1 Work Experience Quality Standard Self-Assessment form: Employers Employer name: Date: Step One What level are you? Complete the agreement and assess your current level of accreditation using this form or online at This document will assess your standard against the three levels: bronze, silver or gold. Step Two Submit your self-assessment: When you have completed and signed the self-assessment please return it to Step Three Payment and confirmation: Upon receiving your self-assessment, we will provide you with an invoice. Once payment is received we will provide you with a certificate of accreditation, logo and further support as required. Step Four Audit procedure: To ensure rigour in the Work Experience Quality Standard, Fair Train operates a sample audit procedure for quality assurance. Once we have received your self-assessment, Fair Train undertakes a desktop audit. A random sample of organisations will then be selected for on-site audit. PRICING Payments shown cover a period of two years from the date of accreditation. Organisations that apply to increase their level during this period will pay the difference between the fee for their current level and the fee for the new level claimed. Number of full time equivalent paid employees Bronze Silver Gold , ,000 1,000 1,500 2,000 10,001+ 2,000 2,500 3,000
2 Introduction The Work Experience Quality Standard is a national accreditation which recognises those organisations offering high quality work experience opportunities to their learners, and managing risk effectively. It also acts as a framework for development to help organisations to plan, run and evaluate high quality work experience programmes. As you go through the self-assessment, please check the boxes relevant to your current provision. All boxes must be checked at bronze level as a minimum in order to achieve the standard. The evidence box is for you to use internally, to help ensure you are ready if selected for audit, or to help with any internal crossdepartmental conversations (for example if work experience and Apprenticeships are dealt with by separate departments). This framework and the associated guidance notes are for the Work Experience Quality Standard for employers (looking to host learners). There is a separate standard for learning providers (looking to place learners). The guidance notes expand upon the criteria which make up the framework, providing more information on what is required, and giving examples of what high quality work experience programmes may look like in different situations. Fair Train believes strongly that high quality work experience opportunities should be available for all, and this guidance makes specific references to enable all employers to apply for accreditation and demonstrate their commitment to high quality work experience provision. The guidance notes are intended as general supporting information rather than being prescriptive, and whilst they give general illustrations, could never cover all of the different circumstances experienced within learning provider organisations and the employers providing work experience placements. You should not, therefore, be discouraged by any particular terminology or examples used. If your particular circumstances differ from the examples mentioned, please contact Fair Train to gain advice and support at Fair Train works with a wide range of organisations, from multinational corporates through to microbusinesses across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors, and spanning the whole of the UK. During the course of its work, Fair Train has built up a bank of good practice. Should you need example template documents which you can tailor to meet your own circumstances, please contact Fair Train at which may save you time if you would like to avoid reinventing the wheel.
3 Employer Self-Assessment Employer Framework 1. ORGANISATION Employers should: Achieved Evidence BRONZE REQUIREMENTS Regard work experience as a quality and meaningful activity to be undertaken by young people or adults seeking to improve their skills and/or experience in the workplace This should be reflected in both policy and practice.
