Edge Hill University
What were your challenges?
We knew that we needed an apprenticeship software to help us transition to degree apprenticeships. We were looking for an excellent system that would work well with our needs, but also one that offered face-to-face support. Having some human interaction and real-life training was really important to us as it helps to build confidence. A lot of academics, being experts, don’t like change and therefore having someone to hold their hands gives them that extra reassurance. Familiarity breeds confidence.
What were you looking for?
We wanted to use OneFile for our first senior leader level 7 degree apprenticeships, and have plans for other apprenticeships too – like accountancy – not just the CMDA. Lots of red brick and Russel Group universities are exploring these avenues, so it would be foolish not to do the same. If everyone else is moving in one direction and you’re standing still, you’re actually going backwards.
We also wanted a system that would help us track our apprentices’ development in a compliant way. This was especially important for tracking off-the-job training. We work with levy-paying employers who have signed a contractual agreement to fulfil the 20% requirement, so we have to be able to evidence that for them.
What dId you do next?
We had an online demo of OneFile and decided it was the right system for us. We had 2 sessions of face-to-face training with our customer success manager who helped us set up our standards too. We found the human interaction really helpful for us to understand exactly how the system works and how we can get the most out of it. We can already see a lot of potential for using OneFile for other honours and Master’s degree programmes – OneFile will be very useful for those too.
How has OneFile helped?
OneFile has been great for tracking apprentices. It gives mentors visibility over their apprentices’ progression – they can see if learners are green, amber or red, and then can do an investigation to find out the reason behind it. OneFile records the evidence trail which is really important.
OneFile also makes it easy to record the amount of time a student has spent completing an eportfolio task, so it's easy to track off-the-job training in a compliant way.
I like the multiple tracking elements and multi-tasking the system does – like drawing in data for off-the-job training. Everything is presented in a visible way, which is so useful. I like that you can map to the standard, link that to different portfolio pieces and link to different areas of academic study. They don’t always go hand in hand, because the academic side is to a QAA standard, and the CMDA is to a degree apprenticeship standard, and they don’t always marry up. But with OneFile, we’ve got a platform that ties the two together.
From a tracking point of view, I think OneFile is fantastic, especially given the amount of auditing you’ll get on any degree apprenticeship. Fortunately, being a level 6, we don’t have the joys of Ofsted, but we still want to nail it and make sure we’re doing what we’re saying we’re doing. The tracking in OneFile is fantastic – really, really good.
John Plummer, senior lecturer | Edge Hill University
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