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Essay: Professionalism

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‘Professionalism: noun
‘ 1 [mass noun] the competence or skill expected of a professional: the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism
‘ 2the practising of an activity, especially a sport, by professional rather than amateur players: the trend towards professionalism’ http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/professionalism 2014.
In 2004 LLUK was tasked by the Government to develop Professional standards for the FE sector. This they did and in September 2007 they came from into effect under the 2007 FE Workforce Regulations and applied to everybody who taught in the post -16 education. These standards can be viewed at (LLUK. (2010). new-overarching-standards-for-ttt-in-lifelong-learning-sector.pdf.). They defined what was expected, the continuous improvement of the sector and the development of those who worked in the sector (CPD). It can be broken into six main topics, they are:
1. Professional values and practice.
2. Learning and Teaching.
3. Specialist Learning and Teaching.
4. Planning for Learning.
5. Assessment for Learning.
6. Access and Progression.
They are complicated compared to those laid down for compulsory education; the Department for Education has clear standards that it expects all Teachers to follow. As with compulsory education they are a minimum for all FE establishments and it is expected that each establishment use them as such and develop their own on top of them. Ofsted can and does inspect all teachers to these standards across both sectors.
As well as developing these standards new qualifications where developed for the sector based on the QCF model. Each qualification is broken down into modules, some of them mandatory some of them optional. Each module is worth a different credit level and can be used to build up further qualifications over time. The new qualifications are:
1. PTLLS: Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
2. CTLLS: Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
3. DTLLS: Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
They have been designed to develop and improve the skills through out a career in the FE sector.
It has to be remembered that in the FE sector that you keep up to date in the subject that you are teaching. These qualifications as with are regulated by Ofqual.
By gaining these qualifications you can gain the different roles in the sector such as ATLS for those who have fewer teaching responsibilities and QTLS for those who have a full range of responsibilities. It used to be based on the amount of contact time with the students but changed to reflect the roles. These roles are defined in the 2007 FE Workforce Regulations. However in order to have these roles it became mandatory to be a member of the IfL and as well as demonstrating your job role you also had to complete CPD and log it on their site as well as passing tests in the core subjects (Numeracy, Literacy and ICT). Once you registered with the IfL you had to follow their code of professional stands (://www.ifl.ac.uk/membership/professional-standards/code-of-professional-practice) as well as the ones laid down by LLUK.
Because it was a legally required to become a member of the IfL to progress in the industry the Government said that they would pay the first three years funding. Unfortunately in 2009 they announced that they where withdrawing this funding, the IfL announced that they would have to put up fees and it got messing so In 2012 Lord Linfield was asked to carry out a review of the FE sector, he remarked:
‘As successive reports by Ofsted and academic research have shown, this endeavour has failed to achieve consistency in the diverse provision for acquiring vocational knowledge and skills. In comparison with arrangements in both schools and higher education, the initial training of lecturers and their continuous professional updating in further education are too often reported by those involved to be both haphazard and onerous.’ Professionalism in Further Education Interim report March 2012 Page 2.
He goes on to mention in his final report in October 2012:
‘The previous government had announced its determination to withdraw funding from the IfL as long ago as 2009 and the current government had clearly confirmed that decision. When the IfL introduced fees, the University and College Union (UCU) organised a boycott among its 40,000 further education members. This was a major cause of a fall in IfL membership. The UCU had no intention of changing its stance. The two sets of statutory regulations from 2007 had been overtaken by events in many respects. If they had been enforced against the tens of thousands of further education lecturers who had withdrawn from the IfL, it would have led to their dismissal. To defend such regulations, or organisations of any kind, against the interests of the lecturers and students at the core of further education would have been absurd.’ Professionalism in Further Education Final report October 2012 Page i.
His reports go into the various faults in the sector and recommendations to improve the sector, things like the de-licensing of LLUK as a sector skills council and that the awards are reconfigured to reflect the industry rather than repeating the first 6 months over and over again.
‘Our conclusions, then, are intended to help create an environment in which the professionalism of further education lecturers, instructors, workplace supervisors and assessors might naturally flourish, without interference. At the centre of our recommendations is a refreshed relationship between employers and staff, codified in a Covenant-or compact-negotiated freely between them and setting out their obligations to one another. We see this as wholly consistent with government policy set out in New Challenges, New Chances and with the recent important proposals for a further education Guild and also chartered status for excellent providers. Further education in this country is a developing and dynamic entity, naturally and properly diverse; we believe that its future success depends upon placing trust in the professionals who work within it to direct it, take its decisions and promulgate its priorities.’
Professionalism in Further Education Final report October 2012 Page ii.
The recommendations from the report are starting to come into effect, the Awards have been updated by the LSIS and where started in 2013. Unfortunately he also recommended that the professional standards that where introduced in 2007 where to be revoked in 2012. This has left a void in the FE sector with regards to standards.
‘From our research into practice in other sectors and countries, it became clear that, in almost all cases, professional standards exist within a context of licensing or regulation of practice. However, there is no equivalent regulatory context within which the revised professional standards will operate for the FE and skills sector in England. The 2007 FE Workforce Regulations were revoked in 2012 so, from 2013, teachers and trainers in this sector are not required to join a professional body for teachers/trainers, achieve specific teaching qualifications, meet any minimum standards of performance, or fulfil CPD requirements beyond those specified by their employer and/or through their contract of employment.’
