Using Cope

Using ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness to Accredit both the Honours Programme and the Skills Passport

It must be stressed that schools are not in any way bound to using the CoPE curriculum, or ASDAN qualifications, to meet the demands of the Honours programme or of the Skills Passport.
But for those centres who would find it helpful, ASDAN offers a unique solution through its Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) qualification, used in well over half the secondary schools and academies in England.
CoPE not only enables and supports the Honours programme curriculum; it explicitly articulates a coherent and progressive skills development and accreditation framework, which maps into both CBI Employability expectations, and a developing Graduate Employability Skills Framework, in the following skills domains:

  • Working with others
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Problem solving
  • Planning and carrying our research
  • Communicating through discussion
  • Planning and giving an oral presentation

Backed up by a guided reflection framework to embed skill development and acquisition, the skills passport transcript will capture the nature and extent of skill development and application.
A CoPE student curriculum book will be available for every registered learner as part of the learner registration process, as will access to the PLAN-DO-REVIEW (PDR) guided reflection frameworks which support skill development in each domain:

OPTION 1 “Light touch” Schools can choose a “light touch” system of accreditation, supported by teaching practitioners who will make judgments on evidence presented. The Modbac transcript will state: “The candidate has developed the following skills and competencies, verified internally by teaching staff”  No additional costs will be incurred by Modbac centres if this option is chosen (but it is strongly recommended that lead teachers attend training workshops to understand how the PDR facility operates, and to cascade training to other staff members). No levels against National Standards will be reported.

OPTION 2 External verification Schools can choose a more rigorous accreditation system, which would need verification by ASDAN staff that national standards are being met, through either a centre visit, attendance at a moderation meeting, or postal moderation of sample challenges (these would be chargeable expenses- see section on costs). In this case, the Modbac transcript will state:   “The candidate has achieved the following skill competencies, verified externally by ASDAN Education”. Levels will be reported.

OPTION 3 Full Qualification Schools can choose also to take the CoPE process through to full qualification status.  In this case, the Modbac transcript will state: “This candidate has achieved the following levels, validated and moderated to National Standards” Schools choosing this outcome would be given a significant discount on the cost of the CoPE qualification for each candidate. In this case, the qualification along with the levels achieved will be fully reported on the transcript.

An added bonus for option c) would be another full GCSE equivalency that could count in the core Modbac tariff.

Other ASDAN solutions are possible, and can be discussed during an audit visit. These would include:

a) Using  the Award of Personal Effectiveness qualification framework, or Wider Key Skills qualifications as outcomes, used in tandem with the CoPE curriculum booklet, or any other ASDAN Short Course booklet

b)  the brand new Excelsis Skills Award, due for release in September 2012.

Other Skills Passport Solutions

PLTS Personal Learning and Thinking Skills The PLTS framework was developed and launched in conjunction with the Diplomas, requiring students to develop into:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self managers
  • Effective participators


ASDAN can supply a student workbook to support skill development using this system, and the Skills Passport transcript will reflect this also.

RSA Opening Minds This competency framework is now used in nearly 200 secondary schools. RSA Opening Minds promotes innovative and integrated ways of thinking about education and the curriculum. Teachers design and develop a curriculum for their own schools based round the development of five key competences:

  1. Citizenship
  2. Learning
  3. Managing Information
  4. Relating to people
  5. Managing Situations


A competence-based approach enables students not just to acquire subject knowledge but to understand, use and apply it in the within the context of their wider learning and life. It also offers students a more holistic and coherent way of learning which allows them to make connections and apply knowledge across different subject areas. This system can be readily applied to the Honours and Skills Passport sections of the Modbac.

Other Thinking Skills Systems Modbac embraces other ways of developing and accrediting personal skills, such as Building Learning Power, the CREATE curriculum developed exclusively for the Studio School movement, ELLI, as well as new personal skills qualifications developed by Prince’s Trust, and established QCF solutions from Edexcel, EDI, NCFE and other Awarding Organisations. The centre audit will clarify how each of these systems can be applied to the Modbac framework.