We need your views on the new Apprenticeship Standard

As you may be aware in January 2017, the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) was approached to discuss, building on previous conversations, the development of an Apprenticeship Trailblazer. After just over a year of meetings, debate and hard work we are now able to consult, as widely as possible, with the sector about our Standard, developed by the Employer Group (ETEG). This is not only ‘good practice’ it is a requirement, prior to submission, to the Route Panel at the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA). Not only will we have to demonstrate that we have consulted widely but that we have listened and taken on board comments, making changes to the Standard where necessary.

We have developed an ‘Employability Practitioner’ Standard (Level 4). We would greatly appreciate it if you could respond to the following questions, providing feedback on what we have developed using your industry knowledge, experience and expertise. It is expected that the survey will take no longer than 10 minutes and in many cases less time will be required.

The deadline for all submissions is 5.00pm Wednesday 11th July and we value your assistance and support to make sure this Standard is the best it can be.

Here is an outline of the occupational role profile for context

SECTION 1: KNOWLEDGE

It is important that the Standard encapsulates what an employee would need to know to carry out this job role. Please read the following statements and then respond appropriately to indicate whether you agree that the apprentice must have knowledge of specific points to be occupationally competent and if you agree that it is a key part of the occupational role.

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* 1. K1: Holistic Assessments & Diagnostics - How to use a wide range of holistic assessments and diagnostics that take into consideration the whole person, not just employability related factors. For example, physical health, mental well-being and external factors such as housing, financial situations, family etc.

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* 2. K2: Holistic Action Plans & Reviews - How to develop and use SMART, holistic and in-depth work-focused action plans that are user-led and agreed with representatives from other agencies. How to conduct regular reviews.

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* 3. K3: Job Search, Job Brokering & Other Interventions - How to deliver a wide range of interventions (either face-to-face or remotely) that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of individual service users. Not just employability related interventions but those that impact on health and well-being etc. Different methods of evaluating interventions for continuous improvement.

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* 4. K4: Integrated Services - Multi-agency (e.g. mental health services, probation services, police, social care services, health care services, local authorities etc.) approaches to service delivery where local third-party provision is integrated with other services and knowledge of outreach, mobile and flexible working practices. Facilitate “service user focused” meetings with external multi-agency caseworkers, utilising all available sources of support to help assist service users move into work, ensuring synergy and non-duplication of other agency work.

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* 5. K5: Customer Service - How to deal with complaints, Different methods of gathering service user feedback, approaches to evaluate it, critically analyse it and use it for service delivery improvements.

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* 6. K6: Coaching & Mentoring - A wide range of coaching and mentoring techniques for use with service users and colleagues. The differences between coaching and mentoring and knowing when to coach and when to mentor. Methods of reviewing and improving coaching and mentoring practice.

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* 7. K7: Supported Employment - In work support, supported employment models, individual placement and support models. Other models that support those with complex needs to stay in work. How to manage the employer relationship to provide supported employment.

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* 8. K8: Challenging & Complex Caseloads - How to manage caseloads effectively. Knowledge of caseload management techniques and time management techniques. Obstacles and factors that affect caseload management and how to deal with complex and challenging cases.

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* 9. K9: Non-Clinical Behavioural Change - Different types of non-clinical behavioural change techniques.

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* 10. K10: Challenging Situations - A wide range of managing challenging behaviour techniques, change management techniques, when to use them and company referral/escalation processes.

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* 11. K11: Employability Industry - Funding systems, welfare benefits and key stakeholders. Stakeholder management theories and models. The different types of public services, community offerings and funding streams available and an understanding of how these fit together so that they can put in place a bespoke plan of support that takes a holistic approach to the whole service user.

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* 12. K12: Practice Development - Participate in practice development sessions, caseload reviews and observations to support the development of themselves and others. 

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* 13. K13: Careers, Employability & Labour Market Information - Career choice theories and concepts, how to use these to provide advice and guidance, an understanding of employers and how to work with them, advocating on the behalf of individual service users to broker suitable employment based on their individual circumstances and considering any reasonable adjustments that might need to be made, how to analyse and interpret labour market information for service delivery improvement.

