Support your apprentices with our award-winning e-learning

Highfield e-learning produce some of the best e-learning in the country – we’re award-winning!

As well as our bespoke and customised courses we also offer a range of Short Courses that are perfect for the on-programme phase of an apprenticeship.

Short Courses are designed to be completed within 30 minutes, they can be worked through on almost any device (we don’t support the use of mobile phones) with an internet connection, and you get a Highfield branded certificate of completion (important for evidencing your achievement, and off-the-job training!)

With a choice of 13 Short Courses we can cover a range of topics from enhancing soft skills such as teamwork, communication, self-awareness and personal development to areas of specialist knowledge such a bribery, fraud, and money laundering we can offer courses that suit the needs of your apprentice.

We’ve also launched a range of NEW Short Courses recently including:

Stress Management 
Display Screen Equipment 
Anaphylaxis and Autoinjectors

For more information, take a look at our website at www.highfieldelearning.com 

 

How to…with Highfield: Professional discussions

What should you expect from a professional discussion? A guide for employer representatives
Professional discussions are two-way, structured conversations between an assessor (or a panel of assessors) and an apprentice. They are designed to test an apprentice’s in-depth understanding of their work, and forms a key part of the end-point assessment of many apprenticeship standards.

Employer representatives are allowed to attend the professional discussion, dependent on the apprenticeship standard.  

What can you do as an employer representative?
As an employer representative attending a professional discussion, there are a few things you are allowed to do. These include:

Supporting and backing up what the apprentice is saying, and confirming if the required examples provided are a true reflection of the apprentice’s performance in their job role

Providing guidance to the assessor in terms of policy and practice when requested by the assessor, or assisting in contextualising the discussion if required. For example, if the assessor asks about ‘individual action plans’ but your organisation calls them ‘personal development plans’.

Giving information or clarification as requested by the assessor, or prompting the apprentice in relation to remembering particular events or occurrences that are relevant to the discussion. For instance, you can say, ‘Can you remember what happened last Tuesday when you were at XXXXXXX?’

Providing any other input as requested by the assessor.

What you can’t do
There are a few things you can’t do however. These include:

  • taking on the role of the assessor by leading the discussion
  • answering a question on behalf of the apprentice
  • directly leading the apprentice by relating a prompt to a particular area of the standard that is being assessed.

Employers are advised only to provide input when required by the assessor – most professional discussions are time restricted, so the assessment will focus solely on the apprentice and not on the employer’s input.

For more information and guidance on end-point assessment, and the support Highfield can offer, go to www.highfieldassessment.com

PRESS RELEASE: Campaign to provide clarity on Scottish personal licence renewals   

A campaign has been launched by Highfield Qualifications to make sure that personal licence holders understand the new requirements around licence renewal and refresher qualifications.

And the campaign is being backed by top licensing expert Janet Hood of Janet Hood Training & Consulting, who has provided step-by-step guidance to help personal licence holders and businesses understand their requirements.

Highfield Qualifications is one of the leading exam boards in the UK and works with a number of training providers, retailers, and on and off-trade businesses in the Scottish licensed sector.

It launched its campaign with an event at the University of Stirling towards the end of 2018, featuring presentations from Janet Hood and Highfield’s Andrew Constantine.

As part of the campaign, Highfield is offering:

  • a step-by-step guide, developed by Janet Hood, on its website to provide clarity to personal licence holders on the actions they need to take (https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/scplh)
  • a ‘CourseFinder’ option on the Highfield website to allow individuals to search for training
  • an advertising toolkit for training providers to help get the message over to their customers
  • regular social media updates

The Scottish government clarified changes to personal licence renewal in September 2018, which will also impact on the delivery of ‘refresher’ training. However, the last time the Scottish government implemented major changes to licensing regulations in 2014, nearly 8,000 people missed out on renewing them.

Janet Hood LLB Dip LP NP, of Janet Hood Training & Consulting, said, ‘In order to renew you or your staff member’s personal licence you must have obtained a refresher training pass certificate, then apply at least three months before the expiry date of your personal licence.

