Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

An accreditation system for training and trainers in autism spectrum disorders: the icing on the cake or an essential ingredient for quality services?

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, accreditation system, training, multi-professionalism

Authors: Mrs Charlene Tait (National Centre for Autism Studies, University of Strathclyde); Miss Anna Robinson (The Scottish Society for Autism)

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) require the support and services of a wide range of professionals across the health, education, social work & voluntary sectors. However, due to qualitative differences in social communication and social understanding in individuals with ASD, services are frequently challenged in their capacity to meet needs.

It is recognised that there are significant gaps in the knowledge and understanding of all professions at all levels (MacKay & Dunlop, 2004).

This paper will argue that the multi-professional context gives rise to the need for high quality, consistent training for the professionals tasked with providing services.

Furthermore the paper will outline the initial outcomes of The Autism Training Accreditation Project. This Scottish Executive funded project will deliver a national system of accreditation for autism training and the trainers who provide it.

The paper will outline the processes involved in developing such a system including early qualitative findings from a series of focused consultations involving ASD training providers, those who commission ASD training and individuals with ASD and their family members. The authors will explore the potential impact of accredited training on the standard of service provision with particular reference to individuals with ASD who are in effect consumers of services.

MacKay,T. & Dunlop,A.W. (2004). The Development of a National Training Framework for Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Glasgow: National Autistic Society.

This paper reports on developments of a national initiative that is leading the way in reforming and improving ASD training standards for a range of professionals involved with individuals with ASD and their families. The outcome of this project will be a unique system of accreditation for individuals and organisations that provide training in ASD. Consequently this paper will be of interest to practitioners, service providers and policy makers.

Date: Wednesday 23 January 2008, 11.30-12.00

Venue: Carrick One

Return to list of abstracts

Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).