BACLight September 2018

Page 1


Vol 10 No.1

Barbados Accreditation Council




From the Desk of the Executive Director The IO’s Notepad www Barbados Accreditation Council Suite 1, Building 1 Manor Lodge Complex Lodge Hill St. Michael Bb14000 (246)535-6740

New Faces at the BAC

BAC is Social !



From the Desk of The Executive Director


d a p e t No By wood e l z a H a h t Saman Msc. Com IMAGINE LIFE WITH THE BARBADOS QUALIFICATIONS AND CREDIT FRAMEWORK Valda V. Alleyne, Msc. Executive Director

Imagine attaining a qualification that recognizes learning experiences you have gained throughout life! The Barbados Qualifications and Credit Framework (BQCF) will recognize all forms of learning regardless of whether that learning was achieved by attending an institution, through online/via the internet, distance education, or daily life experiences. Imagine being able to carry credits gained from a local programme of study at one institution to another institution without having to repeat courses already completed. And imagine not having to spend that extra money, time and effort to complete those further studies! Now imagine what it would be like to have your local qualification recognized worldwide as the BQCF will assure foreign employers and educational institutions that local qualifications are internationally comparable!

What’s learning?

Learning can come from various life experiences. Certainly, one of my learning experiences comes through a community activity called 'Friday School'. It seeks to teach Biblical and other Christian values to young children between the ages of 3-14 years on Friday evenings.

The Friday School started 28 years ago at the home of my parents, Mavis and Bertram Browne, who had a desire to reach out to young children in the area who may not be able to attend church for various reasons. Since our parents' passing over the past five years, my sister and I have carried on this important mission which means we have to plan the weekly curriculum and activities. Certainly, the only teaching experience that I have comes from teaching Sunday School for over 20 years at the Church of Christ the King, some Sunday School teacher training, and learning on my own through reading and via online about teaching methods for young children and teens. With the BQCF, a Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition centre can assess the learning and 'teaching' experience that I have acquired over the years and I could be awarded credits that can be used to access further education locally in a related area such as Early Childhood Education. The BQCF will therefore facilitate continuous learning as it will create pathways for all of us in Barbados to achieve our highest potential. So don't just imagine, continue to learn and attain qualifications recognized by the BQCF!

Social Listening

Only a few years ago, persons dissatisfied with service, would write a strongly worded letter to the Managing Director, if they were beyond highly offended, you might have even seen a letter to a local newspaper. However, times have changed….DRASTICALLY! From the first infraction of disgruntlement, persons are heading over to their social media and posting. Faster than you can say fiddlesticks, 10 plus comments are on a feed and everyone has a story. Social Listening is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Social listening is the process of monitoring and responding to what is being said online about your brand, and taking that information and using it in your strategy to improve your communication with your stakeholders. Although it is ideal to get to persons before they have a “meltdown” on social media, social media monitoring can help you avoid the same mistakes. Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, described it perfectly: “Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.” Every organization that is online needs to see past the trees, and engage in what is important to their stakeholders. Dominique Jackson puts it perfectly in his blog* “Let's say you own a smoothie shop and you source your fruits from a couple different vendors. A customer comes in on Monday and orders a peach mango smoothie. After tasting it, they complain that it is bitter.

You apologize and give them a refund. Friday, someone else comes in, orders a peach mango smoothie, and tells you it is amazing. Next Monday, another customer comes in and orders a peach mango smoothie. They complain that it is not sweet enough so you give them a refund like the customer from the previous week. A similar trend continues for about a month. If you were to look at these situations on a case-by-case basis, it would be easy to write them off as one-time issues. You quickly become aware of the problem and solve it on the spot. That is monitoring. However, after a month, when you realize all the complaints are coming in on Mondays, you can see a trend developing and conclude there is probably something wrong with the fruits coming in on Mondays. With that knowledge, you can go to the vendor and let them know there is a problem with the fruits. From there, they can diagnose the issue and get it resolved so you can stop losing money on refunds. That is social listening.” Join us in the next edition as we delve more into Social Media in the workplace and the benefits it has on your organization. *Reference-


A Look at Quality by Dr. Tennisha Morris, Quality Assurance Officer

Don’t be Coaxed into a Hoax: Fake Degrees are no Joke! Fake Degrees : a worldwide crisis

4 What can you do to protect yourself from


IIt is important to ensure that the institution you plan to attend (whether on campus or online) and the programme you intent to pursue are legitimate and recognised by the component authority in its home country. Likewise, employers must seek to verify the authenticity of the qualifications presented by prospective employees to ensure that the credentials were obtained from legitimate institutions and by that prospective employee. At the Barbados Accreditation Council, there are services that can protect you and/or your organisation from costly mistakes. One such provision is the Recognition and Verification Service.

When Should I apply for this service? Fake Qualications: A worldwide crisis.

