Scottish Autism, a charity dedicated to enabling autistic people to lead healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives, have been using the FWDF fund since it was launched in 4 years ago.


Fife College has been working the charity to provide Health and Social Care SVQ’s across Scotland and like many organisations Scottish Autism used the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) to support their staff to develop management and soft skills in their role and prepare for future career moves.

Due to COVID-19, Scottish Autism 2019/20 training plan had to be stopped temporarily, and a new plan was created with Fife College to safely deliver the remaining training plan. Through half day virtual classroom courses with Fife College, Scottish Autism managers were able to support the new remote ways the world was working in. It was incredibly important to Scottish Autism, to support staff working remotely and managers had the tools needed to ensure teams did not feel isolated or overwhelmed during the ever-changing pandemic.

In Autumn 2020, Scottish Autism started their 2020/21 FWDF training plan incorporating the challenges 2020 presented. Fife College created two new virtual classroom courses support the Autism Service Team Leaders and Service Managers through coaching and transferring these skills for the “new normal” and equip the managers with the tools needed to continually support staff.

Image by Scottish Autism 

A few members of the Scottish Autism team who trained with Fife College made the following comments –


Cheryl Oldroyd, Autism Practitioner

“I really enjoy the learning experience I get with Fife College; the lecturers make it easy and fun to learn and expand your knowledge.”


Vicky McMillan, Services Manager

“I've thoroughly enjoyed Fife College sessions. Materials always sent in advance so that you can look over prior to learning. Facilitators have been engaging bringing learning outcomes to life - very positive discussions. Finally, it's nice to get into groups and collaborate!”


Ailsa Winterburn, Clerical Officer

“I have found the sessions very informative and thought provoking. The tutors have been fantastic at online learning and make you feel like you’re in the room with them.”


Neal Ferrie, Service Manager

“I recently attended both the “Coaching and Having Courageous Conversations” and “The Emotionally Intelligent Leader” training sessions delivered by Fife College.  I also completed my SVQ4 Social Services and Health Care, and Leadership and Management awards required for my professional registration with Fife College.

“All of the experiences have been extremely positive.  The trainers and assessors were clear with the outcomes of the training sessions that I undertook and my progress through the professional awards was well monitored and supported.  All the staff I have engaged with have been knowledgeable within their own fields and willing to listen to and understand my experiences within my work.

“Particularly through the Coaching and Having Courageous Conversations and The Emotionally Intelligent Leader allowed me to review the way in which I managed, supported and lead the staff that I am responsible for.  The courses allowed me to reaffirm the positive elements of my practice as a leader and coach but also allowed me to be critically reflective and identify areas where I could improve my practice and therefore the experiences of those I lead and coach.  This was done in such a way that I left the training feeling positive about my way forward not feeling negative, even when I had been allowed to identify my own areas of weakness.”