Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) Policy

EDLounge is proud to offer Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) for all learners and employers that we work alongside.  

We will deliver off the information, advice and training to develop the job-related knowledge and enhance your skills, behaviour and knowledge in all aspects of your course.

We will offer you IAG to enable you to become competent in your role and support all learners and employers at every stage to help you learn the skills, develop the knowledge and build the appropriate employee behaviours that employers seek.

At EDLounge we work hard to support the individual learning needs of each learner as well as the business needs of all our employers. We value the good communication links between employers, employees and EDLounge staff, which form a crucial part of supporting the learner and employers and together we will help every apprentice to succeed and achieve their ambitions through positive IAG.

About the Organisation:

  • EDLounge consistently provides effective Information, advice and guidance and supports students, teachers, parents and employers as an essential and integral part of its service.
  • Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) practitioners within the organisation, with reference to best practice and strategies used to measure IAG in accordance with the matrix quality standard and the OFSTED requirements.
  • EDLounge will offer relevant and up to date sector specific information, advice and guidance for all learners on all programmes in all our work based learning provision

Definition of Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

Information: Provide factual, current and impartial information to learners, parents, employers and customers.

Advice: Presenting ideas in an accessible for learners, parents, employers and customers to consider.

Guidance: Defining and providing IAG and routes which could assist clients to reach their requirements and develop their knowledge and understanding throughout the induction, interview, reviews and on-going throughout the programme

Information, advice and guidance (IAG) is a term which encompasses a broad range of activities and interventions which enable learners to overcome barriers to education and assists with progression onto other learning programmes or employment.

The service facilitates access to accurate, objective and up-to-date information regarding the labour market and other support and provision available. The service also provides a valuable support framework for learners, parents and customers.

IAG given by EDLounge refers to all information, advice and guidance provided to learners, from initial assessment, throughout the learning journey, encompassing assessment feedback, informal progression meetings, learner progress reviews, career pathways, and end of course evaluations.  Our staff are at hand for all aspects and requirements of all learners, parents, employers and customers.

The IAG service should be:

  • Impartial: We will not just look at learning programmes delivered by EDLounge. We will help learners look at what other providers are offering and how to source further information. Where EDLounge is unable to provide the learner/customer with the necessary information, EDLounge will provide them with the advice and guidance we will identify and signpost to the most suitable referral organisation.
  • Confidential: No disclosure of information gathered from discussions will be shared with anyone else without the Learner’s knowledge or permission. However, in circumstances where a safeguarding concern has been raised EDLounge staff will follow the Safeguarding and Child Protection procedure working with the relevant Safeguarding leads and professionals. 
  • Fair: Learners and customers will be treated fairly and equally, in line with the EDLounge Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
  • Transparent: Integrity and accountability is important to us – At EDLounge we do what we say we will.  Our organisation is built on honesty and transparency. We are committed to our learners’ and customers – We break barriers to learning for all and provide access and opportunity to educate and recognise the whole learner. We work collectively and individually to the best of our ability, putting the customers’ needs at the heart of everything we do.

Consistent and Effective Information, Advice & Guidance

The aim of effective IAG is to promote the benefits of learning, help individuals to address and overcome any barriers to learning and support them in making realistic and well-informed choices.

This will be measured against the following critical success measures:

  • Learner satisfaction – At least 95% of Learners to rate EDLounge as excellent for the quality of the Information, Advice, and Guidance that they have received. This will largely be measured and evaluated through Learner Feedback forms and testimonials.
  • Retention – At least 90% of Learners will complete their courses.
  • Enrolment – 99% of Learners are enrolled on the correct course first time. This will be achieved by consistently providing good IAG to both learners directly, and their referral agencies or employers in advance of courses commencing.
  • Success/Achievement – A minimum rate of 85% timely success rate for existing provision
  • Availability – Ensure that marketing, promotional and information materials are comprehensive, accessible and available in a broad range of formats.
  • Review – Monitor the effectiveness and improve the quality of IAG via customer/staff and employer feedback, also through funding partner feedback, analysis of Initial learner profiles, Individual learning Plans, career aspirations and learner progress reviews.
  • Monitoring – IAG in the skills, behaviour and knowledge of all learners

Benefits of effective Information, Advice & Guidance: 

EDLounge learners and customers will be able to;

  • Receive clear, accurate and up-to-date, accessible, objective and impartial information prior to committing to a course. This enables learners to make an informed decision regarding their individual learning pathway and identify learning support.
  • Identify their personal barriers to learning and employment and be able to develop a support plan to overcome them.
  • Be confident that staff have been appropriately trained and have developed their personal skills to consistently deliver effective IAG that meets the needs of the learner/customer.
  • Be speedily signposted for specialist or alternative support if required, to help the learner progress, access and identify appropriate referral routes.

