News Blog

Skills CFA

Instructus Acquire Springboard

Saturday, 12 December 2015
By: Skills CFA

The Instructus Charity is pleased to announce the acquisition of the assets and intellectual property of the Springboard Consultancy, with immediate effect. The Instructus Group is dedicated to creating the skills needed for large numbers of individuals to succeed whilst ensuring diversity of opportunity to develop through learning, particularly for those in challenging environments. Historically it has provided such opportunities through the creation of employer-backed national standards for generic skills, and the promotion of individual and business performance improvement via consultancy, award winning personal and team development and qualifications. It is also the certificating authority for all UK apprenticeships in generic skills with >300,000 approvals and actively promotes affordable access to the justice system for all.

The Springboard Consultancy has been the market leader for the personal and work development of women for 27 years, and has expanded to the extent that its programmes have been delivered in 43 countries whilst being used in the UK by 53 universities, as well as major corporations and public sector bodies. Springboard Consultancy programmes have been widened over the years to include men-only and mixed-gender applications providing affordable personal and work development for >250,000 individuals in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments. Springboard’s programmes have also facilitated the creation of many role models and a prime objective of Instructus is the expansion of these activities and achievements whilst providing a wider audience for its existing development activities.

Please direct all enquiries to David Holland CEO Instructus Group:

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+ 44 (0) 207 091 9620
+ 44 (0) 1271 850828

Skills CFA

CQM T&C Client Worldwide Fruit wins 2 Awards at Prestigious Event Celebrating the Best in Food Manufacturing

Tuesday, 24 November 2015
By: Skills CFA

CQM Training and Consultancy Apprentice wins Young Talent Award Second Year Running

Worldwide Fruit Youngster wins Oscar in manufacturing awards

CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd are delighted to announce that yet again, one of our young apprentices has won the prestigious and highly regarded Young Talent title at this year’s national awards ceremony celebrating the best talent in the industry.

CQM T&C have been delivering Lean/Continuous Improvement training on site at Lincolnshire based food firm Worldwide Fruit for several years, and now their shining star, Amber Wild has won the Young talent of the year award in the industry‚Äôs Oscars ‚Äď the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) ‚Äď at the Lancaster hotel, London in a glittering award ceremony last night (Tuesday, November 3).

Amber’s achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as she collected the trophy from award sponsor B3 Jobs and the awards host and star TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.

The Young talent award celebrates the achievement of one of the rising stars of food and drink manufacturing. Choosing the winner from a field of six very high calibre entrants proved an incredibly daunting task, according to the judges.

The FMEA awards‚Äô independent judging panel ‚Äď led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy ‚Äď praised 20-year old Amber‚Äôs powerful impact on the business she first joined as a part-time student.

Amber won the admiration of the judges for making a significant contribution in helping to update the firm‚Äôs labelling and printing operations. ‚ÄúMislabelling is a key area of concern,‚ÄĚ said one judge. ‚ÄúAmber has already achieved measurable success in a key area, where so many companies regularly get it wrong.‚ÄĚ Another judge enthused: ‚ÄúThis highly talented new starter will go anywhere and everywhere.‚ÄĚ

Also shortlisted in this category were: Michael Andrew of meat processor Tulip, Alex Barton of meat business ABP UK, Seana Boyle of Willowbrook Foods, Jack Hamilton of Mash Direct, Caitlin Johnstone of The Welsh Pantry and Robert Williatt of Freshpack.

Best Chilled, Fresh and Dairy Manufacturer

It was a double honours success story for CQM T&C’s client, Worldwide Fruit who also won the Chilled, fresh and dairy manufacturing company of the year award.

The FMEA awards‚Äô independent judging panel ‚Äď led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy ‚Äď praised the firm‚Äôs capital investment programme, waste reduction plans and wide-ranging efficiency improvements. The firm‚Äôs continuous improvement culture ‚Äď something that had dropped off recently for some firms the judges noted ‚Äď was singled out for particular praise.

‚ÄúThe firm had grown the value of its sales over the past five years by 18%, after investing more than ¬£3M on its production facilities and empowering its team to become drivers of progress within the business,‚ÄĚ said the judges.

