The fundamental changes in the new world of apprenticeships is now – in most cases – well understood by leaders and managers across the sector. Our work with over 3,000 staff has shown however that many trainer-assessors – those on the front-line of apprenticeship delivery – still have some way to go in understanding the delivery of standards and their new role.
So how do you gauge whether your staff have got to grips with the fundamentals of standards delivery?
A while back, as part of the Future Apprenticeships programme, SDN and Mesma developed a confidence scale for on-programme trainers. Asking the right questions allows you to accurately identify any gaps in knowledge and skills within your teams – providing a firm footing to then set up CPD plans and prepare.
In this post, we’ve set out 15 key questions for you to work through with your staff. These aren’t exhaustive (and won’t cover all individual standard-requirements for example), but it will give you a starting point. So, here goes…
As a trainer…
- I understand the detail of the standards relevant to my technical/professional area (Check: Would you be able to describe the key elements of the standard to another person?)
- I can talk confidently about the differences between the roles of TRAINER and ASSESSOR within the new system (Check: Can you explain the different roles of the training provider and their staff and the end-point assessment organisation and appointed assessors for the end-point assessment?)
- I fully understand the terms ON-PROGRAMME, GATEWAY and END-POINT ASSESSMENT (Check: Can you describe these to another person?)
- I understand the grading criteria as relevant to my standard(s) (Check: Can you identify what an apprentice needs to do to achieve a pass versus a distinction and where to find this information?)
- My existing skills / qualifications are appropriate for delivery, at the level for the standard(s), including English and maths (Check: Can you describe your training/mentoring skills or qualifications? Have you maintained your occupational competence by undertaking CPD activities and retaining industry links?)
- I can identify similarities and differences between an existing framework and a new standard (Check: Can you map the learning content from the existing framework to the new knowledge, skills and behaviours in the new standard, as a starting point for your delivery model?)
- I am confident in my ability to use initial assessment to inform the individual learning plan
- I can design appropriate content to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours which form the apprenticeship standard, including activities that will be conducted off-the-job (Check: Can you present a high-level scheme of work / training plan to an employer or apprentice? Can you explain what activities contribute to off-the-job training and how this will be tracked?)
- I recognise and can respond appropriately to those elements of the standard which are qualifications-based and those that are not (Check: Can you identify these clearly on your proposed scheme of work / training plan?)
- I am confident in my ability to provide the right level of academic input to meet the relevant standard(s) (Check: Can you identify any elements of the standard that require more academic input than a relevant existing framework? How will you respond to this?)
- I can identify which of our existing resources can be used to support this standard and develop new resources where required (Check: Can you talk through your proposed resource repurposing / development plan through with a colleague?)
- I can confidently use technology which enhances the learner’s experience (Check: Can you demonstrate your preferred technology solutions to colleagues to help them to see the value in using it?)
- I can integrate opportunities to strengthen competence and confidence in literacy and numeracy (Check: Can you identify the potential to integrate maths and English requirements within the curriculum / scheme of work you have proposed?)
- I can adapt my style of delivery appropriately to meet the apprentice’s development needs (Check: Can you explain how you would differentiate your approach to your colleagues or an employer?)
- I can explain my role in preparing the learner for the experience of end-point assessment (Check: Can you explain how your proposed curriculum will offer opportunities to practice and prepare the learner for end-point assessment, and the concept of grading?)
You can download the full confidence scale template to use with your teams here:
Do your staff need more in-depth support / training to prepare for their new role?
Places are now available on our in-depth webinar series for front-line staff, including progress monitoring, preparation for gateway, and the changing role of the IQA. You can also access our five-part series on the new trainer-assessor role, with supporting resources. Take a look here
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