Advantage accredited training on age issues

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Advantage is an award winning training programme developed by Advice NI in partnership with Age NI to improve the quality and quantity of advice provision to older people in Northern Ireland.

It includes six short courses which can be studied separately or as a combination. Courses are offer face-to-face or online via our e-learning platform.

The Advantage training programme was the winner of the prestigious AONTAS Star Award (Ulster Category) in 2011.

Who should attend?

The course is aimed at those who work, or wish to work, in any capacity with older people, carers, relatives or age sector groups and who aim to improve the lives of older people through access to services and entitlements. It is an ideal course for signposting, advice, advocacy, support or information providing organisations.


All Advantage courses are accredited with OCNNI at Level 3. Accreditation is optional. Each short course is worth 3 credit points at Level 3. There are no entry requirements for the courses. All Advantage courses can be used as evidence towards a range of units in the Advice NI Advice and Guidance NVQs at Level 3 Certificate and Level 4 Diploma including Understanding the Importance of Legislation and Procedures (Unit 30) and Establish Communications with Clients (Unit 1).


1. Age Awareness and Working with Older People:
The aim of this course is to highlight issues of ageism and age awareness particularly in relation to older people; investigate policy issues facing older people; and learn how to implement good practice when working with older people.

This includes such things as learning about people’s own preconceptions about older people, age discrimination legislation, how to communicate with older people with different needs, how to lobby and campaign, and meeting the advice needs of older people.

2. Introduction to Older People’s Benefits:
The aim of this course is to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of older people’s benefits, including the different benefits available to older people; benefit uptake by older people; eligibility criteria; impacts of changes in circumstances (e.g. admittance into hospital or care); and claims and payment processes. Learners are also taught how to perform simple benefit calculations e.g. paper based and more complicated calculations using an on-line benefit calculator. The course covers all benefits available to older people, but focuses in more detail on Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance.

3. Understanding State Pensions:
The aim of this course is to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of the State Pension. The course focuses on the different components of a state pension (e.g. Basic Pension and Additional Pension), contributions, how pension is influenced by different circumstances (e.g. marriage or bereavement), the claims and payment process, implications of working after pension age and working or moving abroad, deferment of state pension, and challenging a state pension decision.

4. Health Rights and Services for Older People:
The aim of this course is to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of health services, rights and entitlements for older people. The course looks at a range of issues including help with health costs, primary care services, voluntary health services, rights when going into and coming out of hospital, positive ageing, mental health conditions and legislation, and complaints procedures.

5. Community Care and Older People:
The aim of this course is to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of community care and older people, including domiciliary services, residential care and nursing care. The course looks at care services and responsibilities, care assessments, direct payments, things to consider when making care choices, issues related to paying for care, challenging decisions and making complaints, and the position of carers. The course is framed in a legislative and practical perspective. It is taught in conjunction with the Law Centre NI.

6. Housing and Older People:
The aim of this course is to consider housing issues facing older people and older people’s rights and entitlements in relation to housing. This includes older people in different types of housing tenure such as NIHE tenants, housing association tenants, private tenants, owner occupiers, and older homeless people. The course covers a range of areas including home repairs and adaptations, energy saving schemes, access to social rented housing, sheltered housing, home security, community safety and isolation.

Location and Times

Advantage training courses are currently delivered at Advice NI offices in Belfast and run from 9.30am to 4.30pm (approximately).

  1. Age Awareness and Working with Older People:
    5 and 12 September
  2. Introduction to Older People’s Benefits:
    19 and 26 September
  3. Understanding State Pensions:
    3 and 10 October
  4. Health Rights and Services for Older People:
    17 and 24 October
  5. Community Care and Older People:
    7 and 14 November
  6. Housing and Older People:
    8 and 15 August / 21 and 28 November


Package Advice NI members Voluntary Statutory/Private
Short Course non-accredited (2 days) £90 £115 £150
Short Course accredited (2 days) £110 £135 £170
Package of 3 courses non-accredited (6 days) £230 £285 £385
Package of 3 courses accredited (6 days) £265 £320 £420

More information

For further information about the course please contact:

Ryan Fitzsimmons, Training and Development Practitioner
Advice NI, 1 Rushfield Avenue, Belfast, BT7 3FP
Tel: 028 9064 5919

opens link in new window Download Advice NI Training Booking Form (Doc 1MB)

opens link in new window View Advice NI training brochure

Age NI office:
028 9024 5729

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