Building Provider Partnerships


You will need a good provider to deliver good quality learning to members. How do you check that your members will get what they need?

  • Make sure that your contact can make decisions – not just a marketing person!
  • Make sure you get to know the tutor who will be delivering to your members
  • What is the track record on workplace learning?
  • Check them out with other unions
  • Decide what you need – flexible delivery, blended (mix of on line and classroom), using the learning centre etc.
  • Remember that you know best what will work for your members

Raise Awareness

This is a really important job for ULRs and you will know best how to do this because you know your members and employers best. Some tips include:

  • Use positive language and messages – it is about what people can do with the right opportunity.
  • Posters and leaflets can spread the message and create a good culture
  • Open days or sessions can be a fun way of getting interest
  • Set up a Book Swap Shop – doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy!

Initial Assessments

This is an important phase of the learner journey and it will be the first step on the way, so it’s important that it is friendly, professional and supportive. First impressions are important! The aim is to establish starting points by identifying existing strengths and development areas.

There are a host of different initial assessment tools used by providers – both online and paper based. Providers may develop their own. Some of the most common are:

  • LSIS/DfeS Strategy Unit – available online and paper based
  • Online Tools include Tribal , Forskills ,Guroo, bksb
  • Some Awarding Bodies have Initial Assessment tools
  • Make sure you are comfortable with the Initial Assessment tool and follow up process and the best way is to have a go yourself!

Good Practice Follow Up

Learners should have feedback very quickly following their Initial Assessments- this can be a nerve wracking process for some.
Initial Assessments should be followed up by a supportive 1-1 with the tutor who will build a fuller picture of the learner and agree an Individual Learning Plan.
Many initial assessments were designed with Skills for Life courses in mind rather than the more practical and rigorous Functional Skills programmes so a structured support and assessment process for learners on courses is essential.
Good practice for Functional skills assessments is to incorporate a good mix of practical tasks.

Ongoing Assessments (often called Formative Assessments)

  • These are essentially regular feedback from the tutor for learners, to provide both encouragement on progress made and support for any ongoing development areas.
  • The tutor will used more focused diagnostic testing to pinpoint specific areas where learners need more tailored support as they learn.
  • The tutor and learner should regularly review the Individual Learning Plan.

End Assessments

All your learners should have had plenty of practice papers and only be entered when they are ready!

Most assessments are sent away for marking, but find out when results are due back so your learners know.

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