I’m representing a commissioning organisation. Why should my organisation consider the Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy for our workforce?

You can also download the Information for Commissioning Organisations – Crossfields Institute Level 5 in Social Pedagogy (pdf).

Social Pedagogy – Potential Impact 

Social pedagogy connects care and education through relationship-centred practice. Its central idea is that each person has inherent potential, is valuable, resourceful and can make a meaningful contribution to their wider community if we find ways of including them.

A range of evaluated pilot projects and demonstration programmes have shown that participants in social pedagogy courses grow in confidence, enjoy an enhanced set of skills and knowledge that better equip them for their practice and benefit the people with whom they work as a consequence. Participants include foster carers, IROs, social workers, virtual school staff, residential workers, managers, advanced practitioners, and so on, for whom this qualification therefore offers particular benefits.

The impact observed includes improved educational attainment, reduced material damage and restraint incidents in children’s residential homes, improved experience of transitions, greater engagement in creative activities, improved self-reported wellbeing, enhanced relationships, improved inter-professional working, to name a few. Independent evaluations of social pedagogy developments are available here.

Social pedagogy has been positively noted by the ADCS position statement ‘What is Care for’ (2013), by Ofsted and the Scottish Social Services Council, among others.

In October 2017, in Eastgate residential children’s home in Lincolnshire County Council, Ofsted noted:

“Social pedagogy is a well-established model of care in this home. Its implementation permeates throughout the home. This has enhanced children’s and young people’s outcomes, experiences and progress, because it places a major emphasis on positive relationships and purposeful, focused work. Children and young people feel listened to and know that their opinions are valued.”

In October 2017, the Scottish Social Services Council stated that:

“We support the philosophy and principles behind social pedagogy as they reflect our Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and employers. These principles are also reflected in the revised standard for childhood practice, the new standard for residential childcare and the revised standard for social work education. We consulted and involved employers, social service workers and others with an interest in our work so that they reflect a range of perspectives. Our view is that our standards for these qualifications allow those taking the awards to explore different models, one of which could be social pedagogy.”

In March 2017, the Department for Education published an independent evaluation of two innovative homes’ work, run by St Christopher’s Fellowship for girls who have been sexually exploited. The report notes the positive impact of social pedagogy, concluding that:

“social pedagogy appears to provide a sound model for staff working with CSE affected young women in a residential setting”.

The 2015 Care Service Inspection Report of Camphill Blair Drummond stated:

“Staff spoke very positively about training and how this influenced their day to day practice. In particular we were aware of the positive impact social pedagogy training was having on the way staff worked. […] All staff we spoke to were enthusiastic about social pedagogy and were keen to learn and link the theory to their practice.”

In February 2014, the Derbyshire County Council Ofsted inspection report stated:

“The Local Authority is committed to further improving outcomes for children through the use of systemic practice across frontline teams and the social pedagogy model within residential care. This is already having a positive impact on outcomes for children. For example, the social pedagogy model has resulted in reductions in the need for restraint and a reduction in the numbers of children missing education. It has also been effective in improving staff morale and reducing sickness levels.”


The Crossfields Institute Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy is applicable across all sectors and for
practitioners working with a wide range of people, from early years, to education support, youth and community work, family support, residential care, social work and child protection, justice and youth justice, people with disabilities, foster care, working with adults and older people.

Social pedagogy has the unique potential to provide a common language and overarching conceptual framework that integrates existing good practice and approaches in order to improve direct practice, team cultures and multi-agency working. The Level 5 Diploma places emphasis on developing social pedagogy within organisations, equipping learners with greater leadership skills for inclusive change management. Whilst this qualification is of value for all carers, staff and managers, professionals at advanced, senior and management levels will particularly benefit.


The Crossfields Institute Level 5[1] Diploma in Social Pedagogy is on the Ofqual register and approved by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) as meeting its standards of proficiency in social pedagogy. This will enable your organisation to demonstrate its commitment to social pedagogy.

The qualification aims to equip learners with an essential theoretical and practical understanding of social pedagogy, supporting them in developing important interpersonal skills such as communication, relational, reflective and creative skills. In turn, they are expected to both model and impart these within their working practice and everyday leadership.

We take a holistic approach to the assessment of learning, which may include: reflective journaling, project work, peer assessment/witness testimony, written assignments, report, presentations and professional discussion.

Please click here to review the qualification specification to assess how this may meet your organisations’ training needs and any mandatory requirements.

