Skip to main content

Covid-19: Information, guidance and resources to support you through the pandemic

Covid-19 homepage
Guidance for managers and employers

Guidance for managers, employers, and those responsible for supporting induction for workers and learners. Here you will find information on what the AWIF is and why it’s important for new workers and employers.

Introduction

The Welsh Government’s ambition is to develop a skilled childcare and play workforce, which is highly regarded as a profession and a career of choice, and recognised for the vital role the sector plays in supporting our children’s development.

As part of the wider training support, the Welsh Government’s Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan – December 2017 expects;

‘every early years setting to provide an induction for all new workers to help them understand the importance of child-centred practice and the values that underpin work in early years.’

The National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare for Children up to the age of 12 years Welsh Government, April 2016 requires that;

‘all staff have the appropriate experience, qualifications, skills and ability to do their jobs' and ‘All staff receive induction training which includes health and safety and child protection policies and procedures during their first week of employment’.

You should not underestimate the importance of a planned and well-thought-out induction, and the positive impact it has on the quality of the service provided. A good, robust induction makes sure workers understand the importance of child-centred practice and the values that underpin work in early years and childcare. It will also help workers settle and become more effective in their role. It will make sure that they know what their role is as well as the limits of the role. It can increase employee commitment and job satisfaction and has a positive effect on reducing staff turnover.

For the purpose of this information, the terms “worker” and “manager” are used for consistency and ease of guidance.

If you are not in an employed role (for example, a registered childminder), the All Wales Induction Framework (AWIF) is useful to support self-reflection on entry to the sector or following a change of role. For a registered childminder the guidance for both worker and manager may apply depending on the role within the sector.

If you line manage workers and are also line managed by another manager then the guidance for workers and managers will apply to you.

What is the all Wales induction framework for early years and childcare (AWIF)?

The all Wales induction framework for early years and childcare (AWIF) is a tool for managers to assess the skills, knowledge and experience of new workers, and will help you identify, record and plan for their development needs.

The AWIF can be used as the basis for developing or enhancing the induction process within your work setting.

The AWIF helps you as a manager provide an effective induction by:

  • providing a framework you can use as the basis for the induction or to inform your setting’s induction programme
  • providing a clear process and tool to assess your workers’ skills, knowledge and experience, and identify their strengths and development needs
  • supporting you to identify and provide training and development opportunities to enable your workers to do their job effectively and safely
  • making sure that every induction across the sector is of a similar nature, thus providing a benchmark.

The AWIF helps new workers by:

  • making it clear what is expected of them
  • providing an opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills essential for early years and childcare practice; in particular, the principles and values that underpin all care and support
  • providing support for new and changing roles and responsibilities
  • generating evidence that can be used towards the achievement of the qualifications required for practice
  • providing evidence of transferrable knowledge and skills across the sector.

How to complete

There are five sections within the AWIF that are aligned to the Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Core qualification and all should be completed:

  • Section 1 – Principles and values
  • Section 2 – Health, well-being, learning and development
  • Section 3 – Professional practice as an early years and childcare worker
  • Section 4 – Safeguarding children
  • Section 5 – Health and safety in children’s care, learning, development and play.

Each section:

  • identifies the early years and childcare principles and values that workers need to demonstrate
  • identifies the knowledge, understanding and skills that new workers need to evidence during their induction period
  • consists of a progress log to record the evidence gathered by the worker.

Who should complete it?

Regardless of whether employed full-time, part-time, sessional or as a volunteer, the AWIF should be completed by any worker who is:

New to the early years sector

All new workers should complete all of the core knowledge learning outcomes, but the practice elements are specific to the worker’s role.

New to an organisation

Workers who are new to an organisation but have evidence they have previously achieved a relevant qualification and/or completed an induction framework, will not need to complete the whole AWIF.

Accredited evidence (e.g. from a qualification) can act as a ‘passport’ and give you confidence that the core learning areas have already been covered.

However, to make sure that they can meet the outcomes, you may want to have further discussions with the worker. The worker should also be observed how they apply their learning in practice as part of the induction process.

You must still take new workers through the organisation’s policies and procedures for your workplace or their role.

Undertaking a new role or has previous experience in a different sector

You should find out what learning new workers with previous experience in a different sector or workers taking on a new role have already completed as part of their qualification or previous induction framework.

The learning should then be mapped against the requirements of their new role to identify any gaps. An action plan on how and when any additional leaning needs to be developed to meet the identified gaps.

E.g. if a worker moves from working in an after-school club to pre-school.

Returning after a career break

It is important that workers returning to the sector following a career break, such as maternity leave or long-term sick leave, reflect, and have the opportunity to revisit any learning outcomes and identify any gaps in knowledge.

A current member of staff as a tool to support continuing professional development (CPD)

It can be advantageous to use the AWIF as a tool for existing staff in relation to their CPD.

