Information, Advice & Guidance Policy

York Learning
Author: Fiona Himsworth/Lee Davey
Date of Publication: September 2020
Revised 15/9/23 Grainne Hillery
Next date of review August 2024

Aims and Objectives for IAG

York Learning aims to provide high quality, information, advice and guidance services which promote the value of learning to current and prospective learners, employers and partner organisations.

 

We encourage life-long learning, with learners progressing through courses and curriculums, building transferable skills for further learning and qualifications, and moving into sustainable, meaningful employment, boosting the local economy and enriching the local labour market.

 

The York Learning team is passionate about education and enabling our learners to reach their potential. We share the belief that every individual should be treated with courtesy and fairness and we respect the rights and beliefs of others in accordance with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

 

For the purposes of this policy the term Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) is used as an umbrella term to denote a range of guidance activities and processes provided throughout the learner journey. The following definitions have been used:

 

Information: Information on opportunities shared through media including:

  • face to face contact
  • flyers, brochures and other printed matter
  • telephone help lines
  • websites, videos and social media

 

Advice:

  • support to understand and interpret information
  • further information and answers to questions, clarifying misunderstandings
  • considering circumstances, abilities, targets and goals
  • advising on options or how to follow a given course of action
  • signposting and referring for more in-depth guidance and support
  • usually provided on a one-to-one basis but may also be in groups

 

Guidance: working with the learner, supporting them to:

  • better understand themselves and their needs
  • confront barriers to understanding, learning and progression
  • resolve issues and conflicts
  • develop new perspectives and solutions to problems
  • take ownership of their plans, planning realistic targets and taking steps to achieve their potential
  • explore skills and qualifications needed in the current and future jobs market and how to achieve these skills and qualifications
  • understand their own transferable skills and how these might be employed in further learning and/or work.

Learner Entitlement

We are committed to creating an IAG experience for the learner at each stage of their learner journey which is:

 

  • delivered in a suitable, accessible environment
  • respectful of the diversity of learners‚Äô present and future needs
  • aspirational, designed to inspire, motivate and develop self-confidence
  • personalised to suit individual needs
  • planned to support, stretch and guide on to the right courses
  • linking current learning to transferable skills
  • contributing to positive health and wellbeing
  • informing which skills and qualifications are relevant to current and future jobs markets
  • informing how to develop own skill set for use in current and future jobs market
  • supporting them to be successful and progress on to their next steps to achieve their potential in learning and/or work

 

This policy applies to all enquiring, enrolled and past learners at York Learning and is offered/delivered at a level appropriate to the learner and the course.

 

Learners have the right to information, advice and guidance that is impartial, unbiased and realistic. Where appropriate, we make referrals to external agencies for further support or services.

 

Professional and Knowledgeable Staff; Current, Relevant Information

 IAG frontline specialists and our wider staff team will have the skills and knowledge to identify a learner’s needs quickly and effectively. They will be able either to work with the learner to address their needs, to signpost or to refer them to suitable alternative provision.

 

We work to ensure all resources (paper and electronic) are current, relevant to learner’s need and updated as necessary.

 

The learning and development needs of York Learning IAG services are identified during the business planning, quality cycle, and staff appraisal processes, alongside national priorities. The identified needs include professional and subject updating via long and short external courses, meetings, conferences, leadership and management, employability skills and other developmental activities.

 

We provide ongoing IAG training and support to our specialist team, front-line staff, assessors and tutors to identify transferable skills linked to their curriculum and to inform learners of available learning and work progression routes.

 

We value new ideas and approaches and seek new opportunities and solutions to meeting the IAG needs and demands of our learners, employers and the local community whilst supporting national and regional education and economic strategies. We seek to encourage and celebrate creativity and to be supportive of innovation, in particular to reach. We believe that our staff and learners should work in a truly supportive environment, with a clear sense of purpose to achieve our mission and realise our aims.

 

The Model

  1. Accessible and Visible

Access to IAG should be is free from direct or indirect discrimination. Services should be recognised and trusted by participants, have convenient range of entry points from which participants may be signposted or referred to the services they need, and be open at times and in places which suit participants’ needs. In addition to the IAG team based at West Offices, IAG is provided at 1-1 learner inductions, in class, on York Learning website, at sessions within, Winterscale House, in the workplace, and within our marketing material, and is available free of charge to any individual on request.

