Work Place Training at Risk?
Work place training and education is being put at risk by some training providers who are reluctant to put their trust in the system.
This was the message from International Training Manager for Plan-It Training, Huw Parry, as a notice was sent out to all assessors from the Greenkeepers' Training Committee (GTC) encouraging qualified assessors to maintain standards.
Despite more than 14 years work to establish a nationwide club-based training programme to help employees achieve a range of NVQ qualifications, the industry is left with a bank of qualified assessors whose skills are unused by some training providers.
"The problem we have is that a number of providers are refusing to fully participate in the spirit of the initiative in that they are ignoring the skills of the bank of assessors we have now established," said Huw.
"Some colleges, it seems, are still not ready to trust the credibility of the fully trained assessors we have.
"By insisting on using their own assessors for training programmes, despite a qualified work-based assessor being available at the club, creates a credibility gap which could undermine the value resource of industry assessors who have come through the GTC and Plan-it training programme and on-site training within the industry as a whole," he said.
"Work based training has become very popular with both employers and trainees," wrote Education Director of the GTC, David Golding, in his letter to assessors.
"But it is the responsibility of the assessor to help the GTC ensure their centre supports them and the learners in accordance with the national quality assurance criteria."
He wrote that one sure way of knowing if your chosen centre was engaging you as a qualified assessor is whether you knew who your internal verifier was. "The centre's internal verifier should be supporting you on a regular basis by having regular contact including inviting you to standard setting meetings," wrote David.
He said the GTC would continue to work with the awarding bodies to ensure the external verifiers, when visiting centres, were making sure qualified assessors were being used as the primary assessor at golf courses.
The most productive method of assessment, said Huw, was by having a qualified assessor at the golf course working "alongside" the trainees day in day out. College based peripatetic assessor should only be used when the workplace does not have a qualified assessor on-site.
Golf clubs still have the opportunity to have their Course Manager or Head Greenkeeper trained to become a qualified assessor through the GTC. This training is funded either by a European Social Fund (ESF) programme or the GTC.
Huw, who is rolling out Plan-It Training's golf industry expertise around the world, including the United States, said he was concerned that the leading edge training culture that had been established by the GTC and Plan-It Training is being put at risk by a lack of support from some providers.
"Of course the situation is not all negative in relation to work-based assessments - there are some excellent providers who really have embraced the spirit of the GTC's vision. There are some who whole-heartedly support the industry's training policies and who regularly use the skills of our bank of assessors," Huw added.
He said the GTC had led the way in building a training infrastructure which would encourage the on-going training and development of staff at all levels within the industry and deserved continued support from all areas.
"British golf now has a training initiative that is the envy of the world," Huw added. "We need everybody within this industry, including all the colleges and providers, to demonstrate a total faith in that initiative if our training philosophy is to remain the best in the world and VQs are to work for our industry."