matrix standard awarded
Pitman Training centres in London’s Notting Hill and High Holborn have been awarded the coveted matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance services.
Principal Shilpa Wymer explains that both potential and existing students will benefit from the award as it makes Pitman Training qualifications even more attractive to employers.
“The award is really a statement of proof that we are an educational establishment offering the highest quality training, qualifications and after-care to people looking for careers as PA’s, secretaries, bookkeepers, administrators and other office jobs,” says Shilpa.
“It proves that if you take PA courses, secretarial training, bookkeeping courses or indeed any of our programmes, at either of our centres, we’re committed to looking after you every step of the way, from your first enquiry to your graduation day.”
Managing Director Keith Wymer affirms: “It really is exciting to earn the matrix accreditation.”
“It’s the first opportunity we’ve had to involve every single member of our team plus representatives of the student body in working together to earn something we really covet.”
“I must thank the students for their input as well as every member of our team. Everybody went the extra mile to ensure we could demonstrate the standards required by matrix and I’m personally very grateful to all of them.”
In the past, the organisation has won the silver award for the “Best Training Centre” in the National IT Training Awards, Notting Hill won the “Best New Pitman Training Centre” trophy in its first year and just last year High Holborn won an award for the highest number of Pitman Training enrolments, internationally.
The teams at Pitman Training in Notting Hill and High Holborn won’t rest on their laurels though.
They’re now setting out on a mission of continuous development to ensure their already high standards keep growing, with ambitious plans already made for when the economy improves.
Extract From matrix Assessment Report.
Throughout the assessment the Assessor observed a culture of striving to achieve excellence and ensure continuous quality improvement.
Feedback from interviews with partners and students highlights that the service delivered at High Holborn and Notting Hill is given clear leadership and direction.
Over the last four years the new owners/managing directors have transformed the franchise into the flagship delivery and performance site for the wider Pitman Training Group.
Each centre is equipped with state of the art technology equipment and is supported by a team of tutors and course advisors.
At each centre, the heart of the learning experience programme is a diagnostic and assessment service that provides customised Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) to ensure students are supported in making the most effective learning and work decisions.
This IAG support service is a golden thread that underpins the tutors’ and course advisers’ interaction with the students pre-entry and review stages and finally upon completion to support progression.
The Managing Directors are convinced that the IAG support is a determining factor in the 97 per cent achievement rate.
Course Advisers and Trainers deliver an IAG service that is based upon motivational principles with staff consistently able to explain to the Assessor how they use the IAG service as the platform to help the individual build a compelling future.
Feedback from students confirmed that the motivational interviewing techniques are most effective at the pre-entry stage of the Pitman Training student journey. At this opening stage, the Course Advisors’ meeting is centred upon moving the potential student from the present to their preferred scenario.
The matrix Assessor gathered evidence from staff and students alike underlining that students confirmed the service was impartial and customised to help individuals make realistic and relevant learning and work decisions.
The outcome of this skilled delivery approach is that students are presented with a range of options and choices and feel empowered to consider their future options and next steps.
As the students progress through their learner journey, the trainers continue to provide bespoke support and encouragement to translate the learners’ aims and objectives into measurable achievements. Ensuring that the IAG service addresses equal opportunities and diversity issues is a high priority for Pitman Training (High Holborn and Notting Hill).
The matrix Assessor observed that the organisation proactively challenges gender stereotyping with maximum use of promotional activities and positive role models to increase the number of males within the sector.
All staff were able to describe to the Assessor how they make users aware of the nature of the service.
Students spoke of the welcoming and friendly approach of staff and explained how they were able to and encouraged to explain their current needs and requirements and explore whether Pitman was able to meet their future goals.
One student reflected upon her initial contact with the organisation:
“My first experience was during a friendly chat with the course advisor. It was just like a college open day, very honest, friendly and comfortable.
The advisor helped me look at what I needed and whether Pitman was the best place to help me”.
Interviews with 22 service users confirmed that they understood the support available from the service and were familiar with the information handouts on other IAG services that could help review their next steps and choices.
One student said: “My initial interview was very thorough. I wasn’t sure what I needed, career wise, but the course adviser helped me unravel the options available to me. He didn’t put me under any pressure and left the decision to me”.
The assessor noted that one staff member said:
“Everyone, including our directors is focused upon the customer and making sure our students are happy here”. Pitman Training (High Holborn and Notting Hill) has defined and measurable aims and objectives that are clearly documented, monitored and quality assured by the managing directors.
The Assessor was shown minutes and reports that incorporated feedback suggestions from staff and students. These documents confirmed that actions have been taken or planned as a result of the feedback.
The matrix Standard is now embedded as a core improvement tool, which is widely understood by staff and managing directors and is at the heart of the organisations commitment to continued development.