Advice and guidance

Premier Early Years Training
Advice and Guidance
Jul 11, 2023
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All too often we see comments on social media from people very confused about which course and which training provider they should go with. It’s far too common that we hear about training providers offering very low prices for ‘full’ qualifications, often with hidden charges or penalties. The ‘full’ qualifications often being CPD courses and will not be recognised by employers or OFSTED

Courses are often advertised as fully online, when in fact any full Level 2 or 3 qualification, observation of a learner in their workplace/placement is a requirement of Ofqual and the awarding bodies. How can a learner choose the right training provider with so many to choose from?

Word of mouth is an excellent way, ask friends, local nurseries where they have used or would recommend. Local colleges - but these would normally require a commitment to attend once a week for a day/eve.

Online training providers but only ones that are registered with an awarding body.

We think the first place to look for a training provider/college is to look at the awarding body website and do a centre search locally to you. All good training providers are inspected annually by the awarding body and have to adhere to a rigorous quality assurance.

A training provider/college that offers funded courses either through apprenticeships/ student loans are also inspected by OFSTED. Courses can be self funded or can be funded by learner loans or through an apprenticeship route, all are very different and with the funded and apprenticeships options there may be extra requirements or work to be taken into account.'

How do I choose the right qualification or level ?
The first thing we ask any applicant to think about is where they would like to work and with what age group. If you can only see yourself working in a school as a TA then the Support Teaching & Learning in Schools is the best option. However if you are not sure if you would like to work in an Early Years setting or school then the Early Years Educator is the option for you, it will give you the best option to work in all settings. A lot of schools don't actually require a qualification for a TA but some education authorities require at least a Level 2.

Support Teaching & Learning Qualifications are offered as an Award, Certificate and Diploma.

The Award is only a short course intended as an introduction to the information and knowledge needed to work in primary, secondary or special schools. It covers the many varied roles that full and part-time support staff may fulfil including administrative roles, site support roles, technical roles and volunteers. This is knowledge only and does not give you a qualification to work directly with the children as a TA. The Certificate will enable learners to develop the knowledge and skills needed when supporting teaching and learning in primary, secondary or special schools. It covers a wide range of areas including children and young people’s development, supporting those with disabilities or special educational needs and communication and professional relationships. It is suitable to anyone working directly with the children The Diploma This qualification provides learners with an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills needed when working directly with children and young people in school and college environments. It covers all aspects of specialist support including planning, delivering and reviewing assessment strategies to support learning alongside the teacher; bilingual support; special needs support; and personal development and reflective practice.

All three qualifications have units in common and they can be transferred at any time to the other qualifications in the suite. The Diploma can only be completed if you support children who need additional support or you are in a specialist school. Some units may be hard to achieve if you are working in a mainstream school. The Award and Certificate are offered at both Level 2 and 3, deciding which is the correct level is often decided at interview and through initial assessment.

A general rule is that if you are employed in a school or have been volunteering for a long time then a level 3 would be more suited. Early Years Educator offered at both Level 2 and 3.

Level 2 The aim of this qualification is to provide learners with the knowledge and understanding of babies and young children from Birth to 7 years of age with applied knowledge in the early years, 0-5 years. The qualification content meets the Department for Education’s (DfE) Level 2 full and relevant criteria for a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner in the workforce. This qualification is ideal for learners looking to work with children between Birth and 5 years, and gain knowledge of working with children up to 7 years. Learners do not need to have previous experience or qualifications in working with children to undertake this qualification but will need to be volunteering in a setting to achieve the qualification.

Level 3 The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them aged 5 to 7 years. Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators. .From 3 April 2017, the requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators (EYE) to hold GCSE English and maths A*-C, will be broadened to Level 2 qualifications, including Functional Skills. You do not need to have a Level 2 but it is advisable if you do not have any previous experience working with young children.

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Premier Early Years Training
Advice and Guidance
Jul 11, 2023
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Everyone loves a bargain or a good deal! But as with everything in life, is cheap good when it comes to buying a qualification?

On social media we are seeing more and more learners asking if this is the right course in order for them to work with children or progress in their career. We are seeing almost on a daily basis learners asking for help with a question that their assessor should be supporting them with.

The trouble with discounted courses is that the assessors working for a training provider may be training to become an assessor ‘on the job’ or an assessor with an unrealistic caseload of learners. Often without good quality teaching resources, with so little time allocated to each learner. Learners are given far too little support and asked to complete whole units by themselves or told to buy a course textbook.