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* 14. K14: Company Vision, Mission, Values - Company’s own vision, mission and values, how to adhere to these and how they inform service delivery. 

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* 15. K15: Minimum Service Levels & Contractual Requirements - Current contractual requirements and minimum service levels, how to meet them, how to highlight and address issues with service level requirements.

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* 16. K16: IT Systems & Record Keeping - How to use IT Systems for management of information to inform service delivery and how to conduct routine compliance checks of records.

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* 17. K17: Safeguarding - The context for legal and policy frameworks, family and environmental context and how to deal with safeguarding concerns and knowing when to escalate. Knows and understands the government’s Prevent strategy.  

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* 18. K18: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - The importance of effective management of own and others’ CPD.

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* 19. K19: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion - Equality, diversity and inclusion, what they are, how to embed them within daily practice. 

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* 20. Please provide comments to support any statements you have marked as ‘NO’:

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* 21. Do you feel that any Knowledge requirements have been missed?

SECTION 2: SKILLS

It is important that the Standard encapsulates what skills an employee would need to be able to carry out this job role. Please read the following statements and then respond appropriately to indicate whether you agree that the apprentice must have certain skills to be occupationally competent and if you agree that it is a key part of the occupational role.

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* 22. S1: Conduct Holistic Assessments & Diagnostics - Use holistic assessment and diagnostic skills to identify servicer user employability, career goals and aspirations and health and well-being barriers. Assess service users’ strengths and obstacles to building healthier lives through returning to work.

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* 23. S2: Use Interviewing & Effective Questioning - Apply effective interviewing and questioning techniques to identify servicer user employability, career goals and aspirations and potential barriers to these.

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* 24. S3: Pay Attention to detail & Keep Records - Accurately record all service user interactions. Conduct routine compliance checks of service user records, identifying areas for improvement and making recommendations.

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* 25. S4: Design, Deliver & Facilitate Interventions - Utilise evidence-based solutions to design and deliver employability, health and wellbeing related programmes, services and interventions to service users either on a one-to-one basis (either face-to-face or remotely) or in group settings. 

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* 26. S5: Utilise Mobile & Flexible Working - Work flexibly across different locations, undertaking outreach work to make services accessible for service users, co-locating with other community services and other forms of mobile working.

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* 27. S6: Communicate - Communicate to a high standard, both verbally and written, using a wide variety of different methods and adapting for different audiences, evaluating the effectiveness for continuous improvement.

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* 28. S7: Coach & Mentor - Coach and mentor service users and colleagues and actively improve coaching and mentoring skills for themselves and others.

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* 29. S8: Problem Solve & Manage Risks/Crises - Advanced problem solving, and negotiation skills are utilised to establish win-win situations with service users where possible. Identifying when they might potentially fall out of work and rapidly respond to minimise the risk. Address safeguarding concerns maturely, dealing with service users when they present in crisis, minimising risks/crises in the future through pastoral support and effective risk assessment.

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* 30. S9: Manage Complex Caseloads - Application of specialist knowledge to deal with particular complex and challenging cases.

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* 31. S10: Manage Behaviour - Anticipate and de-escalate challenging behaviour in service users, managing challenging behaviour as it presents itself using relevant non-clinical behaviour change tools and techniques.

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* 32. S11: Manage Change - Manage change effectively with the on-boarding/off-boarding of contracts and services.

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* 33. S12: Develop Business - Identify, seek out and establish business development and commercial opportunities for the organisation including new referral streams.

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* 34. S13: Network - Network with internal and external customers and key stakeholders to build relationships and identify business opportunities.

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* 35. S14: Engage & Manage Stakeholders - Build and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders to support service delivery by taking a multi-agency and integrated services approach.

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* 36. S15: Give Feedback - Give constructive and timely feedback to service users and colleagues.

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* 37. S16: Evaluate & Critically Analyse - Programmes, services and interventions are evaluated and analysed. Data is then used to make recommendations for improvements and to inform service delivery.

