The benefits of undertaking your OTNA – by a T Level Co-ordinator

Tom Leahy, T Level Co-Ordinator (Building Services Engineering) at Oldham College, tells us about the Organisational Training Needs Analysis (OTNA) process and the impact it has had on staff preparing for T Level delivery.

Completing the OTNA with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) allowed us to assess our current understanding, ability, experience, confidence, and readiness to support and deliver the new Building Services Engineering (BSE) T Levels from September 2021.

The process started with me rating my personal level of knowledge and understanding of T Levels and was followed by exploring the CPD requirements of our staff who will be delivering these qualifications. This led to discussions with Punam Khosla, our Area Relationship and Development Lead, on the excellent opportunities for CPD available through the ETF and their partners. All staff now have direct access to a range of CPD materials and Industry Insights, as well as opportunities to share good practice and experiences with other providers around the country. The CPD was relevant and of excellent help to my team during their preparations.

Part of the OTNA process was to review our ability to support the new T Levels by ensuring we have robust internal governance and management arrangements in place, including appropriate quality assurance arrangements, to comply with regulatory and legislative requirements. Additionally, due to the English, maths and digital content embedded within the BSE T Level, it was also important that we reviewed our staff’s confidence not only in delivering this content, but also in developing their students’ English and maths skills. The OTNA and ITNA (Individual Training Needs Analysis) processes allowed these reviews to take place and we could identify where individual work was required.

As a centre delivering T Levels, it is important that we have the right people in role to ensure that learners are taught by competent staff with the required industry experience. This process has introduced the BSE team to a range of insights into contemporary workplace practices and has provided us all with professional and industry links. Thanks to these links, and the financial support offered by the ETF, some staff members have also taken the opportunity to return to industry to harness their skills.

In addition to gauging staff members’ experience and expertise in curriculum design and planning requirements, the OTNA process examined their ability to produce appropriate and motivating teaching, learning and assessment materials. Student industry placements are an integral component of the T Level programme and undertaking the OTNA allowed us to assess our ability to provide these placements to learners.

The staff at the ETF who have worked with the team and I throughout the process were incredibly supportive and always offered us relevant opportunities and insight into programmes, resources and networking opportunities that met our needs. My team are all clear about their roles and responsibilities relating to the introduction and resourcing of T Levels. Most importantly, they are more confident and feel ready to deliver T Level qualifications. The action plan produced from the OTNA will help us all deliver a successful course as well as developing our own teaching, learning and assessment practice.  

I would highly recommend to any T Level provider to work with the ETF to review both their organisational and individual staff needs whilst preparing to deliver these new and exciting qualifications.  


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