Review of the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in England January 2014 page 4.
The Education and Training Foundation are currently reviewing the old standards and have now asked the sector to comment on their draft proposals. Once this has been carried out and changes made they are planning to re-introduce them to the sector in April 2014.
Right that’s the background in the sector on a large scale but how does it affect me?
Since I have entered the FE sector as an Instructor I have followed my own professional standards. These have been developed from my former employer and have served me well in this sector. Since I have carried out my research into the sector I have also found that they fit nicely with the IfL, LLUK and my employers.
Whilst I have split down into separate areas for review but they all overlap each other.
Integrity:
I do what I say and say what I mean. If I am asked about something by a student that I do not know I will tell them so then find out the answer, rather than say something then forget about it. If I make a mistake I will inform my line manager or speak to a colleague rather than keep quiet. Being open and up front saves a lot of time and bad feelings later.
Respect:
Having the respect of Colleagues and students is a must in this industry and is one of the easiest things to lose. I maintain mine to my colleagues through being polite, punctual and by doing what I say I will do. What this means to my students is that I do not abuse my position or their trust, by delivering what I promise as well as being Polite and considerate towards them at all times.
Care:
I take great care and have a sense of personal pride in my work. If I did not I would not do it. Little things like coming in half an hour early to make sure that a demonstration is set up and works tor making sure that there is enough oil and rags on the shop floor.
Practice:
This is the CPD side of my job. To do this I keep up to date with my industry, constantly review my presentation to ensure that my facts are correct, Ensure that the training aids are in working order and attend college to update my Instructional skills. I must also put the subject matter across in such a way that the students can carry out their chosen career successfully rather than just pass the exams.
Responsibility:
I always take responsibility for my actions as well as my students when they are in the building, to do anything less would be unprofessional. I also take the responsibility for ensure that the material I deliver is relevant and up to date. I have been assigned additional tasks which I complete. These involve liaison with other departments to complete. All this can lapse into my own time, but in order to get the job done I must time manage correctly and plan accordingly.
‘In Partnership, to support DSEME in the delivery of the required number of competent and highly motivated electronic technicians, electro-mechanical tradesmen, specialists and technical leaders to the Armed Forces, in order to support equipment capability on current and contingent operations’ General manager REME training Babcock International Group Mission 2013/2014.
Babcock’s has an independent internal verification team. Their job is to review each instructor and each department to ensure that the same standard is delivered across all training establishments. This team covers 4 defence schools as well as other defence instructional establishments, in total about 700 instructors from locations such as Bordon in Hampshire, HMS Sultan in Gosport and Blandford camp in Dorset. As it such a large task each department is given the standards they must apply and it is left to the head of the departments to ensure that these are meet, with the team turning up as they see fit to carry out verification of the standards.
Military verification team: This is site dependant by this I mean each service will carry out checks on their own students (Army, Navy and Air Force). Usual this means that an Officer will come and sit at the back of a classroom and carry out an observation on the lesson and compare it with the criteria the Service has set out. If there are any concerns then it is raised to the instructor, the head of the department and the training manager.
External validators both from the awarding bodies (excel, city and guilds) come onto site to ensure that the MAT and Civil Service are ensuring that the correct course content is being delivered and that the examinations and assessments are meeting their grade. This they do by observing the validation to ensure that we remain on task and my taken random samples of the assessments set by validation teams. The management teams including line managers carry out regular assessments and offer advice where required.
Ofsted carry out their assessment of each training establishments. They inspect both the Mat team and the site as a whole. The MAT team achieved a grade two in 2013. The site is on a rolling program that captures all training establishments in the military. (The 2013 report is available on the Ofsted site) The contact specifies that Babcock staff must achieve a minimum of a grade two pass with Ofsted to continue training MOD staff. Failure to achieve this standard counts as a penalty statement against my company. This has the repercussions when Babcock’s comes to bid for new contracts.
The head of each department (Line manager) or his deputy will carry out reviews of his staff over each year. This as per the Military verification involves him sitting at the back of the room observing the Instructor which is then followed by a review over a brew. Observations from all of the above are relayed through my line manager. This is good as a single source of contact but if the person making the observation is not clear on their comments or does not come have an Instructional background then sometimes a slight misunderstanding can escalate.
When somebody enlists in the Armed Services they have to sit a series of tests during a selection period. If they are found to suffer dyslexia or some other learning difficulty, the Armed services have an Education corps who will help them over their time of service. This is so that the Service person will have access to this help wherever they are sent around the world. The use of readers or translators for dyslexic and foreign students (unless they are from another Army) are not permitted, as the Armed services do not have these at its Regiments. The Army Education Corps will also provide any aids that they require such as filters for computer screens and will inform the MAT if the student requires any additional time to complete any Tests. There is no means of getting any pre-warning if any of the students suffer from a learning difficulty until I receive the course and if the students do not inform me that they have a problem for what every reason (Peer pressure) then I cannot adjust my delivery.
This has been raised as an obstacle that should be addressed but the students are Service personnel; the Army and by default the MOD has control and makes this decision.
Because the direction for the company is to follow the clients mission statement we are expected to follow their policies (Standing Orders) as well as well as our own. They are both compatible with each other. Because the client is the Military we need to take into account of things like Post Operational Stress.