4 2. PLANNING THE PLACEMENT Employers should: Achieved Evidence BRONZE REQUIREMENTS Hold valid and adequate insurance including: Employers Liability Public Liability These should be up to date, and should be available for inspection at any point by the learner, or by Fair Train. Ensure appropriate HR procedures and policies are in place, including: Health, safety and welfare Equality Safeguarding (with advanced checks only if applicable) A work experience agreement including: hours/days of attendance, notification of absence, holidays/training days, etc. These policies should be made available to learners undertaking work experience. Fair Train has, and signposts to, a wide range of resources to support you in the development of your own work experience programmes in house. Many of these can be tailored to suit your own individual circumstances. Accredited organisations also gain access to a range of supporting documents, from sample work experience policies to example individual learning plans, which can be accessed via the Fair Train extranet. If you have any questions about how the criteria apply specifically to your setting, please contact us at Advise learning providers of the types of work experience which can be provided Organisations should be clear on the types of placement which can be provided and, equally important, the types which cannot, in order to manage expectations from the outset. Where possible, the placement should match the skills and aspirations of the learner. Types of work experience should include specific sectors such as business administration or construction, as well as the types of placement such as work experience placement or Apprenticeship. SILVER REQUIREMENTS Consider which job areas are suitable and provide a list of possible opportunities for work experience learners The best organisations will have a flexible bank of placement opportunities to allow for factors such as childcare, caring responsibilities, means of transport, etc. Try and include full and part time placement options. For organisations operating high quality work experience programmes we would expect to see a oneto-one discussion with the learner at the start of the process and prior to placements being arranged, to explore existing skills, aspirations, and outcomes they would hope to gain from the process. Where you are working with a learning provider, this may be undertaken by them. GOLD REQUIREMENTS Implement an approved companywide policy for work experience, either as a separate document or within other HR policies The policy should be integrated into the work of the organisation across relevant departments, rather than being a bolt on solely for use in one department dealing with, for example, Apprenticeships. The policy should include reference to celebrating success, for example, accredited organisations may choose to play an active part in national Work Experience Week. Ensure work experience is seen as a potential route to employment when vacancies arise This should be reflected in both policy and practice.
5 3. STARTING THE PLACEMENT Employers should: Achieved Evidence BRONZE REQUIREMENTS Conduct an effective induction process on the first day, which covers as a minimum: Welcome discussion, guided tour and introduction to the team, placement supervisor and/or mentor Explanation of the health & safety procedures, fire evacuation procedure, first aid arrangements and obligations of the learner Expected dress code, use of PPE, and conduct/expectations within the workplace Role overview, normal working hours, breaks and holidays, contract of employment (if applicable) Collection of emergency contact details, relevant medical and personal details, and a demonstration of effective logging system of personal details in accordance with data protection legislation The learner should be introduced to their day to day supervisor, and also any mentor who has been assigned to support them. The induction process should be documented, and any audit will check both the documentation, and for evidence of implementation and consistency. Advise the learner of the work experience framework and the Fair Train complaints address: Fair Train provides an independent complaints service for work experience learners, and details of this including the address should be made available to the learner before the placement starts. Details of the Fair Train complaints procedure are available on the Fair Train website: This is in addition to any complaints procedure in place within the employer or learning provider organisation. SILVER REQUIREMENTS Ensure that every learner is provided with their own individual learning plan which sets out objectives and allows them to track their progress throughout their placement Note that an individual learning plan simply refers to a learning plan document for that particular learner, which will be in a format to suit the learning provider / employer. This may involve adding to / revising an existing plan, and including the learning to be undertaken with the employer. GOLD REQUIREMENTS Provide learners with a clear pathway for development from work experience to permanent employee either with the current employer or externally, and help the learner to consider what this will entail It is good practice to consider progression routes, experience and skills required, and incorporate a discussion on how you can support the learner to gain as many of these as possible. Develop a detailed and clear learning pathway with the learner, to include: a description of the breakdown of departments, the job role(s) that the individual will gain an understanding of and demonstration of the skills that will be developed throughout the placement The best organisations will have written pathways, and will incorporate a discussion within the induction to ensure that the learner is clear on the skills and experience to be gained throughout the placement.
