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Matrix – Quality Standard for Information Advice and Guidance Services

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Friday 10th of January 2020 Hadyn Luke 10/01/2020


Matrix – Quality Standard for Information Advice and Guidance Services

As a training provider, CMS is continually looking to maintain and improve standards for the benefit of our trainees, employers and partners. The matrix Standard offers a clear, accredited route towards this goal.

What is the matrix Standard?

Detailed information can be found on the organisation’s website: https://matrixstandard.com/, with the following definition:

The matrix Standard is the unique quality framework for organisations to assess and measure their information, advice and/or guidance services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

There are four key elements to the Standard:

  1. Leadership and Management
  2. Resource
  3. Service Delivery
  4. Continuous Quality Improvement

What kind of organisations is the matrix Standard for?

As well as training providers such as CMS, organisations that work with the matrix Standard include educational institutions (schools, colleges, universities), private businesses and voluntary/community organisations.

In fact, the Standard can be helpful for any organisation delivering a service that advises and guides people in their work and life goals, however this service is delivered.

Why is it important?

Since our last matrix assessment in 2016, there have been numerous developments in our service provision.

This new assessment allows us to demonstrate our commitment to performance and quality management, as laid out in our 2019/2020 Quality Improvement Plan.

Grading and feedback

Information for the assessment was gathered through conversations with the Managing Director, interviews in person and on the phone with staff, learners, employers and partners, and a review of the company website and other documentation.

Key statistics

The company’s success rate for 2018-2019 was above the national average, at 76.58% and timely success rates were up from 76.64% to 83.15%.

In May 2019, the overall learner satisfaction with CMS was 84.1% (as confirmed by the Department for Education) and 100% of employers surveyed by Ofsted in October 2018 said they would recommend CMS to other employers.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

Critical to the company’s success, the provision of Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) has become embedded into the practices at CMS.

From the start, both learner and employer are given clear guidance on how an apprenticeship will be delivered, along with the roles and responsibilities they will have in achieving a successful outcome. This is followed by regular reviews to identify any barriers to achieving progression and completion, so that further support can be offered where required.

The success of this approach is shown in feedback from learners, employers and partners:

“…we discussed why I wanted to do the qualification and what I wanted to do later with my career so that we could make sure I was on the right course.” (learner)

“…they are professional, approachable and responsive.” (employer)

“…we have been working with CSM for a long time, and we are achieving the outcomes we need – we trust them.” (employer)

“…very open organisation that delivers what they promise.” (partner)

The headline feedback from learners includes that 98.86% confirmed the outcomes of the programme for themselves as being outstanding or good. Among employers, 100% confirmed that CMS worked with their organisation to review individual learner’s progress and plan their future training needs as outstanding or good.

Other points made included that leadership and management are strong and purposeful while being participative and team-based, and that there was widespread recognition among learners, partners and employers of clear professional ethics and impartiality.

Many learners also described how staff had gone over and above expectations to ensure they received the help needed to succeed. They also appreciated the accessibility and responsiveness of the CMS staff team.

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