Basingstoke College of Technology

Basingstoke College of Technology

"We would undoubtedly recommend OneFile!"
Basingstoke College of Technology began their search for the right eportfolio in 2010. They took into consideration many important factors, such as cost, the reputation of the software provider, the features available, the recommendations from other colleges and the awarding body recognition. Judi Hobson, Apprenticeship & Compliance Manager, explains why they chose OneFile.

With a long list of criteria to meet, eventually we chose OneFile.

“The pilot group was compared to a similar group of candidates who used paper based methods of training and assessment.

"Quantitative data was gathered and analysed, which included retention and achievement statistics within specified time period and delivery costs such as assessor and IV time and necessary expenses on travel, portfolios etc.

"Qualitative data was collected from candidates, the assessor, IV and employers. This was monitored at mid-point and evaluated at the completion of their award.”

We use all OneFile's features!

“We love the offline app – it’s particularly good for sites such as the RAF where internet access is limited. The benefits of key features for us include:

  • Forms help to generate the ILP – all auditable on OneFile and attached to each learner episode. Gives us tailored ILPs with all the specific information that we need to gather, and saves money on our old triplicate carbon copies. We can forward PDF versions of things like equality monitoring forms direct to Student Records.
  • Templates and Plan templates – we’ve created for things like the induction visit because it tends to be the same regardless of programme. Assessment templates for PLTS and the CRAE and for signing off functional skills. Assessors say these save significant amounts of time.
  • Reviews are used all the time by training consultants and these are a vital tool for them, used via iPads both on- and off-line. We’ve recently amended the review forms to include topics such as British Values, Radicalisation and the Prevent agenda.
  • Journals are now used for ‘stretch and challenge’ feedback activities so this can be easily accessible by both assessor and learner at any time in the programme. Feedback is still given on individual assessments, but more holistic stretch and challenge feedback is given on journal – for instance, developmental feedback would be given on spelling and grammar and it would be date stamped in the journal. This can then be revisited on an ongoing basis to check development and progress.
  • Timesheets are used to help record guided learning hours as well as used as a contact log for SFA audit purposes.”

What Ofsted said...

“Assessors and apprentices use computers and phone apps very effectively to access online individual learning plans, to upload work and evidence and to receive feedback from assessors. Apprentices make good progress through these activities.

"The inspection was easier to manage because everything that Ofsted wanted was available. They also at one stage logged in themselves as an Observer and accessed the files, plans and feedback that they required.”

Weekly SV visits

“Awarding body SV visits occur on almost a weekly basis because of the number of vocational areas that we have. These are made significantly easier in many cases because SVs log in prior to the visit to conduct sampling. In the Business Unit we have created customised reports where at the click of a button, the SV can be sent in advance a list of all learners, registrations, progress on programme, names of assessors, names of IVs etc.

"Similarly, for SFA audits, the auditor logged in and examined contact records, plans and timesheets.”

The return on our initial investment

  • Saving money - cost is £24 per learner (plus minimal admin time to set up) whereas paper-based would be cost of folder, paper, photocopying time, massively increased admin time to prepare.
  • Time saved - electronic enrolments has cut down amount of duplicated time and has halved the admin time required to set up a new learner. Making the assessors do electronic enrolments gives them more responsibility for timely completion.
  • Reporting is brilliant - We use OneFile reports for one-to-one tracking meetings between senior consultants and assessors as these are set up to give all the required info on progress etc for each individual assessor who runs the report themselves. As above, we have reports for EV visits, our end of year course evaluations that feed into the SAR are based on the reporting from OneFile.
  • Providing quality provision – one-to-one progress tracking. We set up complete frameworks so that we see at a glance where each learner is on each element e.g. the NVQ, the Technical Certificate, the PLTS, ERR, functional skills etc. Once the Administrator has checked the GCSE certs for exemption validity, they sign them off as the IQA.
  • Supporting sub-contractors – we as sub-contractors can relay info back to the managing agents and the agents have access to full reporting. They also have Observer access.
  • Engaging employers – now that we use the electronic ILP, we automatically set up every employer with an Employer login and this allows them to monitor progress of their learners. We also offer training for employers to use the employer login effectively. Every 3 months we use the employer account to email them on progress for their learners.

Was it difficult to get started?

“We have had significant support from OneFile from both Anne and Jason, our Account Managers. Their visits are always informative and we always take something away that we hadn’t thought about before. Specifically, the support for the use of the app recently was excellent.”

The future

"We would undoubtedly recommend OneFile. OneFile saves time, money, allow transparency to management and much, much easier tracking of learners. It can be accessed from anywhere. It makes the IQA process much more straightforward as there’s no logistical issue with transporting heavy portfolios.

"Learners cannot forget their folder for visits and the activity icon allows assessors to monitor whether learners have actually been working or not.”

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.