Diploma mills and fake qualifications are becoming more pervasive worldwide and their methods of presenting an authentic front are even more sophisticated. Many diploma mills are buttressed by accreditation mills* and together they work carefully and astutely to create an illusion of presence and authority. These 'unrecognised' educational institutions attract unsuspecting learners with terms such as 'accredited', 'recognised' and 'certified'and may align themselves with an accreditation mill hoping to add credence and legitimacy to these terms and, by extension, the diploma mill. But while terms like 'accredited', 'recognised' and 'certified' are valid, these terms can only be authenticated and legitimized by quality assurance agencies and other competent authorities – such as, the Barbados Accreditation Council – which have the tools and expertise to investigate the authenticity of educational institutions, programmes and credentials. Diploma mills and fake qualifications are not going anywhere anytime soon. In preparation to write this article, I did a quick search for 'fake degrees' – I just wanted to see what would pop up. The first site listed in the results was a site advertising the “Highest Quality, Most Authentic Looking Fake College Diplomas & Certificates Online - Starting at US$99”. There was also a package deal – Degree and Transcript for US$129. An important selling point and persuasive tagline used by this site was “cheaper than tuition”. The selling of fake degrees is big business and while some diploma mills may work to present an authentic front there are those that blatantly promote fake credentials. The onus is, therefore, on learners to protect themselves from being duped. Learners are not the only ones who should be vigilant and aware of fake credentials but so should employers. Employers must seek to protect the reputation of their organisations by ensuring that all employees have authentic qualifications. Employers must always take into consideration the fact that diploma mills don't only exist to persuade unsuspecting learners but 'unrecognised' institutions – especially those that openly advertise fake degrees – exist because there are consumers who deliberately acquire these phony qualifications with the intention to deceive institutions and other organisations.

Prior to studying - Check the recognition status of the institution and/or programme you intend to pursue.Make sure that you will be spending your time and money at a legitimate institution

While studying - There are instances where learners have embarked on studies without ensuring the legitimacy of the institution and/or programmes being pursued. At this point, it is not too late to check. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, no matter what point of your studies you are at, it is always wise to verify the recognition status of the institution and programmes being pursued.



Accreditation mills are dubious - You may have already completed a

programme and now you are unsure whether your qualifications are recognised. Check with the Barbados Accreditation Council to learn the status of the institution you attended and the validity of the programme you pursued.

Before you employ- Check with the Barbados Accreditation Council or direct the prospective employee to usto verify the credentials. Employers should always ensure that all qualifications are authentic and recognised before you hire.

organisations with low or no quality assurance standards. These organisations have no legal or academic value but are used by diploma mills as marketing ploys to legitimize their fake institutions and to attract unsuspecting learners.

5 BAC welcomes the New Minister




(Pictured is Ms. Valda Alleyne (standing) facilitator as she guides participants from tertiary educational providers and stakeholder organizations through the review of the draft Handbook for implementing the Framework.

(Pictured is the Hon. Ms. Santia Bradshaw, Minister (second from right) and Senator Dr. Rommel Springer (rst from right) engaging Mrs. Alitia Quintyne, Quality Assurance Ofcer in a conversation. At left is the Executive Director Ms. Valda Alleyne.)

Tertiary Education and training providers in Barbados, whether small or large, are being encouraged by their peers to get on board when the new qualifications framework that recognizes all forms of learning in Barbados is rolled out next January. The Barbados Qualifications and Credit Framework (BQCF) is an ambitious initiative falling under the country's Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy. It aims to ensure that formal, informal and non-formal learning that people living in Barbados gain is certified and recognised, not just here but overseas.

On July 2nd, the Hon. Ms. Santia J. O. Bradshaw, M.P., Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training and Leader of Government Business and Senator Dr. Rommel Springer, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry paid a courtesy visit to the Council. During this visit, the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary met with staff and had a tour of the accommodation.

A workshop was hosted recently by the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC), which is managing the Framework, for training and education providers to review the guidelines for implementing the BQCF. There, the educational providers gained first-hand knowledge on the regulatory requirements that will have to be met for recognition of their qualifications on applying for Registration. Providers seeking registration will have to provide the Council with evidence of meeting a set of criteria related to: governance and mission, admission policies, educational programmes, staffing and professional development, learner assessment and certification, learner support services, physical plant and equipment, learning and information services, laboratory/workshop facilities, finances, and institutional plan.


8 Learners want to know qualications are accredited

Regarding the benefits of the BQCF, Henderson Thompson, Director of the Barbados Vocational Training Board said that it was critical for his organisation. “We look after competency-based training for trainees and apprentices seeking vocational jobs so having this Framework and knowing where their qualifications would be pitched is critical. They would want to know how they can progress through the whole system.” He added that the Framework would also facilitate working with quality standards. With regards to benefits for the wider society Mr. Thompson noted, “We'll have a cadre of well-trained people to work locally, regionally and internationally and we can benchmark our standards with international standards.”