6 4. THE PLACEMENT Employers should: Achieved Evidence BRONZE REQUIREMENTS Provide the learner with work experience as described at the induction A documented induction with agreed learning outcomes will help here. Provide appropriate supervision at all times Learners should be assigned a named day-to-day supervisor who is likely to be the first point of contact during their work experience placement. This is the person who is likely to be explaining technical tasks, setting targets, and providing on the job feedback. Employers should ensure that they are mindful of safeguarding and health and safety issues, particularly for younger learners and vulnerable adults, and ensure that supervision levels are appropriate. A simple risk assessment at the start of the placement, in conjunction with any information about the learner provided by the learning provider (if applicable) should have identified any particular measures required. Health and safety legislation may be different in different industries, so as well as generic legislation such as health and safety, make sure that you are familiar with the legislation within your own sector. Fair Train has a helpful factsheet on health and safety for work experience placements available on the resources section of our website. Provide the learner with opportunities to raise issues, in confidence, if required As well as providing opportunities to raise issues with a direct supervisor, it is useful to have a process whereby the learner can raise concerns with another trusted individual, for example within the HR team, or a peer mentor. Support any off the job training where required This could include support with maths and English, or technical training such as an online customer care module, or Basic Food Hygiene certification, as appropriate to the industry. ASDAN (accredited with the Work Experience Quality Standard) offers an Employability Skills Development short course, which is a low cost resource that can be purchased to use with learners, along with accompanying certificates. SILVER REQUIREMENTS Provide a mentor/buddy so that each learner has their own designated supporter who should provide one-to-one support In additional to the supervisor, it may also be useful to assign a mentor a different person whom the learner can approach for additional support. The workplace is a very different environment to school or college, and the transition can be daunting for some learners. Putting in place a variety of different support mechanisms will help to overcome any difficulties, providing a range of personalities offering support and guidance. The mentor acts as a role model, sharing knowledge and advice to support the learner to develop their employability skills. They are not there to do the learner s tasks for them. However, they are a valuable resource able to guide a learner through an issue, or help them solve a particular problem. The mentor may be an employee, or an external person, perhaps provided by the learning provider. Supporting other staff in house to become mentors is another potential benefit for the organisation developing skills internally can lead to greater job satisfaction, lower turnover, and can be used to attract new employees and identify future leaders. (Fair Train provides independent training on specific areas of workforce development such as mentoring, so if you feel that you could benefit from training staff in this area then please contact to discuss a bespoke training package tailored to your needs.) Consider how you may be able to provide mentor support to work experience learners. This could also be rolled out to new employees, which is likely to result in improved productivity. Ideas include: Incorporating it in your training and development plan to grow your skills internally;
7 Working with another employer partner to provide a reciprocal mentor system, thereby benefitting further by sharing good practice across sectors. Fair Train will be able to put you in touch with other organisations holding the national Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation, who may be prepared to work with you in this way; Working with your local college or training provider to enlist the support of external mentors. Provide the learner with opportunities to develop transferable skills within the placement, e.g. health and safety training, food hygiene, development of numerical and language skills, etc. This could include support with maths and English, or technical training such as an online customer care module, or health and safety training. ASDAN (accredited with the Work Experience Quality Standard) offers an Employability Skills Development short course, which is a low cost resource that can be purchased to use with learners, along with accompanying certificates. Provide guidance on writing CVs from an employer perspective This could be an opportunity for other employees to get involved in supporting the learner, to develop their own expertise, confidence and leadership skills. There may also be an opportunity to include other employability soft skills as required, e.g. team working, timekeeping, communication skills, etc. GOLD REQUIREMENTS Provide support and guidance to the learner to help them gain paid employment, which should include but not be limited to: advice on suitable job roles, formal interview practice and feedback Learners should complete the placement having had chance to develop a range of transferable skills, gain useful contacts for networking, explore career options and make a positive choice about next steps into employment, as well as enhancing their CV. This may include: Building in some time during the placement to support the learner to develop their CV, and / or write a personal statement incorporating the skills they have learnt during their time with you. In larger organisations the HR department may be able to assist with this. Organising a number of volunteers to undertake mock interviews with the learner, to develop their confidence in the types of questions likely to be asked, and the key points to consider in their responses. An in-depth discussion with the learner about how the mentor / supervisor / host employer got into their career, and the training and experience they have gained as part of their career development. Maintain a formal record of skills gained throughout the placement This can easily be incorporated into the individual learning plan or record of achievement. Note that an individual learning plan simply refers to a learning plan document for that particular learner, which will be in a format to suit the learning provider / employer. This may involve adding to / revising an existing plan, and including the learning to be undertaken with the employer. You could also encourage the learner to complete a work experience diary and log the skills developed. The Fair Train website hosts and signposts to a range of resources, including free work experience diaries. Support the learner to work to nationally recognised standards and be assessed for competence where appropriate Most industries have recognised National Occupational Standards for specific job roles, which may be useful. In addition, Apprenticeships all have frameworks / standards upon which they are based, and employers should be familiar with these and support their apprentices to gain relevant competencies. Your learning provider should be able to provide you with the relevant framework / standards for your apprentice(s).
