Pricing on the QTP

QTP

We have recently changed our approval process on the Quality Training Portal so that all training must show either a price or POA (price on application).

This is in response to feedback from users of the site who felt that no price at all implies a free programme.

As part of our regular housekeeping on the site, we will be asking all providers who have £0.00 as a price to either insert a price or amend to POA by Wednesday 21 September.

After that date, any training showing £0.00 will be made inactive.

If you have any questions about this process please contact endorsement@skillsactive.com.

 

 

 

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The Community Fitness Awards

The Community Fitness Awards are hosted by Project Mayhem Events Ltd and they explained to us the reason behind this celebration.

Community Fitness is a hugely valuable sector of the UK Fitness Industry, with thousands of independent instructors teaching all forms of freestyle and branded programmes every day.

We thought this warranted a celebration all its own, something to be proud of that would recognise the hard work and achievements bought by so many people who often go it alone and impact the fitness and well-being of the nation.

Project Mayhem Events hosts many popular fitness weekends, and has delivered the ‘Ribby Weekend’, every year for the past five years. Up to 500 fitness enthusiasts enjoy two full days of classes.

The community spirit that has evolved from this event is phenomenal, with instructors now having a sense of belonging to a much wider community than otherwise would have been possible. We’ve wanted to capture that magic and bring it to Trowbridge, Wiltshire in the South West of the UK for some years, and this year, finally, it is happening.

Our one-day event, sponsored by Sound Dynamics, will be jam-packed with sessions from some of the biggest brands and best presenters the industry has to offer. The event is open to everyone, instructors, participants, friends and family. Everyone can join in, and take away something from the day. Instructors will get motivation and refreshing new ideas, participants can enjoy taking part in sessions with their instructor, even those completely new to community fitness will love it as they will get to experience the best, all in one day.

The evening sees us hosting the all-important Community Fitness Awards. There are ten categories in total, from Best male and female instructors, to best brand, facility, presenter or even lifetime achiever. Nominations have been submitted and we have some very strong candidates, with more still coming in daily.

jacquiWe are very pleased and grateful to be able to say we have Jacqui Hobbs from SkillsActive acting as an independent judge for the shortlisting process of the votes. We very much wanted to create awards that the recipients and the industry as a whole would be proud of, and recognise. Having SkillsActive’s support has meant so much to us as it gives credence to our efforts in recognising the work of community-based fitness professionals via the awards.

The public also have a chance vote via an online platform and the combined results will eventually bring us our winners, to be announced at the evening ceremony on 5 November.

Tickets for the event are available via the Project Mayhem Website with a day pass costing only £22, a seat at the awards ceremony only £35, or £50 for both the day and the evening – a generous 12% saving!

Project Mayhem Ltd are still interested to hear from anyone in the industry who may wish to get involved – there are opportunities still remaining for sponsoring individual awards, space in the exhibitors stand area, or simply tickets to the event.

 

London Metropolitan University and SkillsActive Endorsement

Karl Grainger from London Metropolitan University gives us an insight into the fitness programmes offered at the university and why they decided to go for endorsement.

London Metropolitan University is a hugely diverse university, with a vibrant mix of students of all ages and all backgrounds.  An inclusive university, employability is at the core of the curriculum.  In our school we offer a range of Sports Science and Sports Therapy undergraduate degrees, and also a Sports Therapy MSc.  I am currently a personal academic tutor and lead the Training Principles and Biomechanics modules.

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The university’s physiology lab

With ever increasing numbers of students attending university, and employability at the centre of our PISO (Project for Improved Student Outcomes), offering more applied work based learning qualifications will help our students into employment.  As a previous Personal Trainer I know the benefit of having a REPs recognised qualification on entering the workplace.  As our common first year already covered about 80% of the Skills Active Level 2 and Level 3 syllabus it seemed an obvious choice to go for Endorsement.