For an expiry date of 31 August 2019, that means you need to apply for renewal by 31 May 2019. Likewise, for an expiry date of 7 September 2019, you’d need to apply for renewal by 7 June 2019, and for an expiry date of 17 November, you’d need to apply by 17 August 2019’.  

Janet added, ‘However, the best advice is to get trained now. Check your own and your staff or colleagues’ personal licences (you should have the originals or at least copies on-site). If a personal licence is due to expire at any time in 2019, it is time to make plans for renewal and take action now.

You should also remember that you or your colleagues may be at the refresher training five-year point, in which case you or they need to ensure you have sat and passed the refresher exam 5 years before the expiry date.

So for example, if your licence expires 30 June 2024, refresher training needs to be completed by 30 March 2019 and you need to advise the licensing board within 3 months of the expiry date, ideally as soon as you have received the refresher training pass certificate’.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘We need to avoid a scenario where thousands again miss out on renewing their personal licence. If you already hold an SCPLH qualification and are a licence holder whose license is coming up for renewal, it is best practice to sit the refresher as soon as possible.

While trainers don’t need a licence, they do need the SCPLH qualification and up-to-date CPD, which can include refresher training’.

For more information, go to https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/scplh

For regular updates, go to: https://twitter.com/askhighfield and https://www.facebook.com/askhighfield

ENDS
Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations, offering over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including food safety, customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.
  2. Highfield Qualifications recently took the coveted ‘Awarding Organisation of the Year 2018’ title at the Federation of Awarding Bodies’ annual awards ceremony in October 2018, and was a recipient of the Queen’s Award in 2016.

 

Food Inspection: Are the professionals ready?

Effective food inspection is inextricably linked to an inspector’s understanding of the core hazards associated with individual foods. Although spoilage can usually be determined through a simple organoleptic assessment, the judgment of whether a food is fit for human consumption requires a deeper evaluation of the health hazards.

Madeleine Smith, reader in food safety at University of Birmingham, says “The spectacular development of the food industry in the past 40 years has provided new challenges and opportunities in the area of food inspection. It is important that the training of inspectors reflects these developments.”

In 1993, Madeleine qualified as an environmental health officer before working for Birmingham City Council. She joined the University of Birmingham in 1997 to provide the professional practice element to the MSc in Environmental Health. Since then Madeleine has designed and developed a number of postgraduate, undergraduate and CPD courses in food safety, building the Food Safety Group up to its current level. In addition to award-bearing courses, the group offers specialist short courses to competent authorities in the UK and overseas as well as to the food industry.

We are delighted to announce that Madeleine will be speaking at Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. In her presentation Are the professionals ready? Current competency and future needs, she will discuss the implications of food inspection evaluations and the necessity for inspectors to understand risk points attributable to complex food supply chains.

Other topics to be discussed at the food safety conference include key challenges and legislative changes as well as media issues and the implications of Brexit, as the food industry comes to terms with ever-greater scrutiny and reputational risk.

Find the full line-up of industry-leading speakers on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of the early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March so don’t delay! Book your ticket here.

How to….with Highfield: prepare effectively for EPA with our guidance documents

Getting your head around the new world of apprenticeship standards and end-point assessment can be tricky for the uninitiated. But here at Highfield, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and have published a range of completely free guidance documents to help you and your learners prepare effectively for EPA. 

Our Gateway Readiness Reports can be used to log the outcomes of your formal gateway meetings and be submitted to the end-point assessment organisation as evidence of your apprentices’ readiness to enter gateway and commence end-point assessment.

Meanwhile, our EPA Kits outline all you need to know about the EPA for each standard and provide an overview of the on-programme delivery requirements. In addition, they include authoritative advice and guidance for trainers on how to prepare apprentices for EPA and offer suggestions on different approaches. The EPA kits include:

  • a section focused on delivery, where the standard and assessment criteria are presented in a suggested format that is suitable for delivery
  • guidance on how to prepare the apprentice for gateway
  • detailed information on which part of the standard is assessed by which assessment method
  • a section focused on the end-point assessment method where the assessment criteria are presented in a format suitable for carrying out ‘mock’ assessments
  • suggestions on how to prepare the apprentice for each part of the end-point assessment
  • a practice test that you can use with apprentices

To download the Gateway Readiness Reports and EPA Kits, go to www.highfieldassessment.com,  click on ‘Standards’, then click on the standard you are interested in.You’ll find the downloads on each page.

