Today I am invigilating my last CIEH exam of the plastic bag era! So how will exam day look in the future? Same briefing, same pencils, same exam conditions,maybe even the same questions? (hope they improve somewhat perhaps?) I think much will feel the same, and the training I hope will be able to continue to be the best that I can deliver. Next week I start to find out! As usual I am apprehensive for my learners. That won’t change.
Well, I went along to the CIEH clinic in Manchester, and got quite a few questions answered! Some aspects may not be too clear just yet, but I was right about the role of the Accountable Officer. It will be absolutely the case that the AO will carry the responsibility for standards on behalf of CIEH for each training organisation. This will need some careful thought for some AOs, but if they apply the same standards as before I don’t think they would be too far off. I can’t wait now to see the resources, which weren’t on show yesterday. Just a few days longer, then I can start my preparations for my first course. The helpful staff at the clinic promised to get clarification on a few key points, and on top of that I got a chance to network with quite a few colleagues. A good afternoon out.
I had my first meeting with a new client yesterday, who is happy to embrace the new CIEH Intermediate Food Safety programme. Their confidence in my skills and profile meant they were satisfied to proceed in advance of all the materials being available to view. It seems that my reputation is standing me in good stead !
Although the content will of course be mostly predictable from the previous Level 3 courses, I am looking forward to any fresh content to help me inject my own equally fresh approach. I have predicted three days of training for the first group of 12 learners, as it’s not practical to vary this up or down according to individual learners needs in a group training setting, and the organisation concerned has to have a finite time for job release and rotas etc. I have a plan to include remote learning as the top up for any learner who needs it, plus I will be accommodating some additional learning outcomes outside of the CIEH ones. These we will assess separately from the official exam, but in the same style. To be candid, the organisation would have been quite happy to have the training from me without any external accreditation, but we did agree that obtaining a CIEH certificate would add to motivation for career progression and portability.
I will be attending one of the CIEH clinics next week, when I expect all will be revealed! Then the planning can start. Keep watching my blogs (sign up if you haven’t already done so) to see how the story unfolds.
I received confirmation this week that my new CIEH study centre contract has been accepted and issued, and I am now the AO (Accountable Officer) for my training organisation. The responsibilities of being an AO are significant, and I will be taking time to consider what I need to do, that I may not have done before in running the ‘Ofqual’ CIEH centre. I am not expecting any huge surprises as I have been a CIEH member for many years, and I am familiar with the professional standards and associated ethics required (I even had a hand in developing them through APC, APD, the Trainers Charter, GTC, PTC, etc., way back when!) Nevertheless, it will be sensible to sit down and consider it all, and re-write my own policies and procedures, even as a freelancer, to ensure I am in tune.
In turn, in doing this, I will probably generate some new marketing material (collateral) which I can use on my website etc. as part of my terms and conditions to illustrate my quality standards. Time consuming it may be, but that’s what the Easter break is for!
Onwards and upwards!
Today I received my email as an existing CIEH centre, inviting me to sign a contract to set up a new study centre. After carefully reading the 15 page contract, over a large latte, I have now applied! Can’t wait for the next stage, to see if my application will be accepted, and then hopefully begin soon to access the new training materials, and order assessment credits for my first course. Exciting, if slightly nervous times, not knowing exactly what will arrive. Watch this space, as they say.
I already plan to apply the same quality standard I used for the previous CIEH qualifications, so I will see if that is enough. Interesting times.
I managed to attend the first webinar from CIEH on the new training programmes last night, and gained further insight from a punchy presentation by Anne Godfrey, where more questions were answered. It seems that the role of Accountable Officer (AO) is critical in helping to ensure quality is maintained, and it is good that at least one person in each study centre (the AO) will need to be a CIEH member. For freelancers, the role of AO will probably be combined with trainer. Although trainers themselves, according to the webinar, will no longer be automatically required by CIEH to have specific qualifications, clearly the AO will need to ensure that the delivery of training is professional and effective. And technical knowledge is expected to be at level 4. So judgement of quality of training delivery will therefore become a key issue. The webinar recording should be available very soon, watch for yourself!