Apprenticeship and Training Continuity Plan

APPRENTICESHIPS TRAINING CONTINUITY & RISK PLAN

PURPOSE

This plan is supplementary to our main Business Continuity Plan and is to consider those incidents that will have a significant impact on the operation of our course provision at EDLounge Ltd following a major crisis or disaster or an event, and which creates the need for short-term closure or suspension of activity.  

EDLounge Ltd is committed to ensuring that its apprenticeship provision is not unnecessarily interrupted, and in the event of interruption, its staff and apprentices would face minimal disruption, with procedures put in place to ensure a swift continuity of this provision. 

The apprenticeships continuity & risk plan is designed to assist business recovery in an emergency situation for the staff members and apprenticeship learners of EDLounge Ltd.

The apprenticeships continuity & risk plan Identifies and sets out the main risk assessed scenarios that could impact on the apprenticeship programmes offered by EDLounge Ltd. It provides details of the response mechanisms and actions to remedy business interruption and enable the continuity of activity in as little time frame as possible.

Processes and Policies

Processes and policies are in place to ensure a transparent approach and methodology to the delivery of Apprenticeships. Policies for all aspects of Apprenticeship delivery are the same and there are few differences between the delivery methods across all the sectors and levels that EDLounge Ltd delivers. Where there are differences, these are often down to the requirements of the Apprenticeship Standard or Framework or may be related to that particular Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA).

All EDLounge Ltd policies and procedures are available to staff on the EDLounge Ltd website and ePortfolio system OneFile. All new staff receive training on this during their induction process and the element is signed off on the induction checklist once completed. Processes and policies are routinely reviewed on at least an annual basis by the Senior Management Team (SMT), but interim updates are agreed at SMT level if there are changes required during the period.

If a significant change is required or needs to be investigated, it is likely that the Quality Improvement plan linked to the Self-Assessment process will be updated to include this so that suitable timely objectives can be set, and certain members of staff made responsible for the required investigation or actions.

SCOPE

The types of major or large-scale incidents that should be considered significant include:

  • Loss or absence of key staff
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Explosion
  • Serious adverse weather condition
  • Vandalism
  • Sabotage
  • Theft
  • Loss of confidential information/data protection issue/loss of IT/MIS
  • Extortion
  • Serious accident
  • Serious assault
  • Armed or dangerous intruder
  • Bomb threat
  • Pandemic
  • Notifiable disease
  • Loss of Contract
  • Control
  • Expertise
  • Buildings
  • Equipment
  • Facilities
  • Data
  • Personnel
  • Reputation
  • Funding

In some instances, these incidents can be due to natural causes such as severe weather, while in other cases, equipment failure, progressive deterioration or human error or involvement may be the cause.  They have the potential to lead to the following losses, which are likely to have a major impact on the operation of EDLounge Ltd.

Loss of:

The Apprenticeship Continuity & Risk Plan ensures that there are limited and ideally no disruptions to the provision of apprenticeship training and have set up the following arrangements to ensure this.

The two main objectives of this Plan are:

  • to prevent or to minimise the effects of a disaster or disruption
  • to bring EDLounge Ltd’s apprenticeship & short course delivery back into full operation with minimal disruption

ESFA NOTIFICATION

In any event that continuity of provision is disrupted, ESFA notification will be undertaken with immediate effect. ESFA guidance will be referred to and enacted including the recording of any breaks in learning in line with the funding guidance and reporting requirements on the ILR.

ESFA Service desk contact information

Telephone: 0370 2670001

Email: SDE.servicedesk@education.gov.uk

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Key emergency contacts and functional responsibilities (these include staff responsible for managing any crisis between the centre and apprentice, the ESFA will be informed of any break in learning)

Staff Name

Title

Phone number

Email

Sam Warnes

CEO / Head of Centre

01909 568 338

sam@edlounge.com

Ian Hargreaves

Head of Governors

01909 568 338

ian@edlounge.com

 

Ian Staples

Manager Finance & Audit

01909 568 338

Ian.staples@btconnect.com

Paul Bloor

Manager Wellbeing & Advice

01909 568 338

paul@edlounge.com

Cara Radford

General Manager/DSL

01909 568 338

cara@edlounge.com

Rebecca Warnes

Health & Safety

01909 568 338

rwarnes@hotmail.com

Daisy Walsh

Curriculum Quality Nominee for WBL & Apprenticeships

01909 568 338

Daisy.walsh@edlounge.com

CONTINUITY OF APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING

All EDLounge Ltd staff, students and apprentices are asked to ensure that they read and understand the contents of this plan and to that they remain aware of its contents in order to act and respond accordingly.

