Education Provider - Quality and student focus

We exercise integrity in recruiting students, matching experience and potential to the appropriate course.

Brian Furber
City of Bristol College Centre
Programme Director

Success factors at the Bristol Centre

Four main factors contribute to success at the Institute’s City of Bristol College Centre: a professional, well – qualified and development – conscious staff team; a good range of qualifications; great admin support from Corby; excellent relationships with external verifiers. Contact with Institute personnel at Regional Forums is also important, while Institute Verifiers always demand high standards: “Verifiers keep us on our toes,” says Programme Director Brian Furber. “They also give lots of advice and guidance, and are interested in the Centre’s success.”

Quality and student focus

Faculty self – inspection helps maintain standards, as does action planning to meet student retention and achievement targets. A tracking system helps to counter the time problems experienced by some students, with deadlines monitored to alert tutors when extra support is needed. There is also a strong tutorial system, implemented by tutors who are also assessors and supplemented by NVQ assessment in students’ workplaces. This ‘convenience’ element makes courses popular with students and employers and was originally encouraged by an Institute External Verifier.

“We all take a real interest in our students and want them to succeed,” Brian says. “We also exercise integrity in recruiting students, matching experience and potential to the appropriate course.” Recruitment standards, target setting and progress tracking ensure high retention rates: “There is no doubt that student retention has improved over the years” Brian comments.

For other Centres seeking improvements, Brian suggests reviewing: quality of teaching and assessing teams; appropriateness of delivery methods; the mix of courses and qualifications; quality of tutorial support; working closely with the Institute's EV.

Qualifications and promotion

The Centre is a Centre of Vocational Excellence for its level 3 management programmes. Overall, it offers Introductory and Level 3 Certificates; Certificate in Team Leadership; management NVQs at levels 3 to 5; and NVQ 3 in Business Start – up (for which Bristol is the largest Institute Centre). Edexcel and ILM courses are  also available. In – company certificate work is offered, but most courses are College – based for individual, employer – sponsored students from all sectors. Courses tailored for groups are offered and introductory courses have been run for Bristol University, for example, while NVQ courses for a National civil engineering company are given in workplaces from Dublin to Glasgow. Courses are promoted by the Faculty Business Development Manager, the College Prospectus and website, open days, flyers, and CMI referrals. Great satisfaction comes from the number of students enrolling thanks to ‘word of mouth’ from satisfied customers!