The benefits of endorsement to London Met are many but these were the 5 key factors that pushed us towards endorsement,

For the student:

  1. It gives graduates the additional qualifications they will need to either become gym instructors or personal trainers, which many move into.
  2. For the Sports Therapy graduates, it gives them a potential additional income stream when they start work.  All students can in effect take part time work as Gym Instructors and/or Personal Trainers from the end of their first year, given them a stronger financial position to take them through years 2 and 3 of their chosen degree – as well as improving their CV.
  3. Even though we have to charge a small amount for the courses, the students get the option of taking 2 valuable qualifications at a fraction of the cost of external providers.

For the University:

  1. By charging a nominal sum for the Level 2 and Level 3 courses, the whole project is self-funding.
  2. By including the REPs options in our prospectus, it gives the School and University an edge over other universities in the area that do not offer the qualifications.

We were endorsed just over 12 months ago, and have so far run the Level 2 course twice – to allow as many students as possible to take part.  Nearly 40 students have taken part so far.  For the forthcoming year, we have made modifications to our first year which means the Level 2 and Level 3 are now approximately 90% embedded into the students’ normal programme of study, so we’re looking at perhaps another 50 students taking the Level 2 and 20-30 taking the Level 3.

In 2016-17 we will be revalidating our degree programmes, so will be looking further at Level 2/3 embedding, and also looking at the Level 3 Exercise Referral and perhaps 2 or 3 of the Level 4 qualifications.  Our degree programme already contains a large proportion of the content, so is a real no-brainer when it comes to offering industry standard qualifications that our graduates can take out into the workplace.

If you are interested in endorsement for your HE programmes, contact the Professional Development team at endorsement@skillsactive.com.

 

Upcoming events

Here’s a selection of events that are coming up that you might be interested in attending.

The Future of Sport, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships 2016
13 September 2016, Wolverhampton

This much needed conference will provide a platform to network and evaluate the Government’s Active Nation Strategy. The Active Nation strategy questions the continual focus on technical qualifications and the need to make sport an attractive career option for the brightest and most able individuals across the UK. The strategy pushes the further and higher education sector to ensure graduates are of high quality and have the right skill set for employers, and sees apprenticeships as the key mechanism to realise a sport workforce with the right skills. Full details here.

LIW

 

Leisure Industry Week
20-21 September 2016, Birmingham

Something for everyone! Covering fitness, health, play, sports, facilities management, and spa and wet leisure, there will be lots to do and see.Hanna and Tom

Tom and Hanna are attending on Tuesday 20 September, so let us know if you would like to meet up to discuss either your current endorsement or your plans for future endorsement.

om yoga

 

Om Yoga Show
21-23 October 2016, London

Visitors go to the OM Yoga Show to immerse themselves in a truly yogic atmosphere for the whole weekend. Free open classes provide the opportunity to be inspired by leading teachers; the chance to try something new, or revisit an old favourite. Open classes, located within the exhibition, are free of charge to all visitors, and operate on a first come, first served basis. Full details here.

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Food Matters Live
22-24 November 2016, London

From mainstreaming free-from food and drink to marketing to millennials, there are 80 seminar sessions to choose from – delivered by 300 expert speakers from across the food and drink industry, nutrition and health. It’s all free to attend – register today.

REPs Logo

 

REPs Roadshows
14 September 2016, University of Sunderland

A great opportunity to network and learn new skills with our endorsed providers. Details of this and other roadshows this year here.

 

Implementing Prevent

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has introduced the Prevent Duty for various bodies including all FE colleges, adult education providers and independent learning providers with SFA funding or with over 250 students enrolled.

The Prevent duty requires all FE and training providers to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015). This is part of the Safeguarding duty for providers but one that extends to all learners of all age groups and also staff.

A recent government press release explains that ‘due regard’ includes preventing extremists from seeking to radicalise learners and supporting those learners perceived to be at risk of extremist influences.

Ofsted has responsibility for monitoring how well the duty is being implemented and has raised concerns in a recent report about the Prevent duty in some quarters.  A specific recommendation from the report is that providers should be better aware of the support The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) can offer.”

Ofsted’s report also said: “some providers viewed the duty as a list of conditions just to comply with and have adopted a ‘tick-box’ approach. This goes against the spirit of the government’s guidance, which seeks to promote meaningful ways to reduce the specific risks of radicalisation and extremism for learners and the local community”…” there was a tendency to be over-reliant on online training packages. These packages provided only a basic awareness and understanding of ‘Prevent’. Little thought was given to extra or bespoke training for staff”… “Providers now must work more quickly to ensure that learners are protected against the threats of radicalisation and extremism.”