As an instructor I have to think about my actions both in front of the students and in front of my colleagues. I have to act as a role model to the students and in order to do this I have to lead by example and provide a positive environment that promotes inclusion, respect and value an individual’s differences and values their input and experiences and follow both my company’s polices and by default of where I am working the MOD policy. This will led to an improved working relationship with both parties, improve the performance of the students and increase their motivation which in turn improves their grades. Sound great but how do I go about producing the goods.
The first thing I need to remember is that no learner should be made to feel threatened or excluded from being engaged during the lessons. In order to do this I have to plan properly to begin with, review (when I get the chance) during the course after each lesson and carry out a final review using feedback from the course once it is finished in order to be ready for the next group.
I first need to look at the class as a whole, are there any issues I need to be aware of (the festival of Ramadan or Easter for example), are there any disabilities that I need to adjust my lesson plans for, both in the conventional way that it is perceived by many but also because many of the older students have deployed on operations, some of these may have been involved in incidents and as such may have on going treatment that requires them to be absent or may require some additional support.
Whilst age is not so much of an issue can I use the experiences of the students to enhance my lessons or help the inexperienced ones? Culture, sexuality and gender are an important part of any person’s life and as such I need to be aware of them, from how I address the students. Somebody might take offence by using their first name to how my body language is received (do I come across threating?).
Next I have to look at the learning resources and the classroom itself:
First of the classroom, this is where I can get the classroom environment to be accessible to all provide safe place for them to learn. By this I mean can everybody see the board, is the room laid out so the students are made to feel comfortable or are they in cramped conditions so the person sat behind is nudging them every time they move, do I allow the students to move the room around in short I need to let the students feel that they own the room and it is a safe place to learn.
I have to look at training aids and hand-outs are there enough for all.
Let’s start with my presentation, how have I put over my material is it gender free or have I stuck to trade talk (most Vehicle mechanics refer to vehicles as females usually in the form of the negative) this is bad practice as it is not gender free hence a form of discrimination. I need to review and remove any gender bias training aids. Are my graphics multi-cultural? Yes they do need to be multi-cultural these days so the stick man wins every time here. Is the font the same on all slides? And is the information I am required to give up to date and relevant.
Once I am happy with my hand-outs, presentation and room layout onto the students and one of the most important things, the Introduction.
The introduction is the first impression, as I have previously explained I inform the students where to go if they have a problem including on the walk around shown them. Where to find the information they need and the processes involved when they need to discuss any issues (usually the Military chain of command or the padres office, the last point I include on my walk around). At this point I will to highlight that whilst we are on first name terms I am a member of staff and that I will not accept any discrimination and explain how I will challenge any expressions of prejudice within the guidelines of the organisations (Company and MOD) policy’s, by doing this and by the way I address the students I hope I set myself up as a good role model.
I go over what is going to be covered, how we are going to do it and invite the students to comment and make suggestions on what is going to happen. I include an icebreaker where I explain who I am and what I have done. I then get the students to introduce themselves making a note of their names, where they are sitting and if they have any needs (disability’s, dyslexia etc.) in short getting to know the students and making sure that I can pronounce their names correctly making them feel included and respected.
Then onto the lessons themselves, the students are encouraged to speak up and start discussions, I try to engage with the students where I can using their personal or cultural experiences to assist in the learning and teaching, this promotes motivation and thus raises student morale so they enjoy the experience and achieve the grades I know they can achieve. Going back to your own experience those lessons you enjoyed are the ones you did well in.
As I have four progress test, before the main exam, I try to involve the students in the marking process as well as checking their grades, this encourages inter course competition and identity’s those that may require a little bit of assistance, building on their strengths and working on the weaknesses and if I can I will use other students to assist the weaker ones thus allowing myself to view the hole group rather than concentrate on an individual at the expense of the others.
I listen to the feedback I receive from the students both in the written form and verbal. This I use to review my lessons and resources and if I can I will adjust accordingly (sometimes the training aids are the only ones that I can use due to the MOD contact). I carry out this action through-out the course as the students might forget a relevant point and so might I.
When I do not have a course I assist with my colleagues and observe how they deal with their courses and the problems that arise. I look at things from how they deliver their presentations to the way that they speak to the students. If I feel that they have overstepped the mark in the way they address the students I will mention it in the staff room (presenting a united front to the students).
My company and the MOD carry out regular training days for its staff and I must attend these at least once a year. These training days cover a host of subjects from team building and problem solving to how to react to issues that can arise in the classroom. From these lessons and by accessing the information that is available on line I can review how I operate and incorporate it into my lesson plans.
I would like to think that I come across as a good role model and one that the students can copy. I certainly have not had any major complaints and those that I have had I have rectified the fault and apologised if necessary.
‘Community cohesion means working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community.’ Bordon Infant School Community Cohesion Policy 2013.
Every school or FE establishment should encourage and take the responsibility that its learners will value the diverse culture, religions, sexual preference and social backgrounds of the communities in which they live. By successfully educating them the nation will feel the benefit.
