Always Consult – Always Up To Standard!

Always Consult – Always Up To Standard!

“For over 10 years, Always Consult Ltd has been a highly respected provider of OCR’s Advice and Guidance and Careers qualifications. Here, Managing Director, Carol Ewels, explains why the new Career Development Professional apprenticeship puts Always Consult head and shoulders above its competitors.”

It was mid-2019 and there was an air of excitement at Always Consult HQ! Carol explains: “We’d heard the CDP apprenticeship Standard was imminent. We wanted to be ahead of the game again, so, we set about planning how the programme would be delivered.”

the new Career Development Professional apprenticeship puts Always Consult head and shoulders above its competitors

Taking the existing assessment criteria from the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development, mapping that against the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours from the apprenticeship Standard and identifying any gaps in current provision, Carol and the team had the foundations in place to be up-and-running.

Fast forward to November 2019 and the first CDP apprenticeship cohort starts! Senior IAG and Careers Training Co-ordinator Adrian Pitt reflects: “I can’t say we weren’t nervous! We’ve successfully delivered the flagship Level 6 for years. How would the apprenticeship differ and would our delivery model work?”

Fears aside, the group got off to a flying start! Ade says: “We were honest with the Advisers, highlighted this was our “pilot programme” and that their feedback would be invaluable in terms of shaping courses for the future.”

Then the corona crisis hit. The solution? Digital delivery!

During Christmas and New Year, word spread. Enquiries came in thick and fast. Over to Roddy Christie, Head of Always Apprenticeships: “We were extremely excited! Our next group was imminent, we’d taken on board feedback from the first cohort, tweaked the programme slightly, geared ourselves up for an April start and then, the corona crisis hit.” Undeterred, the gang reconvened. The solution? Digital delivery!

Roddy explains: “The organisations who’d approached us were really fired-up for the challenge. We’d taken our existing programme and adapted it for online platforms. Induction, taught sessions, webinars, coaching, support, assessment; whatever was needed. Now we’ve redesigned our “workshops” into bite-sized sessions using Zoom or GoTo Meeting. Plus we’re utilising our ePortoflio, Quals Direct, where learners upload their evidence and have access to all the resources they need.”

And now there’s a waiting list?

“Yes!” says Carol. “We’re already thinking about our next group. We’ve recruited a new member to the team, Ian Bedelle, a highly-experienced careers professional. He’s heading up our first “virtual” venture! With quite a few staff in furlough at the moment, it shouldn’t prevent Advisers from starting their apprenticeship.”

“This situation gives them more time to focus on the Knowledge from the Level 6 and the Standard. We can’t wait for more Advisers to be part of our trailblazing provision!”

Your organisation can access payment for the apprenticeship via the Levy and non-Levy funding routes. For more information about the Career Development Professional apprenticeship, funding channels and to find out your eligibility to take part, please contact

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