Quality Handbook

Effective From: 1.6.2021
Approved: Amerjit Singh
Responsible Officer: Jamie Crinigan
Next Renew Due: June 2222



SKILLS4 is a Pharmacy Apprenticeship Training Provider dedicated to initiating and furthering the careers of Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Support Workers. We take pride in delivering high quality training programmes to learners and have a team of tutors who guide and support learners on their journey to success.

We want to ensure that our core values take priority when conducting quality activities. This handbook is designed to fit together as a set of activities as outlined in out Quality cycle and are inline with the requirements of the Education Inspection Framework and other stakeholder expectations.

The handbook and supporting cycle are driven by the expectations of the EIF and refer to:

  • Analysis of data of all groups of learners and targeting under performance
  • Self Assessment and reflection
  • Quality improvement planning
  • Consistent guidance through handbooks, policies, procedures and documentation
  • Sampling of the customer experience
  • Internal audit and quality sampling
  • Internal Quality Assurance of assessment and the learner experience
  • Observation of the learner journey (face to face and remote)
  • Coaching and Mentoring(face to face and remote)
  • External quality and improvements reports and assessments
  • Exchanging good practice internally and externally
  • Feedback from learners, employers and customers and celebration of success
  • Internal and external comparisons of performance data
  • Deep dive reviews to look for opportunities to improve

Applies to: All Staff



Reason for handbook:
These activities will be carried out in order to ensure that we drive continuous improvements of the company in order to maintain and achieve internal Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as well as Ofsted, ESFA and Awarding Organisational standards.

We are committed to assuring and continuously improve our provision, the drive always is to enhance our services to our customers, to set high expectations and do all we can to reach them. Our philosophy also translates to the expectations we have for our learners where we support their learning and facilitate them in reaching their potential in line with our core value to place learners are at the centre of everything we do.

Management of Process
The management of the continuous improvement and quality assurance processes is an integral part of our success. In line with our SKILLS4 values ‘do the right thing’ and ‘continuous improvement’ we aim to support and challenge appropriately were the impact on the learner is at risk, or there is an identified training need to improve and develop practice. We will engage in all relevant forms of communication to drive improvements and celebrate successes. We directly report monthly to Board members, focusing on highlights, lowlights and action planning, using appropriate data.

Our quality improvement arrangements are continually reviewed to ensure that they meet the required compliance of a range of organisations that influenced provision. These requirements include those that are laid down by Government, by funding bodies (ESFA), and by Awarding Organisations and qualifications authorities (assessment and verification). This will include any short term requirements linked to periods of disruption.

To maintain consistency and the quality of training, we use a number of quality sampling approaches, which culminate in the annual self assessment. These include internal audit, verification of assessment, observation of activities and deep dive themed reviews. Trends are used to make improvements, including additional training and changes in processes. Trends are collated on a monthly basis and reported to the Senior Team.We also use external tools to report consistency. External quality reports from organisations such as awarding organisations and provider performance reviews from funding bodies.

Continuous Improvement and Development
We use all of the quality tools outlined above to identify areas for improvements and takes appropriate action using consultation and collaboration with others. Deep dives and quality review all focus on identifying good practice and hot spot areas that require improvement to ensure our learners receive the very best experience. We exchange good practive identified across our provision with the SKILLS4 family, to proactively develop the best possible learning experience and achievements for each learner. Feedback from learners, employers and staff is systematically gathered to ensure that we meet the needs of its primary stakeholders in the business and to make improvements ongoing.

Internal and external comparisons of performance data including EDIMS are carried out and challenging targets set to strive for continuous improvements. Destinations of learners are systematically monitored through the use of an early leaver questionnaire to evaluate reasons why learners leave and to attempt to address any shortfalls or weaknesses.

In line with our value ‘develop and empower others’ we track the training needs of the individual and offer development pathways which include coaching, training and peer mentoring to upskill and enhance any knowledge and skill gaps to raise standards of practice.

Review and Evaluation of Quality Improvement Arrangements
Quality improvement arrangements culminate in a self assessment using the EIF criteria , accurately evaluating all programmes and identifying strengths and weaknesses. The input of a range of staff is included, as well as using quality improvements arrangements to include input from learners and employers.

