Highfield 2018 end-of-year review

It wouldn’t be Christmas without an end-of-year review. And what a year it’s been.

What with being named Awarding Organisation of the Year by the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) and picking up another accolade in the Learning Technologies Awards, 2018 has certainly been a fantastic 12 months to remember.

But those aren’t the only reasons we’ll be celebrating this Christmas. Our achievements this year have included:

  • becoming the third largest awarding organisation in the UK
  • beating our target of raising £50,000 for our chosen charity VICTA
  • achieving over 800,000 users on our free counterterrorism e-learning in just a few months
  • seeing two of our colleagues recognised by the Metropolitan Police for their contribution to counterterrorism training
  • launching our e-assessment platform, Highfield Works, to bring our customers fast and effective online assessment

However, it’s not just about awards success. It’s about being the best provider of qualifications, training materials and e-learning to our many loyal customers. And we believe we are.

So once again, have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

And in case you missed them, here’s a round up of our top stories from the last few weeks of 2018.

Serco apprentice first in England to complete new aviation qualification
Serco apprentice Brook Bloomfield has become the first ever to complete the new Aviation Ground Operative Standard in England, passing his training with a distinction. The apprenticeship was delivered by Serco in partnership with Highfield Assessment, which is part of Highfield Qualifications and recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).

How to with Highfield…booking your SCPLH refresher
If you’re working in the Scottish licensed trade, you’ll no doubt be aware of the changes to the rules around the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) and personal licence renewal. We go through the steps you need to take to book your renewal.

Highfield e-learning joins the eLearning Network
We’re delighted to announce that Highfield e-learning is now an official partner of the eLearning Network (eLN). The eLN is a not-for-profit, community interest company run by the e-learning community for the learning community.

Allergens in food: Russian roulette for customers?
Allergens have been all over the news recently. But do you know how to keep customers and your business safe?

Highfield approved for recruitment EPA
We’re already one of the leading end-point assessment organisations in the country with one of the widest portfolios of standards covered. But now we can include Recruitment Consultant and Recruitment Resourcer to the standards we can deliver EPA for, after receiving official approval from the government.

Is your Care Certificate e-learning GDPR compliant?
We’ve updated our Care Certificate e-learning to make it fully compliant with the GDPR, meaning we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Developed by Highfield e-learning, it is one of the most comprehensive packages available anywhere for employees taking the Care Certificate, and is backed by Highfield’s expertise in developing the official Care Certificate Handbook.

Five new pathways for the updated underage sales prevention qualification
Highfield has launched a new version of the Highfield Level 2 Award in Underage Sales Prevention (RQF) to better reflect specific job roles within the licensed trade. The qualification is designed to assist those who are preparing to work in retail or licensed premises that offer age-restricted products and services to the public.

Highfield reaccredited for ISO  
After lots of hard work by our team, we’ve been recognised for ISO 9001: 2015, based on the ‘creation, development, implementation and management of all qualifications, end-point assessments and associated assessment materials’.

New level 3 qualification does the business
Highfield has launched a brand-new qualification specifically for learners working within business administration.  The Highfield Level 3 Diploma for Business Administrators (RQF) has been designed to cover the knowledge and skills requirements of the Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeship Standard. www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/apprenticeships/businessadministration/l3banew    


Christmas closing 2018

It’s been a successful and award-winning 2018 for us at Highfield, so we’re looking forward to a well-deserved break (not to mention a mince pie or two).

But business goes on, and we know that for some of you, December is also one of the busiest months of the year.

If you need to place orders with us, please note that the Highfield offices close at 17:30 on Thursday 20 December 2018 and reopen at 08:30 on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

We will have our Christmas helpers on hand to answer any queries on Thursday 27 December 2018, though unfortunately we will not be able to process any orders as our distribution centre will be closed.
But what if you have something urgent you need to order?

Don’t worry, our little Christmas helpers have that covered too!

If your order is urgent, place it by 13:00 on Wednesday 19 December 2019. We’ll make sure it’s sent via next-day delivery so you receive it in good time.  

If your order is not so urgent, place it by 12:30 on Thursday 20 December 2018 and you’ll receive it over the Christmas period.

Any orders placed after these dates and times will be dispatched when the offices reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

As always, we’d like to thank you for your continued support over the last 12 months. 2018 has been an outstanding year for us, and has seen Highfield win the Awarding Organisation of the Year title, along with another Learning Technologies Award, launch a new e-assessment platform and become one of the leading providers for end-point assessment (nearly 30 standards and counting!).