A good quality training provider will support their assessors, hold regular standardisation meetings to ensure that everyone delivering the qualifications are delivering to a high standard. All training providers are accredited to an awarding body who will moderate the centres policies, procedures & all staff. Awarding bodies can withdraw a centre from delivering their qualifications.

So what questions should you be asking?
The first and most important is whether the qualification is a full qualification and which awarding body is the training provider accredited to.
This can be checked by looking at the awarding body website, it’s worth finding out if they do work with that training provider. All training providers must register their learners with the awarding body; this is usually within a short timescale - maximum of 6 weeks. If the training provider hasn't done this they can be issued with sanctions by the awarding body. It is the learners insurance if anything goes wrong with the training company.

Find out if the course is funded. Is it an apprenticeship?
Some courses that are apprenticeships will have extra specifications such as functional skills added. If you were to do this course through a loan you may not have to do functional skills. Some courses are self funded; however you need to find out if there are any payment plans available.

What are the costs of the course?
Are their penalties for re-submitting coursework?
What happens if you take longer to complete the course?
Do you have to pay for a certificate when you complete?
Do you have to pay to be observed in a setting?

So you see that there are lots of hidden costs for your bargain!

What should be included in the cost of the course?
Registration with the awarding body, this usually lasts for 2-3 years; there should be no penalty if you go over a timescale. (Unless the funding specifies a certain time scale) When a learner is registered with an awarding body, it also includes certification; the training provider is not charged extra for this! You should be assessed by a qualified assessor; if you are being taught by a trainee assessor, all their work should be countersigned by a qualified assessor.
All teaching, assessment, marking and direct observation (if relevant) should be included.

The assessor is there to support you, if you need to expand your answers or add to an assignment, so be it! It is the assessors job to support you to extend your knowledge and to encourage you to complete the course. It doesn't matter if you meet the criteria the first time or the tenth time, it's their job!

You should have access to good high quality up to date teaching resources. My very last piece of advice is DO NOT just click and buy a course online, any good training provider, will interview potential learners to ensure they are on the correct course and the correct level.

Between Suzanne and Lisa they have over 20 years experience delivering & teaching Cache courses. They have worked with a variety of colleges and training providers and have built up a big network of fellow assessors, tutors, internal moderators and external moderators.We wrote this as we get so upset and frustrated when we see that people have been sold the wrong course or are being penalised during their course. There are so many excellent assessors, tutors, internal moderators and of course training providers and we just want to be aware of all the facts before you click!

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Premier Early Years Training
Advice and Guidance
Jul 11, 2023
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This weekend on social media, I have seen so many comments and posts from people looking for courses or who have already signed up for courses that have been mis-sold. One poor learner had been given the wrong information by one of the country's biggest recruitment agency! Others have not been given support by their assessors & again not being observed by their assessors in their setting.

I have seen comments from people saying this is what happens when you pay for the course but I can 100% say this is not the case for all privately funded trainingproviders, in fact, I would say this happens more and more with "free courses/apprentices" providers. The assessors working for these companies have such a huge caseload of learners that they can't possibly support the learners through their qualifications and give them the support that they should expect.

Learners see that they can access free courses or learner loans but they don't realise that there are other options. Please do your research, speak to colleaguesthat have already completed courses, look at local colleges and private training providers. Do a centre search on an awarding body website, such as Cache.

If you are not happy with your assessor/training provider, in the first instance speak to the provider, and if you are still not happy with their response/support contact the awarding body, they can put in place sanctions or withdraw the accreditation.

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Premier Early Years Training
Advice and Guidance
Jul 11, 2023
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There seems to be a lot of confusion over the ‘right qualification’ to work in a school environment and to be honest, it can be a bit of a minefield!

In the first instance, if you want to work in a school then the best route is to start to volunteer in a school, each school is very different and each key stage is as well. You should then speak to your headteacher/ local education authority as each area has different criteria to become a TA, some schools don't ask for any qualifications whereas others do as well as a certain level of English/maths qualifications.

A lot of schools have funding for staff to access apprenticeship qualifications. If this is the case then there is only a level 3 qualification available to access the funding. Government reforms to the apprenticeship system have led to the development of the Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship Standard. We, therefore, offer the Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning qualification which fully maps to the knowledge, skills, and behaviour requirements the Standard demands. (Cache website 3/2021) If however you are not going down the apprenticeship route then you have a lot more qualifications to choose from, some providers will be able to offer the adult loan or you may choose to privately fund the course.

