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 Centres can have qualifications withdrawn for not registering learners.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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