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Six training providers rated 'outstanding' – NSARE conference

NSARE has revealed the results of the external inspections of 88 rail industry training providers and assessment providers this summer.

The inspections were conducted by Tribal, whose inspectors have a high level of expertise in educational assessment from many sectors, and concentrated on the way training is being delivered and the competence and leadership of the trainers, not the precise content of the courses.

Six companies were rated ‘outstanding’ and were presented with awards at NSARE’s ‘Training Matters’ conference in Derby today; RT Training Solutions (Railtech Group); Vital Skills Training; Scot-Train; Nestrack; TQ Catalis; and Bridgeway Consulting, which got the best score overall.

Among the best of the ‘good’ rated providers were: VGC Training; HCC Group; Atkins Rail; Network Rail (NDS – Plant); Ove Arup & Partners; and QTS Training Services.

70% of the companies inspected were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, which from next year will be the minimum acceptable for accreditation. Network Rail’s head of professional development and training, Guy Wilmshurst-Smith, confirmed that from next year, Network Rail itself will not take external training provision from anyone rated less than ‘good’. The ‘satisfactory’ rating is being scrapped and replaced with ‘needs improvement’, in line with a move by Ofsted.

Two companies received 0 points: Silver Track Training Ltd and Amtrain (Midlands) Ltd.

Other training providers who did less well in the first round of inspections included UKRS Training; Lineside Rail; KJ Training Solutions; Just Lawson (UK); Colas Rail Training; Centregreat Rail; Balfour Beatty Rail Renewals; and West Cost Training plc. All received between 40 and 50 points.

All companies will get help to improve their standing ahead of the next round of inspections.

For full coverage from the NSARE conference, including details on the state of training provision more widely, see the October/November edition of RTM.

(Image showing NSARE chief executive Gil Howarth addressing the conference copyright Ian Vernon )


Max   30/09/2012 at 18:08

NSARE said they had carefully selected inspectors with no prior railway knowledge or experience, so the trainers they observed could have been telling the candidates any old rubbish - so long as they delivered it in an 'outstanding way'. Knowledge or experience of the trainers did not even factor into their decisions. Also, to achieve 'outstanding' the trainers needed to be aiming for improvements to learners’ literacy and numeracy, promoting diversity etc. What rubbish! If a school could not teach them to be literate or numerate over a 10 year period - how is a trainer expected to do it on say a one day course? With regards to diversity - would NSARE care to tell us how many of the trainers they observed were Muslim, Christian, Jewish and so on and how many were homosexual etc. They just logged the trainers ages (a bit ageist – is that not against the law nowadays). With regard to literacy NSARE should check their website for spelling mistakes as there are dozens of them in the Training Directory. Straightner is used for Straightener, Stessing is used for Stressing and so on. From an unimpressed trainer.

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