Where Do I Begin With Setting Up A Training Company?

Where Do I Begin With Setting Up A Training Company?

At Brooks and Kirk, we have over 20 years of experience in running our own Training Provider. It’s quite possible that you’re considering running your own – which is great! Now, your initial thought may be ‘where do I begin with setting up a training company?’ and if it is, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to use the experience we’ve gained over the years to help you with everything you’ll need to know about starting your own training company, right from the beginning.


What Type of Courses Do I Want To Deliver?

The first thing that you will need to decide about setting up a training company is what type of courses you want to deliver.

If you want to deliver Bespoke Courses (ones that have been written by yourself/your company), then you and your staff are not required to be qualified or have any existing training experience. If this is the route that you want your company to go down, then take a look at our page on Bespoke Courses.

However, if you want to deliver Accredited Courses, then the route you need to go down is very different. It will involve qualified members of staff…


What Qualified Staff Do I Need To Deliver Accredited Courses?

If you want to deliver Accredited Courses, such as BTECs or NVQs, then your company will need to be registered with an awarding body. You may have heard of some popular awarding bodies, such as Pearson Edexcel, or City&Guilds. 

However, before you register with an awarding body, there are a couple of things you will need. In terms of members of staff, you will need an absolute minimum of:

  • 1 Qualified Internal Quality Assurer (IQA)
  • 1 Qualified Assessor

The Internal Quality Assurer

The IQA of your company will be responsible for monitoring your centre’s assessment practices and procedures. Your IQA will be the person who organises visits from Awarding Bodies as mentioned above. One of their main responsibilities will be to internally evaluate, maintain and improve the quality of assessment.

This person will need the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices.

The Assessor

The Assessor of your company will be responsible for assessing your learners in their place of work and/or their learning environment (whichever one is relevant). This means that they will be able to take your learners through their qualification and ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviours necessary. 

This person will need the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.

In any event, the IQA and the Assessor for your company CANNOT be the same person. You may find it beneficial to have more than one Assessor within your company. Especially as the company and the workload expands. It’s also important to note that you as the company owner do not necessarily have to be the IQA.


For more information on delivering Accredited Courses, take a look at our page on Starting Your Own Accredited Training Company.

Preparing Your Apprentice For Their End-Point Assessment

Preparing Your Apprentice For Their End-Point Assessment

If you’re an Assessor with candidates that have their End-Point Assessment coming up, then you’ve come to the right place. The run-up to the End-Point Assessment (EPA) will be the most stressful time for your Apprentice, so they’re going to need all the support and help from you that they can get. To help you out, we’ve written up our top tips for preparing your apprentice for the End-Point Assessment.


What Is The End-Point Assessment?

The EPA is a variety of Assessments that takes place at the end of an Apprenticeship. The Apprentice cannot gain their qualification without passing the EPA. Whilst this sounds pretty straightforward, it’s very stressful for the Apprentice, as their final grade will rely on it. Not only this, but the EPA has to be delivered by an independent registered Apprentice Assessment Organisation (RAAO). In any event, it cannot be delivered by the training provider or employer. This means that all parties have to work together to make sure their Apprentice passes the EPA. Otherwise, the employers will have to pay for retests – and nobody wants that.


How Can I Prepare My Apprentice?

Practice

Make sure that your candidate practices with a variety of Assessments on the run up to their EPA. Each Apprenticeship Standard will have its own Assessment plan for the EPA. The Assessment plan will show which assessment methods need to be used. Therefore, you’ll be able to prepare your candidate with the relevant assessment methods. From the Assessment plan, you’ll know which KSBs (Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours) will be looked at in the EPA. Keeping track of your candidate’s work throughout their Apprenticeship will give you an idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Which brings me to my next tip…

E-Portfolio

An E-Portfolio is an electronic portfolio. With an E-Portfolio, you will be able to track your candidate’s progress online and send assignments via the E-Portfolio system. This makes the whole training process much easier to manage. Not to mention employers can also track their apprentice’s progression throughout the course. By keeping track, employers can ensure their Apprentice isn’t scheduled to sit the EPA before they’re ready. Plus, you’ll also have clear evidence of learning and a full audit trail available at any time. 

Communicate with the Employer

The EPA has completely changed how apprentices are assessed. You’ll have to work closely with employers to make sure your apprentice is ready and has all the KSBs necessary. It is important that everyone is on the same page in regards to the Apprentice’s progress. Communicating with the employer is a key part of preparing your candidate for their EPA. They may be entered in the EPA when they aren’t ready.


