Why On-Programme Assessors Need To Know About EPA

Why On-Programme Assessors Need To Know About EPA

End-Point Assessment is a huge part of the Apprenticeship and Assessing worlds. If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, you should know quite a lot about EPA by now. You may think that as you don’t want to be an End-Point Assessor, you don’t need to know about it. We believe otherwise. Any Assessor – including On-Programme Assessors – involved with Apprenticeships, in any way, need to know as much as possible about EPA.


On-Programme Assessors

As an On-Programme Assessor, it’s ideal that you know about End-Point Assessment. Whilst you won’t be taking your Apprentice through their actual EPA, you still need to have as much knowledge as possible about it. Your Apprentice will likely have a lot of questions about the EPA and you need to be able to support them and answer these questions.

Your candidates that are going through their Apprenticeships may also find it beneficial to have Mock End-Point Assessments. There’s no issue with the Mock EPA being conducted by yourself as the On-Programme Assessor; but it is obviously vital that you have the correct, up-to-date knowledge in order to prepare them efficiently. 

It would be especially beneficial for you to have EPA Knowledge if the company you are working for is on the register of End-Point Assessment Organisations. If this is the case, you need to know your stuff. Plus you never know; your employer might give you the opportunity to carry out an EPA – and it might be something you want to carry on doing. 

On the whole, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have the knowledge. It can open doors to many other opportunities in your career.

How Can I Gain The Knowledge?

Now, the number one way we would recommend to get to grips with End-Point Assessment is our Workshop. It doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have in assessment; if you agree that having End-Point Assessment knowledge would benefit you, this workshop is perfect for you. We designed our comprehensive workshop to give anyone the opportunity to learn all there is to know about EPA, and put EPA skills into practice. Oh and best of all – it’s just a one day workshop. So there’s no work you need to do prior to or after attending. Phew.

If you are interested please take a look at our next End-Point Assessment Workshop. The locations and dates of our EPA Workshop vary, so if the date/location isn’t right for you there’s a good possibility there will be in the future.

For any further questions you may have about End-Point Assessment, please take a look at our EPA Knowledgebase Page.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment method that you may have come across as an Assessor. You may have even used in your own studying. Or, you may have never heard of it or used it before. That’s why we’re here to explain exactly what RPL is, and how you can use it within your work.


What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

As we said before, RPL is an assessment method. This method takes into account any ‘prior learning‘ your candidate has done, that could be used to tick off certain criteria in the qualification you are assessing. So as the Assessor, you would need to cross-reference the relevant previous work against the criteria you are looking for. Using this method can reduce the time required to complete the course; in some cases, significantly.

But basically, Recognition of Prior Learning is about your learner being able to demonstrate they have met some of the requirements of said course, through knowledge or skills they already have. Meaning that they don’t need to develop this knowledge or skills to pass some of the criteria. 

However, this differs from ‘Unit Exemption’…

What is Unit Exemption?

Unit Exemption is used when the candidate has previously passed a unit of work, that is the same as a unit in the prospective qualification. Sounds a bit confusing, but let us break it down.

As an example from our perspective, some of our learners have only completed 2/3 units of the Assessor qualification (AVRA/ACWE); but now would like to complete the full CAVA. So in these circumstances, we would enrol learners onto the CAVA, and use their AVRA or ACWE certificate and exempt them from the Units they’ve already covered. This way they would receive the CAVA certificate upon completion, as opposed to unit credits.

So what’s the difference between RPL and Unit Exemption?

With Recognition of Prior Learning, the candidate would need to write a reflective account for each assignment being used. The reflective account needs to be about what they learned within previous work that shows they’ve met the criteria. This then proves their understanding and how it relates to this qualification you are assessing them on. Assignments can only be used for RPL if they were recently completed; normally at a maximum of around 2/3 years ago.

There is a really simple difference between this and Unit Exemption; as with Unit Exemption, the candidate does not need to do any further work. And, it doesn’t matter how long ago the unit was completed; it only matters that the unit is still exactly the same.

If you would like further information on any other assessment methods, take a look at our post on what exactly assessment methods are.

How to Write a CPD Plan

How to Write a CPD Plan

As a professional in any sector, it’s important to keep up-to-date with your career development. This is why you’ll need to make a CPD plan. (Continuing Professional Development). Whilst it does take time, CPD Plans are great ways to identify and develop your skills in order to reach your career goals. 

