“The Standard for Employers has been a powerful analytical tool and has helped us to develop and refine the evidence base that underpins our quality improvement strategies.”
In March 2008, BMW Careers Development were assessed and awarded the Training Quality Standard for Employers. Following their achievement, we spoke to Les Scammell, Career Programmes Education Manger, and Tim Cornish, Career Programmes Learning Quality Manager and author of the BMW application, about their experiences of the assessment, and how going through the process benefited the work they do.
Why did you decide to apply for the Training Quality Standard for employers?
Continuous improvement is one of the key drivers within BMW UK Ltd. It is regarded as a business imperative and is at the heart of the BMW brand. BMW Careers Development has the objective of achieving EFQM accreditation by 2009 and the Training Quality Standard for Employers incorporates many of the principles and assessment strategies associated with the model. Consequently, achievement of the Training Quality Standard for Employers is seen as an important milestone towards EFQM accreditation.
What was your approach to completing the application and citing examples of evidence?
The application was preceded by a comprehensive review of procedures and data to identify and select the evidence needed. The limitations placed on the volume of material that can be submitted necessitated selection of the most persuasive evidence.
Another key challenge was to identify the most relevant evidence for each specific criterion and assemble quantitative and qualitative data that can be directly attributed to the Careers Development function.
How robust did you find the assessment framework and process?
The assessment framework is both robust and challenging. High standards of performance are required to meet the criteria; excellence is the clear objective. Consequently, the quality of the evidence submitted is decisive.
How has your experience of going through the Standard for Employers added value and benefited your organisation?
The principal benefits have been in developing and refining our quality improvement strategies by acquiring an accurate appraisal of our procedures and performance indicators and in mapping key data to the criteria contained in the Standard for Employers. The application has produced a valuable evidence base in a format which is recognised by our key stakeholders [and]… an exemplar for wider dissemination within our organisation.
What values do you feel the Training Quality Standard for Employers represent?
The key values represented by the Standard for Employers can be summarised as:
Will you continue to apply the principles of the Training Quality Standard for Employers to your business?
The achievement of the Training Quality Standard for Employers is seen as an important milestone in the quality improvement 'journey', but not the 'destination'. The benefits arising from a clear focus on customer orientation and quality improvement are well understood by BMW. Consequently, we'll continue to seek new opportunities to pursue these critical objectives.
Sarah Baxter and Les Scammell from BMW receiving their Training Quality Standard for Employers certificate from Michele Roberts, Learning and Skills Council.