Alternatively, if you have any other questions related to the EPA, we wrote a blog on End-Point Assessment FAQ. So have a look there to see if we can answer any questions you might have!

The Top 10 Industries To Work In In 2019

The Top 10 Industries To Work In In 2019

Fancy a career change this year? Fewer than 40% of British people are not happy with their job, and 73% of them are actively looking to change which industry they work in. CV-Library collected lots of data throughout 2018 to find out what exactly it is that candidates want from their career. From this research, they were able to reveal which industries to consider working in, in 2019.


10. Charity

People who work for charities often say that they have a very diverse work environment. As a matter of fact, 91% of them say it! So if your perfect career involves working with such a varied team, working for a charity is definitely the way to go. Plus, there are about 166,000 charities in the UK – so you’ve got plenty to choose from!


9. Care

Care work came 9th on CV-Library’s list of industries to work in, in 2019. This isn’t surprising, as the Care industry is the most popular industry that we train people to become Assessors in. Most people start their career in care from a genuine interest in the welfare of others. Others have started off by caring for a unwell relative. Some have even started as volunteers. An NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care can give you the training you need to become a carer. After completing your training you can continue to move up the care ladder, so there’s lots of room for personal development and improvement in the Care industry. 


8. Construction

Construction is an industry that will continue to flourish and expand as long as there are new buildings. The Government has pledged that there will be 3 million more apprenticeships in construction by 2020, and more than 3/4 of construction workers say they have a good work-life balance. That’s more than any other industry! Seeing your work develop in front of your eyes is one of the most satisfying aspects of working in construction. You are able to watch a building transform and grow into the final product, knowing you have been a part of the process.


7. Education

Whilst the Education sector isn’t the most highly paid, those who work in this sector don’t do it for the money – or for the 6 weeks off during the summer (as nice as that sounds). One of the reasons for becoming a teacher is to impact a community in a meaningful way. The Education industry gives you the most direct ways to make an impact, and if you are driven by the desire to help those around you, being a teacher is an invaluable contribution. Not only that, but 94.6% of education professionals said that they get on with their colleagues, making this the perfect industry if you’re looking to work with a friendly team!


6. Hospitality

Throughout the tough economic times in the UK, the hospitality sector has remained fairly stable. Even though the travel and hospitality sector did take some hits, the industry survived and is still vibrant and flourishing. Plus, it’s often been known that people that work in this industry can get some of the best tips and bonuses. Some tips in high-end hospitality frequently go as high as 20% when the service user has an excellent experience.


5. Design

Careers in design are all about creating things that are eye-catching and grab the audience’s attention. The design industry tends to revolve around a product.  In order to be successful, you must be very creative; you know what looks good, you can come up with new ideas and develop your own style. However, having a creative flair alone is not enough. Working independently as a freelancer in design is really common, but most designers don’t actually work entirely on their own. If you’re working for a design agency, it is essential to develop excellent communication and teamwork skills.


4. IT

Over 20 million British workers use some form of IT every day as part of their job. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the IT sector is one of the fastest growing and in-demand industries in the UK. It means that more than 150,000 new entrants are needed each year to satisfy the high demand. Throughout 2018, the IT industry has seen some of the highest salaries across the UK, with advertised pay averaging at £44,060 a year. Crikey.


3. Marketing

Marketing is a growing industry and a vital part of almost every organisation. Technology is constantly advancing, as are the opportunities to market more effectively. So not only could you be involved with new, exciting marketing techniques, but you could also use what you learn to move up within marketing. Plus, over 1/3 of marketers revealed that they travel for work and 62.5% of these people said they make multiple trips a year. This is makes Marketing the ideal industry if you like to travel!


2. Engineering

Professional engineers get to tackle real problems and find the best solutions for them. It demands imaginative and logical thinking. The world changes constantly and engineering does with it.  Every working day as an Engineer is different. Over half of engineers said they truly enjoy their current role, with 41.3% putting their happiness down to the great company culture. Looks like Engineering is the industry that keeps you smiling!


  1. Accounting

The top recommended industry to work in is Accounting. Once they are qualified, chartered accountants can easily be found working in high-level jobs all over the globe. Accountants have the skills that all businesses need, which means they’re constantly in demand. Consequently, Accountants get a chance to earn a pretty penny. With a huge 91.3% of Accountants saying that they get on well with their manager, this is the industry for you if you want a boss you can get on board with.


