Rubitek Founder and CEO Kerry Linley recently had the pleasure of talking to Paul Butler, a true expert in all things apprenticeships, about what makes a good training provider. In this series, we will be calling on Paul’s wisdom to discuss what it takes and what must be considered in order to be an exceptional training provider.
For the purposes of our discussion with Paul, we broke down the journey into three different stages – before delivery, during delivery and after delivery. In this, our third and final instalment in the series, we talk about everything that goes into being a great training provider after the delivery of the apprenticeship.
(If you missed parts one and two, talking about everything training providers must consider before and during delivery, you can catch up in the latest news section on our website)
After Delivery of the Apprenticeship
You may think that, once the delivery of the apprenticeship is over, the hard work is done and you can rest easy, however this isn’t exactly the case. After the apprenticeship is complete, a training provider is presented with the chance to review, evaluate and improve, and the greatest training providers out there do exactly that.
After the delivery of the apprenticeship, your focus may well turn to opportunities for repeat business and setting up for the next time around; training providers who continuously improve and enhance their offering to be sure they are providing the best possible service are the ones who will most likely see repeat business from employers.
A good training provider focuses on continuous improvement. This means keeping up with compliance on an ongoing basis, working closely with all parties, taking on feedback and always planning for the future. It also means evaluating your service after the fact, collecting feedback, identifying your strengths and addressing your pitfalls. And doing so continuously.
Review and Improve
“Listen to employers and learners, because without them, you don't have an apprenticeship.”
Get as much feedback as you can from right across the board, making sure you're bringing it in from every possible corner. Not only this, but make sure you’re listening to it and doing something with it. Don't just collect this data for the sake of it.
The main question you want to be asking is this: are you delivering an effective programme? If so, you’ll likely receive repeat business. However, you need to find out if this is the case and, if not, what you can do to fix it.
Points for Comparison
You’ve collected all of this data and feedback and that’s brilliant, but does it mean a lot out of context? One of Paul’s top tips is to read Ofsted reports from the inspection of other training providers and compare your performance, identifying how you can improve to be more on their level. But don't just read the “outstanding” and the “good” ratings; read the poor ones as well, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
“They’re like free case studies, really.”
And So, It Continues…
Once you’ve identified your shortcomings, and what you’ve been doing well, use this information to plan for the future. How are you going to maintain the excellence that you’ve achieved? How are you going to improve on the areas that need it?
And, just like that, we almost find ourselves returning to the “before delivery” stage, our first article, where it all began. This is no coincidence – a good training provider is, as we’ve mentioned, constantly improving. Whilst, for the purposes of this series, we have broken the apprenticeship journey into three stages, it doesn’t end there. These three stages repeat and repeat. Which brings us nicely onto our conclusion.
We’ve said it before, but we really can’t stress it enough – a good training provider focuses on continuous improvement. This means keeping up with compliance on an ongoing basis, working closely with all parties, taking on feedback and always planning for the future.
Everything we’ve covered in this series by and large emphasises one critical instruction – make sure the service you offer is completely fit for purpose and as valuable as possible to all those involved. A great apprenticeship training provider doesn’t just settle for the bare minimum, but is constantly learning and adapting in order to provide an enhanced and valuable experience to learners and employers alike.
For more advice on what makes a great training provider, or if you have any questions regarding what we have discussed in this series, contact Rubitek today or see our website for more information.
If you’d like to listen to our full interview with Paul himself, you can do so here.