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Qualification Focus – ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE)

In the first few instalments of Sam’s monthly blog, he’ll be focusing on each of the three Frontier qualifications that we offer.  Last month saw a piece on Frontier’s BTEC in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and this month, Sam takes a closer look at the Frontier ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE). If you’re thinking about undertaking a Frontier Group conservation project or are already signed up to one, the next few paragraphs will explore our CoPE qualification and how this qualification could help you get more out of your project as well as providing some extra UCAS points and further qualification for your CV.

Have you ever been unsure about how to research and conduct a presentation in front of a group of people? Or maybe you’re great at working as part of a team, but struggle when working on your own. Perhaps you’re in need of some extra UCAS points to get in your university of choice. Whatever you are looking to do in the future, the ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) is a great way of developing important personal and professional skills. The CoPE qualification can be undertaken on one of our Group projects and focus mostly on how to carry out certain tasks in order to improve your skills in certain areas of life. More about these skills later!


Self-managing and working in a team, courtesy of Lucy White on the Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtle Conservation project

So what is the CoPE Qualification?

The CoPE is known as a “vocational qualification”. This means it focuses on practical skill development rather than academic knowledge. Although you will have to do some academic work, the primary aim of the CoPE is to develop candidates’ working knowledge of how to develop a number of important personal and professional attributes by methodically carrying out specific tasks. CoPE provides a framework for the development, assessment and accreditation of generic and wider key skills and wider activities, through a nationally recognised qualification.

The CoPE qualification is offered and administered by a qualifications awarding body called ASDAN. ASDAN have had the CoPE certified by Ofqual (the UK governments Qualifications Department) at Level 3 which is the same level as an AS and A Level. Frontier meets with ASDAN at least once per year and almost every piece of work a candidate submits is looked at by ASDAN. This ensures we offer the highest possible standard of qualification to our project participants.

The CoPE qualification will require a considerable amount of extra work on the project but it contributes to the work already being achieved on our projects, rather than detract from it. You will find it makes your work on a project even more focused, relevant and meaningful.

As an added incentive, the CoPE qualification at Level 3 carries 70 UCAS points with it and it is accepted by an ever increasing list of universities. You can view the full list in this document: http://www.frontier.ac.uk/Assets/PDFs/CoPEL3.StudentLeaflet.2013.pdf

A first step towards higher education? Image courtesy of llee_wu

I’m interested! What will I have to do?

To achieve the ASDAN CoPE qualification all of our candidates will be required to show evidence that they are capable of carrying out six essential skills.

A person who has passed the CoPE at Level 3 will show that they can:

Work in a Team: Plan objectives, develop strategies, monitor progress and evaluate outcomes.

Self-Manage: Set personal targets, identify obstacles, learn and use new skills.

Problem-Solve: Explore problems, compare risks and benefits, make systematic checks and evaluate their success.

Research: Gather data from various sources to develop an in-depth understanding of complex matters and present conclusions in a clear and logical format.

Discuss: Make clear and relevant contributions to discussions and create opportunities for others to take part.

Present: Prepare and give a detailed, varied and engaging presentation on a complex topic.

You’ll be required to submit a “portfolio of evidence” to display your capabilities. You’ll be provided with all the information and documents you will need to complete before you go. You’ll also have a CoPE mentor/assessor assigned to you on your project who will ensure you have adequate opportunity to display your skills!

The great thing about the CoPE is that it is so flexible and you gain all of the skills outlined above.

Carrying out research, courtesy of Catherine Jones on the Tanzania Marine Conservation & Diving project

Great! So how do I enrol?

Enrolling is very straightforward. Once you’ve signed up to a project and paid your deposit, you’ll have access to a “Courses & kit” section. Here you’ll be able to download and read all of the information pertaining to the CoPE qualification. At the end of the CoPE information pack, is an enrolment form that you’ll have to send back to us before we can enrol you on the qualification. You can either pay the £95 fee for the qualification by cheque, online or over the phone!

If you have any questions about our CoPE qualifications, please feel free to give me a call on 020 7613 2422 or email me on training@frontier.ac.uk

If you have any questions about our CoPE qualifications, please feel free to give Sam a call on 020 7613 2422 or email him at training@frontier.ac.uk

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