The best part of all this is that you can become an Assessor in all of these sectors and many, many others! Find out how on our CAVA page…

What’s The Average Salary Of An Assessor?

What’s The Average Salary Of An Assessor?

The Assessor salary can vary, depending on the:

  • Industry
  • Location
  • Employer

Some industries are more popular and pay higher than others. Some locations have a higher wage than others, and some employers will pay more than others. However, that’s part and parcel with any job. Across all industries, locations, and employers, the average salary of an Assessor is £27,000. So let’s narrow this down a little:


Industry

The highest paid Industry in the world of Assessing is Health and Social Care. In the last month (December 18 – January 19), the average Assessor salary in Health and Social Care has risen by 12%, bringing them to £32,500. From our own research, we actually found that Health and Social Care was our most popular industry that we have trained people to become an Assessor in. So, the fact that it has the highest average salary is not something that surprises us.

The industries that also came out with an average of £32,500 was Engineering, Manufacturing, and Construction.

These were followed closely by Education at £27,000; Administration at £25,000 and Catering and Hospitality at £24,000.

Now, this doesn’t mean to say you should drop your Assessing career in Catering to go down the Health and Social Care route. Job prospects change all the time, and the average Assessor salary can get lower as well as higher.

This graph from Reed.co.uk shows how the average salary can vary…

salary 6 mnths

July: £29,843
August: £28,549
September: £28,008
October: £29,434
November: £29,152
December: £29,608

 


Location

It’s no surprise that London holds the number one spot for the highest average Assessor salary in terms of Location. An Assessor working in London will earn an average of £32, 569. The general average salary for someone working in London is £35,072. So the Assessor salary is not far off this mark.

Leeds holds the second highest average Assessor salary at £30,075, followed by Birmingham at £29,764 and Manchester at £29,541


Employer

The most common Employer for Assessor jobs are awarding bodies, such as Pearson and City & Guilds, and training providers. There are also many private companies who will look to hire Assessors for their own business needs, such as ‘Direct Care’ who hire a number of Health and Social Care Assessors to help people through their qualifications throughout the UK.

Each salary will be at each individual company’s discrepancy. 


We’d just like to point out that this is all factually correct as of January 2019, but as with any sector things can change!

Getting Back To Work After Christmas

Getting Back To Work After Christmas

If you’re lucky, you’ve spent the last two weeks doing nothing except consuming a lot of food and drink and browse the sales. But we’ve all got to face it now; Christmas is over. Whether you’ve started working again this week or are waiting for Monday morning to come around, there’s nothing easy about that first day back at work after Christmas. In fact, there’s nothing easy about the first week back.

Aaaaand now we’re back in the real world.


The First Morning

That first day back at work when you wake up and it’s still dark and feels like the middle of the night can throw us out of sync. All the jollies of Christmas are over, and that alone is enough to put a downer on your mood. But now your alarm is going off every 10 minutes, and no matter how many times you hit snooze, you do have to get out of your duvet cocoon and go to work.

So you force yourself to get in the shower, and you’re stood there thinking about all the nice things you could do if you had just one more day off. Like getting back into your comfy clothes, finishing off all the Christmas leftovers and sweets. You make a mental note to remind yourself to get a lottery ticket. It’s a morning of very wishful thinking.

After getting out the shower and sitting in your towel for the absolute maximum time possible, you decide it would be a good idea to get dressed. You immediately regret this when you can’t do the top button up on your trousers. You act shocked despite knowing how much food you have eaten for the past two weeks, and how much mulled wine you’ve guzzled. Oh dear.

Just to top your morning off, your drive to work is pleasantly quiet. At least something is going right! Until you suddenly realise, that the reason the roads are so quiet is that everyone except for you is still in bed.

Right, STOP. Now is the time to stop wallowing in pity and realise that you cannot possibly spend the rest of your days eating endless tubes of Pringles whilst watching film after film. Time to prepare for what’s ahead.


Time To Focus

Focus on the year and opportunities ahead, and remind yourself why you enjoy your job!

Plan It Out

If you thought ahead and knew you would feel like this in January, now’s a good time to look at that ‘To-Do’ list you made back in December. However, if you didn’t make one, this situation is still salvageable. Think about the day ahead and what you need to do. If you’re at a complete loss, a good starting point is to check your work emails. Reply to all necessary messages and clean your inbox up. Decide on a few things you want to achieve before the week is out. Take time to make a list to help manage the priorities for the days ahead.

