Spotlight on…Claire Piper

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Every month, we put the spotlight on a member of the Parenta team. This time around, it’s our Head of Quality and Curriculum. Claire ensures that, as a training provider, Parenta continually delivers high quality training and assessment for our learners. Claire also reviews our assessors’ practice to highlight their successes and identify areas for improvement. 

What’s your role within Parenta?

As the Head of Quality and Curriculum, I am responsible for ensuring that quality and compliance is maintained within the Training Department, ensuring that the assessor delivery is of a high standard and that we comply with external governing body requirements, such as Ofsted, The Education and Skills Funding Agency and our Prime funder requirements.

How do you ensure that we’re compliant with Ofsted’s requirements?

The requirements are vast and therefore it is important that I remain on top of any changes as they occur. In order to ensure this, it is my role to keep abreast of any changes to the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.  

From a quality and compliance perspective, it is essential that we are continuously working to make improvements to our practice. I write a training self-assessment report annually which documents our areas of good practice and areas for development against all the Ofsted criteria. This report is supported with evidence such as qualification pass rates and success levels by learner age group, for example. I then use the areas identified as requiring development to write our quality improvement plan. I return to this plan monthly to ensure that we are making progress in a timely fashion. An example is where I have made improvements to the learner progress review system, ensuring that we are fully compliant with Ofsted’s requirements for learner personal development and welfare.

I lead on regular quality compliance checks and inspections from our funders and other external organisations, such as the Matrix Standard, which aims to ensure that we are providing robust and impartial Initial Advice and Guidance to our learners.

How do we find ways to improve the quality of our assessors’ work?

 

Training is subject to regular external audits, which includes the quality of our assessor delivery practice. 

We complete rigorous internal quality assurance checks on the assessment, teaching and learning and learner progress review practice. We also complete regular observations on assessors directly working with learners in the workplace and grade these observations against the Ofsted criteria for the quality of teaching and learning. I oversee this process and complete moderation to ensure that the system is robust, accurate and fit for purpose. We use these observation systems to set targets and these feed into individual assessor’s annual performance reviews.

 

I have also devised a new internal audit system that will provide a more thorough system to review the assessor practice in areas such as planning, feedback, progress reviews, functional skills, employability and personal development support and will be grading this against the Ofsted criteria. I look at individual assessor qualification pass rates to help us identify areas for improvement or to celebrate areas of success.

 

How does safeguarding feed into what you do?

 

Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty is essential to ensure that our learners are protected and their welfare is maintained; it is our duty as a training provider to adhere to all requirements with regards to safeguarding and Prevent. These elements are inspected by our funders and Ofsted under the title ‘Leadership and Management’. If we do not get this element of practice correct, it would not matter how strong our leadership was judged in other areas, we would not be able to do well in an Ofsted inspection. Therefore it is imperative that our safeguarding practice is always 100% compliant with legislation and government guidance.

 

I am currently reviewing and updating our safeguarding practice and in April 18 starting a safeguarding meeting for key team leaders and managers to lead on and regularly review safeguarding practice.

 

What do you think makes Parenta stand out as a training provider?

 

We are lucky to have a highly experienced assessing team who hold a wealth of knowledge from both the early years and training sectors. Our assessing team is highly motivated, dedicated to supporting learners and working in partnership with employers to train staff. Our delivery model means that we are able to individualise training to meet the learner’s specific needs and this is reflected in the strong results and pass rates that we achieve that are above national averages.

 

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

 

Seeing the impact that the training has on our learners. We get great testimonials and learner progress reviews detail the distance that learners have travelled from point of entry to completing their course. All these things are essential to indicate our quality provision and commitment to making our service remarkable. We have many long-standing assessing staff and it is also great to see assessors develop and hone their skills over time, particularly teaching and learning practice.

               

What are your team working towards in the coming months?

 

I am currently reviewing training policies and procedures to ensure they are fully up to date and compliant with legislation, Ofsted and Government guidance. I will be rolling out our new internal audit process to help eliminate administration errors and improve assessor delivery practice against Ofsted and funding requirements. Alongside the Specialist Skills Tutors, we are building learner resources and internal training programmes to support assessors with English, maths and ICT delivery. I am developing additional resources and systems to improve the support for our learners with additional learning needs and also developing internal teaching and learning training for the assessors.

 

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know…

 

I spend a considerable amount of time with my younger sister who has severe mental and physical disabilities. She has overcome many issues in her life and is an absolute joy and inspiration to all. I love music and going to see live bands, however I am not at all musically talented; that being said I do a pretty good rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ on the triangle. 

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