But it’s not just about us. Each year we like to remind our customers of the work we do to support Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA), our chosen charity.

We know that many of you make a contribution to a charity each Christmas, and we appreciate that for many of you that’s often a very personal choice, so we will be making our own contribution to VICTA this Christmas on top of the funds our brilliant teams have raised through their endeavours this year.

You can find out more at www.victa.org.uk (Charity Registration Number: 1065029) if you would like to make a donation yourself.

So finally, on behalf of everybody at Highfield, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We look forward to what we believe will be yet another successful year in 2019 with you.

Highfield reaccredited for ISO

We always aim to be the best at what we do, so we’re over the moon to be reaccredited for ISO.

After lots of hard work by our team, we’ve been recognised for ISO 9001: 2015, based on the ‘creation, development, implementation and management of all qualifications, end-point assessments and associated assessment materials’.

While it’s not the first time we’ve achieved ISO recognition, it’s the first time we’ve been recognised for end-point assessment and associated assessment materials, which we believe puts us right at the top when it comes to supporting training providers, employers and learners on apprenticeships.

ISO 9001 is a globally recognised quality mark that is part of a wider series of quality standards (ISO 9000). Developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the standard sets out what organisations must do to implement superior quality management systems, and recognises those already doing this.

We first received our 9001:2008 certificate back in 2014, and this reaccreditation shows that we still put standards first. Highfield’s ISO recognition has been awarded by the accreditation service provider Chamber Certification Assessment Services (CCAS).

Bernard Zakary, Highfield’s Director of Qualification Development, said, ‘It’s another fantastic achievement by our team and highlights the work we put in each day to ensure the highest quality and standards when it comes to qualifications and apprenticeships. It’s also recognition of the level of service we provide each and every customer with, and demonstrates our commitment to being the best’.

Highfield welcomes the Federation of Awarding Bodies

Highfield was honoured to welcome Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), to its offices this September.

Tom, who was appointed to the post in May this year, visited Highfield’s head office in Doncaster on 19 September to understand more about the organisation, our work as an awarding organisation and in particular our support for the training providers and employers implementing the new apprenticeship standards.

He also received an update on some notable Highfield successes over the last couple of years, including winning the Queen’s Award and a Learning Technologies Award.

As well as meeting Highfield Chief Executive Jason Sprenger, Managing Director Chris Sprenger and Director of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships Ben Cressey, Tom took the time to have a couple of pictures taken – and take a couple of selfies himself – which you can see here.

Tom said, ‘It was a pleasure to visit the whole team at Highfield and fascinating to learn more about the organisation’s achievements.  With qualifications growth at 30% per annum, they are one of the most rapidly expanding private sector employers in Doncaster, and a global leader in the field of work-based learning and apprenticeship qualifications’.

Highfield achieves ISO standard again

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been re-accredited under ISO 9001: 2008 for the ‘creation, development, implementation and management of all qualifications and associated materials’.

Highfield has partnered with the accreditation service provider Chamber Certification Assessment Services (CCAS) and will be working to upgrade the accreditation to ISO 9001:2015 early in 2018.

ISO9001 is a globally-recognised quality mark that is part of a wider series of quality standards (ISO9000). Developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the standard set out what organisations must do in order to implement superior quality management systems, and recognises those already doing this.

We first received our 9001:2008 certificate back in on 2014, and this accreditation shows that we still put standards first.

Bernie Zakary, Highfield’s Director of Qualification Development, said, ‘I am incredibly proud of this accreditation as it demonstrates the hard work put in daily at Highfield to make sure quality and high standards are first and foremost. It’s also a recognition of the talent and dedication we have here in the Highfield team and will give our customers confidence that our commitment to the very highest of standards continues’.

90th birthday marks royal recognition for Highfield

Highfield will be helping HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her 90th birthday this year after winning the UK’s most prestigious business accolade, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The Highfield Group, one of the UK’s leading education organisations, was announced as the winner of the award as part of the national celebrations to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday on 21 April.

Queen's Award winnersQueen’s Award winners are chosen by a panel that includes the Prime Minister and leading figures from government and industry, making it one of the most sought after accolades for British businesses.

Highfield is one of the UK and Middle East’s leading suppliers of compliance, apprenticeship and work-based learning qualifications, training materials and e-learning. It is one of the UK’s largest exam boards, and is actively involved in the development of the UK workforce and productivity, as well as contributing to government plans for three million apprenticeships by 2020 and the switchover to apprenticeship trailblazers.