8 Employers should: BRONZE REQUIREMENTS 5. CONDUCTING REVIEWS Provide regular opportunities for review of progress, including praise for achievement and feedback on areas for improvement Achieved Evidence These should be documented, even if briefly, and the individual learning plan updated accordingly. SILVER REQUIREMENTS Conduct frequent one-to-one reviews with the learner these should be conducted at least monthly for long term placements The frequency should be driven by the needs of the learner and appropriate to the duration of the placement. Focus on the achievement of objectives in the individual learning plan and development of SMART targets Objectives and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) targets should be agreed with the learner, and relate to the aspirations of the learner as discussed at interview / induction. Support opportunities for the learner to gain paid employment This could include: Making the learner aware of internal opportunities, including Traineeships and Apprenticeships as well as other vacancies; Providing advice on how recruitment occurs within the sector (e.g. via a specialist recruitment agency, word of mouth, local press, etc.); Introducing the learner to industry colleagues who may be recruiting, or encouraging them to develop their networks; Providing time off for attending interviews; Supporting the learner to complete application forms / update their CV. GOLD REQUIREMENTS Evaluate the learner s development and progression to ensure it is maintained, within a documented appraisal system that includes monthly reviews and quarterly appraisals Ensure that all formal evaluation is documented, targets are agreed with the learner, and evaluation contains positive feedback as well as areas for improvement (if any). Support the learner to maintain a record of their achievements As well as the individual learning plan, which should be agreed and completed by the employer and the learner together, learners may also be encouraged to complete a work experience diary to record their achievements. The Fair Train website hosts and signposts to a range of resources, including free work experience diaries. The best employers support learners to write a statement of achievement, incorporating both hard and soft skills developed whilst on work experience placement. Review and document progress towards nationally recognised standards of competence Most industries have recognised National Occupational Standards for specific job roles, which may be useful. In addition, Apprenticeships all have frameworks / standards upon which they are based, and employers should be familiar with these and support their apprentices to gain relevant competencies. Your learning provider should be able to provide you with the relevant framework / standards for your apprentice(s).
9 Employers should: BRONZE REQUIREMENTS 6. END OF PLACEMENT Provide feedback on the learner s performance during the placement and a written statement of reference to be used by the learner Whilst tailored references are recognised as best practice, organisations which host many work experience placements may provide standardised statements of reference which incorporate all of the areas of work undertaken / experienced whilst on the placement. This is particularly useful for school work experience where the duration may only be 1-2 weeks. SILVER REQUIREMENTS Provide feedback on the vacancies that exist within the organisation for employment and assist with the application process This should include making the learner aware of internal opportunities, including Traineeships and Apprenticeships as well as other vacancies, and supporting the learner to complete application forms. This could be an opportunity to enlist the support of other employees in order to develop their mentoring skills. GOLD REQUIREMENTS Provide support at the end of the placement to help the learner to obtain paid employment within or outside the host organisation The best organisations should: Make the learner aware of internal opportunities, including Traineeships and Apprenticeships as well as other vacancies; Provide advice on how recruitment occurs within the sector (e.g. via a specialist recruitment agency, word of mouth, local press, etc.); Introduce the learner to industry colleagues who may be recruiting; Encourage learners to develop their networking skills and introduce them to different networks; Provide time off to attend interviews; Support the learner to complete application forms / update their CV. This could be an opportunity to enlist the support of other employees in order to develop their mentoring skills, for example in undertaking mock interviews and providing feedback. Work closely with the organisation arranging the placement to coordinate advice offered on local labour market information It is good practice to collect labour market information (LMI) from your local Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), etc. You may also work with other employers and learning providers to contribute to events to provide labour market information about your sector to learners, for example at careers fairs. Provide a formal reference, based on the original individual learning plan, which covers all skills and knowledge achieved during the placement Achieved Evidence
