Qualifications And Training – Choosing A Trusted Partner

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Viewpoint

Image Above: Dan Brown

Employers in the fenestration who wish to hone the skills of their workforce in order to improve their business’s competitiveness face two challenges: carefully managing training budgets whilst also addressing staff time constraints.  How to choose a partner organisation who can help them achieve their goal at the same time as ensuring these challenges are met need not be difficult. Dan Brown, strategic relationship manager of GQA Qualifications explains.

Currently, there is a significant amount of work focused on establishing competency, with individuals often overlooking the expertise of an Awarding Body in this regard. In addition, I talk to many people in the fenestration industry who are well aware that plenty of training opportunities exist. However, they do not have the time to audit all the options available, and they certainly do not have big budgets to spend in this area. What they really need is assistance from a qualifications-writing and awarding partner that can also point them in the direction of accredited training that is delivered by an independently and rigorously audited provider. All within the confines of limited budget availability.

I would recommend seeking out a partner that is a specialist in learning in the sector. A good indicator of this is the number of steering groups on which the partner sits, helping to shape the future qualifications being developed. In addition, working with a not-for-profit organisation assists with keeping spending down.

The chosen partner should have the ability not only to write industry-specific qualifications and facilitate accredited training, but to draw up bespoke qualifications for individual organisations. Employers can thereby create and accredit in house developed training courses and learning programmes in addition to going after existing qualifications.

GQA facilitates an Accredited Training service, offered through a nationwide network of approved training centres. It is aimed at employers in the industry who want to have their in-house training endorsed by GQA Qualifications and gives them the opportunity to deliver training that focuses on candidates’ particular needs specific to their role with the employer.

In essence, accredited training involves:

  1. Assessing courses for learning outcomes.
  2. Ensuring the existence of an appeals procedure.
  3. Maintaining a non-bias approach to assessment.
  4. Implementing ‘reasonable adjustment’ for individuals with learning difficulties.
  5. Introducing an end assessment to test learners’ comprehension of course content, aligning with the Building Safety Act’s emphasis on a ‘certificate of comprehension’ rather than a ‘certificate of attendance.’
  6. Undergoing regular external assessment by an Independent Quality Assessor to verify procedure implementation and ensure uniformity in course delivery.

GQA’s Bespoke Qualification service is aimed at employers who wish to be able to offer those staff undertaking very specific roles the opportunity to work towards gaining a qualification where one does not already exist. The service is perfect for niche specialist areas which do not lend themselves to meeting the required content of a standard regulated qualification. In close consultation with the company concerned, GQA will develop a qualification that meets the needs of the organisation and the people who require it.

It is also worth checking out what a partner organisation can do in terms of providing reasonable adjustment for people with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Here at GQA we have close to 200 qualifications covering a broad variety of sectors. The fenestration industry, just like any other, needs training solutions tailored to its specific needs. GQA is poised to contribute to the development of competency-setting initiatives, leveraging our knowledge to position qualifications and training appropriately. This involves identifying the level at which individuals are expected to perform their functions against an industry-recognised hierarchical framework of learning. In turn this provides synchronicity with qualifications from within the education system.  Providing this link is critical to any competency assessment or training development to make it relatable to other forms of formal competency attainment.

Employers seeking advice on any aspect of qualifications-writing or wanting to find out about GQA’s network of approved training centre are welcome to get in touch. We can assist with an online assessment test through our GQA Online system. This system utilises a question bank to draw random questions, evaluate learners, and promptly grade assessments within a minute. Our accredited training programs come with the issuance of a plastic or digital GQA Skills Card. This card acts as a verifiable record of competence that can be produced on demand.

More information on GQA is available at www.gqaqualifications.com.

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