Training providers: 5 ways to spot a good one

Training companies and training academies are collectively called independent training providers. Choosing the right training provider for a course isn’t easy. There are so many out there and it’s hard to be sure they are all professional organisations. Specifically, whether their training and support services are of high quality. Unfortunately, not all training providers will have the characteristics you should insist on for something as serious as training for your career. However, one tool you do have to help you judge how good a training provider is, is to read their latest Ofsted report and FE Choices learner and employer feedback.

Mode has more than twenty years’ experience of delivering high quality training including schools programmes, traineeships, apprenticeships and other courses to the people of Liverpool City Region. Our recent Ofsted report (June 2019) shows we tick the right boxes in the following five important areas:

1. Professional Training Staff

Firstly, the most exciting and interesting subject in the world can be made dull by the wrong teacher. More importantly, if tutors have no industry work experience, it’s hard for them to pass on the right skills and knowledge to students. Therefore people who have worked in the industry make the best tutors. Consequently we make sure all our tutors have been employed professionals, or run businesses in the sectors they now teach about. In addition to this, they all have teaching qualifications and lots of experience of teaching students who gain good results.

Here’s what our recent Ofsted report (June 2019) says about Mode’s tutors:

Tutors are skilled professionals. They use their experience and expertise successfully so apprentices develop industry standard skills and knowledge.

2. Established & Reliable

Training providers can set up in business offering what seem like exciting courses. But it’s hard to know whether they offer a decent standard of training. Do their students actually achieve their qualifications at the end of their courses? Some providers might not have the business skills or experience to run a good training centre. Similarly others might not have the safeguarding standards in place. A training provider which fails in any of these areas may well suddenly close down. Unfortunately this can leave apprentices and other students high and dry with an uncertain future. So in this respect, a provider with a long established track record in training is often your best bet. Mode has been successfully providing training courses for over 20 years.

3. Career Progression

Choosing the right provider can boost your career prospects.  It’s not just about doing one course and things finishing there. It’s about lifelong learning. We always talk to our students about what opportunities are available once they finish their course. What jobs they will be able to do and what opportunities there are to train at even higher levels. We encourage all our students to see learning as a continual journey and progress onto further training when they finish a course with us. For example, we’ve helped year 10 and 11 school pupils embark on the journey from pre-apprenticeship courses, to apprenticeships and onto becoming employers themselves. And we’ve helped students who achieved music production qualifications at Mode progress onto degree courses in audio production

4. Student Welfare

Students will only achieve if they feel safe and supported. This is an important factor to ask about when you are choosing a training provider and one of the areas that Ofsted inspects providers on.  By reading a provider’s latest Ofsted report, you can read how good a provider is at keeping students safe, and supporting them in ways that suit their individual needs.

Here’s what our Ofsted report says about our safeguarding and support:

Leaders, managers and tutors provide highly effective support for vulnerable apprentices. Consequently these apprentices remain on their course and make good progress.

5. Links to employers

Choosing a provider with great employer links will ensure they’ll teach you the skills businesses are looking for in Liverpool City Region. At Mode, we’re part of a wider community-focussed business network based at The Secret Warehouse.  So our students are in daily contact with lots of growing businesses and this brings opportunities. Additionally, we work closely with partners in the region to ensure that the skills we teach at Mode are what employers want.

Here’s what our recent Ofsted report said about this:

Mode leaders and managers work closely with stakeholders and employers to develop a curriculum that benefits the region and the local community.

When you’re choosing a course that will decide your future, don’t be be taken in by shiny social media or a stylish website. It’s what’s behind that matters. Mode really does guarantee top training services with all the official approvals as well as a long track record in helping people build great futures. Don’t just take our word for it. Read our latest Ofsted report and come down to speak to our staff and students any time – we’d love to welcome you to Mode!