The site in which I work has students from all over the UK and commonwealth but very few from the local area. Because of this the students come from diverse cultures, religions, sexual preference and social backgrounds, my last course had students from Nepal, India, Africa and the UK. As an Instructor it is my responsibility to take into account of these and use them, somebody who grew up in India may have a better understanding of the subject than someone who grew up in Bristol. They may have a better way of putting across the subject matter and as such the student that is having difficulties will understand and achieve success and I will learnt something to though I would keep my thoughts to myself.
The single students live on camp and they have their own social and welfare amenities. Because Bordon is a small town there are not the same facilities as found in somewhere such as Alton. (NO Pubs for a start!). there are some takeaways and a small Tescos that they will go to but on the whole the single Servicemen keep themselves to themselves and prefer to go somewhere such as Guildford as a group.
The married servicemen have quarters with their families. Their children go to the local schools and interact with the locals, the wife’s/husbands take part time jobs within the community and they do their shopping locally. This encourages interaction and the community benefits.
Now due to the armed forces cost saving the school is relocating to the old RAF camp at Lyneham.
This has had an affect on both communities. The Instructors and civilian staff who are at Bordon (approx 250 people) will have to either relocate if they wish to be employed at the new site or take redundancy package. This move will also affect the economic growth and regeneration of the area as both the schools and community at a large due to the people being made redundant. This down turn has already been anticipated by the local authority and they have started to implement the creation of new industrial estates, shops and redevelop the community at large. The married quarters are being kept so they will not have an impact off their loss.
Lyneham will benefit from the creation of the new school by economic growth and regeneration of the area due to the creation of jobs and inclusion of the married quarters into the community, it is envisioned that the student population when the site is fully working will be approx 2000 students at any one time and approx 500 permanent staff.
FUNDING.
FE colleges receive funding via several sources but it starts its life from a central source at the Treasury and is agreed on by the Cabinet. A small share comes from the employers for their Apprentices, from the students by way of their fees, and from the Universities who sponsor the colleges (Winchester University sponsors BCOT). The lions share comes from the SFA, the LSC, the DWP, the EFA and the HEFCE, some colleges these days receive funding from the ESF via the DWP. The budget is in the millions and has over the recent years become a political tool as the politicians keep reducing it but ask for more. Every FE establishment must account for the way they have used their money and show that social groups such as SEN and service children (which have there own allocated budget) have used the money for the good and benefit of these students. These figures are sent back to the various agencies that have funded them. These agencies have a duty to inspect the FE establishments that they fund to ensure that their money is being spent in the best possible way.
DSEME receives it’s funding from two sources;
The first is via the MAT who receives their funding from the SFA; the way it works is that the MOD receives a huge chunk of money from the SFA, this they split between the three services. The Army then splits it between the 13 Corps who requires it. DSEME gets it’s funding via the MAT for the Apprentice’s which go onto form the REME. The REME look after all the Army’s Armour, vehicles, helicopters, Weapons and Instruments.
The second way if from the Defence budget: Each Regiment receives a certain amount of money to pay for fuel, accommodation, services (water, power etc) spares for its equipment. Because DSEME is a training unit it also receives additional money for training aids, stationary and the resources required to complete its mission statement.
As the budget is so large and the commandant is responsible, there are accountants to ensure that it is all accounted for just like any other FE establishment, report and are inspected by the Military chain of command annually.
My company is only contracted to provide the Instructional and support staff, they have no other assets so apart from the pay for their staff they have no other financial input on site. However as they are also the SME on site, the site manager has an input into how and where the budget is spent. This is so the money spent on training goes to the areas that require it such as training aids or barriers to screen off the driver training square. The Commandant ultimately makes the decision, but does listen to the advice from the site manager. The purpose of the site and that of the Babcock’s is the same and as I have said before the sites Mission statement and is a goal that all are working towards.
‘In Partnership, to support DSEME in the delivery of the required number of competent and highly motivated electronic technicians, electro-mechanical tradesmen, specialists and technical leaders to the Armed Forces, in order to support equipment capability on current and contingent operations’ General manager REME training Babcock International Group Mission 2013/2014.
‘You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’
‘ Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places you’ll Go!
Bibliography.
DTLLS YR 2 hand-outs.
Personnel:
Mr Alan Geeves, Line Manager Transmissions Department, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Mr Chris Grace BA (Hons) technical Training Manager, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Mr Clive Booley Senior executive Officer, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Company and MOD Policy’s:
Babcock International Group Defence & Security Human Resources Policies and Procedures:
Performance Improvement DSD-HR-P-0001.
Code of Conduct DSD-HR-P-0003.
Non Sickness Absence DSD-HR-P-0005.
Sickness Absence DSD-HR-P-0006.
Dignity & Respect at Work DSD-HR-P-0008.
Disciplinary DSD-HR-P-0009.
Equal Opportunities DSD- HR-P-0010.
Grievance DSD-HR-P-0012.
Maternity DSD-HR-P-0013
Paternity DSD-HR-P-0014.
Social Media DSD-HR-P-0015.
Alcohol & Substances DSD-HR-P-0016.
Mod Policies (Client/Site.).
DSEME (Bor) Standing Orders:
Standing Order 2101 Supervisory Care Directive.
Standing Order 3407 Post Operational Stress Management.
Standing Order 2108 Welfare.
Standing Order ‘? Self-Assessment & Continual Improvement.
Standing Order 8601 Student Review Board Technical Training.
Standing Order 2104 Mentoring & Coaching of Soldiers Under Training.