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* 38. S17: Research - Gather labour market, employability and careers information, analyse it, spot trends and patterns, draw conclusions to inform information, advice and guidance given to service users and employers. Research skills are used to further specialism knowledge and experience, as well as to support service design and delivery.

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* 39. S18: Deliver Information, Advice & Guidance - Apply employability, careers and labour market knowledge to deliver high quality information, advice and guidance that is tailored to the needs of the service users and key stakeholders.

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* 40. S19: Deliver Service - Ensure that service delivery aligns with company vision, mission and values, amending and improving them where necessary.

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* 41. S20: Manage Performance - Independently manage own performance to meet and exceed minimum service levels, contractual requirements and service level agreements.

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* 42. S21: Use ICT & Digital Platforms - ICT skills are used for record keeping and digital skills are used to support service users with finding employment through social media and the internet.

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* 43. S22: Be Assertive - Assertiveness skills to appropriately direct and challenge service users to reach their potential. Will also be used when dealing with key stakeholders.

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* 44. S23: Manage CPD - Manage your own and support the professional development of others. Promote best practice through learning opportunities as they arise.

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* 45. Please provide comments to support any statements you have marked as ‘NO’:

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* 46. Do you feel that any Skills requirements have been missed?

SECTION 3: BEHAVIOURS

It is important that the Standard encapsulates what behaviours an employee needs to display to carry out this job role. Please read the following statements and then respond appropriately to indicate the traits and behaviours the apprentice must display to be occupationally competent and if you agree that it is a key part of the occupational role.

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* 47. B1: Pro-Active & Efficient - Gets own job done and where relevant gets tasks done through others, always achieving high standard results, taking a pro-active approach to all work areas.

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* 48. B2: Positive - Has a 'can do' attitude, is enthusiastic and can inspire service users and colleagues.

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* 49. B3: Adept Communicator - Uses an open and engaging style to communicate key issues to a wide variety of different audiences, across functional boundaries in very demanding situations.

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* 50. B4: Professional  - Demonstrates integrity and a genuine commitment to the personal, health & well-being and occupational success of individual service users by meeting industry standards.

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* 51. B5: Target Driven  - Ambitious and determined to succeed, finding better ways of achieving business objectives even in the light of sustained pressure.

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* 52. B6: Flexible & Adaptable  - Adapting fast to changing circumstances and implementing change effectively.

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* 53. B7: Resilient  - Has the capacity to respond to and recover quickly from difficulties.

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* 54. B8: Emotional Intelligence - Recognises, understands and manages own emotions and recognises, understands and be proactive in influencing the emotions of others. Can handle interpersonal relationships establishing trust and rapport effectively.

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* 55. B9: Supportive  - Provide encouragement and emotional help and support appropriately and where needed to service users and colleagues.

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* 56. B10: Analytical  - Seeks and interprets information from a variety of sources, comparing and contrasting to identify key issues and make sound decisions.

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* 57. B11: Innovative & Creative  - Quickly appreciates diverse and complex information, using it to challenge current methods and generate innovative ideas and solutions to improve business performance and act upon potential business opportunities.

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* 58. B12: Commercially Aware  - Understands the business, its strategy, goals and priorities as well as the business environment and uses this knowledge to make sound commercial judgements.

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* 59. Please provide comments to support any statements you have marked as ‘NO’:

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* 60. Do you feel that any Behaviours have been missed?

SECTION 4: FUNDING BAND

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* 61. The Institute for Apprenticeships have given this Standard an initial funding band of £3,000 which include all costs pertaining to delivery and assessment associated with it.

Do you feel that this is adequate for a Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard that would typically take 24 months to complete? Here is a link to the expected off the job training required to support you with answering this question. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.myiep.uk/resource/resmgr/docs/apprenticeship_training_pla.xlsx

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* 62. Please provide comments to support why you agree/disagree with the initial funding band awarded: 

SECTION 5: FINAL COMMENTS

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* 63. Please provide any final comments or feedback on the content of this proposed Standard: 

We value your assistance and support in completing this survey and participating in the consultation to develop an effective and ‘fit for purpose’ Standard for our sector.

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