From education to employment

Kaplan awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Institution of Further Education (CIFE)

Richard Marsh

Kaplan gets Chartered status

We are pleased to announce that Kaplan has just been awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Institution of Further Education (CIFE).

The CIFE was set up in 2013 by the then Minister of Skills John Hayes to recognise the important role that Further and Technical education plays in the economy and in developing the skills of our future workforce. It is very prestigious and only 18 organisations currently hold this accolade.

We know very well from our experience what a difference achieving Chartered status means to learners in sectors such as Accounting. So it is something that we have great pride in now achieving for ourselves.

Our application was particularly welcomed as demonstrating expertise in our sector, but it also recognises the valuable work we do across the wider industry.

It also reflects the commitment of the employers that we work with to provide a first class training and employment experience.

One provider, many masters?

As a regulated Further Education provider, an Inspected Independent Training provider and a commercial business it can be difficult to know where to prioritise effort.

What your clients, board and regulators want can seem to be very different and if you aren’t careful you can lose your sense of direction.

Going through the Chartered application process, we had to look for our true north and work out whose requirements held the trump card.

The only answer to this has to be an unremitting focus upon the learner. If we get things right for them, then it should mean that we can either satisfy the needs of all other stakeholders, or at least explain to them the reason why we are doing what we do (as its in the best interests of the learner).

As well as regular satisfaction surveys and feedback, we have introduced learner feedback forums to explore the learner experience in greater detail and depth.

A good example of this has been a recent workshop on communications to learners. Like many businesses, we have often relied on Email to communicate information; it is fast, reliable and leaves a permanent record.

However, with our learner base being mostly aged 18-24 feedback from forums with them has been that email is not something that they have grown to rely on in the same was as some of us older workers have over the past twenty years.

They find it confusing to store and interpret and often do not even read the carefully constructed messages that we send out to them!. Thus, we need to find a smarter, more modern way to communicate with them.

This is not just about Social Media either, but finding meaningful points of contact.

This is a fairly prosaic example of the kind of issue that an application for Chartered Status helped us to focus on and improve.

If you are looking for your true north, then why not give it a go?

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Director, Kaplan Financial

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