CT Skills Policies and Procedures

Safeguarding and Prevent

CT Skills provides opportunities for young people and adults to learn new skills gain confidence and maximise their potential. The learning programmes we deliver help young people and adults prepare for the world of work and give many adults employed in elementary positions their first formal qualifications. Promoting safe working practices and an understanding of rights and responsibilities at work are key components of all learning programmes. Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) defines safeguarding as;

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe
    and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Prevent is part of CONTEST, the Government’s Counter Terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Prevent strategy has three main
objectives:

  1. to respond to the ideological challenge faced from terrorism and aspects of
    extremism, and the threat faced from those who promote these views
  2. to provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and
    ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  3. to work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation that
    needs to be dealt with

As part of the Prevent Strategy, CT Skills has a duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

The Prevent Duty: Guidance for further education institutions in England and Wales (2015) defines our role as helping prevent people being drawn into terrorism (violent and non violent extremism), which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorist exploit.

Extremism is defined in the Prevent Strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect
and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.” This also includes calls for the death of members of the British armed forces.

Prevent also encourages promotion of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 (age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex; sexual orientation).

If an individual is identified as vulnerable to extremism they would be referred through the Channel process. This process is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to
individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

CT Skills understands there are two main aspects to Safeguarding, and promoting welfare of learners in the context of their work;

  1. minimising risks, and
  2. having arrangements in place to address concerns.

The aim of this policy is to define actions and behaviours expected by CT Skills employees and volunteers to ensure all learners are safeguarded against harm and abuse.

Please view the full policy by clicking on the Safeguarding and Prevent Policy below.

Policies Relating to Safeguarding & Prevent

Safeguarding & Prevent Policy
Safeguarding Disclosure Procedure
Prevent Disclosure Procedure
Allegations Management Policy
Allegations Management Procedure
E-safety & ICT Systems Acceptable Use Policy
Vetting of Visiting Speakers Statement 
Safer Recruitment Policy

Equality Policy

CT Skills are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination in all those areas over which it has influence.
Our aim is that our workforce and learners, both potential and actual, will be truly representative of all sections of society and will feel respected and able to give their best. To that end, the purpose of this statement and policy is to promote equality in our employment and for those accessing our services and not to discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief and gender or sexual orientation. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
All employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training and any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All employees will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the workforce will be fully utilised to maximise efficiency of the organisation.
CT Skills are committed to widening access to its services and facilities to members of under-represented groups. This commitment is accompanied by the recognition that equality must encompass programme, teaching and learning issues.

Responsibilities
The cooperation of all employees is essential to the success of our Equality Policy. However, ultimate responsibility for achieving the Policy’s objectives, and for ensuring compliance with the relevant Acts of Parliament as well as the various codes of practice, lies with the company.
CT Skills’ management are committed to the Policy and overall responsibility lies with the Senior Leadership Group. The Policy is underpinned by the Equality Action Points embedded within the Quality Improvement Plan which will focus attention on the key tasks to be met, monitoring and review.

Please access our full Equality Policy here.

Health, Safety & Environmental Policy

CT Skills believes the protection of the environment is an integral part of good institutional business practice and that it has a duty to conduct all of its operations with due regard for the environment, and commits to maintaining and (wherever possible) improving the quality of the environment through continuous improvement of its management system. CT Skills is furthermore committed to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of all employees and of all other persons affected by its operations. To this end, the CT Skills management system promotes a proactive approach to identifying and reducing risks so as to facilitate a safe working environment for all its employees and those working under its control. Some CT Skills service users may be from particularly vulnerable groups, and operations are accordingly conducted in the specific context of emphasis on all learners being entitled to a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment. CT Skills seeks to make the most effective and efficient use of all resources to encourage all employees and learners to embrace an HS&E culture based on continual improvement in both management and performance. As part of this commitment, and aspirations to optimum standards of governance, CT Skills places HS&E considerations at the heart of all its business activities. CT Skills will review this Policy at least annually, ensuring that it reflects both the HS&E intentions and the overall direction of the organisation, and also continues to be appropriate to the nature and scale of CT Skills HS&E risks and impacts. This Policy furthermore provides the framework for setting HS&E objectives and will be available to all interested parties. CT Skills holds and will maintain certification to relevant Standards ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

In particular, CT Skills, will:

  • Meet all relevant legislation, government guidelines, regulations, codes of practice and other requirements on Health, Safety and Environmental (HS&E) matters;
  • Ensure that, on a continual improvement basis, HS&E hazards and aspects are identified, risks assessed and suitable management controls put in place to prevent injury, ill health and adverse environmental impacts;
  • Develop its management processes to ensure that HS&E factors are considered during planning and implementation;
  • Engage with employees, contractors and visitors to further reduce HS&E risks and impacts associated with working for, with, or on behalf of CT Skills;
  • Reduce resource consumption and prevent pollution to air, ground and water;
  • Ensure that exercising due diligence in respect of HS&E responsibility is a condition of employment;
  • Maintain a commitment to train all staff in Health, Safety and Environmental awareness.