You may think why should I pay for the course when I can get a ‘free one’? Depending on the finance offered to you, you may have to undertake English/maths/functional skills alongside your main qualification, with the apprenticeship route you have to complete the standards as well as the diploma.

Another consideration is the timescale, some finance/loans will have a specific length of time that you have to stay on the course, so if you want to complete earlier you can’t. This is the same if you choose to go to a local college, you will have to attend classes, weekly for a certain timescale. Ifyou choose to self-fund then you can complete the course at your own pace. There are two levels of qualifications to choose from, either level 2 or 3, depending on your
experience in schools, level of education, English and maths qualifications would determine which is the best level for you. A good training provider will help and support you to be on the right level to help you achieve your end goal, there really is no point in being on a course that you will struggle with. Learning is a journey and should be enjoyable! Both levels of qualifications now cover a much bigger age range to enable learners to work in a school or college.

Award in Support Teaching and Learning

This qualification is an introduction to the knowledge and understanding needed to work in a school or college environment. It can apply to the many varied roles that full and part-time support staff may fulfill including administrative roles, site support roles, technical roles, and volunteers, as well as roles that work directly with children and young people in the learning environment. This is a knowledge-only qualification and you do not need to be working in a school to complete it, you can progress to the level 2 certificate when completed.

Certificate in Support Teaching and Learning
The Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning has been designed to provide learners with an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed when working directly with children and young people in school or college environments. It covers a wide range of areas including children and young people’s development, supporting children and young people’s positive behaviour, and communication and professional relationships. It’s aimed at learners working in roles that support pupils’ learning in primary, secondary, or special schools, as well as colleges. To complete this course you MUST be working/volunteering in a classroom in a school.

Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning

This qualification provides learners with an understanding of the knowledge needed when working directly with children and young people in a school or college environment. It will enable learners to gain an understanding of elements including children and young people’s development and safeguarding their welfare. However, it will not qualify you to work as a teaching assistant and will provide underpinning knowledge only. This qualification is suitable for learners who are not yetworking in a Level 3 school or college role but are able to achieve at this level. It is also suitable for initial training.

Certificate in Supporting Teaching & Learning
This qualification provides learners with an understanding of the knowledge needed when working directly with children and young people in a school or college environment. It will enable learners to gain an understanding of elements including children and young people’s development, safeguarding their welfare, and communication and professional relationships. To complete this qualification you must be working or volunteering directly with children in a classroom environment for a minimum of 100 hrs.

Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning
This qualification provides learners with an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills needed when working directly with children and young people in school and college environments. It covers all aspects of specialist support including planning, delivering, and reviewing assessment strategies to support learning alongside the teacher; bilingual support; special needs support; and personal development and reflective practice. This qualification is aimed at learners working in roles that offer specialist support for pupils’ learning in primary, secondary or special schools, as well as colleges. As learners need to show competence in both skills and knowledge, they will need to be working or be on a practical placement during the taught programme of study in a learning environment (school or college). At diploma level, we recommend that the learner undertakes 200 hours of placement in a real work environment. The level 3 qualifications are part of a nested suite of qualifications. Qualifications within a nested suite allow learners to top up to a qualification that is the same level and subject within the Award, Certificate, Diploma structure. To clarify if you are working with children in a mainstream school/college and not supporting children who need specialist support then you should complete the certificate, the diploma has additional units that relate to children who need specialist support and it may be hard to achieve the diploma if not. You can always top up your qualification at a later date.

This Level 4 qualification aims to provide professional development opportunities for practitioners working in the school and college workforce. This qualification will embrace the wealth of experience, proven knowledge, and skills of the learner in a teaching and learning environment. It will challenge the learner in both daily practice and theoretical understanding. Learners will acquire and use skills of leadership, mentoring, coaching, and reflection as they
complete the qualification through work-based learning opportunities. Upon achievement of this qualification, the learner will be equipped as an Advanced Practitioner.

The Advanced Practitioner will use crucial leadership skills to mentor others across all roles and responsibilities in the school or college workforce. This is not an HLTA qualification, HLTA is a status, and TA’s who wish to become HLTA should speak to their headteacher/line manager to discuss how to demonstrate the 33 standards needed.

