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University of Wales Trinity Saint David and DHCW collaborate to inspire & drive change

11 August 2022

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Digital Health and Care Wales are working together to promote and deliver a culture of embracing change via a new qualification that will upskill and empower staff.

Funded by the Wales Institute for Digital Information (WIDI), The Change Ambassador Certificate has been designed for individuals aspiring to become a Change Ambassador within their organisation. It will enable participants to gain skills that can make a positive impact within their role, by understanding the principles of change in an organisation, and how to influence it.

Professor Wendy Dearing, Dean of UWTSD’s Institute of Management and Health said: “We are delighted to be working closely with our partners in Digital Health and Care Wales to drive, inspire and empower change, it’s at the heart of everything we do. Change Ambassadors can play an exciting and rewarding part in helping to transform and future-proof a business with confidence in their knowledge and skills that they can make a difference.

“The insights and opportunities that they will get from these sessions will go a long way to equipping them with the competencies they require to succeed in a rapidly changing work environment.”

Harriet Stone, Head of Business Change at Digital Health and Care Wales said: “The expectations of patients and service users are shifting, with a greater desire for co-production of their health and care systems. ‚ÄčThe current rate of technology investment has not kept pace with advances in digital services, which means currently, we are not set up for future success.

“We believe that by creating an accredited programme to support the establishment of Change Ambassadors throughout NHS Wales, we can help create a professional, accredited network of change ambassadors, who will have the knowledge and boldness needed to shape, influence and initiate digital change in their places of work.”

By signing up to the Change Ambassador Certificate, students will have the opportunity to take part in a series of interactive workshops, networking and sharing events, whilst gaining an UWTSD accreditation within professional development.

Digital Health and Care Wales is only the second organisation in Wales to have an in-house programme accredited by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Institute of Management and Health.

The Change Ambassador programme received approval from the Recognition of Prior Learning and Accreditation Board in March 2022.  Learners will receive a level 6 university certificate with a value of 20 credits on completion of an assessment which consists of a reflective essay, showing their understanding and application of the learning.

Gary Metcalfe, Commercial Manager and Accreditation Tutor from UWTSD’s Institute of Management and Health said: “The board felt this was a comprehensive change programme of a very high standard and an exemplar in the field of change management education.  I am looking forward to seeing how DHCW progresses with the programme across the organisation and in exploring opportunities for it to be delivered across the wider health sector.”

Sarah Ballinger is a Business Change Facilitator for Digital Health and Care Wales and is one of the first cohort of this course.

She said: “In my role, I help people deal with change, I help them adapt to new ways of working and I offer my support and guidance. I have always believed I have a good grasp and understanding of how and why people behave in the way they do, but I wanted to put my beliefs to the test. I wanted to explore this by learning more about the intricacies of individuals’ behaviour and to understand how I can adapt my own characteristics, attitudes, and actions to become better in my current role with more positive outcomes. The course has introduced me to some clear processes, such as Kotter’s 8 step model, and helped me understand how to get the best from people and situations.”

By completing this certificate, Sarah added that she intends to adapt her current role, giving it a clearer structure.

“I plan to reflect a lot more on my own actions and not be afraid to change the way I have done something for many years. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone, as the saying goes: ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

The Change Ambassador Certificate course is currently free for all NHS Wales employees for 2022 – March 31st 2023.

For existing or prospective staff who are interested in developing their career progression and supporting their organisation in building a consistent approach to change and communication, please contact jamie.parry@wales.nhs.uk and harriet.stone2@wales.nhs.uk for more information on enrolling on the course.