All employees and managers have a statutory responsibility with regard to CT Skills’ Health, Safety and Environmental obligations. Overall operational responsibility lies with the Chief Executive Officer, Directors and the Senior Leadership Team.

Quality Policy

CT Skills places a premium on the excellence of service delivered and on making its customers feel as committed to CT Skills as it is to them. CT Skills strives to provide training and development services that are of high quality and exceed national standards. Teaching and learning strategies are geared towards inspiring learners to achieve qualifications, gain employment and progress to higher levels of learning and job security. CT Skills is intent on meeting and, where practicable, exceeding the requirements and expectations of its range of stakeholders and using the invaluable feedback from them to inform continuous improvement planning. CT Skills provides professional development, support and motivation for all staff. They are further empowered to each be a key and integral part of the continuous improvement cycle to which CT Skills is committed and which underpins all CT Skills quality endeavours. CT Skills furthermore ensures that all learners, staff and partners are valued, respected and given the best opportunities to succeed. CT Skills aims to achieve the above by:

  • Meeting contractual obligations to ensure the business is able to provide the optimum level of teaching and training to its learners and aspire to exceed the national qualification achievement rates;
  • Providing excellent customer care, responding promptly and productively to the views of learners, partners, employers and other interested parties, thereby using this information to inform improvement planning;
  • Formulating a strategic business plan which can accommodate change and meet the expectations of its diverse stakeholder group;
  • Using effective management information systems to monitor progress in the achievement of quality objectives, targets and key performance indicators;
  • Utilising an Integrated Management System that aligns with Quality Management System ISO 9001 and incorporates other national and international standards and requirements (ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, Investors in People, Common Inspection Framework, Matrix and the Qualifications Curriculum Authority);
  • Ensuring that the Quality Management System delivers a systematic and informative audit of standards;
  • Achieving compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

All Directors, Managers and staff within the company are individually and collectively responsible for the quality of their work and the service they provide to both internal and external customers, and promoting the organisation’s core values: Pride, Respect, Accountability, Integrity and Service Excellence. The Directors and Strategic Leadership Group are responsible for communicating and verifying comprehension of this Policy across the business; for monitoring the Quality Management System, for reviewing it for continuing suitability and for reporting monthly to the Chief Operating Officer on the Management System’s status and effectiveness.

Complaints Policy

Whilst we hope your time and contact with CT Skills has been positive and smooth, we understand we may not have got it always right.  We appreciate any feedback good or bad in order to help us ensure the right learning journey for you and our future learners. In order to contact us to let us know how we are doing you talk to us in the following ways:

What happens when you give us your feedback?

CT Skills take pride in meeting your individual needs and adjusting working practices to accommodate specific needs. However, if you feel that you have not been treated fairly or are unhappy with a service you have received, you can make a complaint by following the procedure below.

1. An informal discussion with a member of our staff may well be able to resolve your issue. A written record of the discussion will be kept, detailing any actions we have agreed.

2. If the issue needs a more formal resolution, a grievance form will be completed to record the issue in writing. This will then be investigated by a member of the management team and you will agree any actions to be taken.

2.1. If the formal or informal attempts at a resolution fail, the issue will be raised with the Chief Executive Officer to decide upon a resolution.

Privacy & Data Protection Policy

CT Skills respects the privacy of all individuals and takes very seriously its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”). This policy is designed to ensure that all information held on individuals is processed lawfully and fairly in all cases. The DPA requires that the “personal data” of living individuals that is kept by CT Skills must be “processed” in accordance with the eight principles of the Act. Personal data is defined very widely and is any data from which a living individual can be identified. Examples of personal data include, but are not limited to, names, addresses, photographs, CCTV images, salary/job titles or any other data which allows individuals to be identified. Personal data also includes “sensitive personal data” – this is information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, trade union membership, physical or mental health condition, sexual orientation or criminal offences/proceedings.

