4 February 2015

Skills Training UK re-accredited with Matrix standard assessment

Skills Training UK has been successful in its re-accreditation to the benchmarking and business improvement tool Matrix, which recognises providers who are committed to delivering the highest standards of information, advice and guidance (IAG) services.

The detailed assessment for the Matrix standard took place in June 2012 when interviews were held with staff, partners and the clients involved across the range of Skills Training UK’s delivery. All participant documentation and marketing were also assessed for quality, ease of reading, and effectiveness.

Commenting on the successful reaccreditation, Martin Dunford, Chief Executive at Skills Training UK said: “Information, advice and guidance play a key role in our service delivery because our focus is on supporting people to make informed choices about learning or work, or to make positive steps towards learning or work goals and we are very pleased to be re-accredited with the Matrix standard.”

Matrix accreditation has challenging set criteria which are assessed across core themes including Leadership and Management, Resources, Service Delivery and Continuous Quality Improvement.

David Allan, Managing Director at emqc Ltd, which carried out the assessment on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, said of the achievement: “Skills Training UK uses the Matrix standard as part of its continuous development programme helping them to provide a more professional service offering and to strive to be the best in their sector.”

Skills Training UK is re-assessed for the Matrix quality mark every three years as part of its continuous improvement programme.

2012 report for Skills Training UK Matrix standard assessment

  • ‘Skills Training UK benefits from clear leadership and direction at both strategic and operational levels. This ensures a clear and developing vision for the current performance of the company and the ways in which this evolves into new areas of work to meet identified needs, primarily of disadvantaged individuals, families and communities.’
  • ‘Skills Training UK has developed a highly appropriate, effective and dynamic model of partnership working that has led to optimum performance in a short time. Partnerships are mutually beneficial and ensure the interests of clients are being appropriately identified and met.
  • ‘An extensive range of activities and opportunities that encourage clients to consider and explore the widest range of relevant options and ideas are being delivered across all programme areas.’
  • ‘There is a positive and developmental approach to continuous quality improvement. This includes investment in a high quality management information system.’
  • ‘Quality is not just about contract compliance, although this is important, but about the quality of the learner journey and the experience of the learner during their time with Skills Training UK.’
  • ‘Staff are trained and developed in their roles, including IAG training and have opportunities for career progression.’
  • ‘Clients spoke very positively about the IAG and help they had received to support them with their learning.’
  • ‘Partners described Skills Training UK as a highly effective, efficient, communicative and proactive partner that acted in the best interests of clients.
  • ‘A high quality service that meets individual client needs through a mix of practical and pastoral support is being provided.’

Comments made by partners and clients during assessment interviews:

  • “We have everything we need at the centre. It’s not like school; you can get on with your work and get things done.” (client)
  • “I would have been stuck in the house without the help I have received. Now I am able to go out and about and get the support I need to feel safe and confident. I am doing so much more now.” (client)
  • “The Adviser sees what’s in you. A lot of single parents don’t realise what potential they’ve got.” (client)
  • “If you are having a bad day the tutor will take time out to talk to you and help you.” (client)
  • “We have got interviews for jobs, support, confidence boost, skills, self belief, a CV and team work out of the programme.” (client)
  • “Skills Training UK as a prime contractor have been very refreshing in how they have taken on concerns from our side and addressed them.” (partner org)
  • “There is a dedication to learning and personal development of clients through a holistic approach.” (partner org)
  • “The role of IAG is to advise people properly, check their decision-making process and raise awareness of transferable skills through the use of case studies and success stories.” (staff)

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