Highfield Solutions: on-programme learning and off-the-job training – what does it all mean?  

This month at Highfield we’re shining a spotlight on apprenticeships. We’ll be covering everything you need to know from on-programme learning to gateway and the final stage of the process, end-point assessment.

The focus of this article will be the on-programme learning phase and the much talked about 20% off-the-job training. We’ll look at what is meant by off-the-job training, the activities that count towards off-the-job training and the support we can provide that brings a logical structure to on-programme learning.

What is off-the-job training?
Anyone involved in apprenticeships, whether as a learner, a training provider or an employer will have heard about the 20% off-the-job training. But, what does it actually mean?

Is it one day per week that the apprentice will be away from their place of work? Does the training have to cover anything in particular? Is there a way around this training?

The definition as defined by the ESFA in its funding rules is:

‘Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.’

Calculating off-the-job training
You can’t avoid the 20% off-the-job training. The apprentice, and employers, are expected to evidence that they have met this ratio. But, the off-the-job training element doesn’t necessarily mean one day per week or, indeed, training that takes place outside of the workplace.

Many employers are known to be put off apprenticeships due to a misconception that the off-the-job training must take up one day per week. The ratio is set in stone, but it is up to the apprentice, training provider and employer to agree on a system that works for them. Some may take the approach of one day per week, others may prefer to work in blocks of a few days or a week at a time. As long as the 20% ratio is evidenced, there is flexibility to deliver it to suit the needs of the employer.

What counts towards the 20%?
There are a number of ways that apprentices can carry out their off-the-job training. Some of which may be standard practice within the business they are joining.

There are a number of activities that count towards the 20% off-the-job training that are likely to be part of an employer’s standard process including:

  • staff induction – staff inductions are likely the first thing any apprentice will undertake when starting their apprenticeships. An induction likely includes procedural training for the role in which they are employed, training from human resources, understanding the company’s ways of working and ensuring they understand health and safety policies and procedures
  • shadowing and mentoring – when starting a new role many businesses implement a shadowing scheme in the early stages. Learning from an experienced employee that has carried out the role for a period of time
  • industry-specific training – for example product training for retailers or first-aid training for social care apprentices
  • industry visits – if your apprentice attends visits to partner businesses or meets with suppliers it can count towards the off-the-job training requirement
  • attending industry-related events – expose your apprentice to the wider world of work and allow them to attend conferences, CPD events and award ceremonies – not only do they get to experience fantastic networking opportunities and see how other organisations work (ideal for new suggestions and continuous improvement) but it also counts towards the 20%!

There are also several activities that can be carried out that cause minimal disruption to the business, and can be completed while the apprentice is still at their place of work but not carrying out their day-to-day tasks including:

  • work/study for the apprenticeship – working through workbooks, reading textbooks, watching training videos and completing assignments can all count towards the 20%, it doesn’t necessarily need to be completed away from the office, or be completed on the same day
  • e-learning courses that develop the apprentice’s knowledge and skills. At Highfield we offer Short Courses that build on skills such as communication, team working and managing conflict.

Finally, there are those training elements that likely take place away from the place of work, which include:

  • seminars/lectures – time spent with the training provider, this is often training that covers key aspects of the standard or mandatory qualifications and means time spent away from the workplace
  • role play – popular training practice in customer service training, this is particularly popular within the hospitality sector but may also be utilised within retail too. This can be particularly useful for covering potentially tricky situations

Highfield’s Solutions

Apprenti-kits
Highfield Apprenti-kits and E-kits are designed to provide structure to the on-programme delivery of the apprenticeship standards.