Now take a look at your diary, and see what you’ve got planned for the month ahead. Have you got any scheduled visits to learners, or do you still need to pencil some in? Plan your visits now, and then everything else can work around this accordingly.

Change It Up

It is a brand new year after all, so why not treat yourself to a bit of a change around. This could be as simple as changing your computer screen background, putting some new photos up or buying some new stationary to use. It’s surprising, but, such a little change can actually give you the positivity and motivation that you need.

Push yourself a little bit further than you think you can possibly go, but don’t take ‘changing it up’ as a way to reinvent yourself. This is especially the case if your change is a diet. Massive crash-diet weight loss programmes are more often than not doomed to fail. Just take the new year as an opportunity to better something about yourself. Anything!

Reflect On The Festive Period 

As mentioned before, we can all too easily get caught up in the negative mindset of ‘I need another week off, there are still things I want and need to do before I go back to work!’  To rid yourself of this damaging mood, take a moment to reflect on what you did and enjoyed over Christmas.  This will make you feel more grateful for, and appreciate your time off.

Talk To Colleagues

Once everyone has got back into ‘work mode’ and dealt with their urgent tasks, organise a catch-up meeting.  This will help you to understand your colleagues’ aspirations for work this year and if necessary, help you to delegate more effectively with what they wish to achieve. You can all support each other, and you’re always happy to support them when they take time off. So take this opportunity to make sure everyone is on the same wavelength! 


Remember that everyone is in the same boat. Some people even went back to work earlier than you. Only Santa can get away without making a to-do list until next December rolls around!

Who Does The End-Point Assessment Affect?

Who Does The End-Point Assessment Affect?

About a month ago, we created an End-Point Assessment FAQ blog to answer the most popular questions relevant to the EPA. Something we didn’t include in this post was ‘Who Does The End-Point Assessment Affect?’. That’s because we felt that this question needed a whole different post of its own! So; here’s your answer.


Employers

The first group that the EPA effects, is Employers. They will have to work very closely with their chosen training provider. This is so that they can monitor the progression of their apprentices. If the learners are not prepared for the EPA and therefore fail, employers may be charged extra for retakes. This then means that the employer will need to negotiate re-sit fees with their EPA provider.

By using a digital e-portfolio, employers are able to track their learners’ progression throughout their course. If the employer is keeping track of the progression, they can ensure that they’re not scheduled to sit the EPA before they are ready.


Learners

The second group is an obvious one; the learners. A common reason for apprentices to choose vocational training instead of an academic course is because it matches their practical strengths. Now the EPA is mandatory for every apprenticeship, there’s a chance that learners may struggle to pass their course. In reality, people may actually be discouraged from applying for the apprenticeship in the first place for this reason.

On the other hand, other learners may actually become motivated by the grading system in place. It may encourage them to work hard to achieve their desired grade – whether that be pass, merit, or distinction.


Training Providers

Last but not least, the EPA will effect Training Providers. They will now have to collaborate with the EPA provider to make sure that their delivery matches the assessment plan. The assessment plan is outlined in the standard.


If you’ve got more questions, take a look at our EPA FAQ blog (linked above)!

Our New Payment Option – Just in time for Christmas!

Our New Payment Option – Just in time for Christmas!

For a long time now at Brooks and Kirk, we have offered two different ways of paying for your course. One, being pay in full and saving yourself £100. And two, being our instalments option, where you spread the cost of your course out over anywhere from 2 – 12 months. But with the latest addition to our funding options, you could get the best of both worlds (subject to approval).

paypal-credit-funding-option

At Brooks and Kirk, you can now use something called PayPal Credit to finance your assessor course! With PayPal Credit, you can cover the cost of your course (at the ‘pay in full’ price) and have 4 months to pay it off, interest-free.

We appreciate that for most people looking at starting their assessor course, socks, toiletry sets and playstation games are having to take priority this side of Christmas! But at the same time, Christmas can be an ideal time to fit in an hour or two of study here and their if you are lucky enough to have a week or two off. So, we wanted to provide these people with the opportunity to be able to start on their course straight away and not need to worry about paying it off until the new year.

What is important to note is that, because PayPal credit is essentially an online credit card, all applications do involve a full credit check.