What do I want/need to learn?

Assessing your current career situation is a great place to start with your CPD plan. Where am I? Where do I want to get to? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself in order to identify the areas in which you want to develop. You need to summarise what you are currently doing in your career, and use it to plan future career milestones you’d like to achieve. Create smaller milestones and check-in points so that you can review your development and see if you are hitting your personal targets. So think about:

  • Steps you are going to take over the next few years that will bring you closer to your career goals
  • What specific skills, knowledge, and experience you need to develop in order to achieve these goals
  • What activities you are going to do to fulfil the goals

It’s important that you are being honest with yourself in this step to get the best out of your plan. What does success really mean to you? You need to understand your motivations to succeed; do you feel like you are succeeding in your current job? It’s OK to think ‘big’ – but just be smart about it. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. SMART.

What will I do to achieve this?

So now you’ve identified what you want or need to learn, you need to plan how you’re going to do this. This step is important because it helps you identify the professional skills and abilities you need to help you reach your goals; therefore enabling you to plan new learning and development opportunities that are relevant to your professional development. Consider how you will know if you have achieved this goal – will you gain a qualification? Will you be able to manage a team?

For example, if you’re an Assessor and one of your goals is to eventually become an Internal Quality Assurer, you’re going to need the relevant IQA Qualification. Researching this qualification, the requirements necessary to enrol on to the course, and the criteria for the job once qualified can also be a helpful step in this process.

Remember, when you’re defining your activities, make sure they are clear and detailed. So you’ll need to state the actual course/conference/training session you would like to attend. 

What resources or support will I need?

Now you’ll need to consider what’s going to help you complete a certain goal. Going back to the example of being an Assessor with the goal of becoming an IQA, you would need support from your Assessor. In terms of resources, you’ll need to use the online support materials provided when you enrol onto the course, and perhaps use wider research by doing your own web searches. However, for some courses, there may be textbooks and study guides available. Watching videos on the likes of YouTube may be deemed supportive. Only you will know what you need.

What will my success criteria be?

When will you consider this to be a successful outcome? As we mentioned before, think about what success will really mean to you. So again using the previous examples, the success criteria for an Assessor wanting to become an IQA might be when they are qualified. Or, it might be when they actually get an IQA job. It is entirely down to you – it’s your plan, your professional development, and therefore, your future.

Milestone Dates

Your ‘milestone dates’ include:

    • Start Date;
    • Target Dates for review and completion;
    • Actual Completion Date

Of course, you will only be able to fill two of these sections in when planning your CPD. The actual completion date won’t be filled in until that time. However, you can fill the target date for which you’d like to have completed this by!

Be realistic with your timings. It’s OK if you don’t meet that achievement by the target date you set yourself; that’s why it’s called a CPD plan. Plans don’t always happen the way we thought they would.

So after you’ve filled all of these sections in, your CPD plan should be in a table that looks something like this:

We hope this helps! For more advice on CPD, take a look at our post on 9 Ways to Keep your CPD Record Up To Date.

How to Gain Experience as a Newly Qualified Assessor

How to Gain Experience as a Newly Qualified Assessor

If you’re thinking about becoming an Assessor or already are a newly qualified Assessor, chances are, you’ve been looking at what kind of job opportunities there are. Much like any other jobs, some vacancies may ask for ‘experience’.

Having ‘experience’ as a requirement for a job as an Assessor can be seen as unfair for some. How can a newly qualified Assessor gain experience if they need the experience to get a job in the first place?! If you are having this issue there are options available for you to explore.

Shadow an Assessor

This would involve you in observing another Assessor carrying out their day-to-day job. This Assessor would need to be qualified. It would be most ideal to be watching the Assessor actually carrying out assessments with their learner. You wouldn’t be required to do or say anything as the shadower you are simply watching and taking notes.

Whilst this is volunteer experience and therefore unpaid, shadowing is a great way to get your foot in the door. It will also get some well-needed experience under your belt. It’s great for newly qualified assessors and will maximise your chances of getting an Assessing job, so it’s definitely worthwhile!

Plenty of training organisations and/or local colleges are happy to allow newly qualified Assessors to shadow their Assessors; mainly because it doesn’t cost them anything. So all you would need to do is approach these types of companies. Another thing to consider is if you have any family or friends that work in Further Education; have a chat with them and see if they can help you out with any shadowing opportunities. Even consider asking your connections on LinkedIn.