SkillsActive would like to offer ETF training at our London office in the near future so if you are interested in attending let us know below. Once we have sufficient interest we will be able to contact you with dates.

 

 

 

 

WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition

worldskills.jpgRob Wilkie, SkillsActive Compliance and Standards Manager, recently acted as a judge for the heats of the WorldSkills UK Fitness Trainer Competition.  This competition, managed by Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport, is the only active leisure skills competition in the UK for students working towards careers in the sport and leisure industry, and is a great opportunity for students to showcase their skills in a competitive environment.

This particular heat was held at Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke, and saw competitors perform in either the Gym Instructor or Personal Trainer categories.  Rob was a judge for the latter category and was impressed by the high standard and great potential he saw in the students.

The next stage in this competition are the national semi-finals which will be held at Loughborough University in July, with the national finals to be held at The Skills Show in November at the NEC Birmingham.

Upcoming Events

Here are some of the events that are going to be taking place around the country in the coming months – we plan to be at most if not all of them, so if you are going too let us know if you would like to meet up!

REPS  REPs Roadshows: If you are an endorsed provider, these roadshows offer a great opportunity to offer bitesize master classes to REPs members so they can get a feel of the training you offer. Find out all the details on the REPs website.

LIW Leisure Industry Week: LIW is the UK’s largest gathering of leisure decision makers, influencers and buyers, bringing together thousands of like-minded professionals to shape the future and growth of the sector, and is taking place in Birmingham on 20-21 September 2016. Full details here.

foodmattersFood Matters Live: The conference will address the political, social and economic issues surrounding the complex and challenging relationship between food, health and nutrition. 400 speakers across 80 seminar sessions and 17 live debates taking place at the ExCeL in London on 22-24 November 2016.

REPS_BADGE_CPD 6_LOGO SkillsActive Training Days: We have released September dates for the next tutor, assessor and internal quality assurance workshops for anyone seeking endorsement or wanting to brush up their skills. The places are filling up first so don’t miss out! Full details here.

meynell National Playwork Conference: The 15th National Playwork Conference will be taking place in Eastbourne, East Sussex on Tuesday 7th March and Wednesday 8th March 2017. Find details here of the first call for presentations.

 

Contact us at endorsement@skillsactive.com if you would like your event in our next newsletter.

AfN endorsed so what now?

As you will know, last year the Professional Development team decided to remove nutritional programmes from our endorsement process. This was because we felt that such a specialised topic should be dealt with by a dedicated organisation, and we have therefore been working with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) to bring this about.

After a successful pilot, the first AfN endorsed programmes are coming through. So if you have been endorsed by AfN, what now?

Well, simply put the programmes through the Quality Training Portal in the usual way if you have a Multiple Endorsement, or, if you are operating under Single Endorsements, submit it through the Single Course submission form, where you will be able to bypass the normal evidence requirements.

In both cases, you must send through your official endorsement confirmation from AfN to endorsement@skillsactive.com. Nothing can be endorsed without it!

If you have any questions, please contact the Professional Development team on 0203 434 4384 or endorsement@skillsactive.com

Learner feedback – what to do?

Gathering feedback from learners can prove very useful. Here we looks at the ways, means and reasons for implementing this invaluable tool.

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The term ‘feedback’ is used to describe the helpful information or criticism from an individual, communicated to another who can use that information to adjust and improve current and future actions and behaviors.

Effective feedback, both positive and negative, is very helpful. Feedback is valuable information that will be used to make important decisions. Top performing companies are top performing companies because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. For top performing companies ‘continuous improvement’ is not just a showy catchphrase. It’s a true focus based on feedback from across the entire organisation – customers, clients, employees, and stakeholders. Top performing companies are not only good at accepting feedback, they deliberately ask for feedback. They also know that feedback is helpful when it highlights weaknesses as well as strengths.

Feedback is about effective listening. Whether done verbally or via a feedback survey, the person providing the feedback needs to know that their feedback provides some value. Do you explain why respondents’ feedback is important and how their feedback will be used? Do you respond to written feedback given on the evaluation/feedback form?

