Apprenticeships and workplace learning schemes are invaluable modes of teaching. They provide practical, hands-on learning for subjects that require knowledge beyond classroom theory.
However, looking at recent Ofsed inspection reports, it seems many learning providers are still struggling to accurately judge the quality of teaching and learning experienced by apprentices and workplace learners.
Internal quality assurance of qualifications has been established for a long time, and works well in most organisations. However the quality assurance of initial interviews, initial assessment, reviews, planned and unplanned learning is not always so rigorously monitored.
The lack of regular and standardised monitoring must surely have an impact on not only the student’s learning, but also the way in which an institution assesses the effectiveness of their educational offering.
How can employers be confident that their employees are being taught well? How does the student know they are learning effectively? How can the learning provider assess (and therefore improve) these crucial elements?
A systematic approach to quality assurance for all aspects of the learner journey is required. Procedures that are flexible enough to meet the demands of workplace learning but robust enough to accurately judge the impact on the learner are needed. This is something that desperately needs development.
Only once the quality has been judged is it then possible to identify good practice and to share professional development requirements for areas that need improvement.
In other words, in order for learning providers to monitor the quality of their workplace learning schemes, information needs to be more relevant, frequent and systematic. Otherwise it is simply impossible to interpret, and therefor impossible to monitor.
If you are a learning provider who offers workplace learning schemes, contact us to discuss ways to improve your monitoring systems to help ensure quality learning.