Acorn have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions Acorn have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions

Please find below a list of questions often asked by our learners. The answers will give you advice and information to help you understand more about Acorn and the training and development services we provide.

  • What is Acorn Learning & Development? 

    Acorn Learning & Development is one of Wales' fastest growing Training Providers, delivering Apprenticeships across Wales and Management Development programmes across England and Wales, with both national clients and SMEs.

  • What can Acorn do for me?

    If you are looking for a skill-based career or just want to know what options are available for you, then we can give you advice on Apprenticeships in your area. We currently support young people in the retail, hospitality and catering, administration, IT, warehousing, insurance, banking, accountancy and customer service sectors. If you are employed / unemployed, we can support you with work-based learning towards a nationally recognised qualification.

  • What is a Vocational qualification?

    A Vocational qualification (previously known as NVQs) is a competence-based qualification comprising of a number of units. For example, a Level 2 in Business Administration is made up of sixteen units, all of which are mandatory to achieve a full qualification. It is possible however, to achieve units towards a full qualification if a learner wished to be trained and qualified for specific units. In this case, the certificate would list the units in which the learner had been successful. Vocational qualifications can help you prepare for work or help your career development. Getting a qualification shows you can do a job to national standards and have the up-to-date skills employers are looking for. Vocational qualifications are about putting learning into practice.

    There are five levels that range from competent performance at an operational level to competent performance at a senior management level. The levels are as follows:
    - Level 1 - a learner would be competent in a range of work activities, which are routine; the learner would require supervision.
    - Level 2 - a learner would be competent in a significant range of work activities some of which are not predictable or routine. A degree of autonomy is given; the learner would not require supervision.
    - Level 3 - a learner would be competent in quite a broad range of activities, which would cover a variety of contexts. The work would be complex; the learner would be supervising other staff.
    - Level 4 - a learner would be competent in a broad range of work activities, which are technical and require significant responsibility; the learner would be managing other staff.
    - Level 5 - a learner would be competent in a significant range of complex techniques across a wide range of unpredictable contexts; the learner would be managing or co-managing an organisation.

    There are no limits to the number of qualifications you can do, but they will depend on where you are working.

    You don't need any formal qualifications to follow a Vocational qualification programme and there is no set time. It will depend on how much time you can allocate to the work.

  • What if I already have a job?

    If you are already employed, the funding body in your area may support you to achieve a work-based qualification. Contact us to find out what support you can expect.

  • What is in an Apprenticeship framework? 

    The Apprenticeship programmes are based on national standards. To achieve an Apprenticeship qualification, learners will need to complete a Vocational qualification, Essential/ Functional Skills, Knowledge Certificates and Employment Rights and Responsibilities

  • How will my learning programme be delivered? 

    All learning will take place in the working environment. You will be visited monthly by your allocated advisor who will support you on a one-to-one basis. You will also receive on-the-job support from the placement for the specific underpinning knowledge

  • How is the programme/ course set up? 

    You work towards your NVQ / Credit qualification by achieving separate units as you do your job. Each unit counts toward your qualification and because there is no time limit you can build up your Unit Credit over a period of time. The training takes place in the workplace, as you learn 'on the job'. As the programme is specific to your employer’s workplace, there may also be opportunities for ‘off the job’ learning; our advisors will visit you at least monthly to support you through the programme.

  • How long is the programme / course? 

    This will vary depending on the level of qualification you are completing, your prior learning, prior work experience and opportunities to learn/ practice and evidence your progression. As an indication, a Level 2 can take between 12 and 15 months, a Level 3 between 15 and 18 months and level 4 and 5 up to 2 years.

  • How will it affect my career / job prospects?

    Achieving a Vocational qualification will improve your career/ job prospects as it shows you can do a job to national standard and have the up-to-date skills employers are looking for. Experience in a work-based role will always be taken into account by potential employers.

  • How will I be assessed? 

    Learners are required to show they are competent in all the performance criteria, across a range of variables and that they have acquired the underpinning knowledge in the work place. You will build a portfolio of evidence (e.g. witness statements / project evidence) and be assessed (observed) carrying out your day-to-day duties against the standards set.

  • What progression opportunities are there for me? 

    If you remain in employment, and your job role allows, you could progress to the next level Vocational programme. E.g. if you start to undertake supervisory responsibilities then you could progress to a Team Leading Apprenticeship or even a Management Level 3; alternatively you could consider specific training on new / advancing areas of your role to include IT training on Microsoft Office 2013 or a Leadership & Management course on Business Strategy. Whatever you decide to do next, Acorn will be able to advise you on the options available to you.

    Options can include:
    - Higher Education Modules
    - IT Courses
    - Leadership & Management Courses
    - Professional Development

If you have any further questions, call our Customer Service Centre on 01633 674 555 or submit an enquiry here >