The qualification is aimed at learners who are employed in suitable roles within schools or colleges. Previous Level 3 study is a clear advantage but wealth of experience, knowledge, and understanding working in schools or colleges is a requirement for this CPD qualification.

One last thing, choose your training provider/college carefully, ask around, get recommendations. Look at the awarding body’s website, do a centre search, ensure that the providers are registered to deliver the qualification. Look at OFSTED, if the college, training, or apprenticeship provider offer loans/ funding they will have to be inspected by OFSTED, although centres not offering the funding route do not need to be inspected, although they are quality assured by the awarding body. When speaking to the providers, find out exactly what you are paying for, you should have access to your assessor on a regular basis, be supported by them either by email/face to face, telephone calls. You should not pay extra to be observed in your setting if it is a requirement of the qualification nor should you be observed by someone in your school! You should also not have to pay for the awarding body certificate! If you are unhappy with the training/apprentice provider or college, speak to the awarding body.

The very last thing - Enjoy your course!

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Premier Early Years Training
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Jul 11, 2023
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We are seeing so many requests for support from learners on social media to help them complete their assignments, where to find evidence and people struggling as assignments have been returned with minimal feedback. We thought we would explain the role of the assessor in vocational qualifications. We have both been so lucky that any qualifications we have undertaken or when we both started out as assessors we were supported by an amazing team of assessors and tutors, who really encouraged our learning and professional development. We hope that we pass this on to our assessors and learners.

The main role of the assessor is to help and support the learner to complete their qualification.

Assessors should be qualified and are trained to assess work through a variety of sources. All assessors are working within a set criteria for each level of the qualification; standardised by their training provider, whether it is a school, college, apprenticeship provider or training company. The awarding body will hold annual visits to all their centres by an EQA - External Quality Adviser to make sure that they are all following the strict guidelines that are set out to all centres. Assessors should be attending standardisation meetings throughout the year to ensure that all learners are being assessed the same way and that all assessors have the same expectations.

Each centre will have a lead IQA - Internal Quality Assurer whose main role is to ensure that all assessors are fulfilling their job role. The IQA will sample the learners' work throughout their course, not to check the learners' work, but to ensure that the assessor is fulfilling their role correctly and to the standards set out by the awarding body. It is the same for the EQA who will be checking the IQA and the centres roles and work. Assessors should complete annual CPD to ensure their own knowledge is up to date as possible. They should also be informed about the most up to date adaptations of each course that they assess on.

An assessors main role is to support each of their learners individually to meet the criteria of the qualification that they are on. Some learners need more support than others, this could depend on their job role, experience, where they are working/volunteering, experience of previous education or an additional learning need.

For each level of qualification assessors should be marking work at a certain level; assessors' expectation of learners knowledge will vary hugely from a level 2 to 5. At level 2 assessors should be teaching for most of the qualification, at level 3 assessors would expect a lot more reflection and knowledge already gained from doing the job role, at level 4 and 5 the learner would be expected to do a lot more self studying, analysing and research. A learner should expect support throughout their learning journey irrelevant to the level of their qualification.

Work should not just be sent/ given back without guidance as to how to expand to meet the criteria. Assessors should be able to support and guide learners as to where they should be looking to find the correct evidence.

So what should you do if you feel you are not getting the support you need? In the first place you should speak to your assessor, they may be unaware that you want more support or feel you are not getting enough. If possible try to have the conversation via email or a record of the conversation in writing. The assessor should record this in a work plan/feedback sheet. If you still feel after that conversation that you are not getting the support you need, speak to the IQA, you should be aware of who this is from your induction, again try to have a written record.

If after this if you feel that you are not being supported then speak to the awarding body, who will look into this and if necessary issue sanctions against the training provider. You should be enjoying your learning journey and not struggle. That is why it is so important that you are sign posted to the correct level of qualification from the start and you are supported throughout.

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Premier Early Years Training
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Jul 11, 2023
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You have trawled the internet and social media and you are now completely confused as to which training provider or qualification you should be looking for. We hope our previous series of blogs has helped you. We have thought about the questions you should ask when speaking to a potential training provider.

The training provider will have a centre number and should appear on a centre search in the awarding bodies website. The provider should also be registered with Companies House and National Register of Training Providers. Not all training providers need to be registered with OFSTED, only the ones offering funding and apprenticeships or part of a college or school will be inspected by OFSTED. All centres will have annual audits from their awarding body, you should be able to see the report if you want to. All qualifications that the centre delivers will be looked at and sampled to ensure that they are delivering the qualifications correctly.

