Most tutors and trainers of apprentices are expert in their field but feel underprepared to deliver learning on behaviours. We explore a solution.

In September 2019, the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) was replaced by the Education Inspection Framework (EIF), and judgements were focused much more on the appropriateness of the curriculum. The consequence? 60% of existing training providers were hit with a grade three or four, a rise of 14%, under the new framework.

Paul Joyce, Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills at Ofsted, claimed the new standards were not more rigorous but different. Previously, the training providers were judged on how the structure of the provision was designed. Now, there was a focus on meeting standards based on outcomes. Joyce noted that the most important within this framework was how apprentices develop knowledge, skills and behaviours that benefit them in their workplace and long-term careers.

Getting KSB provision right

While college tutors may have been prepared to deliver a curriculum of knowledge and skills, the new focus and emphasis on behaviours steps outside their skillset. In some respects, these behaviour standards require the tutor of apprentice mechanics and apprentice chefs to become career coaches and mentors too.

It could be argued that tutors on apprenticeships can model the appropriate behaviours for success in the workplace, as can the employer. However, an effective curriculum on behaviours requires an explicit and overt discussion of what works, what doesn’t, and why.

To embrace this new approach, we must explore why Ofsted see this as essential. The answer is simple: work-readiness cannot be taken for granted. While an apprentice might have the ability to do technical aspects of the work, they will struggle to thrive if they do not possess suitable characteristics. Apprentices need to show agility and resilience, empathy and compassion, discipline, analysis, and many more behaviours to progress in their careers.

Empowering professionals

So, how can this behaviour standard be effectively implemented by a training provider?

First, the tutor needs upskilling. These professionals need support in understanding human behaviour and how to shape positive changes to character. They need a taxonomy of behaviours to work with that break down this concept into a deliverable package. To teach another person what it means to behave well as a mechanic, chef, care worker, or more, the trainer needs an explicit understanding of the best practice. Working with the Entelechy Academy codification of character provides such a resource. It answers the question: what should we focus on?

It is also essential to recognise that learning about behaviour is also different from traditional models of delivering technical skills. You cannot tell a person how to behave and hope they can extrapolate how to adapt this to many different scenarios. Therefore, tutors also need a structure that aids the learner in developing these characteristics and a means of assessing progress in attaining something as subjective as behaviours.

The best practice would be for tutors to engage in learning via the Entelechy Academy platform too. The development of behaviours is a lifelong pursuit, and our character is constantly evolving to a shifting potential. Therefore, working through the learning journey as a tutor will empower an awareness of what it really means to be better.

A pragmatic solution

Yet, there is a more practical application of the Entelechy platform. When teachers and tutors enter education, they often do so as subject specialists. While a tutor will do everything they can to acquire knowledge and skills to pass on within this specialist subject, it expects them to become psychologists and counsellors.

Not only is the Entelechy Platform an opportunity to appreciate what it takes to improve performance in life and work, but it puts the tutor in the role of facilitator. Of course, tutors can learn alongside their apprentices, but this self-directed structure encourages the right learning behaviours for the ongoing development of behaviour. In short, it takes much of the responsibility for delivering this part of the standards off the plate of the tutor.

A focus on character

It is difficult as a trainer and teacher to work under the threat of a Grade 3 or 4 judgement. While it is a driver for improvement, it can weigh heavily on the shoulders of professionals. When the emphasis changes from providing a framework to the delivery of a curriculum to set outcomes, the skill implications for educationalists are stark.

Delivery of core knowledge and skills for the different sectors would need some work to perfect and build on the tutor’s subject knowledge. However, delivery of behaviours is a new area of understanding and application, and training providers need to take on the responsibility of upskilling their staff to succeed here.

Entelechy Academy’s focus on Character maps against the behaviour standards. The structure is based on research into best coaching and mentoring practice and learning. Investment in the platform could secure a Grade 1 or 2 Ofsted judgement, and it will definitely make your people feel valued and their needs invested in.