By Dr. Catherine Armstrong
The last article explored the sorts of on-the-job training offered to lecturers in Higher Education institutions. This week we will move on to look at the City and Guilds qualifications on offer to those interested in undertaking workplace training. City and Guilds is an organisation that was established over one hundred years ago and now offers over 500 vocational qualifications in a wide range of industries. It is the largest vocational awards body in Britain.
City and Guilds 7303
There are many different City and Guilds qualifications on offer but we will profile two here as an example of the sort of training you can undertake. The City and Guilds 7303 qualification is a 4-day course designed to train lecturers, teachers and trainers in Further Education. This is what City and Guilds say about the course and why it is useful for those wanting to teach in FE (taken from the website: http://www.cityandguilds7303.co.uk/):
‘The purpose of the City and Guilds 7303 scheme is to provide an introduction for those people who wish to train or teach... it is ideal for trainers in commerce, industry, public and voluntary sectors or HM forces, who might not have had the opportunity to build up any teaching hours.
The C&G 7303 award is suitable for those who work, or want to work, as -
- teachers/trainers/tutors in the lifelong learning sector and adult/community education
- trainers of personnel in commerce, industry, public and voluntary sectors or HM Forces
- technicians and support staff in further and adult education
- part-time teachers in further and adult education
provided they are qualified in the subject they intend to teach by virtue of holding an appropriate professional qualification or employed in a training/teaching role. What constitutes an appropriate qualification is at the discretion of the training provider.'
So, this course is designed for people who have been in FE teaching for a while but haven't yet got a teaching qualification, or for new members of staff who have moved from another career. But what does the course involve?
The 7303 qualification is carried out over a period of four days, totalling 30+ hours class contact time. Students are expected to complete a number of assignments that cover five topics.
- Section 1: Understand own role, responsibilities and boundaries of role in relation to teaching
- Section 2: Understand appropriate teaching and learning approaches in the specialist area
- Section 3: Demonstrate session planning skills
- Section 4: Understand how to deliver inclusive sessions which motivate learners
- Section 5: Understand the use of different assessment methods and the need for record keeping.'
A major part of the assessment on courses like this is keeping an on-going record or portfolio of your progress. Learning at this level is designed to be self-reflexive and you are encouraged to tailor the course to your own needs as an educator. This is why the majority of people who go for this qualification are already employed in the FE sector. They have or are about to have some experience in the classroom and they have an understanding of what their role will involve in the future.
The purpose of the City and Guilds 7303 is to:
- Adopt an integrative approach to the theory and practice of teaching and training
- Reflect on own previous/current levels of experience, practice and skills, and potential for development.
- Build up knowledge of principles of learning, teaching and assessment and evaluation.
- Develop own communication and interpersonal skills.
- Develop an awareness of own professional role, the essential value systems which underpin it and the legal requirements for carrying out this role.'
As there are no entrance requirements in terms of qualifications or experience on this course, tutors can adapt the activities and assignments to the needs of each individual. In this way, it is a highly flexible course, allowing a more tailored approach than most work-based training courses.
City and Guilds offer a number of other training courses, including a very popular one on First Aid at work, something that is becoming increasingly important in the HE and FE sector. Again, this is a four day intensive training course, but one that could lead you to becoming essential to the safety of your co-workers.
If you are interested in expanding your skills base and attaining more qualifications, City and Guilds and other training providers are a very practical and relevant way to develop your career.
Quotes are taken from http://www.cityandguilds7303.co.uk/ and are highlighted in italics.