2020 will of course go down in history as one of the strangest and challenging years ever encountered by us in the 21st century to date.
COVID-19 has changed our working lives, that’s for sure. Brexit has finally happened, and from 31st December we see ourselves outside of the European Union; how that will impact us as a training provider we are still unsure.
What we do know for sure is that in March 2020 Always Consult’s leadership team had to take a long hard look at how we were doing business; the face-to-face training, which had been so successful, was no longer possible. We quickly had to re-assess how we offered our training services whilst still maintaining high standards and a supportive leadership style, with learners and clients.
The rapid transfer to a virtual workplace brought about challenges which had to be overcome with speed, but without losing any of the quality expected, and experienced, to date.
Our ever-expanding team has been more than influential in helping us change our delivery style and approach, this has enabled Always Consult to maintain an engaging online delivery service. Without the team’s support, motivation, and creativity we would not have been able to execute with speed, and offer, such an effective service, which has been praised by many of our clients.
Despite its challenges 2020 saw Always Consult continue its growth in the Apprenticeship sector, and the emergence of the Level 6 Career Development Professional (CDP) programme in May 2019 enabled us to take full advantage of a higher-level qualification which has been part of our core business since 2010. Our learner base has grown beyond our expectations in 2020 and it became clear we would need to recruit a Head of Careers to drive the quality and business forward. Ian Bedelle joined the team in the early part of the year and has been instrumental in the success of the Level 6 CDP programme.
Our bespoke Foundation Leadership and Management programme (FLM), offered as part of the Level 3 Apprenticeship programme, is a unique programme designed to support foundation doctors as they take their first step in clinical practice and is continuing to prove a hit with NHS trusts. The learner base has grown from just over 100 learners at the start of 2020 to 353 active learners at the end of 2020. Our Head of Delivery, Tony Lloyd, was recruited in September and has been as asset to the delivery team. In December 2020, our latest recruitment, Nasreen Latif, joined the team as Head of Quality.
Like many businesses we have made tough decisions which resulted in the implementation of many changes. As leaders, we needed to improve and build upon our own resilience to build a resilient culture throughout the business.
And so, to 2021, what’s in store?
Recent research conducted by ILM on 3,500 leaders and managers from across the UK on how businesses were managed during the pandemic makes for an interesting read. It also reinforces the view that investing in leadership and management training is vital for ongoing business success. You can read ILM’s report here: ‘Leading through challenging times‘
Will businesses revert to how things were prior to 2020 and COVID-19? – That’s the question; most are entering 2021 with a new mindset on how to do things differently and do them better.
Always Consult’s goal is to continue to grow the business organically and to maintain and build upon its virtual programmes, which our learners and clients have grown to accept and love. Of course, there is still room for a face-to -face learning environment, as and when we can offer those choices.
In January we are promoting and getting ready to offer our new Apprenticeship programme, the Level 4 Employability Practitioner, which is available to any practitioner who works with individuals to address and overcome obstacles to help secure suitable and sustainable employment.
Brexit and COVID-19 will continue to have an impact well into the year and more changes will be necessary to ensure business growth; our leadership team will grow personally by developing further skills and knowledge which will enable us all to drive through the tunnel of challenges to see the light beyond.
“In times of crisis, strong leadership and management isn’t just important, it’s business critical.” – ILM
For further information on our programmes and offerings please contact us at email@example.com