Some local educational institutions are unrecognized due to the loophole in the legislation, says Executive Director of the Barbados Accreditation Council, Mrs. Lisa Gale.
During the Barbados Accreditation Council’s (BAC) second virtual expo in collaboration with the National Transformation Initiative, Mrs. Gale made mention of the legislation which indicates that educational providers that wish to be recognized must do so through registration with the BAC. However, it does not sanction those training providers who operate without being registered with the Council, therefore leaving the opportunity for unrecognized institutions to function without penalties.
These remarks were made during an interview with host of the expo, Belle Holder.
The BAC is the sole body responsible for Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in post/secondary and tertiary education and training providers in Barbados. Mrs. Gale stated that “students that acquire qualifications from unrecognized local institutions may still find use if it is coupled with work experience in their field, but may find challenges when they are looking to use that qualification to enroll at an academic institution.”
When asked about any red flags that students should look for, she warned prospective students to ensure that the course of study is commensurate with the length of study and the level of the award. “You know that you cannot do a Master’s [Degree] in five weeks or a diploma in 3 months. Also, make sure that the persons that are conducting the training have the requisite qualifications. As a rule of thumb the trainer should always have a higher qualification to that being taught.”
She went on to highlight plans for the BAC which include the move to manage the Barbados Qualification & Credit Framework. “This is a learning outcome-based framework and encompasses all forms of education.” She described it as a framework to consolidate all kinds of learning, such as formal and informal learning. “In addition, we have developed a registry so that the institutions are able to put their qualifications on the registry. This way, persons can determine how their qualifications compare to others.” She also added that the BQCF would also include “recognition of prior learning which allows a person who did not do formal training to not be left out.” She elaborated on this citing that it will provide the opportunity for workers who only have work experience to be able to undergo an assessment that will determine their competency. Persons will then acquire a certificate upon completion that will state that they are qualified in that field. She said “This can be used for promotions at work, or to use at a learning institution to undergo further study.”
The BAC Virtual Expo held on collaboration with the NTI was a showcase of over 10 different recognized education institutions on the island. Attendees engaged with representatives in virtual booths and were encouraged to make the right choices at the higher education level.
Barbados Accreditation Council