By asking for feedback, it can actually motivate employees to perform better, for tutors and assessors knowing that the student has the opportunity to give feedback may motivate them to give the best possible service.

Unfortunately sometimes feedback can be mistaken for criticism. In fact, what may be viewed as negative criticism could actually be seen as constructive criticism and this kind of feedback helps to formulate better decisions to improve and increase performance?

Things to consider when creating an evaluation/feedback tool

How should it be presented? Consider the benefits of an online or paper based format. Sending an email with a link to an online format may be more convenient for people, they can do it when they have time, they may feel less under pressure and be more honest with their feedback and it may be easier for you to compile reports; however if you ask for people to complete a paper version at the end of the course are you more likely to get a higher completion rate? Is it quality versus quantity?

A committee of the American Association of University Professors researched the effectiveness of evaluations for university teachers. They found that institutions that had adopted online evaluations reported much lower student return rates than those who stuck with paper evaluations: 20-40% versus 80% or higher.

“With such a rate of return, all pretensions to ‘validity’ are rendered dubious,” the paper says. “The comments coming in are from the students on either of the extremes: those very happy with their experience and/or their grade, and those very unhappy.” (Inside Higher Ed Colleen Flaherty June 10, 2015).

Other companies have looked at rewarding for responding, entry to a free prize draw for completing the evaluation etc, but again would this only incentivise a certain type of student, therefore again affecting the validity of the evaluations completed?

 What content should be included on the form?

Using the right key to get the most effective feedback is essential. Most evaluations use the following kind of key:

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being poor 5 being excellent.  If you do use this explain what 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 means.

1 (not at all effective), 2, 3, 4 (moderately effective), 5,  (extremely effective), try not to just put 1 – 5 as most people will tend to pick 3, and what is this really telling you, a scale of 1 -3 may be better, it was either 1 not effective 2 effective or 3 outstanding for example.

Try to keep it to one side of paper, or allow them to write feedback on the back; consider asking feedback for the pre-course administration, the course resources, facilities, staff, their action plan from this course, how do they plan to use this training? What other training do they need?

Should they give their name? Well, not putting their name may mean they feel able to give more honest feedback as you don’t know who said what, however how are you able to respond to their feedback? You may wish to follow up on a point they have raised or to let them know that you have taken onboard their feedback and made changes.

The right time

When is the right time to ask people to complete the evaluation, is it at the end of the day? Or after their assessments? How will it affect their feedback if they fail? Could this potentially compromise their objectivity?  A lot of people are keen to get off as soon as the course is finished, maybe they have trains to catch or children to pick up, so maybe last coffee break would be a better time, or when you’re giving 121 feedback to other learners.

A research at an Italian University even found the weather affected students’ feedback: when the weather was better the feedback was better, if it was raining the feedback deteriorated! Obviously you cannot control the weather and only ask for feedback on nice sunny days (this is the UK!), but maybe if you do receive negative feedback consider other factors that may have affected the students’ feedback such as them failing the course, rain or time of day the feedback was given.

So to summarise, is it essential to have a mechanism in place to allow people to give you feedback? Do we only need to ask for feedback if we are delivering a course but not for workshops?  I hope that your answer to these questions is yes! Feedback is invaluable for all types of training, so take the time to collate your feedback don’t just file it away. Look for recurring feedback and create a plan to change and improve the service you are offering, maybe advertise on your website how you have taken on board the feedback and the changes you are planning to make or have made.

 

Standards & Qualifications

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SkillsActive/Habia, part of the SkillsActive group, are the guardians of Standards and Frameworks across the Active Leisure and Well-being sector (made up of six sectors: sport, fitness, outdoors, playwork, hair and beauty).

Due to European Union regulations, changing government priorities across nations and funding requirements, we have to reconfirm this role through a tendering process to become a Delivery Partner for Standards and Qualifications alongside all other Sector Skills Councils (SSC).

To support this process, we are asking training providers and employers in our sectors to complete a letter of support. If you would like to do this, please complete our Letter of Support template and return it to us by Friday 13 May 2016.