Very simply if there is no observation in your workplace/volunteer setting then NO it's not a full qualification at level 2 & 3. You have to be observed, no arguments! In line with the requirements of the awarding body, it must be by an assessor and not by anyone in the setting, if the training centre tells you this, please run away! The only time that this can happen has been in lockdown, when settings were not allowing visitors in and learners were near the completion date of their qualification. Going forward this will hopefully not happen again! The awarding bodies do not like expert witness testimonies as a rule for evidence. If there's no observation then it is a CPD course or knowledge only. CPD is Continued Professional Development and only suitable to develop or expand on your existing knowledge. (There are some great CPD courses around)

There are various options and there is no wrong way, it really is your personal preference and learning style. But please ask the question! It can be weekly classes at a college, either day or evening over an academic year. Or one-to-one workshops either face to face or over google meets/ facetime or the third option is all online, where you are sent assignments which you complete in your own time. I personally think the best option is a mixture of face-to-face workshops and access to good quality resources, supported by a qualified assessor/tutor. You need to find out if there are any restrictions on the number of submissions of assignments. We have heard that after 3 submissions of an assignment you are then charged for any further re-submissions. This is poor practice, the assessor's main role is to support you through your qualifications. If a learner is returning to education after a long time, it can take them a while to get back into the swing of things and to know exactly what evidence meets the criteria. I would also ask how long the assessor will take to return assignments, it can be frustrating if you would like to complete more work but the assessor is taking 3 weeks to send it back to you and you are waiting for feedback or can’t progress. Another scare story; a learner was sending in her work and not being set any new work, whilst the assessor took a long time to mark the work and asked for a resubmission, she wasn't allowed to start new work until the other work had been agreed as competent, she was then charged extra as she was going over her deadlines, again very poor practice!

There are numerous funding options and each funding option will have certain criteria attached to it; this could be age restrictions, timescale to complete the course, (not only to complete before a deadline but also not being allowed to complete before a certain deadline) previous level of qualifications, apprenticeship funding or self-funding. If you are self-funding, find out about payment plans, ask are they interest-free, etc

From 3 April 2017, the requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators (EYE) to hold GCSE English and Maths A*-C, has been broadened to Level 2 qualifications, including Functional Skills. This will enable staff with an EYE qualification and Level 2 English and Mathematics qualifications to count in the Level 3 staff: child ratios in childcare settings. This includes those who already hold an EYE qualification, who began studying an EYE from September 2014, or will achieve an EYE in the future. (Please refer to the Early Years Workforce Strategy (March 2017) for further details.) Some learners find it hard or have lost their original GCSE/ O level certificates. If you don't know the awarding body and your old school is still open, it's worth contacting them to see if they have a record of the awarding body, you can then ask for a fee to have a replacement certificate. If for some reason that is not an option then go to the AQA
website, where you can obtain copies of the transcript but not the certificate.

For learners who completed their education in other countries, it is worth converting them to the UK equivalent via Ecctis - formerly NARIC

For all other qualifications at levels 2 & 3 such as Support Teaching & Learning, there are no set requirements apart from learners needing to be 16 years, but each training provider will set their own requirements. For level 4 and 5 qualifications, there will normally be a requirement that learners hold a level 3 vocational qualification

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Premier Early Years Training
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Jul 11, 2023
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Judging by a lot of bewilderment on social media a few weeks ago, when someone asked where to complete a PANCo qualification, it quickly became obvious that people in the industry had not heard of it apart from an alternative to coat chicken in! With the implementation of the revised EYFS the PANCo role will be a great addition to any early years setting.

In 2009, the Cambridge Childhood Partnership was created by three health and education professionals, who wanted to develop a health and wellbeing qualification in Early Years. They developed the idea of a physical & nutritional coordinator (PANCo) to be employed in every setting. In 2010 they launched a Cache-endorsed programme to 60 eager early years professionals and it was launched nationwide in 2014 as part of the Cache level 4 Advanced Practitioner course, as well as now a stand-alone unit.

PANCo Role
The PANCo champions best practice in physical activity and nutrition and acts as the agent for change. They lead positive change to ensure an environment and ethos that supports the prevention of obesity and health and wellbeing of children, families, and staff. Staff completing the PANCo qualification need to be able to reflect, analyse and implement change within their setting. They need to be able to lead other staff members to promote a healthy lifestyle within the setting and support families to make positive changes. There has been so much research that leads to the conclusion that if children are encouraged to make healthy choices from an early age this can influence positive choices in adulthood.