The business fought off stiff competition from fellow short-listed firms: Mash Direct, Samworth Brothers (Kettleby Foods) Willowbrook Foods, Wyke Farms and Yorvale.

Andy Cheshire, Managing Director of CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd commented, ‚ÄúWe are delighted with Worldwide Fruit‚Äôs success this evening. They‚Äôve outshone the competition in 2 categories and have proven that working with the right training provider, who can truly embed a sustainable CI culture, is intrinsic to ongoing success. Having trained the Young Talent winner for the second consecutive year further underlines CQM T&C‚Äôs ability to engage with, and train young people who will be the managers of the future.‚ÄĚ

The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed Business Media’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 15th year, have become the premier event in the food and drink manufacturing calendar.                                 

Read the news on the CQM website                           

Skills CFA

Instructus Conference Cancellation and the Skills Agenda

Tuesday, 27 October 2015
By: Skills CFA

Instructus is disappointed to announce the cancellation of its proposed conference ‘Revolution in Business and Skills’ due to take place on November 25th due to a lack of employer interest. Instructus has for many years successfully held conferences for training providers, but on this occasion, due to the prevailing policy of a demand, i.e. employer- led skills agenda the focus changed. A number of role model employers representing the spectrum of industry were preparing to demonstrate in practical terms how investment in employee skills development had been good for their award winning businesses, both large and small. This was intended to provide a tool-kit for addressing respective skills gaps. Ironically a key element of the conference was to have been the unveiling of a survey of UK CEOs attitudes to skills shortages and employee development. The results were concerning with an overarching view expressed that skills development was somebody else’s problem, (over 80%) that is in those cases where a skills issue was even recognised as significant. This surely represents a disengagement from the prevailing skills agenda that needs to be addressed and it will be interesting to see the reaction of these same companies to the forthcoming training levy, or ‘apprenticeship tax’ as some have dubbed it, which is designed to ‘drive up quality by putting employers in the driving seat’.

At the same time that this conflict was being displayed the Ofsted Chief Inspector was targeting FE colleges as failing youngsters by equipping them with dubious qualifications of little economic relevance whilst further stating that the apprenticeship system is wasting public money. This seems to miss the point that current frameworks are being designed by employers and the new Standard system is based upon having more employer demand built into it than hitherto. Government funding policy is supporting this process and in terms of economic value those Apprenticeships with higher economic value will receive more funding. Clearly this is a further evidence of a disconnect being evidenced as employers’ attitudes again seem to be polarised.

Instructus also take issue with all vocational educational providers being tarred with the same brush although we recognise deficiencies and support the need for continuous improvement in all areas. We can clearly demonstrate significant employer engagement and success as a direct result of our own interventions which through delivering skills, develop people and drive business performance improvement. We have many case study examples of this with accompanying employer testimonials which don’t sound like failure to us!

Instructus is both a UK standard setting and QA authority with a significant training provision in its armoury. It has the largest footprint of occupations and range of industries through its specialisation in generic, (i.e. pan sector) skills. We currently have over 70,000 apprenticeships in progress all of which have been developed with significant employer support and we regularly update these along with associated qualifications in accordance with best practice. There is little evidence to the contrary within this portfolio although it is clear from recent public pronouncement that a wider spirit of co-operation is required for the benefits of skills policy aspiration to be more widely implanted in the vocational value chain.

David Holland
CEO Instructus Group

Skills CFA

Instructus Skills E-Learning Portal Launched

Thursday, 11 June 2015
By: Skills CFA

From 1 May the Instructus Skills online ERR workbook was launched via the new Instructus Skills e-learning portal ‚Äď

The new e-learning portal hosts resources such as PLTS mapping, standards and qualification documents. It is also the home of new online Instructus Skills Employee Rights & Responsibilities workbook, and Instructus Skills ERR Model Answerbook for Providers and Assessors.

How it works

For use of the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook both the provider and learner will need to register for the e-learning portal. We advise the provider registers and sets up their account first.

