COVID–19 - Update for Partner Employers and Apprentices
Alliance Learning Risk Assessment findings COVID-19
Following advice from the Department of Education, we have implemented plans that allowed staff and some apprentices back to our Training Centre from the 15th June to receive practical training. Following the success of this pilot, we also re-opened our commercial training area on the 29th June. Several changes have been made to the layout and functionality of our buildings to ensure compliance with social distancing and other health and safety requirements, which includes sectioning off workspaces and designated entrance and exit routes. Apprentices and customers continue to attend our centre, in small groups and strictly on an appointment basis. Visitors to the centre are also by appointment only and everyone entering the building has a temperature check, access to sanitiser gel, masks and gloves and are asked to agree to and observe specific COVID-19 centre rules, which are given them upon entering the building. We have contacted relevant staff, employers, customers and apprentices to keep them up to date with our plans.
Alliance Learning recognises the management of COVID-19 is a significant challenge to control and we believe our continually updated risk assessment plan has achieved the necessary controls to what we consider a reasonably practicable level to continue to operate the site which will remain under constant review on a daily basis. Our priority is to ensure the Health, Safety and well-being of all employees, learners and visitors whilst on site.
We recognise it may be necessary to respond quickly to situations that may crop up, such as local and national restrictions and guidance in light of COVID-19 cases. We will not hesitate to make further improvements when necessary, including increasing COVID-19 measures, observations of staff, learners or other persons. We have implemented a comprehensive management system, controls and procedures to operate safely and continually review this daily to ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent any transmission of COVID-19. Copies of our risk assessment are available on request. Please click here to view our staying COVID-19 secure statement.
Please be assured that for your safety in this COVID-19 period, we have put in place all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe. Our steps follow the Government Guidelines of:
- Hand washing
- Social Distancing
- Management of Risk
- Face Coverings in communal areas
Our Training Rooms have been re organised to ensure you have a personal desk that is the required distance from the next delegate and is no longer face to face. We have implemented new processes, including; individual refreshments so no sharing of anything, antibacterial gels, extra room cleaning and disinfecting regimes and 2 metre social distancing. Your Tutor/Trainer will be informing you of these prior to the course. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide lunches during the current pandemic, however, if you wish to bring your own, please feel free to do so.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), for example a face mask, are mandatory within communal areas of our premises. You can then remove your face mask once you are in your classroom, as all of our rooms follow the 2 metre social distancing guidance. We do have stocks of these available from our reception areas, so please ask if you wish to have one of these.
The way you enter our sites will have changed as well, in adherence with our new COVID-19 site policies. None of this is particularly onerous for you, however, please do read the information we will send you and your employer where applicable. We want you to enjoy your course with us, safe in the knowledge that these procedures are there for your safety and comfort.
Alliance Learning has carried out a thorough Risk Assessment of the safety requirements during the COVID-19 period and put controls in place based on:
HM Government “Guidance for Employers, Employees and the Self-Employed – “Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres”
CCNSG (Client Contractor National Safety Group) information received and PAM015 Amendment
SPA (Safety Pass Alliance) Guidance issued
IOSH Managing Safely & Working Safely during the Coronavirus Pandemic
IEMA Adapting to COVID-19
FIAB COVID-19 Training Centre Guidance
Alliance Learning COVID-19 Risk Assessment and our new site procedures are, of course available to anyone. Please contact us if you require a copy of these prior to attending your course with us.
If you require Alliance Learning to conduct a course at your premises or a third-party premises, which we are always delighted to do, we will require assurance that the Government Guidelines have been put in place. I’m sure you understand we have a duty of care to ensure our own staff are protected as well as the delegates on the course.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Alliance Learning and receiving training from our fantastic team.
Can employers continue to recruit new apprentices during the outbreak?
Yes, this is our busiest time for school and college leaver applications. Despite COVID-19 we are keen that the “class of 2020” does not miss out on the fantastic Apprenticeship opportunities that will be available.
Can existing employees wanting to start their Apprenticeship be enrolled?
Enrolments will be discussed on an individual basis.
How will training be delivered?
All day release/ block release for apprentices will continue to take place either remotely or face-to-face. We are currently planning a full opening of the site and this is being planned and updated on a weekly basis to ensure social distancing as part of the governments plans for a return to full time education from the Autumn Term. If this is applicable to you, you will have been contacted by us for your apprentices to attend to meet the number of staff and apprentices allowed on site.
What will happen to existing training or review visits that are planned?
These will be completed remotely via Microsoft Teams or via telephone or face-to-face once a full COVID-19 Risk Assessment has been completed on the employers premises.
What technology do you use?
Every apprentice has a OneFile e-portfolio account where apprentices, supervisors and our tutors can see and manage learning and progress. Work will continue to be set via OneFile for all apprentices. We will also use Microsoft Teams (where applicable) to deliver training sessions and one-to-one sessions remotely. We will also speak to apprentices via telephone. We also use a variety of online learning resources to enhance online learning.
What about classroom sessions?
All classroom sessions for apprentices will take place remotely, unless apprentices have been contacted to attend the centre for classroom/practical training. All Commercial training will be face to face.
Will exams and end-point assessment take place as normal?
All EPA’s will still take place remotely. Some exams are now taking place following COVID-19 secure guidelines.
What if the apprentice becomes ill or needs to self-isolate?
Apprenticeships are designed to work around interruptions such as illness and holidays. Where a longer break (of a month or more) is needed, a formal “break in learning” is possible. Apprentices who are working at home can continue as normal with their Apprenticeship.
How will we review progress?
Regular progress reviews are a crucial part of each apprenticeship and these will take place remotely via Microsoft Teams, over the telephone or face-to-face once a full Covid-19 Risk Assessment has been completed on the employers premises.
Will apprentices be able to complete their Apprenticeship on time?
Unless apprentices are unwell for a protracted period (more than a month) or if they are unable to obtain work place evidence required for the NVQ/skills criteria or EPA then their apprenticeship should finish has planned. If there are delays to exam sittings or end-point assessment, then end dates may be delayed in some cases.
Where face-to-face visits do take place, what guidance has Alliance Learning given to its staff to minimise risk?
All staff have attended a re-induction into their roles and a full COVID-19 training to ensure that they are COVID-19 compliant. Full COVID-19 Risk Assessment are to be completed on the employer's premises before staff will be able to conduct onsite visits.
Who should I contact at Alliance Learning if I have any questions?
We understand that COVID-19 may give rise to a range of questions and our experienced team is on hand to support. In most cases, the first port of call will be your Alliance Learning Account Manager or Subject Specialist Tutor. We also have specialist available for the following queries:
For questions relating to apprentice welfare, our safeguarding team: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions relating to IT/online access, our digital content team: email@example.com
You can also reach us on email for general enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org