Learners and stakeholders are made aware of our IAG services through our website, Learning for Everyone brochure, various marketing materials and our learner handbook. We host various local events, e.g. York Learning jobs fairs held in central York and super output areas of York supporting the hardest to reach learners. We also support apprenticeship events, school fairs, and run workshops and open evenings to provide prospective learners with relevant course information.

 

  1. Integrated

Links between IAG services should be clear from the participants’ perspective, regardless of the programme or location of their study. Where necessary, participants will be supported in their transition between services.

We seek to support individuals from disadvantaged communities, and those who have been out of learning or employment through partnership work with other CYC teams, Job Centre Plus and a variety of voluntary and community organisations.

All partnership work is carried out in accordance with current GDPR guidelines.

 

  1. Enabling

Enquirers, learners, parents, employers, staff and partners should be able to make informed choices about ways in which York Learning can meet their individual training and development needs. IAG services should encourage and support participants to become lifelong learners by enabling them to access and use information to plan their careers and explore the implications of both learning and work in their future career plans. Learners should be able to understand how to bridge gaps in their skills, experience and qualifications so they are equipped to work in current and future jobs markets. IAG offer and implementation serves the strategy, aims and objectives of the York Learning, CYC’s city wide vision and plan.

 

  1. Wrap-around support

 The York Learning curriculum includes several elements that relate to IAG including soft skills development relating to work-readiness: exploring work and learning options; job searching, CV writing, preparation for interviews, understanding own transferable skills, wellbeing, workplace resilience and safeguarding, skills for current and future jobs markets, work related financial literacy, as well as functional skills including English, maths and IT/digital. Significant IAG takes place within ILP and RARPA processes through regular reviews and target setting.

 

Guidance may also involve advocacy on behalf of some learners and referral for specialist guidance and support. This involves more in-depth one-to-one work by guidance trained staff.

Our team provide assistance relating to:

  • the range of support available in class
  • fees and other financial charges associated with a course of study
  • financial assistance available to support those in education and training
  • course entry criteria, qualifications, accreditation and modes of study
  • equipment, clothing and materials which the learner must provide impartial careers advice and guidance
  • personal goals, wellbeing, safeguarding, aspirations and motivation while on course
  • guidance to its current learners on progression
  • next steps for current and future jobs, where work is the aspiration, and any further necessary learning/qualifications

We work collaboratively with a range of providers and voluntary organisations in and around York to enhance its curriculum offer to learners.

Information on courses is provided by IAG staff, curriculum teams (tutors, support, administrators, and centre staff), enrolment teams, centre co-ordinator managers and administrators and exams team.  Where York Learning does not have the information, the IAG staff will seek the information on behalf of the individual, or provide the individual with the name and contact details of the relevant organisations to access the relevant information.

Where required, formal Advice and Guidance is provided by trained and experienced staff, and potential and current learners can access an advisor face-to-face, via telephone call or text, or by email.  Advice and guidance is confidential and promotes and supports equality of opportunity to enable learners and potential learners to make informed choices as to the most appropriate route for their personal and career development. Learner safeguarding and wellbeing are paramount with any safeguarding concerns referred to the safeguarding team

 

Assessment Review and Evaluation

 To ensure a high quality of IAG service, through self-assessment and ongoing training and support for staff, York Learning evaluates its provision to ensure that:

  • the information, advice and guidance services are delivered in accordance with our published information and this IAG Policy;
  • any learner or potential learner with an identified disability will be provided with appropriate support to enable access to IAG services;

 

York Learning continues to have the MATRIX standard kite mark for IAG and we review and evaluate our service to achieve the 3 year re-accreditation. Impact data for IAG is collected in a number of ways including learner feedback, retention and achievement data and destination data.  This information feeds into York Learning’s self-assessment process throughout the academic year and is found in a number of SARs. We are ensuring the revised MATRIX elements (Jan 2024) are present in our IAG offer and practice

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Matrix Elements: Purpose -Resource- Offer- Deliver- Outcomes for individuals- Impacts for organisations- Continuous Improvement.

York Learning evaluates and reviews policies annually or as required to ensure that they are up to date and relevant to the needs of our learners.