Research task
Within the 5 units of the Level 4 Advanced Practitioner, there is a small research task. We encourage our learners to relate their research task to the PANCo unit. We have seen some amazing changes in settings’ practices from these tasks. From implementing forest schools, control of portion sizes, ‘walk a mile a day’ to healthy choices in lunch boxes and oral hygiene. Feedback from early years managers and owners have told us, it’s not only excellent CPD for staff but the impact on other staff members and parents has been huge.

New EYFS Update
With the emphasis in the update on promoting good oral hygiene, now is a really good time to analyse practice and procedures with a setting. Good oral hygiene doesn't just mean adding in teeth brushing after a meal but settings can look at the food choices they offer; to eliminate high sugar contents, encourage parents to use sugar free medicines, to visit the dentist regularly, and have healthy lifestyle topics, books, resources, and visits. Hygienists and dentists make great visits to settings!

We love reading peoples’ comments to our posts on our Facebook page. Please comment too!

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Premier Early Years Training
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Jul 07, 2023
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You've researched, pondered, and finally chosen the course with your preferred training provider but what should you expect once you have enrolled?

Hopefully, before you have committed to any course you have followed our advice and guidance on choosing the right training provider and course - if not head over to our website to view our blogs!

As a learner
With any course that you enrol on, whether it's provided by your local college, online training provider, apprenticeship or a mix of blended learning, you should have had an interview, and then once you enrol for an induction.

The induction is not a form ticking exercise but should be an opportunity to pass on more information about the course, awarding body that it is accredited to, course contents, length of the course, other qualifications that are needed to achieve the qualification, people involved, learner expectations, how work is marked, any cost implications etc.

Once on a course, you will either be taught by a tutor or an assessor. Usually, within a college environment, you will have a different assessor to tutor, with an independent training provider be it on an apprenticeship route or a vocational course you will be taught and assessed by an assessor.

The assessor should be qualified, although some training companies employ trainee assessors, who have a caseload of learners as well as becoming qualified themselves. Either way, the tutor/assessors are there to support you throughout your course. It is their job, to share good quality resources with you, encourage your learning, help you to meet the criteria, deepen your knowledge and understanding of policies, procedures, and good practice. The way you meet the criteria will be a mix of assignments, reflection, and direct observation. This will all be planned as your assessor/tutor who should have up-to-date knowledge of the qualifications that they are working with. Anyone involved with the delivery of qualifications in early years are expected to have up-to-date information and knowledge, as they are audited annually by the awarding body, staff CV’s, qualifications and CPD are always checked. Anyone enrolling on a course should expect the training provider/college to be registered ASAP with the awarding body. This is the learner’s insurance should the company cease
trading. Centres can have qualifications withdrawn for not registering learners. Throughout the course learners should expect that their assignments are returned in a timely manner with constructive feedback if needed and support on how to extend their answers if need be. The assessors/tutors should be on hand to answer questions or queries throughout the course. Learners and settings should be able to contact the assessor/tutor/centre throughout the duration of the course. If you feel that you are not supported then contact the awarding body, they will have a complaints procedure.

As a manager/owner…
If you have staff undertaking a qualification then you also should be able to have support from their training provider/college. Learners should pass on information as to what support you should be giving to your staff when they are on the course. Learners will need access to policies and procedures, paperwork, Ofsted reports & depending on the level of the course, children to observe and contact with parents. If staff are employed then they will of course have access, but you may be supporting volunteers whilst they become qualified themselves.

For learners on the level 4 courses, they will need to be able to implement change in the setting and also run workshops/information sessions for other staff members. As a manager you do not automatically have access to your staff's assignments, this is so learners can feel free to analyse and think critically about the settings’ practices, and policies. If you have an apprenticeship then you need to ensure that they have ‘off-the-job’
time/ training. This isn't time allocated to their assessor but needs to be separate, they may need time off to sit English/Maths and end point assessment exams.

As a manager/ nursery owner/ staff member, whoever you are working with, you are entitled to support from whoever you are training with. This includes regular meetings/feedback and support. If you are not getting this, then you need to in the first instance speak to the provider, if you are still not happy speak to the awarding body!