Providers can purchase access to the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook via the ‚ÄėWorkbooks‚Äô page, here you can purchase learner access to the workbook by any quantity you require, at ¬£5 per learner or workbook.

Once the learner has been approved by the provider they may access and download resources paid for by the provider. The learner can then complete the Instructus Skills ERR workbook from their own computer. Once the learner has completed the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook they can upload this onto the ‚ÄėUpload Workbook‚Äô page, the provider will receive a notification when this action has taken place.

The provider who receives the notification email can now review and assess learner’s Instructus Skills ERR workbook and approve or fail the Instructus Skills ERR workbook submission. The learner will receive notification of the outcome of their submission. The learner can resubmit the workbook as many times as required until they pass at no additional cost.

The ‚ÄėStudent Workbooks‚Äô page will document all learner submissions and status changes will be time stamped on the e-learning portal.

Please download the User guide

Dual Running

As of 1 May the Skills CFA ERR workbook was removed from the Skills CFA website. If you have any saved copies of the Skills CFA ERR workbook these will still be valid to use. Learners who were registered on their apprenticeship before 1 May will still be able to complete the Skills CFA ERR workbook. After 1 May the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook will be available on the new e-learning portal, learners commencing their apprenticeship on or after 1 May should complete the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook; however there will be a dual running period whereby learners commencing their apprenticeships on or after 1 May can also complete the Skills CFA workbook up until 30 June 2015.

There is no time limit for completion or cut-off date for learners signing their declaration form for those completing the Skills CFA ERR workbook.


The e-learning portal is free to register for, however the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook will be priced at £5 per learner. As the provider you may purchase as many copies as you require for your learners. When purchasing a copy it will be in the form of a credit, therefore 1 credit = £5, when a learner downloads the ERR workbook through their own login a single credit will be deducted from your account. You can therefore choose to purchase on a pay as you go basis or multi-buy. We have also developed an Instructus Skills ERR Model Answerbook to accompany the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook, this is priced at £30 and can be purchased just once.

Payment will be made through the portal by card.

If contact us about a license agreement if you have over 200 apprentice learners per annum using the ERR workbook.


The achievement of ERR component is a mandatory requirement of the Business Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management frameworks. The ERR component can be achieved in one of three ways:

  • Instructus Skills ERR workbook
  • Optional ERR unit ‚Äď L/506/1905 within the Diploma qualification
  • Level 2 Award in Employee Rights & Responsibilities (QCF)

Contact us

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Skills CFA

Korea Smiles Launch Event

Thursday, 21 May 2015
By: Skills CFA

The delivery  partners for  the  EU-KOREA SMILES Joint Mobility Programme are Westminster Kingsway College (EU Lead partner based in the UK), Skills CFA, Vantaa  Vocational  College  (Finland),  Zilina  University  (Slovakia),  and  from  Korea,  Keimyung  College University, Daegu, (Lead Korean partner) and Yeungjin College, Daegu.  

For further information about the EU KOREA SMILES Project please contact:

Skills CFA
Dan Forbes
Senior Project Manager
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Vocational College Varia
Laila Brocker
Development Manager
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Westminster Kingsway College
Kirsty McLaren,
International Partnerships Manager
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Yeungjin College
Jihoon Lee
International Affairs
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Keimyung College University
Dr Sang Seong Lee
Department of Mechanical Engineering
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University of Zilina
Professor Peter Fabian, PhD
Vice-rector International and Public Relations
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The project

The EU-Korea SMILES Joint Mobility Programme was designed by partners from the EU (UK, Finland and Slovakia) to work collaboratively with two South Korean VET college providers.  This multidiscipline project is funded by the EU and Korean government commenced, in October 2013 and will go on till September 2016. 

After the end of the project a sustainability plan will be delivered to provide  a  long-term  opportunity  for  mobilities  incorporating  recognition  of  assessments  and  future collaboration between partners. 

