The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of education, employment and training services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what they do is the drive to improve the life chances,skills and aspirations of everyone they support.
Each year they touch the lives of more than a million people through their extensive range of high quality services. The Prospects Group has an annual turnover in excess of £80 million and employs more than 1,400 skilled and professional staff.
Prospects have been working with Ecordia for the past seven years. Thousands of candidates on Ecordia have successfully qualified with Prospects in that time.
Martyn Pass, the Qualifications Centre Manager, is a key figure in the implementation and continued success of Ecordia with Prospects. We spoke with him to talk about Ecordia and the impact the system has had with Prospects’ training operations…
Before Ecordia was implemented at Prospects, what were the key issues and how has the system now helped with these?
The problem of regular internal verification was certainly a key issue, along with tracking candidate progress and the regularity and recording of tutorials. Prior to using Ecordia we did try to alleviate these issues by having IV meetings, paper records that needed to be manually updated by assessors and lots of face-to-face appointments. However these were all time-consuming, unwieldy and costly! The transporting around of portfolios was fraught with risk and candidates were susceptible to losing portfolios. It was very disruptive to progress.
Ecordia solved all these problems straight-away! IV is available at the touch of a button, candidate progress can now be easily checked and tracked and the Ecordia Contact Log enables significantly easier recording of any contact with the candidate. Also telephone tutorials using the Ecordia interface is possible at any time. This is much more convenient for the tutor and candidate.
What was the main factor for you to look at an online solution ?
It was more of a slow, almost ‘grudging’ acceptance of the need for an online solution. Most of us in the team were sceptical of online systems, as we’d seen one previously which was not up to the job. Plus, we weren’t, on the whole, very IT literate. One of our primary contract holders had some contact with you, so, more to keep them happy, we arranged for an Ecordia demo. We were sold almost immediately!
Why Ecordia for Prospects ?
What we loved about Ecordia were its intuitive processes, its accessibility and its design / look & feel.
The system has made our operations more efficient, by saving us time & reducing administration. It’s also the support behind the system which we appreciate so much. Everyone at Ecordia is so responsive, helpful and understanding of our needs. You really make the effort to ‘go the extra mile’ in providing a pro-active , customer-focused service.
Furthermore Ecordia has enabled us to take on candidates at very short notice, which means there’s hardly any need to put people on waiting lists.
How has the work templates feature benefited your organisation?
It has enabled us to be even more streamlined and cost-effective in planning assessment schedules with candidates. It’s also contributed to the standardisation of our assessment and IV processes.
What specific problems has Ecordia addressed that other training centres like yours may be able to relate to?
A recent example would be the development of IV planning schedules, via the IV Matrix.
What would be the main reason for recommending Ecordia to other assessment centres ?
Candidates (on the whole) complete their qualifications significantly quicker via this route, than via the ‘old-fashioned’ paper-based’ route. This is as a result of all the benefits outlined earlier. It’s by far the best online system I’ve seen and used.