Information, Advice and Guidance
This Policy should be read in conjunction with other company policies and procedures including: QP20 Student Equality and Diversity , IT2 Data Protection Policy, QP5 Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk Policy.
Company Vision and Values for IAG
Green Inc (eu) Limited aims to provide high quality, impartial, information, advice and guidance services which promote the value of learning to learners, prospective learners and employers or other organisations representing current or prospective learners.
The IAG services support the Company mission of “Training done Properly” and our core strategy of progression enabling our learners to reach their potential. IAG is the responsibility of all staff, however we recognise that our staff require the right training and specialist support. The company therefore seeks to develop IAG competence throughout the company and will invest in our staff skills to do this.
The company’s leadership believes that every individual should be treated with courtesy and fairness and we respect the rights and beliefs of each other, regardless of gender, marital status, age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or position within the organisation; and this has been embedded into our RAISE value system
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, learning from all that we do. We believe that our staff and students should work in an environment of friendliness, with a clear sense of purpose to achieve our mission and realise our vision.
Information - Provision of information is defined as:
“Providing people with details about a range of available learning opportunities and related issues without any discussion of the relative merits of the options available.”
This may include a number of things for example:
• Self help with some signposting assistance
• A service delivered face to face or via the telephone or email
• Directing to further support and advice
Information will be available about learning and training opportunities and related matters, including funding and support for learners, and information about applying for jobs and career progression.
Advice is defined as:
“Providing an immediate response to the needs of clients who present or reveal a need that requires more than a straightforward information response. It is usually limited to helping with interpretation and meeting needs already clearly understood by the young person and may or may not include signposting to guidance interviews where a more in-depth response can be provided.”
Advice involves helping individuals to interpret information and choose the next step, this may include:
• Support in navigating the information sources to find what they are seeking and enabling them to understand the information in relation to their needs
• Identification of short and long term goals
• Preparation of an action plan
• Referral to further support from other agencies
Guidance is defined as:
“More in-depth help to explore options, relate information to individual needs and circumstances and make decisions about learning and career opportunties. This could include helping to set goals and drawing up an action plan.”
All IAG should be delivered in line with Company values Values and the NAEGA Principles for Ethical Practice (Appendix 1), which are:
• To be client centered
• To promote equality and diversity
• To be impartial
• To respect the service user’s confidentiality
• To deliver from an ethical base
The Company is committed to create an IAG experience for our learners that is:
• Outstanding and delivered in an excellent environment
• Aspirational, designed to inspire and motivate
• Personalised to suit the student
• Planned to guide students on to the right courses and to support and stretch them
• Developing self-confidence
• Coaching them to be successful and progress on to their next steps
All clients that use the IAG at the Company, i.e. students, prospective students and other stakeholders, are entitled to a service that is:
1. Accessible and Visible
Access to IAG should be free from direct or indirect discrimination. Services should be recognised and trusted by clients, have convenient range of entry points from which clients may be signposted or referred to the services they need, and be open at times and in places which suit clients’ needs. IAG is provided on the Company website, the Quals Direct system, Greenlabyrinth.Online, in Company prospectuses and marketing material and is available free of charge to any individual on request.
2. Professional and Knowledgeable
The company will invest in developing the IAG skillset for all frontline staff so they will have the skills and knowledge to identify the client’s needs quickly and effectively. We will develop a workforce with the skills and knowledge either to address the client’s needs or to signpost or to refer them to suitable alternative provision. The learning and development needs of all of the Company’s IAG services is identified during the business planning and staff appraisal processes, alongside national priorities. The identified needs include professional and subject updating via long and short external courses and conferences, leadership and management, employability skills and other developmental activities.
Clients have the right to information, advice and guidance that is impartial, unbiased and realistic. Where appropriate, referrals will be made to external providers.
Links between IAG services should be clear from the clients’ perspective, regardless of the programme, location or mode of study.
5. Aware of, and responsive to Diversity
The range of IAG services should reflect the diversity of clients’ needs and reflect both clients’ present and future needs.
Enquirers, students, parents, employers, staff and partners should be able to make informed choices about ways in which the Company can meet their individual training and development needs. IAG services should encourage and support clients to become lifelong learners by enabling them to access and use information to plan their careers, supporting clients to explore the implications of both learning and work in their future career plans.