Promotion of Information, Advice & Guidance

  • Information, advice and guidance will be promoted primarily through face-to-face interviews, formal discussion, classroom teaching and on-line teaching via the EDLounge learning platforms.
  • Classroom sessions will also provide learners with effective IAG to support their learning objectives. These sessions will also guide the learners to their individual vocational learning pathways or employment goals.
  • Promotional materials will recognise equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Information about the service will be clear, so that learners, customers and employees know what they can expect from the service and aware of any limitations.
  • Staff will be qualified and have clear roles of responsibility.

The Information, Advice and Guidance given to a learner should include:

  • Ethics
  • Legality
  • Care
  • Equality
  • Safety
  • Timeliness
  • Transparency
  • Simplicity

To ensure that the provision of learner support is appropriate to meet the principles set out as above, we will: Provide relevant information, reviews and guidance about our work-based learning programmes including:

  • Course overview
  • One to one reviews
  • Attainment requirements
  • Delivery methods and assessments
  • Demands
  • Relevant information
  • Guidance on careers, on the job training and off the job learning

We will:

  • Provide information on the range of support available, both internal and external, and how to access this. The level of support will be in accordance with an individual’s needs, their programme and funding available.
  • Encourage all prospective learners and, where necessary, their parents/carers to discuss their learning needs and aspirations with EDLounge staff at every stage of the learner journey. This will assist in planning appropriate learner support.
  • Provide all learners with an opportunity to disclose any learning difficulties/disabilities on application and/or at enrolment or at any point during their time with EDLounge LTD.
  • Review the individual learner’s needs that are identified at the start of their programme and provide appropriate resources and/or strategies to respond to those needs effectively.
  • Monitor the learner’s progress of achievement through assessment, planning and review.
  • Where identified, provide a range of additional learning support to learners with special educational needs or disabilities.
  • Provide ongoing support, advice and guidance to individuals to allow them to progress. This support is available for individuals that have been identified as experiencing difficulties with personal, emotional, social or educational needs.
  • Make reasonable adjustments to ensure that the learner’s needs are met at every stage of the pre-entry, enrolment and on-programme process.

EDLounge will provide specialist support and enable us to recruit learners to the best level. This will be done on the recruitment and interview process. The learner will then receive the learner handbook which should:

Supporting the learner with Information, Advice & Guidance:

To involve the learner in the decision-making process and remember we are there to support the decision-making process.  This can best be achieved through:

  • The revisiting of the Individual learning plan (ILP) throughout the programme support the learning objectives and on-going decision making.
  • Ensuring that the information you provide to the learner is clear, accurate and up-to-date, to enable them to make informed decisions about their learning and future learning and employment goals.
  • Giving structured, realistic, clear guidance and timescales.
  • Having sufficient knowledge about the learner to provide the most appropriate information, advice and guidance.

It is our intention to provide relevant information to our candidates to enable them to make an informed decision. We are contactable via email 24 hours a day, if you need to speak to one of our advisers our office hours are 9am-5pm

Monday – Friday where a qualified IAG member of staff will always be available.

Prior Learning Policy and Information, Advice & Guidance

Our accreditation of Prior and/or Experiential Learning is a process that enables individuals, pupils, employees and any person of any age, backgrounds and attitudes to receive formal recognition for skills and knowledge they already possess. A person' learning and experience can be formally recognized by EDLounge and taken into account to:

  • Gain entry to further or higher education courses
  • Give exemption from certain parts of a new course of study
  • Qualify for an award in an appropriate subject in further or higher education

As a centre wishing to carry out Recognition of Prior Learning and offering positive Information, Advice and Guidance we must ensure that:

  • Learners are registered as soon as they formally start to gather evidence
  • Records of assessment are maintained, as for any other unit/qualification
  • Certification and claims are made according to normal procedures
  • All relevant evidence is assessed before assessment decisions are confirmed
  • There are designated personnel with the appropriate expertise to support and assure the Recognition of Prior Learning process.