This policy covers all CT Skills sites and everyone that is employed by CT Skills whilst in the course of their duties, including temporary staff and volunteers, and any learners, clients or visitors to any CT Skills premises, and extends to any other locations where CT Skills performs or provides its services.

CT Skills will fully comply with, and uphold, the eight principles of the DPA, and will notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) the nature and purpose of all personal data it processes. In addition, CT Skills will ensure that personal data will:

  • Be obtained fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless certain conditions are met;
  • Be obtained for a specific and lawful purpose only;
  • Be adequate, relevant but not excessive;
  • Be accurate and kept up to date;
  • Not be held longer than necessary;
  • Be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects;
  • Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA);
  • Be kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure;
  • Be made available to Data Subjects upon approval of a subject data request.

It is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership Group to ensure full implementation of this policy, and that all employees are aware of their obligations under this policy and the DPA. The Facilities Manager is responsible for implementing all operational procedures and controls related to this policy. All employees have a duty to co-operate with CT Skills in the execution of this policy and to ensure they process personal data lawfully.

Data collected via this website

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping;
  • We may use the information to improve our products and services;
  • We may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided;
  • From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail.

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect. If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time; let us know through our contact page. We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to The Marketing Team, CT Skills, Priory Court, 1 Derby Road, Nottingham, NG9 2TA.

Policy: 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Bursary Fund

CT Skills will, within the rules of the Loans Bursary Fund (‘the Fund’), and to the best of its ability, allocate the Fund to help support eligible vulnerable learners to undertake and achieve their aims and qualifications. Such vulnerable learners may include those with learning difficulties or disabilities, parents who need help with childcare, and ex-military personnel. The Fund will be distributed at the discretion of CT Skills and is not an automatic entitlement to any loans-funded learner. CT Skills will grant Fund moneys to the most vulnerable qualifying learners subject to compliance within the Fund guidelines and overall Funds within the bursary being sufficient. Learners qualifying for bursary funding may include the following:

  • Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) type activity for hardship, childcare and residential support;
  • Learning support (including exceptional Learning Support) type activity for ’in learning’ support.

CT Skills is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination in all those areas over which it has influence. Our aim is that our workforce and learners, both potential and actual, will be truly representative of all sections of society and will feel respected and able to give their best. To that end, the purpose of this policy is to promote equality in our employment and for those accessing our services and not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion/belief or age. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. Our policy of awarding bursary Funds to eligible qualifying learners adheres to all aspects of our equality and discrimination policies. Click here to read our full equality policy and here to read our complaints procedure.

Supply chain partnerships (management and fee policies 2017-18)

CT Skills is committed to providing a well-managed and high standard of approved subcontract partnership delivery for the benefit and progression of our employers and learners.

This policy sets out the key aims and requirements of the CT Skills partnership policy for 2017-18 within the ESFA and ESF funded contract delivery provided.

Use of subcontract partners

CT Skills (CTS) works with subcontracting partners for a number of reasons which can include:

  • Provision of specialist sector support for learners;
  • Provision of specialist geographic support for learners;
  • Supporting wider engagement in the learner community through partnerships with third sector organisations (voluntary and charity partners);
  • Supporting wider engagement with partners who can access harder to help and disadvantaged learners, including focus on equality and diversity delivery;
  • Strengthening partnership delivery through embedding our own CTS core skills and experiences into the subcontracted delivery through identification of learners and employers and providing resource to complement the partner’s in-house delivery.

CTS will only subcontract with partners who are approved providers within the ESFA Register of Training Organisations (ROTO) and the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoAPT) assurance gateway.

Subcontract payments – funding year 2013-14

Subcontract payments – funding year 2014-15

Subcontract payments – funding year 2015-16

 

Commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning

CTS is committed to continuously improving its own quality of teaching and learning and extends this support to its subcontract providers including through sharing of CTS teaching and learning policies, areas with identification for improvement, learning tracking systems, and resource support for delivery observations and recommendations.

CTS requires high standards of teaching and learning quality from its delivery partners but also recognises that some partners benefit from support in this area and therefore provides this within its core partnership delivery policies.

 

Subcontract partner contracts and management fee structures and charges

Viability of contracts and associated management fee charges are agreed with subcontract partners dependent upon an assessment of criteria including:

  • Date of establishment and financial stability of partner;
  • Assessment of teaching and learning capability and wider quality issues;
  • Desirability of sector, geographic, and socio-economic provision;
  • Engagement with local employers and learners and evidence of progression routes;
  • Size of delivery contract proposed;
  • CTS risk assessment of ability of partners to deliver contract volumes and required quality of outcomes;
  • Levels of additional CTS support requested by subcontract partners;
  • Promoting British values and Citizenship.