Don't put up with a bad experience. Learning should be an enjoyable journey and experience for everyone involved. It makes us so angry when we hear that it's not a good experience for some learners. Our greatest achievement is when we see learners start off with us at level 2 and progress up the career path! Some of our previous level 2’s are now assessors, teachers, and nursery managers!

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Jun 08, 2023
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We are often asked by people; how do you become an assessor or what career progression is there for some of the more experienced early years workers? Working as an assessor is very rewarding as you can pass on your own experiences and advice to people starting out in an industry in early years. Many assessors combine working in a setting as well as being an assessor. It is not recommended that you assess your own colleagues as this would be a conflict of interest. The first criteria to become an assessor is that you must hold a relevant vocational qualification, at least at level 3 and you will need an assessor's qualification such as CAVA or the level 3 certificate in assessing. You will also need to have recent industry experience. Then there are two routes to gaining your assessor's qualification. The first route is to work as a trainee assessor, where you will be given on-the-job training as well as completing your assessor's qualification. You will be allocated a cohort of learners and will support them throughout their course, providing workshops, observation in their settings, setting assignments, marking and giving feedback. The second route is to gain your Cava/assessors qualification at either a college/training provider. You will need to complete all three units to be fully qualified and you will also need to have access to at least two different learners and be able to fully assess two units for each of them. Skills and knowledge You will need:
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • willing to travel off-site for observations
  • ensure you have up-to-date industry knowledge
Day-to-day tasks You may:
  • plan and deliver vocational training programmes and workshops
  • observe and assess candidates in their workplace
  • interview candidates and examine their portfolios of evidence
  • provide feedback and offer advice
  • sign off the award when all requirements are met
  • keep records of candidates' progress
  • attend meetings with other assessors
  • work closely with training staff and candidates' managers
Once you have gained experience as an assessor you can progress to becoming an internal quality assurer, external quality assurer or teach in higher education. For more information on our courses, advice or guidance please contact us at
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Premier Early Years Training
Advice and Guidance
Jun 08, 2023
Comments (0)

(This isn't us making up a silly title but taken from Cache guidance!)

On social media, we are seeing so many people asking for guidance and support for an assignment. It never ceases to surprise us how little support some students get from their assessors.

If this resonates with you then read on!!

This week I interviewed a new learner who is transferring from another training company. She has had no contact from her assessor apart from feedback on her assignment via email or the E-learning platform. She has never seen her assessor or even had a telephone conversation with her. She was set an assignment and had to get on with it! This isn't learning! Imagine giving children a topic at school, no resources, no support or no help, Ofsted would soon have something to say! It is the same with adult learners on all levels of courses, we all need support and help.

The role of the assessor is to support the learner and to make informed judgements about the range of evidence the learner has produced, which should demonstrate their competence to meet the assessment criteria as detailed in the qualification specification.

Assessors should be suitably qualified and committed to developing their CPD.

The assessor should decide on the assessment methods to be used throughout the delivery of the qualification and document this.  These should help the learners demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding to help them provide the necessary evidence.  A broad range of assessment methods can also make the qualification more engaging and enjoyable for the learners.

A planned programme outline should also be devised to show how they intend to deliver the qualification and as a benchmark to track progress.

The assessor may be responsible for inducting the learners onto the programme.  If so this should include discussing relevant policies and procedures, carrying out an initial assessment, discussing reasonable adjustments and special considerations and any additional requirements, discussing whether recognition of prior learning (RPL) is appropriate and ensuring that they have signed a statement declaring that their work is their own.

The assessor should explain to the learner before the programme commences the content and requirements of the programme so that the learner is fully aware of their responsibilities.  Together they should agree to timescales for completion.  They can use a learner action plan and unit feedback document to record the units the learners will complete and how they will be assessed

It is essential that the assessor reviews the learner’s progress and provides them with regular feedback, which must be documented.  The assessor should set an action plan for the learner to work through and should give specific deadlines to help the learner complete the course by the deadline.

When looking for a good training provider, please ask the following questions;

  • Is the qualification full and relevant and not a CPD course? All full and relevant qualifications will require that you are either working or volunteering in a relevant setting.
  • How is the course delivered?
  • What resources do you have to support learning? You should be given access to resources such as PowerPoints, and websites to look at.
  • How are the lessons delivered face to face, classroom-based, and online workshops? If it is none of these walk away!
  • How often will your assessor deliver the lessons?
  • How long will the assessor take to mark work and provide feedback?
  • How often will the assessor come out and observe you in your setting?
  • On completion how long until I receive my certificate?