Continuity of learning key considerations

Designing for Different Age Groups.  Instructional design, course content and plans for support will be aligned with the skill level of age groups and the level of apprenticeship being studied.

Supporting System Training.  Training for staff, apprentices, and parents on the use of continuity of learning systems to ensure true continuity and accessibility.

Ensuring Accessibility. Not all apprentices may have access to the Internet, phone lines, TV or radio at the same time, or at all, during a prolonged closure or absence.  Therefore, it is important to offer a variety of methods of distance learning.  EDLounge Ltd will abide by the Disability Act and ensure materials are available in alternative formats, when necessary.

Physical Resources

Resources should not deter an Apprentice from completing their programme. As a company EDLounge Ltd offer a variety of resources to ensure apprentices have access to methods which suit their needs.

Our apprenticeship training and short courses are delivered through a blended approach, and this provides a level of flexibility and a number of options to ensure the relevant training continues to be delivered to our apprentices.  The methods of training include face to face delivery, virtual, directed and supervised learning activities. webinars, online-coaching, telephone coaching, set reading and feedback, work-based learning assignments and work- based assessments.

Training at the face-to-face workshops is delivered by two trainers which allows for contingency if there is a delay in their arrival, sickness, holiday or incident which prevents a trainer reaching the training venue.

  • We have qualified and experienced trainers and assessors who are able to step-in at short notice.  
  • Where necessary, and when a workshop is impacted by adverse weather, we can run additional training interventions virtually.  We can follow up with additional virtual webinars and peer learning sessions to complete the training.
  • We have multiple training venue options available including partner venues, third- party venues and employer locations.

The following list also includes a range of tools and modalities for facilitating distance learning, including those with no, some, or great levels of technological sophistication.

Trainer and assessor Check-ins and Tutorials:  A variety of technologies (telephone, email, web conferencing, VLE) can be used to facilitate one-on-one, or teacher-and-class interaction or lesson delivery between apprentices and trainers/assessors.

Telephone and Video Calling.  Trainers and assessors can hold group and individual discussions, or teach lessons, with apprentices in a secure and private setting.

Email. Use existing email service provider to send, receive, and track messages.  In the event this service provider is not operating, response teams can use other online systems that all quick distribution of multimedia content to a mass audience.  There are a variety of free email services providers on the Web, including Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail, most of which support document sharing, scheduling, and web chats.

Web Conferencing.  A variety of free web conferencing services are available on the internet. EDLounge Ltd will consider setting up an account for use in cases of emergency, when distance learning methods are needed and may want to conduct workshops or learning sessions using one of these services for ease of use in the event of an emergency.

Social Media.  Many apprentices, parents, and staff use social media on a daily basis, but it can also serve as a vehicle to send announcements about lessons, staff absences, and other information related to continuity of learning.  Social media can be useful during both short- and long-term closures, particularly because they are easy to access on different devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and computers.

COURSEWORK AND EXAMINATIONS

EDLounge Ltd is required to keep copies of all essential coursework and examination results in a fireproof safe, or a second (electronic) copy off site, to ensure that no essential information is lost in the event of a disaster.  Course teams will meet as soon as possible to consider the effect of the disaster on apprentice’s coursework and examination entry.  This information will be disclosed to the Head of Apprenticeships, who will liaise with and be advised by the Awarding Bodies.

Apprentices will be offered individual advice sessions with a member of staff to discuss their concerns about the effects of the disaster on their work and any extra measures (advised by the Awarding Bodies) which are required to enable them to complete the apprenticeship successfully.

