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Crossfields Institute BY CHARLOTTE VON BÜLOW

‘Accreditation is in essence about Conscious Administration. ‘Ad ministrare’ means ‘to serve’. Accreditation is the task of consciously serving a process, a product or a person.’

Crossfields Institute has had the pleasure of working in close collaboration with the Biodynamic Association and its farmers over the past 12 months. Here I would like to write about who we are, what we do, why we do it and what our continued relationship and contribution to the Biodynamic work in this country and beyond will be. It is my great joy to take on to do so. Firstly, an overview of who we are and what Crossfields Institute represents at this point in time.

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO The intention and idea of Crossfields Institute was first formulated at Easter 2007. The organisation was named and founded as a legal body in February 2008 and as a char- ity in July 2008. This happened through financial start-up grants from Camphill England and Wales Economic Sphere Group, Ruskin Mill Educational Trust, the Camphill Foun- dation, the Raphael Medical Centre and with a loan from the Council for Anthroposophical Health and Social Care. Since its conception, the Institute has grown to encompass 6 Trustees, 11 Academic Council members, 7 members of staff, 71 affiliated organisations and communities interna- tionally and a growing register of learners - projected to be approximately 1,500 people by the end of next calendar year. The institute has its offices in Stroud and the team welcomes visitors - so feel invited to come by when you are around.

The Institute has three active departments: 1) The

Course Development Services team, who assist providers in the curriculum development phases and in the formula- tion and design of the quality assurance framework; 2) the Transformative Awards and Qualifications team, who are responsible for the final accreditation and for the quality assurance of the awards and qualifications as well as the learner register and 3) the Crossfields International Higher Education Partnership team, who run the Research and Scholarly Activities Forum, establish connections to peer- organisations, import, develop and quality assure BA and MA programmes with partners and who prepare the track record and application to become a degree-awarding body on behalf of affiliated organisations wishing to deliver their own degree programmes.

18 During the last two years, we have established

exciting Higher Education partnerships with Alanus University (Germany), Rudolf Steiner University College (Norway), Hiram Institute and Novalis Trust (UK). These organisations are working on the collaborative provision of BA and MA programmes which are based on the above- mentioned approaches and which may be widely available to people from all walks of life. Last year, Hiram Institute and Crossfields Institute launched the first of those pro- grammes - a Masters of Educational Action Research - at Ruskin Mill College in Nailsworth. More Higher Education Programmes will be launched there in 2012. Through the growing interest in alternative research meth- odologies, the Crossfields Institute Research and Scholarly Activities Forum is resulting in a growing membership of individual affiliates who seek to network and establish aca- demic partnerships through our conferences and network- ing events. In the academic year 2009-2010, Crossfields

Institute developed and accredited 12 new professional qualifications from level 2 to level 5. These programmes are now being launched and delivered in their centres and the Institute is keeping in close contact with the programme teams to assist in the implementation of new structures and processes. Over the last two years the Institute had 4 educa- tion centres accredited by the British Accreditation Council as to ensure that the providers can now enrol learners from outside of the European Economic Area.

HOW WE DO IT To give a picture of the accreditation process in concrete terms, the development of an accredited curriculum in- cludes: 1. Affiliation and official Centre Approval 2. Identifying course objectives, vision, values, method, purpose and goals

3. Researching and imbedding relevant national standards and criteria

4. Identifying learning outcomes 5. Designing fit for purpose assessment criteria 6. Designing quality assurance procedures 7. Drafting new policies 8. Creating learner handbooks 9. Creating faculty handbooks and tutor/trainer manuals 10. Identifying links and progression pathways to other qualifications

Star & Furrow Issue 114 Winter 2011

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