( Sorry because of the way we deliver our courses we are not able to offer shadowing opportunities.)

End Point Assessment

Another route you could try is End Point Assessment. End Point Assessors (EPA’s) are the people who do the final checks to ensure that an apprentice has passed their apprenticeship. This is a different job to being an assessor and is in huge demand at the moment. Have a quick search for End Point Assessor jobs and you will see what I mean.

To be an EPA you need three things;

  1. A recognised Assessor such as the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.
  2. .Occupational competence in the relevant sector.
  3. An appropriate occupational qualification.

Within EPA your occupational competence is far more important than your assessing experience. In most cases just having the assessor qualification is enough. This makes it an ideal job for a newly qualified assessor who has worked in their sector for a number of years.

What skills a newly qualified assessor will need to be an EPA

There are a few new skills that you need to have to be an EPA if you area newly qualified assessor but you can learn these quite quickly. Until recently there was no easy way of learning these new skills. That is why we have started running a series of EPA Workshops

In our EPA workshops, you learn all the new skills you will need to be an EPA and get the opportunity to put them into practice. Importantly it also counts as a full day of CPD. Our next workshop is in Manchester on the 11th October but please be aware they do book up very fast so you will need to be quick if you want to get on it.

If you like the idea of being an End Point Assessor take a look at our End Point Assessment Knowledgebase which has a lot more information for you to read through.

And one final point. Even if a job advert does ask for experience, don’t let it put you off from applying. Put yourself forward for jobs regardless of their expectations of your experience – it won’t hurt! There are employers out there that will still consider hiring you even if you don’t have much experience.

You may also like to read;

6 Top Tips for newly qualified assessors.

The importance of LinkedIn for newly qualified assessors



Become an Assessor Before the New Academic Year

Become an Assessor Before the New Academic Year

Finally – the summer holidays have just begun! And what a way to start them with this heatwave we’re getting at the moment. 6 weeks of relaxing, spending time with the kids, going on holiday… what more could you want?

Well, you could be thinking about finding something new to do in September. Maybe you’re starting to get bored in your current job, or perhaps just fancy a change. Whatever the reason, we can make it happen. In the next 6 weeks, you could become an Assessor ready for the new Academic Year.

What is an Assessor?

An Assessor is someone who supports and guides learners through vocational qualifications. As an Assessor, your job is to collect various different types of evidence from your learners to meet all of the learning outcomes specified within their qualification. Generally, on a day-to-day basis, you would be expected to:

  • Plan and deliver NVQ training programmes and workshops;
  • Observe candidates’ competency in their workplace;
  • Examine candidates’ portfolios of evidence;
  • Question candidates about how they would deal with non-standard situations;
  • Provide feedback and offer advice if the standards are not met;
  • Sign off the NVQ when all the requirements have been met;
  • Keep records of candidates’ progress, according to the requirements of the NVQ awarding bodies;
  • Attend standardisation meetings with other assessors;
  • Work closely with the training staff and candidates’ line managers.

(this information has been taken from our NVQ Assessor FAQ).

How do I become an Assessor?

To become an Assessor, there are only a couple of things you need.

  1. Occupational Competence
  2. The Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement

Occupational Competence comes in the form of accredited qualifications and/or work experience. It all depends on the Industry you wish to assess in, as to whether you will be required to hold a qualification in that area or not. For example, most Health and Social Care assessor jobs will ask for a minimum of Level 3 in Health and Social Care. On the other hand, a lot of jobs in trades will ask for a number of years work experience. It all depends on your sector – so we’d advise having a look at job sites to see what requirements employers are looking for!

Now, the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (for short, CAVA) is the ‘universal’ Assessor qualification. By this, we mean that regardless of the sector you work in, you’ll need the same qualification. So whether you want to assess in Early Years, Construction, Dental – you need the CAVA. Find out more about this qualification on our CAVA page.

Can I become a Qualified Assessor by September?

You can indeed – we’ve designed our courses to have no start/end dates. This means you can start the course whenever you like, and take as long as you need to finish it. The quickest completion we have had to date is 2 weeks. So effectively, you could start the course today with just a deposit of £50, and have plenty of time to complete in the next 6 weeks*.

*subject to practical session availability.

For more information, give us a call on 01205 805 155, or send us an email at training@brooksandkirk.co.uk. You can also message us on Facebook.

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?


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…


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:


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



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


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!