer Open College Network West Midlands nationally recognised qualifications. We have an extensive and developing range of qualifications available in a variety of different sectors including:
  • Building and Construction
  • Environment and Working in the Outdoors
  • Health, Social Care and Community
  • ICT and Business
  • Language and Communications
  • Mathematics, English and Functional Skills
  • Science, Technology and Engineering
  • Service Industries
  • The Arts
  • Work Preparation and Employment.

As an Access Validating Agency (AVA) Open College Network West Midlands is licenced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to approve and certificate the Access to Higher Education Diploma. This is a national qualification which is accepted as a standard entry qualification by UK universities. We work in partnership with Access to Higher Education providers in offering Access to HE programmes, including Diplomas in Nursing and Health, Teaching, Social Work, IT, as well as more general Science, Social Science and Humanities.

Open College Network West Midlands Training

Open College Network West Midlands offers a comprehensive training programme which is open to all Recognised Centres and for staff in other organisations who would find the courses useful. Our training programme forms part of our support package provided to Recognised Centres. Post-course support and guidance, if required, is also available to all those who attend.

Company Details:

Open College Network West Midlands is a not for profit organisation.
Charity No. 1113382
Company No. 5479207
Aldersley Building, Overstrand, Pendeford Business Park, Wolverhampton WV9 5HA
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