Matrix Standard ‘Guarantees
Quality Training And Support’
In the current competitive jobs market, more and more people are looking for training courses to boost their qualifications, but it can be difficult to choose between one provider and another.
However, the government’s kite mark for advice and guidance, the Matrix Standard, is designed to help prospective students decide where to study.
Pitman Training in London’s High Holborn and Notting Hill, which offers courses in secretarial studies, bookkeeping training and PA courses in London, has just achieved the accreditation, demonstrating its credentials as an educational facility.
Martyn Wilkinson, business development manager for the Matrix Standard, explains that the accreditation shows a training provider offers support for learners and had improved retention and achievement among its students.
To gain the standard, organisations must demonstrate that they meet eight criteria.
Provision Of Information.
Element one necessitates that people are made aware of the service offered by a training provider.
Companies and institutions need to use promotional activities to ensure that information about the provision is accessible to potential users.
Organisations also need to make sure that people know what they can expect from the service by defining their business or institution’s underlying principles and clarifying key policies so that students know whether the particular course or training provider is suitable for them.
This includes making people aware of confidentiality and diversity policies.
“It is making sure that they’re on the right course, at the right time, in the right place, making sure that they have the transport links to get to the course or can take the time of work to do it,” Mr Wilkinson explains.
Provision of information during the training is also a key element to the Matrix Standard, which defines that material must be accurate, relevant and inclusive as well as being easily accessible to students.
The facility must also provide people with support to use and understand the information with resources that are appropriate to students’ needs.
Element four refers to advice and guidance through the course of study and beyond, requiring that organisations assist people to review their options and make choices with impartial information.
This includes making users aware of the purpose and limitations of any recommendations and transparency with regard to how the support process will work.
Students should be given encouragement, but should always be able to make their own choices, according to the Matrix Standard guidelines.
“It’s about helping them make those career choices – what do they want to do next, are they going straight back to work or do they want to do a higher level course and it’s obviously helping them make the right decisions and have the necessary information,” says Mr Wilkinson.
An organisation or training provider must also make sure that they set out measurable aims and objectives and develop systems to deliver the service, with clear leadership in place to ensure that resources are appropriate and used effectively.
This includes ensuring that the service keeps up-to-date with any changes in relevant legislation, codes of practice and ethics, meeting the principles established by the National Information, Advice and Guidance Board.
Element six concerns the staff employed by the facility, who have to have a sufficient level of competence to deliver the training.
Organisations have a responsibility to make sure their employees are supported and trained themselves so that they can offer the best possible service.
Facilities must also gain feedback on the quality of the service, which involves making it clear to students who they can contact with a compliment, complaint or suggestion, as well as being proactive in gaining the opinions and comments of their students.
Finally, organisations must demonstrate that they continually evaluate their own practices to ensure they continue to deliver a high-quality service which meets the original aims and objectives they set out.
Mr Wilkinson says that the Matrix Standard’s assessment of a service is not prescriptive, but looks at each training provider individually.
“We don’t say you must do it the Matrix way, you must do it in the way that is appropriate to your organisation.
It’s not a paper-based assessment exercise, it’s based on evidence.”
He adds that for people looking for an educational facility, whether that is to do a legal secretary course or receptionist training, any provider that bears the Matrix Standard accreditation will provide a quality service.
“It’s safe in the mind that it’s good quality, that you’re going to get good support for your courses and your learning options,” he concludes.