Standing Order 3306 Service Complaints.
Standing Order 2102 Anti Bullying Policy.
Standing Order 2201 Commanding Officers Equality and Diversity Policy.
JSP 898 Catalogue of Defence Policies with Impact on Training and Education.
Books:
Hall, L. Marsh, K. (2000). Professionalism, Policies and Values. London: The University of Greenwich.
Huddleston, P. Unwin, L. (2013). Teaching and Learning in Further education. 4th ed. Oxon: Routledge.
Petty G, 2009. Teaching Today. 4th ed. Cheltenham UK: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Web sites and PDF Documents:
Oxford dictionaries. (2014). Dictionary. Available: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/professionalism. Last accessed 15 Feb 2014.
Steve Besley. (24 May 2012). Developing the qualification system. Available: http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.
The Education and Training Foundation. (2014). STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ON THE REVISED PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR TEACHERS AND TRAINERS. Available: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=138730370821&goback=.gmr_2954308.gde_2954308_member_5829509639468785664. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.
Alan Norton. (July 27, 2010). 10 things that define a true professional. Available: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-that-define-a-true-professional/. Last accessed 31 Jan 2014.
One Stop Shop. (2014). Fees and Funding. Available: http://www.bcot.ac.uk/the-college/fees-and-funding/. Last accessed 01 Feb 2014.
Babcock International Group. (2014). Land. Available: http://www.babcockinternational.com/markets/defence/land/. Last accessed 25 Jan 2014.
Babcock International Group. (2014). Military Training. Available: http://www.babcockinternational.com/capabilities/training-education/training/military-training/. Last accessed 25 Jan 2014.
Ministry of Defence. (16 July 2013). MOD annual report and accounts 2012/13. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mod-annual-report-and-accounts-201213. Last accessed 30 Jan 2014.
Think Defence. (December 27, 2013). MoD Finances ‘ Did You Know? Available: http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/12/mod-finances-know/. Last accessed 31 Jan 2014.
Ann Gravells. (14 Feb 2014). Teaching qualifications. Available: http://www.anngravells.co.uk/teachingqualifications.html. Last accessed 15 Feb 2014.
Rayner, M. Dickinson, L. (2013). Future of LSIS’s work on national occupational standards and apprenticeships. Available: http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/node/27471. Last accessed 26 Jan 2014.
Deputy Chief Executive Lee Davies. (2013). LLUK consultation on National Occupational Standards (NOS). Available: http://www.ifl.ac.uk/newsandevents/latest/lluk-consultation-on-national-occupational-standards-nos. Last accessed 20 Jan 2014.
The IfL. (2013). Gaining QTLS or ATLS: professional formation. Available: http://www.ifl.ac.uk/cpd/qtls-atls. Last accessed 20 Jan 2014.
The IfL. (2013). View the code of professional practice. Available: http://www.ifl.ac.uk/membership/professional-standards/code-of-professional-practice. Last accessed 15 Feb 2014.
The IFL. (August 2012). Education and training practitioners. Available: http://www.ifl.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/28572/2012_IfL_professionalism_paper_word_doc.pdf. Last accessed 15 Feb 2014.
Ofsted. (04 Jul 2013). Welfare and duty of care in Armed Forces initial training 2013. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/welfare-and-duty-of-care-armed-forces-initial-training-2013. Last accessed 02 Feb 2014.
Ofsted. (2012). Inspecting welfare and duty of care in Armed Services’ training. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/further-education-and-skills/for-further-education-and-skills-providers/inspecting-further-education-and-skills/inspecting-welfa. Last accessed 03 Feb 2014.
Ofsted. (10 Sep 2012). Common inspection framework for further education and skills 2012. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/common-inspection-framework-for-further-education-and-skills-2012. Last accessed 03 Feb 2014.
Higher Education Funding Council for England. (15 November 2012). Institutions that HEFCE funds. Available: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/invest/unicoll/. Last accessed 12 Feb 2014.
Skills Funding Agency. (6 November 2013). Funding Rules. Available: http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/providers/fundingrules/. Last accessed 11 Feb 2014.
LLUK. (2010). new-overarching-standards-for-ttt-in-lifelong-learning-sector.pdf. Available: http://collections.europarchive.org/tna/20110214161207/http:/www.lluk.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/new-overarching-standards-for-ttt-in-lifelong-learning-sector.pdf. Last accessed 13 Jan 2014.
Quality Assurance.
Explain your role in ensuring that your organisation improves quality through its quality improvement process, from your input to the final evaluation. Provide evidence of this in screen grabs, copies of policies, diagrams and video evidence. (3.1)
Drawing upon your own teaching and learning evaluate the reliability and validity of the methods you use to collect data about the quality of your provision and comment upon the results that you collect
‘ How student records are maintained in the quality cycle (3.2)
‘ Explain how the assessment methods (relating to QA) used in your department are reliable in valid (3.4)
‘ Explain how the assessment information is shared within your learning programme whilst maintaining confidentiality ‘ this should include the learner as well as the Department/Cross college (3.5)
‘ Evaluate your learning programme and the Quality system that is in place (3.6)
‘ Communicate your findings to your line manager (Witness statement) (3.7)
Abbreviations used:-
PDR Personal Development Record. NVQ National Vocational Qualifications.
