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Governing bodies for training – success or failure?


Over recent weeks there have been a number of questions on the site asking which professional body is best or has the greatest benefits to trainers.

Judging from the responses so far, very few training professionals feel they are getting the support or information they require from these groups.

Do you think this is this a fair reflection? What do you think is good or bad about these Institutes? And what needs to improve to make them more valuable to training professionals?

Post your views here - if there's sufficient interest, we'll ask representatives from the professional bodies to present their own thoughts and views on their aims and plans for the training profession.

6 Responses

  1. Failure without doubt!
    My experience is that these Government quango’s are a buddy network established for self-protection and operating a policy of detterence and exclusion (with not a little obfuscation along the way).

    The LSC in our area quotes voluably from the Adult Learning Inspectorate as a smokescreen to prevent the independent training provider accessing Goverment funds intended to reach the end user.

    Instead, these mega-sums girate between DfES, the LSCs and Business Links to self-perpetuate bureaucracy of unimaginable levels.

    It really is all a big joke at our expense and frankly does nothing to help improve public perception of the value of training.

    Some realism from these Government bodies would go a long way towards enabling proividers like ourselves deliver the training which is abundantly needed.

  2. Institutionalised!!!
    I have to agree with Robert here. The amount of money wasted by the through flow of cash from one waste of space department to the next, the launching of yet more ‘New’ government initiatives (Techs are of course nothing like LSC’s), and the complete lack of desire to tackle HRD as a business issue by the institutes is a sign of doing alot of nothing and expecting different results……madness.

  3. True enough
    I have to agree with both of the previous posts, however i think we are slightly off track here. Do the professional bodies that try to attract trainers into their membership actually support the trainer? are they delivering the support and resources a trainer requires in his/her daily life?

  4. 50% of government funding used up in admin costs
    Trying to access government funding is like wading through treacle. One way is to partner with a FE college who is already receiving LSC funds, however the college then siphons off upto 50% of the funding intend to provide training as administration costs. For example one college I know of is charging approximately £300 per student in administration!! Surely it can’t cost £300 to make sure enrolment forms etc have been filled out correctly. If the majority of the money allocated by the LSC’s for training provision was actually spent on delivering the training and not supporting the old boy college network and the LSC red tape machine many more people will benefit from government training initiatives.

  5. Declining LSC approval
    The following letter sent tour LSC today declining participation may usefully augment my earlier comments, especially to what Keith Bryan wrote:

    <Frankly, the administrative and bureaucratic load in making the application and the consequent workload this would further represent maintaining accreditation is simply incompatible with the operating fundamentals and financial structure of an independent provider.

    Even though I know I could count on your wholehearted support, frankly the process is far beyond anything my limited resources could tolerate … and simultaneously survive in business. And, I am certainly not in a position where I can tolerate the intervention of needless and largely pointless bureaucracy to impact at all on the quality of training we offer here.

    It may well be that accreditation standards set by the Adult Learning Inspectorate are intended to represent a levelling of ‘playing fields’ of quality between differing categories of learning provider.

    Where this ‘level playing fields’ intention is distinctly unlevel is that the chosen criteria totally overlook the considerable subsidies these institutions enjoy from local authority support, Government and the EC Social Fund to support such bureaucracy, but which is funding entirely denied to independent providers.

    All this supports my view that a deliberate policy of deterrence and exception is being actively pursued towards independent providers, and that any concepts of inclusion and engagement, which I understood ETP as actively intended to address, are so much eye wash.>>

    The rest of the letter won’t fit, so I’ll try a p2 separately!


  6. Letter – Part II
    All this supports my view that a deliberate policy of deterrence and exception is being actively pursued towards independent providers, and that any concepts of inclusion and engagement, which I understood ETP as actively intended to address, are so much eye wash.

    /over . . .

    p. 2

    Even so, there are ample examples of current legislative funding of establishment learning institutions being heavily abused by enabling these to engage in grossly unfair competition by advertising ‘free’ and heavily subsidised courses without limitation, qualification or control, simultaneously seriously eroding public perception and trust in the worth, value and purpose for further occupational training.

    Notwithstanding the above, I certainly accept that the ETP project or other similar Government funding initiatives are not conceived to support or simply benefit training providers, but to open new opportunities for the under-qualified in our society to gain new constructive skills.

    The fact – unfortunately – is that these restrictions of implementation are having quite the reverse effect by denying potential students fair rights and opportunities for any free choice, other than through already discredited establishment channels that also already lay ownership to distinctly dismal records of delivery.

    Much the same can also be said of the exclusive focus of academia and the National Curriculum Framework towards National Vocational qualifications, as is demanded through ETP. My experience is that you will rarely find any SME company or organisation – the ETP primary target audience – that would give the slightest credence towards any NVQ standards, let alone for any related qualifications.

    Taking these points into account, it is therefore hardly astonishing to find growing criticism being levelled at the LSC and Business Link framework by respected national organisations, such as that by the Institute of Directors recently, that your respective institutions are consistently failing to engage with business.

    If anything, I find that to be a gross understatement! Without major revision to the conditions and criteria described, I have to say that on this occasion LSC has unquestionably failed to engage this Centre too and it causes me to wonder at the real underlying motive for that.

    It is a real and very different world out here.>>


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