The language of the project will be English and focus on EQF Level 5 for the Engineering and Business Studies sectors and Fields -¬† 04.9 Other Business Studies, Management Science: Intercultural¬† Working,¬† 05.4¬† Vocational¬† and¬† Technical¬† Education,¬† 06.1¬† Mechanical¬† Engineering,¬† 06.5 Electronic Engineering ‚Äď Telecommuniations

The project objectives include:

  • to increase the value of student and¬† staff transnational mobilities through the development of a curriculum structure leading to recognition of learning outcomes, assessed by partner institutions and recognised/added to individual student‚Äôs home qualifications.¬† This curriculum structure will be linked to the ECVET model for recognition of learning across Europe and aims to support the EU and Korean curriculum staff involved in the project to develop knowledge and understanding of this approach to maximising long-term impact from transnational mobilities.¬†
  • to develop knowledge, understanding and skills for intercultural mobilities to support opportunities for¬† global¬† employment.¬† A¬† module¬† for¬† Intercultural¬† knowledge¬† and¬† skills¬† will¬† be¬† designed¬† and delivered by partners using the UK‚Äôs Sector Skill Council, Skills CfA standards.¬†
  • the¬† delivery¬† of¬† a¬† customized¬† Korean¬† Language¬† programme¬† for¬† EU¬† students¬† and¬† for¬† Korean students, an English Language programme so as to maximize participation and outcomes during mobilities.

A total of 36 EU students over the duration of the project will have an 8-week mobility to Korea - 4 students each year from England, Finland and Slovakia (12 total per year).  The two Korean partner colleges will each have 6 student mobilities to the EU each year (12 total per year). Mobilities will include a 4-week language and cultural programme followed by a 4-week work placement each year.   

In¬† total 17 EU partners/faculty members¬† will¬† have¬† mobilities¬† to¬† South¬† Korea¬† over¬† the¬† duration of the 3-year¬† project.¬† Mobilities will provide continuous professional development opportunities in the form of curriculum mapping, industry visits, attending two customised conferences ‚Äď one for the launch of the partnership project and the second for the dissemination event.¬† Furthermore, these mobilities will strengthen project outcomes through on-going relationship building for all partners and providing partners with hands-on experience of designing and delivering student mobilities within the ECVET framework for excellence

In addition to customised mobilities embracing the ECVET approach and principles, added value will be derived from this project through its focus on developing intercultural knowledge and skills and language development.  The intercultural knowledge will be cascaded by partners through their own institutions and networks, piloting the training modules developed as a result of the project. Once the modules have been piloted, revised and finalised, the finished training modules will be available for sharing with other institutions and stakeholders as part of the dissemination and sustainability strands of the project.  


Korea Smiles Launch Event

Consortium partners of EU-Korea SMILES launched the project at a networking event attended by key stake holders, including Dr Gulwoo Lee, Secretary General of National Research Foundation Korea and Mr Changbin Yim of Ministry of Education, at The Plaza Hotel, Seoul, Korea. The EU-Korea SMILES project launch was undertaken as part the Korea-EU VET Dialogue: Skills, Qualifications and Roles for Vocational Education Institutions event. The event which was jointly organised by British Council Korea in partnership with Keimyung College University and Yeunjin College and supported by Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) shared information on the National VET frameworks of Korea, UK, Slovakia and Finland as well as the ECVET framework which supports student mobility within Europe. The EU-Korea SMILES consortium will utilise the ECVET framework through the project and pilot use of it for mobilities outside of Europe.

The launch event marked the end of the first staff mobility for the EU-Korea SMILES project which saw a delegation from European institutions visit Keimyung University College and Yeungjin College in Korea. European delegates visited partner Keimyung University College where they received with an official welcome ceremony by President Kim, Nam-Seuk. During the visit the delegation undertook a tour of the Faculty of Engineering where they had an opportunity to meet some of the students who will take part in the projects first student mobility phase from April 2014. Later in the day they visited the traditional Korean village, Keimyung Hanhakchon, situated within the grounds of Keimyung University.

The delegation received another warm welcome the following day on their visit to Yeunjin College. European partners were greeted by Vice President Ryu, Yong-Hee and following an introduction to the college embarked on a tour of the college’s impressive campus including the Yeunjin English Village and Global Campus.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.