A worker who has completed the Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Core qualification before employment

You may employ new workers who have already completed the Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Core qualification before their employment. The content of the AWIF mirrors that of the core and you can use the accredited evidence from the qualification as a ‘passport’ to give you confidence that the core learning areas have already been covered.

However, to make sure that they can meet the outcomes, you may want to have further discussions with the worker. The worker should also be observed how they apply their learning in practice as part of the induction process.

How to support workers

You should complete the progress logs for each section with the worker, making sure that there is evidence to support the workers knowledge, understanding or practical outcomes.

It is recommended that most workers should be able to complete the AWIF within the first six months of their employment. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where extra time is needed. Any other exceptional circumstances, such as part time workers, need to be considered jointly by employers and service regulators.

The AWIF should only be signed off by the manager once all the outcomes have been achieved.

Evidence to complete the progress logs can be gathered from a range of assessment methods that can be used to judge a worker’s understanding of their role and responsibilities, and their practice.

The types of evidence that can be used to support the AWIF:

• completion of the workbooks
• follow up questions
• written or verbal questioning
• supervision
• team meetings
• assignments
• case studies with questions
• presentations
• tests
• direct observation of practice
• feedback from others – for example, individuals, families/carers, other workers
• self-assessment / reflective accounts
• completion of probation
• completion of organisational induction procedures
• contributions from learning providers
• reflection on attendance of training evidence of accredited learning / qualifications.

Your workers can find help and advice on how to complete the AWIF on guidance for workers.

Some of these methods are explored in more detail below:

Follow up questions: You may need to use ‘follow up’ questions to test the understanding of a new worker in more depth. Ideally, this should be done in a way that draws out their thinking and helps them discuss their thoughts. This can be done during supervision for example.

Direct observation of practice: This aspect of assessment will provide evidence of how a new worker is performing in their role and how they are applying their knowledge and understanding to their practice. Constructive feedback about their practice will help new workers know how they are doing and understand the areas they need to improve in a supportive way. This can be a way of developing evidence that doesn’t require the worker to be ‘taken off the floor.’

Feedback from others: Feedback from families / carers and other workers can be valuable in establishing how well the new worker is doing. It is important that this is done in a way that is open and supportive to learning.
Reflection: The new worker can be asked to give a work-related example of something they have done and consider whether it went well, what the outcomes were and what they learnt from this. It is a good way of judging whether a worker can think through tasks and learn through reflection and analysis.

Completing the workbooks: You will be able to use the workers responses to questions and activities within the workbooks to make a judgement on whether they have shown that they know or understand certain topics.

Supervision: Supervision session can be a good way of checking progress of new workers. You should have a standard agenda item for induction as part of supervision and use notes as evidence or complete parts of progress log during this time.

Use of external learning providers: You may want to use an external learning provider to deliver knowledge elements of the AWIF that are difficult to achieve in-house. You can then make sure that the worker knows or understands what they have been taught through discussions. You will still need to support the worker to complete the practical learning outcomes as these cannot be covered by external learning providers.

Completion of mandatory / in-house training: Mandatory training, in-house or external training that the worker completes can be cross referenced to some of the learning outcomes within the AWIF e.g. safeguarding. Workers should be supported to reflect on learning from training to ensure that they have clear understanding of how it applies to their role.

Completion of organisations induction processes / probation: Your own organisational induction processes or the workers probation can be a good source of evidence that can be used towards completion of some of the AWIF. These outcomes should be cross referenced to reduce the need for the worker to repeat learning.

Team meetings: Team meetings can be a good way to discuss some of the topics that are included within the AWIF. This is also a good way to introduce topics to the whole staff team at the same time and to open up discussions (e.g. acceptable use of social media). You may want to include induction topics as a standard agenda item.

Who can support workers?

A range of people can contribute to the assessment of the core knowledge and practice learning outcomes within the AWIF, they include:

  • direct line manager
  • deputy manager
  • supervisor
  • team leader
  • mentor
  • qualification assessor.

Resources to support you

Workbooks

Workbooks have been developed for each section to help put the AWIF into practice and to support new workers generate some of the evidence needed to achieve the core knowledge learning outcomes in the progress logs.

Learning resources

There is also a set of comprehensive learning resources that have been developed by WJEC and City and Guilds that you may find useful as an additional resource.

Glossary of terms

There is a glossary of terms that covers the AWIF and provides some definitions of the terms used. Anything marked in bold in the progress logs will be included.

Links to the practice qualifications

The practice outcomes of the AWIF reflect the content of the mandatory units of the Practice Qualifications (Level 2/3 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice).

Records of observations, supervision notes etc. used for the AWIF may be able to be used at a later date as evidence towards completion of the Practice Qualification. A qualified assessor will provide advice on what can be used.

Contact us

If you have a question or if you can't find what you are looking for get in touch with us.