MAT Modern Apprenticeship Team MOD Ministry of Defence
BCOT Basingstoke College Of technology. CPD Continual Professional Development.
Word count:
Appendix 1 – Witness statement.
Appendix 2 ‘ Example course report. (Copy shown to the Instructor but cannot be held)
Appendix 3 ‘ Example Instructors comment sheet.
Appendix 4 – Example student assessment sheet.
Appendix 5 ‘ Internal Verifies report on the Practical Assessment.
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In the 1980’s and 1990’s the FE sector was a bit of a mess, each FE establishment was following their own code some of the teachers where stuck in the mind set of ‘It was good enough in my day’ and it was possible that the students that graduated from these colleges where doing so with different standards for the same subject. Industry said to the FE sector ‘what are you doing we are not getting the quality of workforce we need’ and turned to the Government. So the government of the day asked Lord Dearing to chair the National Committee of inquiry into Higher Education.
Out of this inquiry came:
‘The Quality Code replaces the Academic Infrastructure, the set of reference points developed by QAA in partnership with the higher education sector’ UK Quality Code for Higher Education General Introduction page 6.
This quality code is mandatory for all FE establishments and is a base line for these places to follow. Each establishment is expected to develop their own Quality code based upon this code and it is expected from the funding agencies to carry out their own inspections to ensure value for money.
‘The UK Quality Code for Higher Education (Quality Code) sets out the Expectations that all providers of UK higher education reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) are required to meet.
The purpose of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education is:
‘ to safeguard the academic standards of UK higher education
‘ to assure the quality of the learning opportunities that UK higher education offers to students
‘ to promote continuous and systematic improvement in UK higher education.
‘ to ensure that information about UK higher education is publicly available.
The Quality Code covers all four nations of the UK and UK higher education delivered internationally. It protects the interests of all UK higher education students regardless of where they are studying or whether they are full-time, part-time, undergraduate or postgraduate students.
QAA regularly conducts reviews of UK higher education providers to ensure that they are meeting the Expectations set out in the Quality Code.’ UK Quality Code for Higher Education General Introduction page 1
This code has three parts with sub-sections:
‘Part A contains seven Expectations with supporting explanatory notes; Part C and each Chapter in Part B contain a single Expectation and a series of Indicators of sound practice, accompanied by explanatory notes.’ UK Quality Code for Higher Education General Introduction page 5
Each part goes into depth covering a wide range of issues (for more information ref to UK Quality Code for Higher Education). As already mentioned it is used as a base line for each FE establishment, it recommends that in order that the FE establishment has an acceptable standard of a quality cycle that it has a body drawn from Specialist staff who deal directly with standards, the wider staff population, the student body and a form of internal reviewers. External reviewers will use the code as a guide. The code also recommends that it is as transparent as possible so the wider student body and Public (Parents, stakeholders) can understand the process. These days this code forms the base of the Quality Policy and is available to be read at any FE reception (One stop shop at BCOT).
To make life easier for the external assessors who are inspecting the Quality side of the college there is a Quality assessment Framework. This guide is generic and can be applied to any sector. It grades the quality in to three levels, A, B and C but it must be stressed that it is a guide. The guide is spilt into five core values and these will relate to somewhere in the quality policy.
The five core values:
‘1 Assessment and Support Planning’
2 Security, Health and Safety’
3 Safeguarding and Protection from Abuse’
4 Fair Access, Diversity and Inclusion’
5 Client Involvement and Empowerment’ Using the Quality Assessment Framework page 4.
The three levels are:
‘Level A means excellence and is associated with providers striving to be leaders
in their field.
Level B means the service can evidence good practice.
Level C means that the service meets, and is able to evidence, the required
minimum standard but there is scope for improvement. ‘Using the Quality Assessment Framework page 5.
Because it is embedded into any establishments work routine most people are unaware that they are carrying out a quality cycle.
So at student level they should be asking the questions:
‘What have I achieved? Where do I want to go?
What skills do I need to develop to get there?
How am I doing? What next’? Quality Improvement agency, Skills for life Improvement Programme.
These questions should be in the Individual learning plan and ones that the student should be able to answer.
Next the teacher should be looking at the feedback from the previous course and seeing where they can improve or re-develop so that it captures the needs of the students (Quality Improvement). The feedback comes in two forms Informal feedback is things such as questioning techniques, appropriate activities and discussions and Formal feedback can be things such as appraisals, interviews with the student in a one to one session and assessments. These methods of feedback should be descriptive in the areas that can be improved or areas that have been done correctly and it should contain the reason why. It can be delivered as a written feedback or as verbal. This feedback should be circulated to line managers and department heads so that they are now included in the quality cycle more importantly it should be acted upon. A key indicator that the students are understanding their chosen subject is the grades they achieve, if they all pass then both the teacher and the college are achieving their goals, if students are failing then they need to look at the subject matter and the delivery (Quality Improvement, assurance and checks.)
The teachers should also be receiving staff training, carrying out observations and being observed, CPD and support from upper management. This ensures that they are improving all the time. They should be asking the same questions as the learners about their students and their career development (Quality Improvement).
The cycle is repeated with the same type of question all the way up the chain of command to the top. At all stages it should be crossed reference to the Quality Policy to ensure that these are being followed. Management should be checking that the teachers are delivering the subject matter in a way that the students both understand it and can apply it in whatever Industry they will be going into (Quality assurance, Quality Checks).