Mapped to the standards, our range of Apprenti-kits is:

  • broken down into manageable-sized modules that can be worked through at the apprentice’s own pace
  • cover all the required knowledge, skills and behaviours the apprentice is expected to demonstrate
  • evidence readiness for gateway and the move on to end-point assessment
  • written by industry experts with real-world experience of the sector they support
  • are available in paper and digital formats

We also offer the chance to enrich apprentices’ learning experiences with our Apprenti-kit and E-kit PLUS. This enhanced bundle contains additional resources including a health and wellbeing booklet, a safeguarding booklet and a choice of 5 e-learning Short Courses.

You can view our full range of Apprenti-kits and e-kits here.

E-learning
At Highfield our award-winning e-learning takes all shapes and sizes. A popular addition for apprenticeships includes our e-learning Short Courses. These can be bundled with our Apprenti-kit and E-kits to provide an enhanced training bundle for your apprentice, or used as stand-alone modules. Our Short Courses cover topics including team working, communication and managing conflict, which can be particularly relevant to an apprentice at the start of their career journey.

You can view our full range of Short Courses here.  

Next Steps
If you’d like more information on any of our apprenticeship or end-point assessment services, you can visit us on stand A4 at the AAC Conference in Birmingham between 27 – 28 March or, if you’re not attending, feel free to contact a member of our team on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email info@highfield.co.uk.

 

Did you know…Legionella

Legionella affects around 500 people a year, and can lead to death. 

But there is still little understanding amongst the wider public of this disease, or how to prevent it.

So here’s 10 facts about legionella.

  1. So why is it called Legionnaires’ disease? Well, it is named after the American Legion, some of whose members caught it while attending a convention at a Philadelphia hotel in 1976.
  2. The legionella bacterium causes Legionnaires disease in humans, which is a type of pneumonia that produces inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs then fill with liquid making it difficult for the lungs to transmit oxygen around the body via the bloodstream.
  3. Legionnaires’ can be contracted by inhaling droplets of legionella bacterium from a source that has been contaminated. However, it isn’t contagious and cannot be passed from person.
  4. About 90 percent of people who contract Legionnaires disease recover fully after a course of antibiotics.
  5. Legionnella grows in water between 20 to 45C. It multiplies quickly in artificial water supply and air conditioning systems, particularly those which have been maintained properly or are outdated.
  6. Symptoms of Legionnaires disease include tiredness, muscle aches, dry coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, headache and fever. Life-threatening complications can include organ failure and septic shock, and kill around 10 percent of normally healthy people who contract the disease.
  7. People usually become ill between 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the legionella bacterium. Those with weakened immune systems are most at risk, along with smokers and heavy drinkers. It affects people over 50 more commonly, with with most deaths occurring in those 70 or over.
  8. Larger buildings with more complex water systems are more vulnerable, such as hospitals, office blocks and hotels. However, Legionnaires’ disease can also (more rarely) be found in showers, sprinkler systems and spas.
  9. A third of Legionnaires’ disease cases in the UK are contracted while overseas, mostly in the Mediterranean and tropical countries.
  10. Legionnaires disease is a notifiable disease, and there is a national surveillance scheme to detect clusters and outbreaks in England and Wales.

Want to know more about legionella? Check out our qualifications at https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/compliance/legion

Food safety: Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on the line-up of top industry speakers presenting at the Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June in Birmingham, we spoke to John Barnes, Director at Enmoore Ltd, to find out what topics he’ll be discussing at the food safety conference.

In addition to his role as a Director at Enmoore Ltd, John is also a Strategic Advisor to the Shield Safety Group and a visiting lecturer in food safety at the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 John was Head of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and in that same year, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT) for his exceptional contribution to food hygiene and safety.

An environmental health officer by profession, John has extensive experience negotiating and implementing EU food law and chairing international meetings on food safety controls. He was part of the senior FSA team leading the response to the 2013 horsemeat incident and responsible for establishing its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

In his presentation Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency – current issues, what next? John will discuss how the FSA have pushed for greater openness and transparency since its launch in 2000, seeing this as an effective way to drive behaviour change in the food industry. The FHRS has resulted in a significant improvement in the UK hygiene standard, with calls for a mandatory display in England similar to the arrangements in Wales and NI.

