The Federation of Plumbing Employers of Scotland and Northern IrelandThe training arm of (@SNIPEFnews), SNIPEF Training Services (STS), which works as a working group with nine of Scottish colleges, was shortlisted in the category ‘Best use of technology in the delivery of training in Scotland. plumbing âby BPEC, the nationally recognized training organization which will organize its annual 2021 Excellence Awards ceremony online on Wednesday 08 December.
STS subcontracts off-the-job training to 18 colleges across Scotland, where around 850 apprentices are currently being trained. The COVID-19 lockdown and college closures across the country have presented the challenge of ensuring apprentices stay on track to complete their modern apprenticeship (MA) in plumbing and heating (P&H).
Apprentices were unable to enter the college premises to undertake their theoretical / practical assessments in the SQA assessment rooms, so STS approached the joint MA certification bodies, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Scottish and Northern Ireland Joint Industry Board (SNIJIB) to explore alternative assessment procedures (AA).
Dale Thomson, manager of apprenticeship training at SNIPEF, said:
âFirst, we needed to make sure that all new assessments could be viewed by all apprentices from the security of their own homes, so we decided to use Microsoft Forms because all apprentices have a Microsoft account.
âSecond, with distance learning, we had to make sure that all apprentices had access to suitable IT equipment and were able to do assessments, so we worked with our contractors to facilitate that. “
Together, the working group created 19 AAs with three variations each, typically with about 20/40 questions in each assessment. AA’s work ensured that when colleges could return, they only had to update apprentices with their practical assessments.
âThe new AAs have been well received by CN, employers, apprentices and Scottish Government Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn. Because of its success, the joint awarding bodies have asked STS to look after and maintain the AAs which will replace the SQA solar assessments in due course, âsaid Mr. Thomson.
SNIPEF CEO Fiona Hodgson said:
âThe clarity and determination with which the task force approached the problem and quickly developed an excellent alternative solution is a tribute to the professionalism of its members.
âIt is gratifying to have been shortlisted for this award which, in its own way, underlines the importance of applying new technologies to a range of problems not only in the plumbing and heating sector, but in industry. construction in the UK in general.
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