IT / SOFT DATA / BUSINESS CRITICAL SYSTEMS

EDLounge Ltd’s data is mainly stored electronically, either remotely or online.  Remote data is stored on portable laptops, secured by passwords that are required to be changed on a regular basis. Staff are required to back up laptop data to an external hard drive at least once a month, which is kept securely at the main Showcase Office. Spare laptops are also made available to staff should this be required.

Electronic data is held on business-critical systems such as the ePortfolio OneFile, cloud servers such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and on emails via the Microsoft Office 365 server. All systems are secured by passwords individual to the user that are changed on a regular basis.

Each system automatically backs up data on a daily basis, allowing lost information to be recovered and restored where necessary on any PC using the secure log in issued; staff are provided with portable IT equipment to access such data accounts; spare laptops are also available for staff to use as necessary. Personal IT equipment may be used to log into business-critical systems if no alternative is possible and access is urgent; with approval from a Senior Manager or Director before proceeding.

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

Communication with staff, learners, and partners/suppliers is of paramount importance to EDLounge Ltd. The primary sources of communication are via telephone and email, and all staff are issued with work mobile telephones. Mobile phones are set up to include access to the internet, emails and some software relating to Apprenticeship delivery e.g., OneFile. Should these be unavailable, staff have access to landlines at alternative premises and, as a last resort, are able to use personal phones if absolutely necessary.

Key staff and contact details are provided within this continuity document.

Emails are backed up to the Office 365 server – this allows lost data to be recovered, and for staff to access email accounts from any PC with their own secure log in. Email is accessed via Microsoft Office Outlook which can be used offline, though users are required to be online for messages to be sent or received.

Internet access is required for emails and for communication via the e-Portfolio system OneFile. All staff mobile phones are equipped with access to portable mobile data, and within the office, and where wi-fi is provided. Staff are encouraged to link to their home and public space wi-fi where possible (e.g., at employer premises). OneFile has an alternative App for use via a mobile phone which is available to use off-line should internet access fail.

EDLounge Ltd also encourages staff to use alternative forms of communication such as instant messaging and video conferencing technology (e.g., Skype).

EXTRA TRAVEL COSTS

If apprentices and students have to pay extra travel costs to attend another site, then arrangements will be made to provide assistance with these costs.  The Finance Department will calculate the additional cost involved and arrange to make payments to apprentices on a case-by-case basis.

REDUNDANCY

In line with ESFA Apprenticeship Funding rules, there may be circumstances where, if an apprentice is made redundant, EDLounge Ltd must make reasonable efforts to find the apprentice a new employer. In addition to our Apprenticeships team, we have a specialist Careers and Employability service that is at hand to assist apprentices with identifying career opportunities as well as preparing them to apply for positions. Our Careers and Employability service maintains a jobs board that targets roles that are suitable for students and apprentices.

EDLounge Ltd also has well established relationships with a large number of members working across different sector. Where appropriate, these relationships can be leveraged to identify opportunities for displaced apprentices. While assisting to secure alternate roles for apprentices who have been made redundant, our Careers and Employability service can provide assistance in updating CVs, interview techniques and personal branding so that apprentices are well positioned to secure alternate roles when they become available.

TERMINATION OF FUNDS

Should the ESFA for any reason terminate access to funds as an employer provider, EDLounge Ltd will work with the ESFA to ensure that a plan is in place to continue the Apprentice currently on the programme.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS

In case of a significant incident emergency, various contact details will be available in the programme handbook for each apprenticeship cohort and on the programme page on the virtual learning environment and on EDLounge’s website:

https://www.edlounge.com/apprenticeships

MONITORING & REVIEW

Incidents that have trigged this policy are monitored to ensure there is a full record of events. The Curriculum Quality Nominee for WBL & Apprenticeships who manages the quality management system is responsible for working with the Head of Centre in recording the incident within the critical incident log.

The log will review trends in incidents, timeframes for resolution, and impact to ensure further preventative actions are implemented where possible.

We will adhere to the ESFA’s accountability framework is for all apprenticeship provision.

Sam Warnes

CEO

EDLounge LTD