“FHRS has undoubtedly had a major impact on food businesses and significantly improved hygiene standards. Industry can expect continued pressure to improve transparency and information to both consumers and regulators. The presentation will cover the background to this: current FHRS safeguards for businesses, issues with delaying implementation of mandatory display of FHRS in England and what to expect in the near future.” John Barnes.

Find the full line-up of speakers and topics to be discussed at the conference on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of our early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March. Book your ticket here.

How to…write a health and safety policy

You must have a written health and safety policy if you have five or more employees.

So how do you write one? Here’s a very brief guide.

Businesses usually put their policy into three sections.

  1. A general statement of intent, which establishes your commitment to implementing health and safety effectively and your expected outcomes.
  2. Responsibility and organisation. Who is doing what? For instance, who will carry out risk assessments?
  3. Arrangements. The details of what you are going to do in practice in order to achieve the outcomes outlined in #1. It should include information on how you will reduce or eliminate the risks of hazards in your workplace highlighted in your risk assessments. Staff training can be referenced here.

For more on our health and safety qualifications, go to https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/compliance/healthandsafety

Could e-learning be the answer to your training woes? 

E-learning is the nemesis of tutors and trainers everywhere. At least, in the eyes of some trainers who see e-learning as a ‘rival’ to their day-to-day business. 

It takes learners away from the sanctuary of the classroom and the knowledge and experience of a trainer, who may have decades of real-life, hands-on experience within a subject area. An e-learning course can’t be a match for that experience, it can’t share the passion of the trainer. And without passion, and engagement, what use is e-learning?  

Of course, to a degree, that is true. Not the sort of acknowledgment you may expect from an award-winning provider of e-learning. An e-learning programme can not share the anecdotes of an experienced trainer with years of on-the-job experience. It can’t be funny, charming and oozing charisma.  But, it can be a useful tool in the training mix and offer benefits that perhaps you weren’t expecting…

Why should I offer e-learning?

Supporting safer workplaces
As a minimum a good e-learning course can be a useful tool for staff training. Ideal as part of a training programme, a staff induction scheme, or to provide knowledge leading to a full qualification, e-learning can help make your workplace safer.

Highfield offer a range of e-learning courses spanning subjects as diverse as communication and team working, to first aid, manual handling and fire safety.

Flexibility
Whether you’re a trainer, an employer/business or a learner e-learning is flexible to meet your needs. Highfield e-learning courses are accessible anytime, anywhere. If you have access to an internet connection, you can sit Highfield e-learning.

With no constraints in terms of classroom-based training, businesses can ensure that departments are always appropriately staffed, that training can take place at a time and place to suit their needs. Classroom sessions can be disruptive to the natural ebb and flow of a business. E-learning allows learners to take training at a pace that fits around their day to day workload.

Cost-effective
Save on expensive room hire, taking staff from their day to day tasks or having to turn down income as you don’t have a viable size class to deliver training.  Highfield e-learning courses are approved programmes and can contribute to the guided learning hours of a recognised qualification. Learners who wish to gain a corresponding qualification can sit the assessment at any Highfield training centre at a time and place to suit them.

For a complete digital solution you could utilise Highfield Works, our e-assessment platform saving you time, reducing paperwork and available at a time to suit you.

Time-saving
If your learners are utilising e-learning, particularly as independent study, it can free up your time. You won’t need to be stuck in a classroom and allowing you to spend time on growing your business, or indeed spending time with friends and family.

Additional Income
We offer reseller agreements for training providers and businesses who may wish to utilise high volumes of our e-learning. We provide the course at a discount price, and you can then sell the course to your customers. We can even support you and help you sell e-learning on your website.

Next Steps
If you’d like more information about how e-learning can work as part of your training mix contact us today call 0845 226 0350/01302 363 277, visit www.highfieldelearning.com or email info@highfieldelearning.com.