From education to employment

QIA website helps FE staff share good practice

A major online resource which helps further education staff in their day-to-day work has attracted more than 200,000 unique visitors in the first two months of its life.

The Excellence Gateway (, developed by the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA), provides further education staff access to a vast range of guidance and information. For the first time, further education and training staff can visit a single website to tap into the expertise of hundreds of FE practitioners ““ and get answers to the problems most on their mind.

Andrew Thomson, Chief Executive of QIA, said: “It’s a fantastic sign that those in the further education system are already making good use of the Excellence Gateway, even in these early stages. We set up the portal as a way of enabling the sector to come together in one place in a way that has never happened before, and to give staff easy access to information which develops their professional skills. Clearly this is something that staff are now taking advantage of.”

The website has been receiving feedback from users. Andrew Thomson explains that it has been hugely positive: “84% of those asked said they would recommend it to colleagues and 88% of visitors are returning to the site.”

When asked about what improvements QIA might make to the site he replied: “We are working with a user group to gain feedback. One of the things we are constantly looking at is ways to improve the search engine; with thousands of articles available on a comprehensive database, we need to think about the different ways in which people might be navigating to find the information they need.

A unique feature of the Excellence Gateway is the ability for further education staff to share and rate examples of effective practice amongst themselves. Anyone registered on the site can upload their own resources to the site, share and discuss them, and receive feedback from other members of the further education community.

Andrew Thompson added: “With the onset of the new academic year, this is an ideal time for other staff to see how the Excellence Gateway, and other users of it, can support them.”

The Excellence Gateway can be found at

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