7. Patient, Friendly and Welcoming
IAG services should encourage clients to engage successfully with the service. Clients are made aware of this entitlement through the Company website, prospectus and the free leaflet: “Your Entitlement to Information, Advice and Guidance”.
During Induction and occasionally throughout their programme, learners will be reminded of the IAG services available to them. IAG posters are also visible throughout the Company sites. Parents and other stakeholders are made aware at Open Events and Parents’ Evenings held both in the Company and at local secondary schools.
This policy applies to all enquiring, enrolled and past students of the Company as well as employers and prospective students.
The Study Programme Tutorial Curriculum includes several elements that relate to IAG including, soft skills development relating to work-readiness, C.V. writing, preparation for interviews and safeguarding. There is also significant IAG taking place within the ILP process and the interventions of Opportunities Coaches with referred students.
In line with the IAG defined above, the Company will provide assistance relating to:
• the range of support available at the Company
• 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 student must provide
• impartial careers advice and guidance
• personal goals, aspirations and motivation while on course
• guidance to its current learners to discuss progression
Referral and signposting
The company aims to provide high quality advice regarding learning opportunities and related matters. This may include referring a client on to another organisation or individual for specialist information, advice or guidance. Staff can refer or signpost young people as follows:
• Signpost young people to other organisations that can provide appropriate help or support
• Signpost the young person to NCS locally or nationally for information about available services
• Refer the young person to the company’s Lead Advisor
• The Advisor may refer the young person to other organisations, services or individuals if they can provide a more appropriate service.
In order to refer effectively staff will follow the Referral procedure (Appendix 2). This takes account of current data protection, equal opportunities and rehabilitation of offender’s legislation and is in line with the NAEGA Principles for Ethical Practice.
The Director of Operations is the Lead Advisor for IAG in the Company.
The Company works collaboratively with a range of stakeholder and other providers within the learning community in Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire to enhance its curriculum offer to students. The Company is committed to developing quality IAG provision in agreement with its partners, to ensure that the best range of progression opportunities are available and that consistency of delivery ensures all students receive impartial, high quality IAG.
Information on courses is provided by company employees. Where the Company does not have the information, staff will seek the information on behalf of the individual, or provide the individual with the name and contact details of the organisation, who will have the information being requested.
Advice provided is impartial and confidential, to enable students and potential students to make informed choices as to the most appropriate route for their personal and career development.
Guidance is provided by fully trained competent staff and potential and current students can see an advisor face-to-face, telephone or written format. The Company promotes and support equality of opportunity and wherever possible the Company will seek to provide information in a format which suits the needs of the individual.
Assessment Review and Evaluation
To ensure a high quality of IAG service, the Company will evaluate its provision to ensure that:
• the information, advice and guidance services are delivered in accordance with this IAG Policy.
• the IAG standards are delivered in accordance with this policy
• the information, advice and guidance services are delivered in accordance with the “Principles for Coherent Information Advice and Guidance” as contained within the Matrix Quality Standard.
• any learner or potential learner with an identified disability will be provided with appropriate support to enable access to IAG services.
The Company will achieve and maintain the MATRIX standard kite mark for IAG and, once achieved we will review and evaluate our service to achieve the 3 year re-accreditation.
Impact data for IAG is collected in a number of ways including MIS
data on the performance of students who receive IAG, client feedback cards (to check on student satisfaction after interviews) and also a number of surveys to capture the views of students so we can compare year on year. This information feeds into the Company self-assessment process at the end of the academic year and is found in a number of SARs including Engagement Support, PLSS and Learner Support (Tutoring and Coaching).
Record Keeping and Confidentiality
Any member of staff delivering IAG will agree with the recipient what will be covered in the interview. One to one discussions with the client are confidential but records may be kept by agreement with the recipient. This information will inform our future service planning.
Appendix I - NAEGA’s Principles For Ethical Practice
NAEGA seeks to promote universally available, high quality, information, advice and guidance services for adults delivered by competent and reflective practitioners.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
NAEGA expects all Members to ensure that their skills and knowledge for delivering the service are relevant, accurate and up-to-date.
