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Independent Advocacy Level 4 - Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship, GCS Training
Level 4
Jubilee Court
24 months
Telephone: 01792 284400 (Jubilee Court)


This qualification aims to develop the knowledge, understanding, behaviours and skills that underpin independent advocacy roles. It has been developed in close collaboration with key sector stakeholders, including Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). The qualification is practice-based, and will assess learners’ knowledge and practice. 

Independent Advocacy covers workers in both statutory and non-statutory roles, which can be defined as:

  • Statutory: those which individuals are entitled by law
  • Capacity Advocacy (IMCA), Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) and Independent
  • Professional Advocacy (IPA)
  • Non-Statutory: issue based advocacy offered by third sector organisations

These are not an entitlement by law, but offer a voice to those who feel they need it. It is also known as ‘general’ independent advocacy, which could include independent advocacy for older people living at home, unknown to social services who need an advocate. 
Organisations such as Age Cymru and Dewis Centre for Independent Living offer non statutory advocacy. 

Independent advocacy is separate from statutory organisations and is free from conflict. Therefore, independent advocates cannot work for the organisations their advocacy partners may wish to challenge, including:

  • Local Authority: including social services/youth services/care homes
  • Local Health Board
  • Private care homes/service settings wishing to provide advocacy for their residents

Key information

All prospective learners will have an initial assessment/interview to discuss the qualifications and the expectations of the course with a trainer/assessor. 

Learners will need to attend up to 12 taught/study sessions for teaching, learning and formative assessment, which will prepare them for summative assessment for the structured tasks. 

There is an expectation that learners will be proficient at using a computer and associated programmes. Learners will use an electronic portfolio system throughout the qualification.

Learners will also need to complete written tasks and keep a portfolio of evidence as directed by the trainer/assessor, as well as an assessment pack which will be internally marked. Learners will be observed in practice on three occasions within their role, where they will demonstrate how they:

  • Apply the principles of independent advocacy in practice
  • Support individuals and/or carers to express their views, wishes and feelings
  • Support individuals and/or carers to make decisions
  • Support individuals and/or carers to challenge decisions

On successful completion of the tasks A-C, the learners will attend a planning meeting with an external assessor where they will plan for a professional discussion to take place for Task D, which will be an evaluation of their practice. 


To achieve the qualification, learners must achieve:

A minimum of 41 credits from the mandatory group, which are:

Providing independent advocacy – principles and practice
Understanding legislation in the context of independent advocacy

A minimum of 11 credits from the optional group, which includes:

  • Independent advocacy with adults
  • Independent advocacy with children and young people
  • Independent mental health advocacy 
  • Independent mental health capacity 

Apprenticeship Wales supports the Level 4 framework programme, allowing learners to be supported to not only gain the Level 4 Independent Advocacy qualification, but also valuable Essential Skills qualifications at Level 2 Communication and Application of Number.