For more information on using PayPal Credit to fund your assessor course, take a look at our PayPal Credit FAQ.

Alternatively, just give us a call at the office! We would be more than happy to talk you through all of our funding options, then you can identify the one that is right for you.

Life As A Freelance Assessor

Life As A Freelance Assessor

Once you’re a qualified Assessor, there are many routes you can choose to go down for your Assessing career. You could choose to work Full or Part-Time, for example, for a Training Provider, or you could work for multiple Training Providers as a Freelance Assessor.

Google’s definition of freelance is the simplest way to describe it: ‘self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments.’


Life As A Freelance Assessor

As a freelance assessor, you can be working for multiple companies at the same time, so organisation is key. You need to decide what capacity caseload you would like. If you choose to go down this route and work for different companies, you will need to manage your own time and working hours. Whilst some companies may ask you to set certain hours with them on a freelance basis, others may allow you to manage your own time and diary.

You can be paid per hour, per learner, per visit, or per assignment marked. This is agreed when you accept a position as a freelancer. To find these positions, your best place to look will be job sites such as Indeed, but LinkedIn has also proved popular with Freelance Assessors.

Some freelancer positions are short-term, with the employer asking you to fill in for caseloads which are out of funding, or even staff that are going on Maternity Leave. However, others can be long-term. Some companies prefer to use freelancers so that their rate of pay reflects the caseload they are working with and changes as they fluctuate.

An important thing to remember is that as a freelancer, you will need to complete invoices and a self-assessment for your own Tax and National Insurance!


Day In The Life

We got in touch with one of our past learners to see what an average day as a Freelance Assessor is like for them. Here’s what they said:

My hours are flexible and work well around my young children. I tend to do three long days so I can be at home for four, which works well in Health and Social care as I can request night staff – which a lot of people prefer not to do.

I could work for different companies on the same day, although I prefer to keep the same company on the same day to minimise the paperwork I need to take out with me. This is because different organisations use different paperwork and systems, such as e-portfolios or paper-based portfolios. I always try to allocate a particular day for a company so my IQA or manager knows I am available that day if they need to contact me.

The hardest bit for me is my invoicing and evidencing visits when working for multiple companies.


Interested in becoming a Freelance Assessor? Get started with the CAVA course!

What Qualification Do I Need To Become An Assessor?

What Qualification Do I Need To Become An Assessor?

A simple question which, unfortunately, doesn’t have as much of a simple answer. That’s because the requirements to become an Assessor can vary depending on the qualification or even the organisation. However; we’re here to make it clear to you – because whilst the answer isn’t super simple, it’s not rocket science.


What Do I Need?

In most scenarios, what you will need is:

  • Occupational Competence
  • An Assessor Qualification

Now, this is where it can get a little bit complicated, as there are in fact 4 different Assessor qualifications. All 4 of these are made up of at least 1 of the following units:

  • Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (Unit 1)
  • Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment (Unit 2)
  • Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding (Unit 3)

Consequently, the more units that are in a qualification, the more competent you will become in Assessing.


This blog on FENews, ‘Qualifications Needed To Become An Assessor‘ written by Brooks and Kirk’s Marketing Manager Sam, explains each and every unit and qualification perfectly. 

Is There A Difference Between an Assessor and an End-Point Assessor?

Is There A Difference Between an Assessor and an End-Point Assessor?

A couple of years ago, this question wouldn’t have even existed. This is because End-Point Assessors didn’t exist, and there was only one Assessor involved in an Apprenticeship. Fast-forward to late 2018, there are in fact two Assessors involved in an Apprenticeship. Now, this question is one of the most commonly asked ones in the world of Assessing. So, let’s briefly sum it all up.


Assessor VS End-Point Assessor

First of all, yes there is a difference between an Assessor and an End-Point Assessor. More specifically, an ‘NVQ/On-Programme Assessor‘ and an ‘End-Point Assessor‘.

An NVQ Assessor and an On-Programme Assessor are more or less the same in terms of their roles and responsibilities. However, the End-Point Assessor has very different roles and responsibilities. Whilst an NVQ/OP Assessor’s main role involves guiding their learners through their qualification to get their KSB’s (Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours) up to the standards, an End-Point Assessor purely assesses the candidate at the end of their Apprenticeship in and End-Point Assessment.


For a clearer explanation, our very own Head of Marketing Sam wrote a blog on FENews detailing the exact difference between an Assessor and an End-Point Assessor