Both the internal and external inspectors are carrying on going checks and these are the formal form of Quality Checks and Quality assurance it has to be remembered that Quality Improvement is down to the FE establishment, the Departmental and Line managers and the Individual teacher. This is where the stakeholders take an interest. They are looking into things on how the teacher is delivering the subject matter, how the student is receiving it, how the college funds are being spent and are the resources being used relevant to the industry that the student is going into. Stakeholders include Parents or legal guardians, External inspectors from the Funding agencies, Awarding bodies, Industry and the all important Ofsted.
These days it has to be remembered that everything that happens in an FE establishment is subject to the Quality Cycle. If it did not then we would start to back track and the students that are produced are fit to enter Industry and succeed.
‘Quality assurance has established (and continually updated) systems to ensure that high standards are achieved and exceeded’ BCOT Quality Strategy 2013 -14 page 2.
Where I work.
The assessment process no matter what the institution, does have an impact on students, most while nervous will give it their all and achieve the grades required, some have trouble in doing this and require additional resources to make the grade.
The feedback given to the students is usually in the form of a briefing and a report created by the Military chain of command this is entered into the students Military and NVQ record (one can be provided on request but must be returned once viewed).
From a training point of view the Instructor is only allowed a sentence and a grade from his time with the students on this report. This sentence and grade has to be brief as there could be up to ten people commenting.
This report goes to two different departments:
The first is the Military side, they gather all the reports from the different sections of the reports, this information is then complied into a military report which a copy is sent to the students permanent records held in Glasgow. The student will also receive a copy for their PDR.
The second copy of the Instructors report is sent to the MAT who manage the NVQ’s that each student earns. The MAT will then track the student for up to 4 years from completion of the basic course to completion of what is referred to as the ‘up-graders course’. It is hoped that the students have shown improvement whilst at their units and on return it will be seen by the instructors. Whilst these reports can be viewed by the Students and the Military they rarely are but Ofsted will view them on their Inspection.
There are 4 progress tests covering all the subject matters that I teach they are viewed by all involved as a practice for the end assessment; it gives the Instructor an opportunity to see how the group is progressing and areas for improvement for future groups. It gives the students an opportunity to see how well they are doing and a bit of healthy competition.
The trade test at the end of the subject and the theory exam signifies to the student one step closer to their trade qualifications. It allows the Instructor a chance to see how well he is able to put across the subject and it again gives the students a bit of completion against each other.
The trade test and theory assessment usually takes place over a three day period starting with the theory assessment and then the group divides into threes for the practical. This is manageable for the assessor and the maximum size group for the resources available. Once the entire group has completed all parts of the assessment they then re-group and have a chance to provide feedback to the Department Head at the end of the subject and then again to the Chief Instructor (or his representative) at the end of the course before they are sent to their units.
This feedback from the students is important and is used by the MOD to determine were course improvements are required so that effective training for their manpower is produced; as such the feedback is recorded on a set format. This format covers everything from the classroom and its furniture, the media resources used, the training aids and the course work, to how the instructor’s performed and if the students can see if there are ways to improve the course that has not been evident before. (See appendixes.)
If a point is raised which is one that requires action, then the area of concern is reviewed, assessed and amended as required. All Instructors are required to continuously review their PowerPoint presentation and usually amend them on completion of one course in preparation for the next, as well as keeping up to date with changes to the equipment they are instructing on.
If the Instructors performance is brought up then the department head will interview the Instructor explaining the areas that they need to exam and amend if needed. If the instructor fails to amend their performance then the head of department may be required carry out a performance review.
The resources available (buildings and training aids) are provided by the MOD and as such there is only a limited budget (as discussed in a previous assignment). So the Instructors have to be versatile enough and have the experience to amend both the equipment and rooms as required.
As the classrooms are of varying sizes the Instructors will consult with each other on the best layout of the furniture that enables them to work in the room concerned, most opt for the Instructor in front with the students in rows, however some of the rooms require the layout to be versatile with either fire escapes or the positioning of the white boards being factors which need to be taken into consideration.
Point to note on the buildings; they were built in the Second World War for storage and have been amended over the years but not always to the best effect. No matter what room an Instructor is given for a course all get given the opportunity to set up and rehearse their presentation before a course starts.
All assessments are stored on the internal secure database and this information is restricted to those that require it. It is not up to the Instructor who has access but up to those above his pay grade within the Military and the training provider (Babcock’s in this instant).
Hard copies are produced for the students themselves for their benefit, the Instructor so that he can see who has passed and who has failed with the grades next to each name and a breakdown of the questions so he can review his presentation to cover the areas which require it.
The information held on line can be accessed by the head of each department so they can see how effective the Instructor is, the training manager so he can see how each department is doing with the courses. The site manager so he has statistical information for the company as it provides a data base when the contract comes for renewal.
The Military Chain of Command has access to this information as they need feedback on how effective training has been provided and if there are any short falls on the course. Also because a copy of the students training record is held in their Military file.
The MAT will also have access to this information so they have the data for the students NVQ.
The effectiveness of the way the assessments are carried out has improved over the years. I carried out my apprenticeship in the same school where I used to teach. At the time the assessment criteria was different for each department and at the end of the course there was no finial debrief, the course was not linked to any trade qualifications in the civilian sector and as such it was very much controlled by the department heads all of whom had different opinions.