Andrea Senior Management Counsellor responsible for Quality Assurance, Research and Information Technology at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), agreed. Acknowledging that meeting the

Barbadians Interested In Acquiring Knowledge

requirements of the framework would require an investment of time and effort, she noted that it would be “learner centered and that those learners were becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the benefits of accredited qualifications and wanted to know that qualifications were accredited before they decided to invest time and money in training.” With regards to the benefits of the Framework to employers, Ms. Walkes noted: “People being employed will have valid

Dr. Jeanese Badenock, Lecturer at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and Chair of the Re-Accreditation and Quality Assurance committee at the Cave Hill Campus also spoke about the benefits of the Framework. “The wider population want to be assured that the qualifications in which they are investing time and money are of value and have currency. The Framework will provide these types of checks and balances so that they would know that a particular qualification is worth pursuing because it is of value.” Regarding the value of lifelong learning, Dr. Badenock said that Barbadians were seen as highly educated. “Beyond those who have acquired formal qualifications , there are more folks that are just interested in acquiring knowledge for their own edification. Because we live in an age where you can access information at your fingertips through podcasts and YouTube channels, I think that this type of

qualifications based on a standard. As a result, employers will know that their employees can function in the role for which they were hired.” And for training providers such as BIMAP, she said, “The Framework will help organisations in being able to say that their qualifications are valid and fit for purpose.” Vallis Jemmott, Managing Director of Notes of Praise said, “The Framework will benefit our students because they will know that they'll be receiving a quality education. Another benefit is that their course will become transferable to other institutions in the event that they want to further their studies.” Acknowledging that for his school and other small businesses meeting the requirements of the Framework would be a “massive task”, Mr. Jemmott offered encouragement. “There will be assistance so businesses won't be doing this all on their own. The overall goal is to improve the quality of education in Barbados. It is difficult, but achievable.”

conversation is timely. For people who are interested in learning on a whole, we should encourage them to see acquired knowledge and learning as being of value and a gateway to taking them into a more formal setting.”

Once the Framework is rolled-out, a Barbados Qualifications Register will list online those tertiary educational providers that offer recognised qualifications.

Speaking about education and training providers who may contemplate how to meet the registration requirements, Dr. Badenock said that their effort and investment would reap benefits. “Generally, all of the requirements of the accreditation process that UWI has been through has reaped benefits for us.We are now ranked a lot higher in international surveys and so there are significant benefits that the provider would be awarded as a result of following the regulations and requirements of the Framework. It will be an investment of time and effort but the rewards should outweigh those.” The lecturer also suggested liaison for assistance with those providers who would have gone through the accreditation process and may have a more structured quality assurance mechanism in place.

9 New Faces to

Dr. Tennisha Morris




Ms. Samantha Hazlewood

The Council welcomed Dr. Tennisha Morris on February 1 as a Quality Assurance Officer. Fitting right into the BAC, Dr.Morris’ responsibilities include providing technical support and advice to tertiary educational providers that are seeking registration, accreditation or approval of programmes of study; and advancing the BAC's research agenda. On June 1, the Council also welcomed Ms. Samantha Hazlewood in her role as the new Information Officer. This role is a critical one, in disseminating information to the public and stakeholders. Ms. Hazlewood is passionate about Communications and especially Social Media. Thus far, she is enjoying her time at the Council as she carries out her responsibilities of sensitizing the public of Barbados on the Council's Recognition Services of the Barbados Accreditation Council and the benefits, which can be gained by utilizing these services.

Pictured is Ms. Juanita Bovell, Executive Secretary presenting Jasmyne Blenman with a parting token of appreciation from the Council.

This year the Council was once again pleased to offer a summer internship to a student of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology's Jasmyne Blenman who commenced her six-week internship during May. Miss Blenman was assigned to the Secretarial and Records Management section where she assisted in general administrative duties.From her feedback, the learning experience was valuable and the Council wishes Jasmyne all the best in her future educational endeavours.

11 5th Annual National


Secondary Schools’ BAC IS


Are you keeping up to date with the BAC? The Council recently created an Instagram account. Feel free to follow us for all your BAC related news @barbadosaccreditationcouncil.

Screenshot of the BAC’s Instagram feed.

You can also nd us on Facebook and on Linkedin. We look forward to you joining us and learning more about the services of the Council.

Debate Competition The preliminary rounds of the National Secondary Schools’ Debate competition have taken place and what an exciting time the students had! The Semi-Finalist for the Competition are as follows: The St. Michael’s School vs. Alleyne School and Christ Church Foundation vs. The Lodge School. We wish all of the participants the best of luck.The Semi-Finals take place on November 5, 2018 at the BWU Solidarity House. The finals take place at The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, November 22nd 2018, from 10:00 am. The public is invited.



Employee Engagement

Prizes for the


Water Challenge

Water Challenge ! 1st Prize Winner Dr. Tennisha Morris, Quality Assurance Ofcer accepting her prize from Executive Director, Ms Valda Alleyne

BAC staff recently took part in a Water Challenge.

Staff members were challenged for a week to

document the amount of water they drank. This healthy and wellness initiative saw Dr. Tennisha Morris

3rd place winner Mrs. Laron Carrington-Forde,

victorious as she drank 628 oz of water; second Place went to Mrs. Mary Bruce with 548 oz and third

Accountant, admiring her gift basket, presented by

place to, Mrs. Laron Carrington-Forde with 394 oz.

Executive Director, Ms Valda Alleyne

Apart from obtaining the health benefits of drinking water, the winners were presented with prizes.

First prize was a $100 Gift Certificate, while second and third places received gift baskets.


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