Introduction

Education + Training Skills (ETS) has been accredited with the matrix Quality Standard since 2004. The matrix Standard is the government quality standard for any organisation that supports individuals, enabling them to make informed choices about their future.

The matrix standard recognises ETS’s commitment to exceptional external and internal service whilst demonstrating our commitment to continuously improve.

ETS also holds the prestigious Customer Service Excellence Award the Government’s standard which is awarded to organisations that are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering, with the customer always and everywhere at the heart of service provision.

Aim

This policy clearly states ETS’s commitment to the provision of clear, impartial and effective Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) to learner, prospective learners and employers in order to achieve the strategic aims and objectives of ETS.

The purpose

Information, Advice and Guidance Service is to support enquirers considering to study, partner or work with ETS and to support learners in achieving their aspirations, including their study and career goals. Our service is consistent with the agreed ETS approach to educational support and guidance and is delivered in accordance with the principles of the nationally recognised matrix and Customer Service Excellence quality standards and the Charity’s Data Protection Policy.

Context and Scope

The service we offer promotes clear, coherent and consistent delivery in Information, Advice and Guidance Services. This policy sits alongside our Learning Agreements, Data Protection, Safeguarding (including Prevent Duty), and Equality and Diversity policies as integral components for delivery of ETS’s Mission, Vision and values.

The policy applies to any IAG delivered in any ETS Centre and to services offered by ETS staff in the workplace, schools or any other location. The policy applies to IAG offered to any learner, prospective learner or employer whether on an individual or group basis.

Information, Advice and Guidance is provided by the Business Development Team, Training Facilitators, Staff and Managers at ETS House, via telephone and virtual media platforms and in the workplace.  

Guidance is defined as a method to allow individuals the opportunity to clarify their learning and career goals, to explore options and opportunities, assess skills and interests and make decisions to allow them to set learning and development goals to manage their learning and career progression.

ETS’s guidance services are available on request and are free, confidential, impartial, unbiased and objective to enable learners, potential learners and employers to make informed decisions as to the most appropriate learning and development route to take for both individual and career progression.

IAG is an integral part of the programmes that ETS delivers and learners will receive IAG sessions, at three set points during the duration of the programme. However, additional IAG sessions can and will be delivered at the request of the learners or where an issue is identified where it is felt that an IAG session will assist in exploring and resolving the issues. These IAG sessions will be delivered by the Training Facilitator / Consultants.

Potential learners will receive an IAG session to clarify their learning goals and aspirations to ensure that they are offered the most appropriate learning route. These IAG sessions will be delivered either by a member of the Business Development Team or/and Training Facilitators/Consultants.

IAG is available for employers to ensure that they choose the right learning path for their staff, these sessions could be delivered by telephone or email enquiry or through an organisational needs analysis and could be delivered by either a member of the Business Development Team or by Training Facilitators/Consultants.

The statement of service

The policy statement below sets out ETS’s service in summary and is available to all clients at all centres and is accessible from the ETS website www.trainingsouthwest.co.uk

The service is designed to assist all our customers, learners and employers, to make informed decisions about training opportunities, improving job prospects and/or skills, obtaining qualifications or just making the most of the current job role.

What we offer

  • A free, confidential, impartial, unbiased and objective IAG service covering training opportunities and the skills and qualifications needed for employment, career progression or development and CPD.
  • Written information on all courses and opportunities that we offer
  • Support during any course of training to assist the individual’s learning, personal development and career opportunities.
  • Advice and services to enable effective training for all
  • Telephone and internet services providing information, advice and guidance.
  • Signposting and referral service to other quality learning providers and sources of information where we are unable to provide the information and advice or training required.

What you can expect from us

  • ETS staff will be professional and knowledgeable and will receive on-going professional development to ensure that the information they give you is up to date and current.
  • We are happy to respond to your enquiry by telephone, email or to offer individual appointments
  • We tailor our services to meet individual needs
  • If we are unable to respond to your requests immediately, a written response will normally be sent within 5 working days
  • We will respond to your telephone enquiries within 2 working days
  • We will acknowledge or reply to your emails within 2 working days.
  • We will inform you of any changes in circumstances to your learning programme within 5 working days of any change

What we need from you

  • As much relevant information as you can give us so that we can answer your enquiry in full
  • Prompt contact if you have any questions or concerns about the training we are providing
  • To attend all interviews which have been arranged with IAG staff
  • Inform us if you need to cancel or re-schedule
  • Be honest and open with us to enable ETS staff to work with you to ensure you meet your goals
  • To treat our IAG team with respect.