On-going review process and regular feedback for information

Regular progress reviews will take place throughout the programme to ensure that the learner is progressing well and the programme is working for everyone involved. The training provider’s assessor will visit the workplace no more than 10 weeks apart. The visits will be planned in advance at a time convenient to the employer and apprentice’s work activities.

The three-way meeting with the employer, assessor and learner will focus on progress and how all parties can support the apprentice. It is often also an opportunity for the assessor to carry out observations and assessments in the workplace. Everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to these discussions, to give and receive feedback and to create an action plan with targets to follow until the next review.

Evidence of the information and advice given in the reviews must be:

  • Valid
  • Reliable
  • Informative
  • Up to date
  • Accurate
  • Sector and employer specific
  • Relevant to course
  • Relevant to future career

All of this will be recorded and used to identify any additional training needs and any necessary changes that may be required. At each review the assessor will check welfare and safeguarding activities and signpost to our Health and Safety at Work or safeguarding team if the employer or apprentice needs further information or support.

Reviews and monitoring sessions will include:

  • Starting point that need to be established as part of developing knowledge and skills in a logical manner for the apprentice and mentor
  • Target setting where the learner needs to be able to evidence and articulate how their targets are set and their role in setting them to ensure targets are challenging, meaningful and relevant. These need to be set and discussed with the apprentice and mentor.
  • Submissions of skills and behaviour for evidence into their portfolio
  • Reviews and feedback sessions and methods need to be agreed so that effectiveness of feedback and how quickly the learner improve their work as a result of this
  • Impartial careers advice and guidance has got to be evidenced and timetabled into the curriculum to support apprentices understanding of how to plan and achieve their careers aspirations and goals
  • This ongoing process will be agreed and placed into their learning curriculum and development timeline that matches the standards and provision.

Observations and feedback

All staff involved in delivering IAG as part of a teaching and learning sessions will be observed periodically to measure the standard of IAG embedded in teaching and learning sessions and whether this meets the Matrix Standards and government requirements. These will be graded and provide appropriate and supportive feedback, to address any actions that need to be taken to further improve the quality of information, advice and guidance given to learners, parents and customers. The observation process will also collect learner feedback and use this to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of information, advice and guidance.

Additional Learning Support

Whilst support will naturally be given by tutors, assessors and other staff, should they feel they need it, apprentices can ask for and access additional support at any point during their programme. The application form and enrolment forms give the apprentice the opportunity to acknowledge whether they have learning difficulties or disabilities and if they would like support so that EDLounge can follow up any support needs identified.

Confidentiality

The content of any IAG sessions will be kept confidential, unless a safeguarding issue is raised. In such situations staff should follow the EDLounge Safeguarding and Child Protection process and inform the relevant safeguarding leads or authorities. The learner records are held/stored securely on-line or in the locked secure storage cage facility located within the EDLounge centre.

Follow up

It is important to follow up after an IAG session, particularly when actions or additional support have been identified and agreed. During the transition into further learning or employment, or during a change in circumstances. it is also key to maintain regular contact with learners to better support them. This may be done in one, or more, of the following ways, depending on the situation:

  • Through scheduled learner reviews and exit reviews to signpost the learner to the most appropriate learning programme of chosen vocational/employment route.
  • Through tutorials or drop in sessions.
  • By involving parents/guardians, employers, or external agencies in follow up support, dependant on the individual needs of the learner.

Complaints and compliments

If you have any complaints or compliments about your learning please in the first instance inform your training provider.

Alternatively, you can contact Cara Radford the EDLounge General Manager cara@edlounge.com

All complaints are taken seriously and you will receive Initial response within 24 hours of your complaint. All compliments will be shared and celebrated with the relevant staff and departments.

At EDLounge we listen to our customer and use all feedback to further improve our products and services.