10 General guidance notes Where can I get more help? Fair Train has, and signposts to, a wide range of resources to support you in the development of your own work experience programmes in house. Many of these can be tailored to suit your own individual circumstances. Accredited organisations also gain access to a range of supporting documents, from sample work experience policies to example individual learning plans, which can be accessed via the intranet. If you have any questions about how the criteria apply specifically to your setting, please contact us at Can I accredit the work experience I offer? ASDAN provides organisations with the ability to accredit their work experience for learners, as part of the Careers and Experiencing Work short course, which can be delivered by an ASDAN accredited centre. To locate your nearest centre, or to find out how to become an ASDAN centre, click here. ASDAN also offers an Employability Skills Development short course, which is a low cost resource which can be purchased to use with learners, along with accompanying certificates. How do I promote my accreditation? Fair Train has a wide range of examples of how other organisations promote their Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation, from press releases to local media, adding the logo to signatures, using it on the side of company vehicles, and promoting in newsletters. We also encourage accredited organisations to use the logo on the home page of your website, and social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, where you can follow Fair Train and be part of a growing community of best practice. Fair Train can provide you with advice and support on PR and quotes for you to use within your own promotional materials, and accredited organisations will receive a media pack to help inspire you with marketing ideas. Don t forget to get involved in national Work Experience Week, which takes place in October each year, and provides a wealth of events and PR opportunities to get involved with. Fair Train is always pleased to receive case studies, and always uses examples of accredited organisations when undertaking its own PR to promote high quality work experience.
11 Employer details Organisation name: Number of work experience placements at present: Number of full time equivalent paid employees: Organisation annual turnover in the last year ( ): Charity No: Address and postcode: Company No: Lead contact name and job title: Lead contact Marketing contact Website: Additional contacts to be added to newsletter: Telephone (internal use only): Operating nationally: Telephone (to be put on website): Twitter handle: Before you sign the agreement below, please make sure you have completed the following in order for us to maximise our support to you: Action Followed Fair Train on Twitter Followed Fair Train on LinkedIn Joined Work Experience UK Complete
12 Employer Code of Practice Declaration On behalf of the organisation detailed below, I agree to become accredited with the Fair Train Work Experience Quality Standard. As part of this agreement we will: Assess our current arrangements for work experience against the framework and return our assessment to Fair Train. Publicise the Work Experience Quality Standard and our self-assessment grade as appropriate by including reference to the Work Experience Quality Standard on any publicity material relating to work experience. Provide Fair Train with an indication of our aspirational grade and a timescale to achieve this. Provide Fair Train with anonymised data to assist with monitoring effectiveness. Agree that Fair Train can use our name and logo in promoting the Work Experience Quality Standard. Agree to pay the relevant fee for the Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation. Notify Fair Train of any material change within the organisation which means the Work Experience Quality Standard requirements are no longer met. We Understand that we can withdraw from the Work Experience Quality Standard at any time by providing Fair Train with written notification, at which point we will remove the accreditation logo from any promotional materials. Understand that Fair Train reserves the right to withdraw or suspend the Work Experience Quality Standard if there are substantiated formal complaints made regarding improper use, or if it is found, during quality assurance audits, that the self-assessed level claimed has not been achieved. In the event that Fair Train decides to withdraw or suspend the Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation, we will have the right to appeal. I confirm that my organisation meets the requirements listed above and therefore qualifies for (please select as appropriate) Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation. My organisation aspires to achieve Standard accreditation by: (please select as appropriate) Work Experience Quality (please complete in DD/MM/YY format). I agree to all of the terms in the above Code of Practice and understand that Fair Train may contact me and, giving seven days notice, carry out a quality assurance audit, at which I will provide evidence of meeting the Work Experience Quality Standard level claimed. I agree to be signed up to the Fair Train newsletter, providing me with the latest sector developments (you can unsubscribe at any time). Name: Signed: Date: Your invoice will be issued upon receipt of this form. Once paid, we will provide you with a certificate of accreditation, logo and further support as required. Please submit your form to
13 CONTACT US Fair Train, March 2016