The statement of service will be reviewed annually or more frequently if there is any change to the service provided.

ETS’s Services

ETS offers:

  • Information and Advice on local and national learning and training opportunities including Apprenticeships, Advanced Learner Loans, QCF Qualifications, Functional Skills (English, maths and ICT) and Continuous Professional Development.
  • A clear and published Statement of Service
  • Appointments for IAG interviews and Organisational Needs Analysis
  • Access to IAG resources in a range of formats including online to ensure the full range of options are explored
  • Referral, where relevant to other quality learning providers where ETS cannot meet the perceived needs
  • Confirmation of IAG session outcomes, in writing
  • A willingness to research information not readily available and a commitment to communicate the results to the customer within 10 working days
  • An opportunity for everyone to make comments on the IAG services provided by ETS and an easily understood complaints procedure for those who are unhappy with any part of the services provided by ETS.

In addition to the range of information listed above ETS will make available information relating to:

  • Financial contributions associated with programmes of learning or training
  • Details of any financial support available to assist those in learning or training
  • Programme entry requirements, qualifications, accreditations and workloads
  • Different modes of learning available
  • Progression routes into higher level programmes or HE
  • Any relevant employment opportunity.

In addition to the above learners will also have access to information, advice and guidance on:

  • Personal wellbeing, including being healthy, safeguarding and Prevent, safety, staying safe health and safety and equality and diversity
  • Enjoying and achieving by setting priorities for learning, work, leisure and developing work life balance
  • Making a positive contribution by becoming involved within local communities.

ETS can act on the customer’s behalf under certain circumstances:

  • ETS staff can speak on the customer’s behalf to other learning and training providers
  • ETS staff can, with the customer’s permission, refer to another agency and/or provider that might be better placed to respond to the individual needs and circumstances of the customer.

Evaluation

  • Endeavour to collect written customer feedback about the services offered
  • Use any information received through customer feedback to improve the services available
  • Use ETS quality assurance process and internal audit procedures to inform strategic and operational planning to improve the services available.

Comments, Compliments and Complaints

ETS will:

  • Treat comments, compliments and complaints about its service seriously and respectfully
  • Acknowledge all written complaints within 5 working days
  • Acknowledge all email complaints within 48 hours
  • Provide a written response to written complaints within 10 working days
  • Investigate verbal complaints within 48 hours of receipt
  • Where we require longer to investigate we will inform the complainant when they can expect a reply
  • Deal with any complaint promptly and politely
  • Refer any unresolved complaint to the Chief Executive.

Referral Policy

Staff offering IAG services will ensure that the procedures they adopt when referring an individual to another learning provider or agency are customer focused, appropriate and conform to the principles and polices of data protection, equality and diversity, safeguarding and confidentiality.

Referral will normally happen when another learning provider or agency offers information or services that are better suited to the customer’s needs. Where it is identified that a customer would benefit from a referral to another organisation, they will be clearly informed.

  • Given the reason why they are being referred and the specific area of expertise of the organisation they are being referred to
  • Given the contact details of the organisation to which they are being referred.

ETS will ensure that referral staff have access to a wide range of information on:

  • ETS’s portfolio of delivery options
  • The services of other provider offers within the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network
  • Other relevant and specialist learning providers and organisations/agency operating at a local, regional and national level.

Confidentiality Policy

ETS staff delivering IAG aim to ensure that the procedures they adopt in the use of confidential information comply with the legal framework provided by the Data Protection Act 2018; the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the Human Rights Act 1998; the guidance provided though ETS’s Data Protection Policy and ETS’s privacy policy.

All information gathered at IAG sessions will be regarded as confidential. Any limitations with regard to confidentiality should be made absolutely clear to the client at the earliest possible stage.

Limitations operating within ETS are where a customer discloses information to a member of ETS staff that leads them to believe that the client or others are affected by a Safeguarding or Prevent Duty issue. Other instances would be where ETS consider that it would be useful to the customer to disclose information revealed in confidence by that customer to a 3rd party; ETS staff will always gain consent from the client to do this by informing them of the reasons why they believe it would be beneficial.

Customers will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the service they have received without identifying themselves.

Related Policies
Single Equality
Data Protection
Safeguarding
Health and Safety
Child and Vulnerable Adult
Complaints
Quality Assurance
Equality and Diversity.