2013 was a very busy and demanding year for Release Potential, as we continued to evolve and improve our core business of the very best training and teaching. The year culminated in Release Potential's first official Ofsted inspection starting on the 19th of November 2013. One lead inspector and four additional inspectors carried out the inspection with short notice over a period of four days. Although we were confident with the quality of the training we provide, nevertheless there was no room for complacency and it was all hands on deck, noses to the grindstone, to ensure Ofsted recognised the good work Release Potential carry out.
From October 2012 Release Potential were pleased to introduce It's For Me short courses held for unemployed adults looking for careers in Health and Social Care, Business Administration, Retail and Hospitality sectors. These courses allow over a third of learners to progress into apprenticeships or jobs following the training they have received. During these courses, Release Potential also allow learners to gain valuable experience in completing a CV and preparing for interviews as well as training in the chosen sector. This is exclusive to Release Potential, so Ofsted inspectors observed these sessions and were very impressed with the quality of teaching, learning and assessments that took place during this time.
Overall, we were awarded a grade 2 by Ofsted, who identified the following as some of the reasons that make Release Potential a 'good' provider...
"Many learners benefit from the good training they receive on innovative employability short courses. These equip learners with enhanced occupational skills and knowledge of work practices and requirements that give them real advantages when applying for jobs."
"There are very close and very positive working relationships with employers, who contribute actively to learners training."
"Learners completing the two-week 'It's For Me' employment training courses grow significantly in confidence and gain valuable experience."
"Achievement rates on the 'It's For Me' short courses for the unemployed were high at over 90% in 2012/2013. Of 302 learners 99 got jobs and 16 signed up for apprenticeships."
"Productive use is made of trainers’ and assessors’ expertise and knowledge to extend learners’ knowledge and skills through mostly good teaching and learning."
The Ofsted inspectors also reported on the 'effectiveness of leadership and management' here at Release Potential...
"Leadership and management are good. The directors have a clearly defined strategy and ambitious vision for supporting all learners and developing the organisation and its training programmes."
"Investment in staffing is very good. Staff roles and responsibilities are clear and specific. Staff welfare is excellent, with the directors providing free medical insurance, generous holiday entitlement and, for those employees who travel in the course of their work, company cars."
"Very good relationships have been developed with Jobcentre Plus and the company is now recruiting learners from twenty-three Jobcentre Plus offices over a very large geographical area."
"All learners and staff are valued and treated with dignity and respect. Arrangements for ensuring that learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities can participate in learning are successful."
"Effective leadership is reflected in the very thorough management support, guidance and care for staff which exemplifies a model employment practice for learners. Staff are strongly committed to the company’s priorities and vision."
"Learners feel safe and the provider meets its statutory requirements for safeguarding learners."
Ultimately, the Inspection concluded with Release Potential being awarded a 'good' grade for its overall effectiveness, outcomes for learners, quality of teaching, learning and assessments and effectiveness of leadership and management. This result confirmed what we all felt at Release Potential, as we are a market leader in the training and education sector, and we look forward to a future of constant improvement to benefit our clients and the jobs market as a whole.