The core management fee charging structure for current subcontractor partners is based on 20% of ESFA income drawdown for a standard level of support with additional charges being made for higher levels of support or for administration costs and disbursements where these are paid or incurred directly by CTS on behalf of a partner.

Payments to partners for satisfactory contract delivery are made within 30 days following each monthly upload deadline.

 

Subcontract partner support packages

In order to support and protect the required level of delivery service from subcontract partners CTS provides the following management and guidance to delivery partners within the core fee structure:

  • An annual contract (based on the overarching Government funding body contract) detailing values of contracts and standards of delivery and learner service required;
  • The services of a designated contract manager and support from CTS in-house quality and HSE resources;
  • Regular monthly performance updates and administration support for claims procedures and queries;
  • Procedures for validating earned funding claims using ESFA evidence of learning rules;
  • Regular partner review meetings and CTS best-practice forums incorporating specific training around quality of delivery and improvement plans;
  • Quality of teaching and learning observations and recommendations;
  • Support, health and safety audits and recommendations;
  • Biannual learner claim and file audits and recommendations.

 

Policy review dates and communication

CTS reviews its subcontract partner policies at least annually and publishes this policy on its corporate website in addition to providing all subcontract partners with copies and support directly.

Smoke Free Policy

CT Skills is committed to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all employees, learners and visitors, and to maintaining compliance with all current smoking legislation. Exposure to second hand tobacco smoke has been medically proven to increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and other serious illnesses. It is, therefore, the intent of this policy to declare that all CT Skills premises be one hundred percent ‘No Smoking’, including the use of any electronic cigarettes, vaporisers or associated unregulated products.

This policy covers all CT Skills premises and learning centres, and extends to all buildings, rooms, corridors, car parks and grounds.

In particular, CT Skills, will:

  • Meet all relevant legislation and government guidelines (e.g. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Health Act 2006);
  • Provide a healthy working environment and protect the current and future health of employees, learners, customers and visitors;
  • Guarantee the right of non-smokers to breathe in air free from tobacco smoke;
  • Raise awareness of the dangers associated with exposure to tobacco smoke;
  • Take account of the needs of those who smoke and to support those who wish to stop.

A support service to help empower smokers to give up is offered by the NHS. The NHS Smoke free service can be found at www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Supporting compliance with the law and the organisation’s Smoke Free Policy will be the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer, Directors and Senior Leadership Team. All members of staff are responsible for ensuring their own compliance with the law and this Smoke Free Policy, and for reporting any known non-compliance to their Line Managers, who have responsibility for investigating and initiating appropriate action.

Fire Safety Policy

CT Skills is a responsible employer and takes its fire safety duties seriously. For this reason we have formulated this policy to help us comply with the REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2005. In compliance with this legislation, we will adopt a risk assessment based approach to managing fire safety within our premises. Based on the findings of the fire risk assessment (FRA) we will also create an emergency action plan, which provides explicit guidance to all staff, learners and visitors to ensure that in the event of a fire our premises are safely evacuated.

This policy covers all sites, learning centres and areas under CT Skills’ control.

In particular CT Skill will:

  • Meet all relevant legislation, government guidelines, regulations and industry codes of practice on Fire Safety;
  • Ensure that, on a continual improvements basis, all Fire hazards are identified, risks assessed and suitable controls put in place to ensure Fire Safety;
  • Engage with employees, contractors and visitors to further reduce Fire hazards and risks associated with working for, with, or on behalf of CT Skills;
  • Develop our management processes to ensure that Fire Safety is considered during planning and implementation of any operations;
  • Maintain a commitment to train all staff in Fire Safety awareness;
  • Maintain a commitment to train all staff that are responsible for designated roles, such as Fire Wardens.

Employees’ duties

All employees have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not place themselves or others at risk of harm. They are also expected to co-operate fully in complying with any fire precaution procedures that are introduced as a measure to protect the safety and well being of our staff, learners, visitors and premises. All employees have a responsibility to make sure they sign-in and sign-out of CT Skills buildings accordingly, and are familiar with the layout of the building, noting where fire exits are and where they lead. They must also ensure the correct use of fire doors and ensure that all fire exits and evacuation routes are clear at all times.