The organisation, which has its headquarters in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, works with some of the biggest names in international business to help develop their staff, including PepsiCo, Nestle, Marks & Spencer and Superdrug, and each year supports over 2 million learners across the globe to achieve their educational aspirations.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of this fantastic achievement, which is a testament to our exceptional team and their dedication to our core values of quality, value, service and integrity. It is proving to be an amazing 12 months for Highfield.  We are continuing to expand domestically and internationally, with offices recently opening in Sheffield, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, plus a new international headquarters planned for Doncaster later in 2016, and have numerous other blue chip companies that have committed to working with us going forward’.

Representatives from Highfield will receive the award in person from Her Majesty at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 14 July 2016.  A further ceremony with the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe, will take place at Highfield’s offices later in the year.
For more information on Highfield, go to www.highfieldqualifications.com

For more on the Queen’s Award, go to www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise/overview

Highfield office Christmas shutdown

Xmas 2015 (resized)It’s nearly Christmas, which means it’s almost time for our annual shutdown.

And as you can see from the pic, the team at our distribution centre have important (but secret) work they need to attend to.

To that end, our offices will close on 22 December 2015 at 5.30 pm, and reopen on 4 January 2016 at 8.30 am.  Unfortunately, that also means we won’t be able to respond to any enquiries received between those times.

If you have any urgent orders you need delivering before the shutdown, please place them by 2 pm on 21 December 2015.

Non-urgent orders required over the Christmas period should be placed by 3 pm on 22 December 2015. Orders placed after this time will be dispatched on 4 January 2016 when our offices reopen.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and to thank you for your continued support and custom over the last 12 months.  The past year has been incredible for us, and has seen the Highfield name established in several new sectors.  This would not have been possible without your continued support, and we look forward to what we believe will be yet another successful year in 2016.

Finally, as you may already be aware, our chosen charity is Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA), so in addition to the funds we have helped raise this year we will be making a further contribution for Christmas.

We hope you can help too, so for more information or to make a donation, go to www.victa.org.uk

Merry Christmas!

Welcome to Highfield Central – our new online management system

Highfield is bringing its online Course Management System and Learner Management System together into one brand new digital resource – Highfield Central.

The new system will help Highfield Centres to manage both course-based and assessor-based qualifications, request exam papers, place orders, purchase registrations and register learners from one easy-to-use central location.

As part of the change, all qualifications will now sit in just one place, helping Centres and administrators manage the process better, while associated products and learner resources will be available to order from the same location.  Centres will also be able to see how many registrations they have purchased or banked, allowing a stock check and improved transparency of purchases for their own records.

The majority of qualifications will be moved over to Highfield Central by 15 October 2015, the exceptions being security (licence-linked), endorsed, international and pool lifeguarding qualifications, which will move later in the year.

If you’ve already posted courses starting after 15 October on the Course Management System that need to be moved to Highfield Central, our IT team will transfer these for you and provide you with new course ID numbers.

A guidance document for those offering course-based qualifications has already been published, with further guidance and instructions due to be posted shortly.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, your account manager will be on hand to help you.

SIA requests Centres double-check learners’ details

sia-logoThe Security Industry Authority (SIA) has requested that Centres take extra care when uploading the details of learners sitting assessments for licence-linked qualifications.

Currently, the SIA is experiencing increased failure rates for licence applications because learners’ details are recorded incorrectly – something that has an impact on the SIA, training Centres and of course learners.

HABC is asking that all its Approved Centres double-check and accurately record learners’ full names exactly as shown on their identity documents to avoid unnecessary delays, as names that do not match identity documents will be returned.

If you have any queries about any stage of the process, please contact your HABC account manager.

Extended new premises for distribution team

It’s been a successful few years for Highfield. But there’s no surer proof of business growth than when you have to physically expand your premises.

extended new premisesHighfield’s Distribution Centre (or just ‘DC’) – home to our print and distribution teams – has recently undergone a facelift so that it can handle even more stock and orders, and make sure that we meet customer expectations in terms of dispatch and delivery.

DC UPAnd with an extended mezzanine floor and packing room, the total floor area for DC is now 8000 square feet – about enough room to house 80 family saloon cars!

Fork Lift HABCThe expansion comes on top of our recent purchase of our own Highfield-liveried delivery vans for moving items between our three Doncaster offices, plus purchase of a new forklift for the DC site.

Sean Asquith, Print Manager, said, ‘It’s great to see these investments being made in our department and the company, as it really demonstrates how we are continually growing and going from strength to strength.  Our staffing has also doubled over the last couple of years to help keep up with demand, creating jobs in the local economy whilst allowing us to deliver even better service to our customers.’