Practitioners should demonstrate their commitment to maintaining skills and knowledge to deliver accurate and effective services by reflecting on practice and engaging in CPD activities to maintain and extend their professional skills and knowledge.
Organisations should enable and support practitioners in adhering to the NAEGA Principles of Ethical Practice within the context of their own organisation. Organisations should ensure that staff delivering provision are competent and have access to CPD activities and qualifications as appropriate to develop and maintain competence.
All Members of NAEGA will promote NAEGA’s vision and operate within the Principles For Ethical Practice outlined below:
Members will ensure that their practice places the user’s interests first.
Practitioners will use skills and communications media appropriate to the individual based on their needs, requirements, interests, aspirations and abilities.
Organisations will ensure that the requirements of their service users are paramount within the context of their organisation and it’s mission.
Equality and Diversity
Members will ensure that their practice promotes equality and diversity
Practitioners will always demonstrate a commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity and maximising the life-chances of all service users.
Organisation’s services should be underpinned by a commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity for all and, wherever possible, to redressing the impact of educational and social disadvantage.
Members will ensure that the delivery of information, advice and guidance services is free from bias.
Practitioners will make clear any limitations or boundaries to their professional knowledge or anything in the context in which they operate that may affect impartiality and will refer clients appropriately. Practitioners should provide complete information about the range of options available in order to allow the service user to make an informed decision.
Organisations should make clear their stance on impartiality and indicate any constraints, which may limit the range of options they put before service users.
Members will ensure that the service user’s confidentiality is respected.
Practitioners should make clear their commitment to confidentiality and inform service users of any limitations to confidentiality at the earliest possible stage.
Organisations’ services should be delivered with respect for the privacy of individuals, disclosing confidential information only with informed consent, except where there is clear evidence of serious risk to the individual or to the welfare of others.
Members will ensure that their practice has an ethical base.
Practitioners will always demonstrate professional integrity and high standards of ethical practice.
Organisation’s services should be underpinned by a commitment to ethical practice and standards and support practitioners’ professional integrity.
NAEGA is the major UK association for adult guidance practitioners
Appendix II – Green Inc Referral Procedure
Green Inc aims to provide a high quality of advice regarding learning opportunities and related issues. Sometimes staff may feel that another organisation or individual could help you more; under these circumstances they will discuss referring you on to them.
Referral happens when another person or organisation offers services that more closely meet your needs. It can be for example for specialist information, advice or guidance, learning provision, employment opportunities or work experience.
In order to make an effective referral staff may need to ask for some information about you and your needs.
If a Green Labyrinth Learner is referred to another organisation or individual GI staff will:
• Explain the reasons why they are being referred
• Provide them with information about other people or organisations that can help them
• Explain what they can offer and check that this is the help they need
• Give them details of how and when they can contact the new provider and where possible give them the name of the person they should contact
• Where appropriate, make an appointment for the learner and give them a card or document with all the details. A copy will be sent to the organisation they are being referred to. In line with data protection legislation and our confidentiality policy, information about the learner will not be passed on to other people without your permission except where it is a legal requirement. In these cases it will always be explained to them.
• Explain what the learner needs to do, (eg phone the organisation), or give them the appointment details
• Make all referrals within five working days
• Explain any limitations of the service the learner is referred to
• Make it clear to the learner if there is any relationship between Green Labyrinth and the one organisation receiving the referral.
• Explain how Green Labyrinth might be able to help the learner in the future.
What the Recipient needs to do:
• Provide relevant information
• Be aware that providing a signature signifies that the learner is agreeing to the sharing of recorded information
• Take responsibility for the next step
• Let people know if they are unable to attend an appointment made for them
• Feedback any issues with the referral for quality purposes
Referrals to other organisations or individuals for information, advice or guidance will always be made with the recipients permission and will be made in their best interests. Where a recipient is referred to other learning opportunities their needs will be taken into account as well as the requirements of the learning provider
This referral procedure takes account of current data protection, equality and diversity and rehabilitation of offender’s legislation and is in line with the NAEGA Principles for Ethical Practice.