When I returned on my ‘up-grader course’ the assessments where now standardised between each department and it was at the time that Edexcel had been approached to link the training to a civilian qualification. There were still a lot of cobwebs in the program and some of the instructional periods and assessments varied as each department were brought into line.
Returning as an instructor it highlighted the changes that had taken place. Gone were the days of it being up to the individual Instructor, now the assessments and lessons are linked into a standardised training program with each stage being internally and externally verified by independent bodies.
This has led to improved student motivation as they are very much aware of what they must achieve to pass the course. The courses are linked into career progression so one stage slots neatly into another as the student progress through the ranks. The Instructors have a clear picture of what they must achieve and the training provider can say to the customer that they are meeting all the criteria at all stages and more importantly the views of the students are listened to and reacted to if required. This is better than when I went through when the attitude was one of shut up and do what you are told.
As an Instructor I listen to the feedback I receive from the students both in the written form and verbal. This I use to review my lessons and resources and if I can I will adjust accordingly (sometimes the training aids are the only ones that I can use due to the MOD contact). I carry out this action throughout the course as the students might forget a relevant point and so might I.
Has the procedures improved? Yes they have. Should they stand still? No way as stagnation will result in a situation that existed before. The training provider and Instructors are now required to keep up to date with all changes and implement them as required and to keep the customer informed and up to date.
Bibliography.
DTLLS YR 2 hand-outs.
Personnel:
Mr Alan Geeves, Line Manager Transmissions Department, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Mr Chris Grace BA (Hons) technical Training Manager, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Mr Clive Booley Senior executive Officer, Babcock International Group Bordon site.
Company and MOD Policy’s:
Babcock International Group Defence & Security Human Resources Policies and Procedures:
Performance Improvement DSD-HR-P-0001.
Code of Conduct DSD-HR-P-0003.
Dignity & Respect at Work DSD-HR-P-0008.
Disciplinary DSD-HR-P-0009.
Equal Opportunities DSD- HR-P-0010.
Grievance DSD-HR-P-0012.
Mod Policies (Client/Site.).
DSEME (Bor) Standing Orders:
Standing Order 2101 Supervisory Care Directive.
Standing Order ‘? Self-Assessment & Continual Improvement.
Standing Order 8601 Student Review Board Technical Training.
Standing Order 2104 Mentoring & Coaching of Soldiers Under Training.
Standing Order 3306 Service Complaints.
Standing Order 2102 Anti Bullying Policy.
Standing Order 2201 Commanding Officers Equality and Diversity Policy.
JSP 898 Catalogue of Defence Policies with Impact on Training and Education.
Books:
Hall, L. Marsh, K. (2000). Professionalism, Policies and Values. London: The University of Greenwich.
Huddleston, P. Unwin, L. (2013). Teaching and Learning in Further education. 4th ed. Oxon: Routledge.
Petty G, 2009. Teaching Today. 4th ed. Cheltenham UK: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Web sites and PDF Documents:
Steve Besley (24 May 2012). Developing the qualification system . Available: http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.
Babcock International Group. (2014). Land. Available: http://www.babcockinternational.com/markets/defence/land/. Last accessed 25 Jan 2014.
Babcock International Group. (2014). Military Training. Available: http://www.babcockinternational.com/capabilities/training-education/training/military-training/. Last accessed 25 Jan 2014.
Ofsted. (04 Jul 2013). Welfare and duty of care in Armed Forces initial training 2013. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/welfare-and-duty-of-care-armed-forces-initial-training-2013. Last accessed 02 Feb 2014.
Ofsted. (2012). Inspecting welfare and duty of care in Armed Services’ training. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/further-education-and-skills/for-further-education-and-skills-providers/inspecting-further-education-and-skills/inspecting-welfa. Last accessed 03 Feb 2014.
Ofsted. (10 Sep 2012). Common inspection framework for further education and skills 2012. Available: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/common-inspection-framework-for-further-education-and-skills-2012. Last accessed 03 Feb 2014.
ISO technical committee. (2008). ISO 9000 – Quality management. Available: http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_9000. Last accessed 09 Feb 2014.
ISO. (2013). Certification. Available: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/certification.htm. Last accessed 09 Feb 2014.
Sitra. (November 2010). Using the. Available: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/qaf_guidance_november2010.pdf. Last accessed 06 Feb 2014.
QAA. (Jan-2014). UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Available: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/QC-general-introduction.pdf. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.
Abbreviations used:-
LLUK Lifelong Learning United Kingdom ATLS Associate Teacher, Learning Skills
PTLLS Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector QTLS Qualified Teacher, Learning Skills
CTLLS Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector IFL The Institute for Learning
DTLLS Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector FE Further Education
MOD Ministry of Defence CPD Continuing professional development
HR Human Resources DSEME Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineers
MAT Modern Apprenticeship Team BCOT Basingstoke College of Technology.
DoE Department for Education SFA Skills Funding Agency.
QCF Qualifications and Credit Framework LSC The Learning and Skills Council.
DWP Department for Work and Pensions. SEN Special Educational Needs.
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England. EFA Education Funds Agency.
REME Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. SME Subject Matter Expert.
ESF European Social Fund
 

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