If your organisation has developed its own internal social pedagogy learning programme, e.g. an introductory course or more comprehensive training, please be aware that SPPA has recently developed Standards for Education and Training that will be of interest to you. You can find these at www.sppa-uk.org/governance/social-pedagogy-standards. More comprehensive social pedagogy courses may meet category 2 of these standards, which entitle participants to carry the SPPA-designated title of “social pedagogy practitioner”.   This Level 5 qualification can help facilitators of such learning programmes meet the requirements in the SETS, particularly if this is coupled with a tailored facilitation skills programme.

[1] Comparable to Level 8/9 in Scotland.

Fees and practicalities

To date, two centres have been approved to deliver this qualification: Jacaranda Assessment Centre and ThemPra Social Pedagogy.

We advise that your organisation considers appropriate local support for learners.

The fee for the first cohorts of learners is subsidised by the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project which UCL is leading until 2019.

We are very open to hearing from you with comments or questions, to explore your organisational context, aspirations and ideas for this Level 5 qualification. Please do be in touch with Gulsh Khatun via g.khatun@ucl.ac.uk for admissions.

For learners who have already completed a social pedagogy course of a minimum of eight days 

For learners who have completed a social pedagogy course of eight or more days with Jacaranda or ThemPra, the introductory fee is £2,400 (no VAT) per learner for six days of further learning, tutorial support, access to our Virtual Learning Environment and assessment. This fee is paid to UCL as part of the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project and includes the learner registration fee which is £295 at the time of writing (and subject to change), which goes to Crossfields Institute (the Awarding Organisation).

For learners who have not undertaken any social pedagogy learning previously

For learners who have undertaken less than 8 days of social pedagogy learning, or none at all, the introductory fee is £3,100 (no VAT) per learner, for twelve days of further learning, tutorial support, access to our Virtual Learning Environment and assessment. This fee is paid to UCL as part of the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project and includes the learner registration fee which is £295 at the time of writing (and subject to change), which goes to Crossfields Institute (the awarding organisation).

If you have a few individuals who would like to complete the qualification, starting in early 2018 and throughout 2019, we will be running open courses across England and Scotland. This comprises a 12-day social pedagogy course, individual social pedagogical supervision and support for self-guided learning and holistic assessment, or six days of further learning for learners who have previously participated in one of our in-depth social pedagogy courses. The maximum number of participants is 20.

If you would like us to run a Level 5 qualification exclusively for learners within your organisation, we can do this, subject to viable numbers of learners. In this case, you would work with one centre (Jacaranda or ThemPra), who will facilitate courses within your organisation. Typically, such courses run hand in hand with wider development initiatives, such as guidance in creating the organisational conditions conducive to social pedagogy practice. This would be priced separately.

For a course cohort of 16 learners, with all learners undertaking full qualification of 12 days:

The cost would be £48,200 (no VAT), payable to UCL as part of the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project.

You may also consider hosting and/or linking with neighbouring organisations to form a learning cohort. If we can be of assistance in facilitating this, please let us know.

It is possible that only a proportion of learners in a 12-day course complete the full qualification, having their learning assessed and accredited.

For a course cohort of 16, with only some learners undertaking full qualification:

The cost would be £21,800 (excl. VAT) for course delivery, payable to centre, plus £1,650 (no VAT) per learner for tutorial support, assessment and accreditation, payable to UCL as part of the Scaling up Social Pedagogy project.

We are also happy to develop more tailored ways of embedding the Level 3 and Level 5 qualifications into more comprehensive social pedagogy development programmes for organisations, which can help you increase impact and maximise your return on investment.

Pathways for people who are interested in continuing their learning beyond Level 5

We have designed this qualification to give the best chances of it being recognised by higher education institutions.

At 60 credits, this qualification is half the volume of one year of a BA programme. The 20-credit module structure and graded assessment process reflect the systems used by many universities. The University of Central Lancashire accepts this qualification as part of its BA (Hons) in Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation, for example.

Every university has its own policy on recognition of prior learning, and the amount of credits recognised by a university will depend on a variety of factors, such as what BA programme you would like to undertake and how many credit points from other qualifications you might want to have recognised.  We therefore advocate that learners make direct enquiries to universities in relation to further courses which interest them, and we can support learners in this.

We would advise reading this document in conjunction with the Frequently Asked Questions for prospective learners. Please also see our Terms & Conditions for further details. Jacaranda’s Terms & Conditions are here, and ThemPra’s Terms & Conditions are here.

Who to contact

Please contact Gulsh Khatun via g.khatun@ucl.ac.uk for admissions and abby@jacaranda-development.co.uk for the Jacaranda Assessment Centre and centre@thempra.org.uk for ThemPra Social Pedagogy, to discuss projects and commissions.

You may also wish to read these Frequently Asked Questions for prospective learners.

Download Crossfields Institute’s Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy qualification specification