Communication

We will keep staff informed of any changes that are made to our fire safety procedures and FRA. We will also ensure that all learners and visitors to our premises are asked to sign-in on arrival, briefed on the evacuation procedure, issued with a visitor/identification card, and supervised by a member of staff at all times. All learners will be given a site tour of the building they attend, including exit routes, final exits and assembly points, as part of their induction.

Procedures

CT Skills has introduced the following procedures in order to maintain high standards of fire safety. A FRA will be completed. The findings of the FRA will be used to develop appropriate control measures to ensure the risks are reduced to a level as low as is reasonably practicable. The FRA will be reviewed annually or in the event of any significant changes being made to either the premises or the processes completed within it. A Responsible Person (RP) will be appointed and authorised to complete their duties. The fire evacuation procedure will be practised at least annually, the results being recorded in the fire log book. All employees will receive training and instruction on all fire and emergency procedures. All training will be recorded and details retained on the employees personnel files (or the fire log book). Any employees with additional fire safety duties, i.e. Fire Wardens, will be given training on appointment to their specific duties and refresher training on an annual basis. Any other person identified to be at risk will receive training on the fire evacuation procedure. All exits and emergency routes are to be kept clear at all times. These routes will be properly signed, adequately lit and fitted with the relevant standard of fire doors. The premises will have appropriate fire fighting equipment, detectors and alarms. Fire safety testing and maintenance will be carried out on a regular basis as defined by the Facilities Manager. The premises will be equipped with emergency lighting as required to allow the safe evacuation of staff in the event of the failure of normal lighting during an emergency. Emergency lighting will be tested on a regular basis as defined by the Facilities Manager. The fire alarm will be tested on a set day and time each week from a different call point which will be communicated before testing. Records will be kept in the fire log book. All electrical equipment will be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Faulty or damaged electrical equipment should be taken out of use until it has been repaired and tested. This policy forms part of all employees’ conditions of employment.

Responsibility

All employees and managers have a statutory responsibility with regard to CT Skills’ Fire Safety obligations. Overall operational responsibility lies with the Chief Executive Officer, Directors and the Senior Leadership Group.

Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) Policy for learners aged 19+

CT Skills endeavour to provide a safe and secure learning environment for every learner that attends training and education with them. For those with specific financial hardship that prevents them from taking part in learning there is the Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) available. Please be assured that the DLS arrangements in place for CT Skills learners are dependent on their financial circumstances and should not under any circumstances be based on any other discriminating factor. The criteria and procedures operated by CT Skills for considering and making payments are based on funding rules issued by the SFA. The funds are ultimately used to support those most in need to achieve whilst learning with CT Skills. Please note, awards are subject to fund availability and are not an entitlement. They are also awarded on the expectation a learner should aim to achieve at least 90% attendance. Assessment and documentation for eligibility for will be held in the strictest confidence within a one to one session. Evidence of benefits are required. If you are on an Apprenticeship programme within an employers premises then unfortunately you are not eligible for any travel support. Any costs for you to travel to workshops must be covered by your employer.

How we can support you?

Within DLS there are several strands to the funding. The details below show how they are broken down and who is eligible.

19+ Hardship Fund

This funding maybe available to those on pre employment training programmes who are vulnerable and disadvantaged and the funding would  remove financial barriers to learning. This may be to cover costs such as:

  • Transport;
  • Registration fees.

To evidence this we will require a copy of your Jobseekers Agreement (JSAG) or evidence you are claiming ESA (WRAG)

20+ Childcare

Funding maybe available to support learners over the ages of 20 who are at risk of not being able to start or continue learning due to childcare arrangements and are not receiving any support from other sources. CT Skills will pay the Ofsted registered provider directly at the end of each month on confirmation the learner attending training. Along with the usual evidence we require to ensure you can access funding for training we will also require:

  • Details of Childcare provider and Ofsted number;
  • A copy of your Jobseekers Agreement (JSAG) or evidence you are claiming ESA (WRAG).

The funding will only fund childcare for timetabled hours plus reasonable travel time to and from CT Skills premises.

Non payment of bursaries

CT Skills reserve the right to withdraw access to support payments for any reason deemed as misuse or abuse of the funding.

Appeals

If you feel you have been discriminated against for whatever reason throughout the support payments process, the grievance procedure can be found in your learner handbook. Please ask for a copy if you no longer have this. If you wish to appeal against any decisions regarding bursary payments please contact the Senior Contracts Manager of CT Skills at Unit 1 Priory Court, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG9 2TA. They shall endeavour to investigate the situation and reply to your written communication within 10 working days.