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DVLA Driven by Learning & Development Qualifications
Written by Jon Knight
The Functional Learning Team at DVLA are responsible for developing and delivering learning programmes to various departments within the organisation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their primary focus shifted to delivering self-led e-Learning packages. However, the leadership team recognised the need to expand the team's skills to prepare for a return to face-to-face training. They also wanted to ensure that the team members had a qualification that supported their teaching and learning efforts.
The process took approximately 7 months, from October 2021 to May 2022 with the DVLA using the KPMG route and after this initial phase, which involved the necessary work and planning, the first session of the qualification was delivered on July 27, 2022. The time between May and the delivery of the session was spent on finalising the scheme of work, planning the sessions, and creating the necessary resources to ensure a successful training experience.
In line with the City and Guilds guidance for the Level 3 Certificate in Learning and Development qualification, a 10-month virtual program was designed and delivered by Premier Partnership’s Rebecca Dyson. The programme consisted of fortnightly virtual workshop sessions led by Rebecca and additionally, she visited the DVLA's Swansea office for two days to conduct teaching observations. To provide support and facilitate completion of the written work for the qualification, protected time was allocated to the learners. Rebecca was present during these sessions to provide guidance and assistance. In cases where learners had conflicting annual leave, catch-up sessions were arranged, and learners were encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access missed session notes.
Diverse Learner Group:
The learner group consisted of individuals with varying levels of experience and abilities. Some team members had been with DVLA for nearly 20 years in different roles, while others had only been with the department for a couple of years. Some learners had extensive delivery experience, while others had little to no experience. Academically, there was a mix of learners who had not undertaken any formal learning for several years and those who had recently completed a qualification. It was important to accommodate these differences and provide tailored support throughout the programme.
Consideration of Workload:
In addition to the Level 3 Certificate, the learners were also undertaking the Level 4 Digital Apprenticeship simultaneously. Rebecca had to be mindful of the workload that the learners were managing, taking into account their day-to-day responsibilities in the organisation. The programme was designed to strike a balance and ensure that the learners could effectively juggle their commitments.
Resources and Support:
Various resources were utilised throughout the programme to enhance the learning experience. PowerPoint presentations played a crucial role in the virtual nature of the programme, while breakout rooms were used for pair/group work, facilitating peer learning. Peer teaching was also encouraged as a means for learners to practice their skills and teach each other areas relevant to the qualification. Moodle, Premier Partnership’s bespoke online platform, served as a valuable resource. Learners had access to all the units and relevant materials from the beginning. Moodle provided clear guidance on the outcomes, assessment criteria, and assignments, enabling learners to work towards their goals continuously.
Manager Support and Feedback:
The line managers of the learners played an essential role in providing support throughout the programme. Virtual catch-up sessions were held every 7-8 weeks to discuss progress and feedback. Both the leadership team and the instructor encouraged open communication and collaboration, ensuring a positive learning experience. Prompt action was taken whenever necessary to help learners stay on track, and praise was shared to acknowledge achievements and motivate the learners.
DVLA Learning and Development Manager Peter Freelove said, “The two stand out differences for me are the reflective practices and acknowledging different levels of skills and capabilities within training.”
“As a result, my team and I take time to meet and reflect after each training session, this has made a big difference to the success of our sessions as we are identifying improvements and putting them into place sooner than before. In addition to this we have changed the approach to our Leadership programme to take into account different capabilities which now means we can support those that need it with bespoke modular sessions, truly making our leadership programme learner led.”
Results and Feedback:
The program yielded a 100% pass rate for all 10 learners, pending external verification from City and Guilds. Learners expressed their appreciation for the insights, motivation, and support provided throughout the programme. They highlighted the applicability of the knowledge gained to their roles, and the confidence and tools they acquired to deliver quality learning experiences.
These were acknowledged in the feedback received with Charlotte Britton, Design Practitioner saying, “I came onto this course with very little knowledge around Learning & Development. It was hugely insightful, thought provoking and motivational. Having started a new role with Design and Learning I was already applying my new knowledge as I was learning. I am excited for my future, can’t thank Becky enough for her support and guidance throughout”.
Those sentiments were echoed by Functional Learning Practitioner, Sara Southwell “I have recently completed Level 3 Learning and Development with Becky Dyson. I found the course informative and I really enjoyed it! Becky has given me the tools and confidence to carry out my role as facilitator to the best of my ability and I now feel I am able to deliver a quality delivery that will give learners the best learning experience possible. I found the course to be engaging and interactive and kept me motivated. Becky was approachable and welcoming throughout and always supported me. I looked forward to our sessions every two weeks and will miss them!”
The Level 3 Certificate in Learning and Development programme delivered to the DVLA's Functional Learning Team proved to be a successful and rewarding experience. Through a combination of virtual workshops, teaching observations, protected time for written work, and ongoing support, the learners were able to enhance their skills and knowledge in the field of learning and development. The programme not only provided a professional qualification but also contributed to the improvement of practice and the overall success of the team's training initiatives within the organisation.
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