Do not sign up with any company that does not offer you support, or proper lessons and doesn't come out to observe you in your setting. If they say that they don't have to observe you they are WRONG! It should NOT be carried out by someone in your workplace.

Cache or other awarding bodies give centres strict guidelines on assessing and delivering qualifications, centres are all externally moderated at least once a year but usually twice. During the visit, centres will have all their policies and procedures, resources and learners' work sampled and looked at. If you are not happy with the way your course is being treated, lack of support or being charged lots of hidden extras, in the first instance contact the centre, if you are still not happy contact the awarding body and issue a formal complaint. Centres that offer funded courses are also inspected by OFSTED, which also gives you another option if you are not happy with the support you are given.

At Premier we really support our learners from the initial enquiry to the completion of the award. Please have a look at the many courses we offer. We are happy to have a chat should you have any questions. Check out our testimonials too from our qualified students!

Lisa Tray 

For more information on our courses, advice or guidance please contact us at

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I just want to thank you so much Suzanne for believing in me and helping me so much these last two years. I couldn’t have done my Level 2 without your support.
Thank you! I will be in touch about my level 3.

Olivia - Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner Level 2

I would highly recommend Premier Early Years Training. All the team are professional and very supportive. They took on two of our students who were struggling with their CACHE level 3 qualifications and have done a remarkable job supporting them through their qualifications. They are an extremely diverse and inclusive training provider

Tez from Kiddo Nurseries

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole 9 months on the course and felt it fitted really well into my time, the classes were flexible and were arranged around a mutually convenient time for all.

There is no doubt that both Lisa and Suzanne made this a lovely experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them in their roles in Early Years Training. I wish them lots of luck in their new venture, and who knows if I decide to do Level 3, I’ll definitely see if they’ll have me!


"I want to thank you both for giving me the opportunity to get a level 3 in children's education. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me. English is the third language for me, but I tried very hard to fulfil all the tasks. During these three years, I have acquired not only knowledge and skills in the field of children's education, but also improved my vocabulary and grammar and my computer skills.
I understand a lot and learned a lot during these three years and I will definitely put into practice all my knowledge and skills.
Thank you so much again for everything"

Tatyana - Early Years Educator Level 3

"Thank you Premier! You have been amazing with the support and encouragement you have provided for me from the online tutorials to the layout of the course materials.
It has been a learning experience for me and I have already been in discussion with my new employer regarding how I would like to proceed with my qualification in my new role.
You never realise how much you do on a daily basis through everyday practice and when you come to put it to paper we work hard as SENCo's, but what a rewarding experience when you know you have helped so many children in their journey"

Sarah - SENCO Level 3 Award

Suzanne was my tutor when I was studying at a local sixth form college for my Level 1 health & social care award. We all enjoyed Suzanne’s classes because she made learning fun again.
Suzanne was a great tutor because she explained things properly. She made us feel important. She supported us with everything and encouraged us to push further. Suzanne listened to us in depth and really took in what I needed help with. Our class felt like a family.
I wish Suzanne all the very best for her new training business.


I have worked with Lisa over many years first when she was my assessor studying my Level 3. Lisa was fantastically supportive and encouraging; she built up my confidence, inspiring me to train as an assessor myself and she also mentored me during this training. I continued to work as a nursery practitioner, eventually moving onto the role of Deputy Head. While fulfilling this role, I studied my Level 4 with Lisa, bringing Lisa and Suzanne into my setting to train 5 candidates in their Level 2. I am now the Head of the nursery and value the training that I received from both Lisa and Suzanne, and would encourage all my students to study with them. The 5 candidates have developed and become competent members of the team and I am looking forward to continuing to train my future students with Lisa and Suzanne.

Georgina Lesser

I have worked as a course coordinator in Childcare and a tutor of Childcare with Lisa as our IQA for over 3 years. In that time I have found Lisa Tray to be an excellent IQA. She is knowledgeable, attentive , flexible and approachable. If I contact her with a question she gets straight back to me and is patient. She is non-judgemental and always offers suggestions and identifies any required actions. She is well organised and has supported us well during and through to the end of each qualification we have delivered.
She will always go that extra mile.
I am glad the Lisa is going to continue working with us.


Please get in touch with any queries, we’re always happy to help.

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