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.’

Highfield’s marathon challenge for VICTA

Three of Highfield’s staff put on their running shoes and took on one of the world’s toughest challenges for charity this spring – the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Chris Sprenger, Managing Director, Ben Cressey, Director of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships, and Dominic Binks, Director of Business Development completed the gruelling 26 miles and 385 yards to raise money for Highfield’s chosen charity – Visually Impaired Children Taking Action (VICTA).

Marathon Runners

Chris (left), and Dominic (right).

Held on 26 April 2015, the Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the biggest mass participation sports events in the world. And for Chris and Ben, it was the second time they had completed the marathon for VICTA, having taken part in 2014.

Reform Club

After the marathon – Dominic (left), Chris (centre) and Ben (right).

As well as raising thousands over £3000 for the charity – which works to provide equipment, services and events that help blind and visually impaired children and young people develop socially, emotionally and educationally, as well as offering their parents a vital network of support and information – there were personal bests for the runners.

Chris completed the course in just three hours 29 minutes, with Dominic and Ben coming in at four hours and six minutes and four hours and 28 minutes respectively.

Medal

Chris’s Virgin Money London Marathon Medal

To date, Highfield has raised over £13,000 for VICTA. However, the team is not resting on its laurels, and has already signed up for next year’s marathon on 25 April 2016.

Highfield will be holding a number of events through 2015 and 2016 to raise money for VICTA, including a skydive. If you would like to contribute, please click Virgin Money Giving

World Cup winner caps successful result for Highfield

Doncaster-based education firm the Highfield Group welcomed England legend and World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst MBE back to Wembley as the company celebrated its own success off the field.

The former striker, hero of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad and still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, dropped in to meet guests as Highfield hosted a reception at the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on 1 March 2015.

Highfield Wembley League Cup Final 2015 LR-01839The Group, which publishes training books, materials and e-learning programmes, and develops vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, recently moved into the top five in the table of the UK’s leading education organisations. It offers hundreds of publications and titles with over 2 million sales per annum, plus over 200 different qualifications covering a wide range of subjects and industries.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield’s Chief Executive, said, ‘It was a huge honour to welcome Sir Geoff Hurst to our reception at Wembley and to talk to him about his achievements, including that famous 4-2 win against West Germany. He is a great inspiration on and off the field, and to have him here with us capped an incredible couple of years for us as an organisation where we have been able to grow our business and create jobs for Doncaster’.

Based in Lakeside, Highfield has three sites across Doncaster, with a further office in Dubai, employing nearly 250 staff and over 400 consultants. It provides qualifications and resources to 15,000 customers in 110 countries and counts amongst its clients names such as the NHS, Nestle, PepsiCo, Shell, Serco, G4S, MITIE, John Lewis, Health Education England, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Heinz, Marriott, Ministry of Defence, ASDA, Harrods and Aunt Bessie’s.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. The Highfield Group (‘Highfield’) includes Highfield.co.uk Ltd, Highfield E-Learning Ltd and its awarding organisation arm, Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance Ltd (‘HABC’).

Regular compliance updates from our partners

HABC has teamed up with some the UK’s leading legal firms to provide our Approved Centres with the reliable and authoritative updates possible on legal and compliance issues.

Health and safety – We’re working with Nabarro LLP to bring you quarterly updates on health and safety that are relevant to your business. Nabarro is one of the UK’s best known and most trusted commercial law firms, and specialises in providing no-nonsense and practical advice in plain English from its team of experts.

Food safety – On the huge topic of food safety, we’re working with Greenwoods Solicitors LLP to give you the latest news and updates. Greenwoods is one of the most respected names in the food safety business, with a renowned team of legal experts providing expertise on everything from the new regulator’s code to the horsemeat scandal, as well as key issues of the day.

Licensing – To bring you the latest updates and changes to alcohol licensing in the UK, HABC has teamed up with WoodsWhur – one of the country’s leading legal practices in the field. With its team of sector experts and their in-depth experience, WoodsWhur will be helping us to help you stay up-to-date with all the latest changes to legislation and regulations.

The updates are part of the service we offer to HABC Approved Centres. To find out more, click here.

DfE report identifies good practice in employer involvement in assessment

DfE report – The Department for Education recently published research which identified good practice in employer involvement in the delivery and assessment of qualifications.

The report is based on interviews with staff in Awarding Organisations (including HABC), employers and training providers, along with 20 case studies, and will inform future government requirements for counting technical certificates in 16-19 performance tables.

The full report can be downloaded here.