GQA Qualifications Blog

Monday 28 January 2013

GQA and Print Centres

As part of GQA’s continued commitment to work with Approved Centres, we recently held the first group meeting of Centres delivering Print qualifications. The meeting was hosted by GQA Technical Officer and EV Sean Hayes and took place at More Training in Stoke on Trent. Although not all GQA Approved Print Centres were able to attend, partly due to weather conditions and the needs of students and deadlines, those that did attend found the meeting informative and interesting. The meeting gave Centres a chance, as a group, to discuss the current suite of Print qualifications developed by GQA and also consider other areas of the Print Industry who may not be entirely suited to those currently available. The group were on the whole very happy with the qualifications with just a couple of suggestions that will be considered further.
Other agenda items included discussions on beneficial changes to Centres on costs and registration options, recent guidance given to Awarding Organisations on qualifications, forthcoming events including Northprint and the GQA Conference. Of particular interest was the demonstration Sean gave on the GQA e-portfolio system that is available at no extra cost to GQA Centres.
The Centres present at the meeting were able to leave commercial aspects of delivery outside of the discussions and happy to exchange ideas to overcome differences in interpretation of the standards and also share thoughts on assessment methodology and material without giving away anything of a sensitive nature. Richard Moore gave the group an update on the changes and future focus for Proskills.
Sean said “I was delighted the Centres took time out of busy schedules to take part in the meeting, however this did not really surprise me as my experiences with the Print Industry have shown me a real passion to deliver quality. The Centres were generally very happy with the Print qualifications but there were still some matters that generated interesting discussions, it was refreshing to see Centres actively working together to find solutions and clarity where there was any need”
The meeting was seen by all as a positive move and one that all are keen to see become a regular occurrence. Philip Owens from More Training said “GQA has always been very keen to build good working relationships with Centres and the move to get Centres talking and sharing best practice is a very welcome one, we and our students particularly like the flexibility the GQA Technical Certificate delivery allows”
Simon Hirst from Manchester College School of Printing said “We have looked at the GQA e-portfolio system and are using it as a pilot with a small number of students so the demonstration by Sean was useful and timely, we are currently delivering a good range of Print qualifications through GQA and find them supportive and willing to work with us”
Pete Shaw from BPIF said “We are delivering a number of qualifications through GQA, the qualification Standards Book provided is excellent and the e-portfolio is certainly something we will be discussing further within BPIF”
Plans are being put in place to hold meetings twice a year as a minimum.   This is just part of GQAs plans to work closely with Centres and follows a similar initiative Sean organised for Centres delivering Automotive Glazing qualifications and accredited training. Watch out for plans to introduce these types of meetings across other sectors using GQA qualifications.