Several prison officers from Her Majesty’s Prison at Northward received their Scottish Vocational Qualification certificates on Tuesday, 29 November, during a ceremony held at the Government Administration Building.
The awards were presented by Governor Duncan Taylor to the officers, who represented the first group of prison officers from the Cayman Islands to undergo the SVQ custodial care Level 3 qualification, as well as the Assessors and Internal Verifier Certificates, respectively.
“It was introduced as a means to improve the standard and competence training that is relevant, in addition to benchmarking standards and skills needed to work in a changing and challenging environment,” said Dwight Scott, prison director. “There is also the opportunity to conduct continual assessment, which is important for those responsible for people in custody.”
There are 10 compulsory units that involve custody, some of which include escort, search, health and safety, control and restraint and diversity training. All are established with a view of setting a level of competence required by operational staff working in prisons.
Ms Veronica Kirk, who is the quality enhancement manager for the Scottish Qualifications Authority, has been in Grand Cayman since last Saturday doing audits of the systems at Northward Prison. Now, the facility is considered a centre for the training following its certification in 2009.
“My job is to legitimise the programme’s implementation and efficiency. I am quite impressed by the work being done and the newly certified officers have developed well,” she said.
Ms Kirk said she usually visits each of the centres around the globe every two years.
During Tuesday’s presentation ceremony, 25 officers received Custodial Care Level 3 certificates, while four officers received their assessor certificates and 3 officers received their Internal Verifier Certificates. A further 35 officers are expected to undergo training to obtain Custodial Care Level 3 Certificates.
The different certificates represent varying levels/standards of qualifications.
There are 110 prison officers working at Northward.
“We are pleased to support this endeavour with some funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth budget,” Governor Taylor said. “It’s important to give the most training possible to our prison staff, as we strive to develop the best prison in the region. These officers who received certificates today will serve as role models for their colleagues and this is a small part of what we will be seeing in the coming years to raise standards.”