A quality improvement plan is prepared as a result of the findings of the self-assessment report or after the receipt of a formal inspection report. The quality improvement plan will act as a long term improvement tool and will be managed, regularly reviewed and updated to record progress and impact. Additional items will be added as improvement actions are identified and triggered.

Thematic Improvement Reviews
We conduct thematic reviews on a variety of topics depending on where our improvement needs and could include but not limited to:

  • Career, Education ,Information, Advice and Guidance
  • On Boarding and Induction
  • Individual learning planning
  • Additional learning support
  • Work readiness
  • Progress Reviews
  • Use of data to inform change
  • Exit advice and guidance
  • Destination and progression
  • Internal Quality Assurance and moderation
  • Performance management
  • Technology and adapted delivery models
  • Maths and English
  • Equality and Diversity, British Values and Functional Skills
  • Safeguarding and Prevent
  • Health and Wellbeing

Internal Audit
We have a systematic internal audit to ensure its compliance with funding requirements and documentation control. A summary report is provided after each audit which identifies the percentage errors and the subsequent implications for extrapolation. The outcome of all audits will be reported at the Management Team Meetings.

Internal Quality Assurance
The Company’s IQA activities in line with the qualification authorities, awarding organisations and Codes of Practice. Our sampling strategy, rationale and practices are outlined in the IQA Policy. Quality Assurance of assessment is a key activity for ensuring learners’ achievements are valid.

The quality team undertake observation, learner interviews and sampling assessment against a planned schedule and this is detailed in our observation handbook.



IQA Handbook
Observation Handbook
Teaching and learning Handbook



Feedback and Quality Processes
For Learners:

  • Ongoing sampling activities will be used to collect adhoc feedback, such as observations, quality monitoring, internal quality assurance and progress reviews
  • Telephone surveys will be conducted from time to time to explore specific areas as directed by the Management Team.
  • Feedback on long courses will be collected at induction, on programme and exit on all the key elements of the learner journey and this may be through surveys and focus groups.
  • All feedback and consultation activities will result in analysis and appropriate action planning within 10 days of the process being concluded. The findings will be presented to the management team quarterly
  • The senior team work with the Quality and operational teams to ensure timely improvements are made
  • A variety of methods will be used to promote feedback and improvements made back to learners
  • Significant/sensitive matters will be fed back directly to the individual learner and employer
  • Learners will be encouraged to take part in the external stakeholders surveys.
  • Learners who are unable to participate in written feedback mechanisms will have the opportunity to provide feedback in a way that suits their needs.

Employers Involvement

  • Feedback from employers will be encouraged through the progress review process and analysed on a quarterly basis. On instances were concerns are highlighted this will be investigated immediately by the appropriate company manager and noted on the complaints log, if deemed appropriate The Management team will direct a range of employer consultation and feedback activity such as an online paper survey, telephone consultation and visits to employers
  • Members of staff liaising with employers as part of their role will collect feedback on an ongoing adhoc basis and provide this to the Quality Team for analysis.
  • Employers will be informed of improvements made to the service on a individual basis if appropriate and through a regular employer liaison newsletter
  • Feedback received from employers will be celebrated promoted back to them using various mechanisms
  • Employers will be encouraged to participate in the external stakeholder surveys.

Deep Dive Reviews
These will be planned termly and will be centre focused, dependent on the themes or hot topics at the time. The processes will consistently focus on improvements needed and being made. These activities will be led, actioned and feedback given to the relevant managers by the Quality team.

Desk Based Sampling
The Quality Team will conduct various desk based reviews and these are determined by emerging needs and feedback will be provided to managers and actions agreed.

Thematic Project Groups
The Quality Team will trigger improvement projects throughout the year and the range of projects will be based on a range of indicators including achievement rates, observation results, audit activities, moderation activities, external triggers and highlighted hot spots.

The outcomes of review and evaluation activities will be presented to the leadership team and the Board and used to inform developments, Self-Assessment and associated development plan.


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