Frequently asked questions on Acorn's corporate client services Frequently asked questions on Acorn's corporate client services

In order to help you understand more about Acorn Learning & Development and the services we provide, we have compiled answers to our most frequently asked questions.

  • What can Acorn Learning & Development do for your business?

    Our first step is to listen to you to gain an immediate understanding of your business, training needs, delivery preferences and budgets. Solutions are then identified and developed, in partnership with you, to satisfy your specific requirements to achieve your goals. We have developed and delivered a range of accredited programmes for national employers that substantially reduce downtime in the workplace.

  • What is an Apprenticeship?

    An Apprenticeship is a nationally recognised work-based qualification. It has been designed for individuals aiming to be future supervisors and managers. They are "A fast route for young people to higher level craft and supervisory skills."

  • What is involved with the Apprenticeship programme?

    The Apprenticeship programmes are based on national standards. To achieve an Apprenticeship qualification learners will need to complete a Vocational Qualification (NVQ), additional units, a technical certificate, employment rights & responsibilities plus essential / functional skills in literacy, numeracy and IT.

  • How long does an Apprenticeship take?

    Completion time depends on the learner's experience and on how readily they can demonstrate to their assessor that they can meet the national standards; normally between 12 to 18 months for a level 2, whereas the level 3 can be completed between 18 to 24 months. Level 4 and 5 will take up to 2 years.

  • What is a Vocational Qualification?

    These used to be known as ‘NVQs’. All Vocational Qualifications are now listed on the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) and now known as QCF qualifications. It tests whether an individual is working to a particular industry standard. In addition, individuals are tested on the knowledge and understanding they have in order to do their job correctly and safely.

  • What are the benefits?

    • Improved staff retention
    • Increased staff motivation/job satisfaction
    • Promotes consistent standards
    • Learners receive a nationally recognised qualification
    • Minimal drain on management time.
    • Through our excellent training support and delivery, we can offer you assistance in the development and implementation of your training strategies to achieve specific business goals. This approach enables your business to release HR capacity to deal with other issues whilst still retaining control of training and learning through your HR team.
  • How will learners achieve their qualification?

    A workplace assessor will visit the establishment once a month as a minimum once the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) has been agreed; these visits could be more frequent and could also include an element of ‘off the job’ learning. Once learning has been completed a combination of activities will take place for the learners to provide the evidence that they are competent in their role this can include:

    • Observations in the workplace
    • Testing of knowledge and understanding of the process (online, 1 to 1, set questions)
    • Results of work-based projects and assignments
    • "products of work", i.e. pieces of evidence created as part of their normal day's work e.g. project plans, staff rotas etc.
  • What levels of Qualifications are there?

    Level One

    Basic Operative

    Level Two

    Craft Skills (5 GCSE's equivalent) Customer Service

    Level Three

    Supervisory / Advanced Craft - (2 A level equivalent) Customer Service

    Level Four

    Management - (FdA Year 1 level)

    Level Five

    Senior Management (FdA Year 2 level)

  • What support is available?

    Learners will be issued with appropriate learning resources and an action plan following initial assessment and, at the end of each visit, this will identify the learning needed to take place

    a) ‘on the job’
    b) self-directed via Acorn Learning Gateway / other resources
    c) ‘off the job’

    Any evidence required following initial assessment must be prepared and the activities that the learner will be observed performing at the next visit. Learners will have access to a help line.

  • Who will control your training and learning programmes?

    We have implemented training management projects on behalf of national businesses to assist with specific training delivery. Our clients receive personal support from our dedicated customer support team and we are able to deal effectively with the requirements of both single and multi-site operations. Every project and programme is developed with the client - we expedite, you control. The benefits of this approach can be significant in terms of your management focus and resource.

  • What about the costs?

    We tailor programmes to meet the specific needs of our clients and consequently price packages will vary. We will therefore provide you with an individual quote based on your specific business needs. We have extensive expertise in researching and accessing support funding for businesses, especially where the solutions include nationally recognised qualifications and/ or Apprenticeships. Many of our clients benefit from solutions which attract 100% funding assistance.

  • Can anybody start an Apprenticeship?

    Anyone can start an Apprenticeship, but not everyone is eligible for funding as this depends on age and previous qualifications. This can vary depending on the funding bodies' requirements throughout the year; we would inform you of any changes as they occur. However, to attract Apprenticeship funding, an employee cannot already be engaged in any other government funded programme or still be attending School or College, and they must have a National Insurance Number. We will be pleased to cost delivery where funding is not available*.

    *some 'match funding' may be available to help maximise your training budget.

  • What happens to your existing training programmes?

    During the design and planning stage, Acorn integrates your existing training process and materials to ensure that any formal delivery of the chosen development programmes not only runs smoothly but also drives the objectives of your existing training programme. This process will ensure that any programme we operate with you will add value by meeting the pre-agreed needs and objectives of your business and our partnership. Acorn, through this development process, will integrate your in-house training programmes to national standards set by your industry; this will lead to accreditation of awards such as Vocational Qualifications / ILM.

  • What areas do the programmes cover?

    We can arrange for qualified assessors and training advisors to deliver a wide range of programmes at a venue to suit your business. These can be delivered for large or small groups and at times to suit the work patterns of your business.

  • How will we fit in with the needs of your business?

    Acorn programmes, as indicated above, are fully customised to meet the needs of our clients. Our product range includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

    Vocational Qualifications

    Within this range of formal qualifications we offer Apprenticeships and individual Vocational programmes.

    Occupational Areas

    Administration Customer Service
    Information Technology Management and Supervisory
    Retail Warehousing 
    Hospitality Manufacturing
    Contact Centre Insurance
    Banking Accountancy

    ILM Management Qualifications

    • Introductory (Award) Course (Tutor led with work based assignments) Level 2, 3, 4 & 5
    • Certificate Course (Tutor led with work based assignments) Level 2, 3, 4 & 5
    • Diploma Course (Tutor led with work based assignments) Level 2, 3, 4 & 5
    • Levels & Roles applicable – Acorn can help assess the correct course for your teams
    • Level 2- aspiring management
    • Level 3- junior management
    • Level 4- middle management
    • Level 5- senior management
    • Bespoke training programmes

    Programmes within this area could include courses relating to generic key areas of your business, e.g., Customer Service, Time Management and Presentation Skills.

    Information Technology

    Programmes within this area would include training needs surrounding the common software packages. These would be delivered depending on your needs, either individually or in a group format.

    Higher Education

    Mix and Match higher Education Credit Modules as standalone / Certificate / Full Foundation Degree.

If you have any further questions that we have not answered, contact us here or call 01633 674 555