From education to employment

Placing Learners At The Centre Of Quality Assurance Delivers For National Training Provider

Dr Barbara Van der Eecken, director of quality and service standards

A national training provider is using specialist software to deliver quality improvement directly to learners through highly-effective quality improvement and assurance processes (@LouiseMesma)

Babington is one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship providers, delivering training programmes to more than ten thousand learners across a range of sectors and specialisms. In an ongoing commitment to technology and service improvement, the company has implemented the Mesma software platform as part of a strategy to further enhance critical quality assurance processes, which are managed and overseen by a team of remote quality specialists. 

Mesma replaces legacy manual database management and reporting, and delivers the further benefit of supporting Babington to identify and diagnose gaps in quality performance on an ongoing basis across its workforce of over 400 staff and practitioners. In turn, this is centralising the management of important functions alongside more effective monitoring and feedback on progress against improvement plans. 

Amongst the core benefits of the Mesma software, Babington has found individual ownership of the quality assurance practices within the workforce has significantly improved. 290 users currently have access to the system, enabling them to take ownership of all aspects of quality assurance improvement; this includes producing more effective self-assessment that identifies and helps to prioritise opportunities to make improvements with a clear sight over the requirements of core stakeholders – such as Ofsted.

Mesma technology is used by a range of education and employment support providers and regulatory and accreditation bodies to simplify complex processes, ensuring management information is used to target resources in the areas that have the most impact on the quality of learner and customer experience and outcomes.

Fresh approaches

Dr Barbara Van der Eecken, director of quality and service standards, said:

“Mesma is facilitating fresh approaches to self-assessment, paving the way towards wider transparency and accountability while putting individual quality improvement planning into sharper focus.

“Using the information provided by Mesma allows us to have more impactful conversations with the Operations team around progress of individual tasks and objectives. Everything is centralised on an easy-to-use, highly accessible platform that provides much better, easy-to-understand information for the management team.

“Equally, it links performance to operational quality. Resources can be more effectively allocated while additional deep dive analysis and sector reviews using the Enquire module saves time, ensuring we are able to make both more informed decision-making.”

Mesma also impacts on improving levels of customer service, said Dr Barbara Van der Eecken:

“Having clear quality improvement plans in place helps us to target learning resources more effectively, delivering better training provision and the measurement of impact on learners in the process.”

Sarah Richards, Babington’s quality and service standards manager (Teaching and Learning), added that reports that check and clarify the progress of training around the learner through the Observe module, helps identify actions for more effective learning provision and support for practitioners. 

“This was challenging before we had Mesma,” she said. “The capacity to process information on a daily basis is a sector wide issue. However, using Mesma data in our analytics helps us to quickly identify trends so that we can respond through more targeted support and allocation of resources. This goes a long way to raising standards and facilitating a quality-driven learner experience which leads to better results for the learner.”

“Babington operates across England and Scotland, so coordinating access to important management information and oversight for both countries through Mesma is a significant improvement over the various systems we had in place before.” Sarah Richards said.

Next generation success

As a forward-thinking business, Babington is playing its part in the development of the next generation of Mesma, providing feedback and user experience that’s proving valuable in shaping new features set to come on stream soon. This includes the improvements that will support ungraded observations and a new quality calendar, which will help users such as Babington to hit key targets during the academic year. 

“Undoubtedly, we will continue to see a steadily growing requirement for ever more rapid and effective reporting and feedback in an ever-shifting learning landscape, and technology has a seminal role to play in helping us do this,” said Dr Barbara Van der Eecken. “It’s why we are investing time to help develop online tools like Mesma to further improve quality company wide, showcase good practice, identify trends and direct resources where they are most needed.”

Louise Doyle, CEO at Mesma, added:

‘It’s a privilege to work with the team at Babington to support them to deliver their ambitions. We consider it a true partnership, learning from their experience of using the software which helps us to define our priorities for improvement.”

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