Professional Development (38038N)
Course Delivery Contingency Plan
Professional Development is continuing to offer QQI validated courses during the current period. Over the last number of weeks, we have been working hard to ensure we can continue to fulfill our clients' training needs while continuing to adhere to HSE guidelines on social distancing and travel.
The following sets out the measures that have been put in place to ensure the business can continue to offer QQI awards during the current period.
The office has been closed since 20 March and all staff are working remotely and have access to all the necessary IT systems (CRM, TMS, finance) using cloud based solutions and file servers. All employees have broadband access and all PC’s have ability to make video calls (using Zoom, MS Teams, Webex etc.).
Professional Development continues to operate normal office hours (albeit remotely).
All phone lines are forwarded to employees' mobiles. We have also ported our land line numbers so we can continue to make calls as normal to clients. All inboxes continue to be monitored during normal office hours.
For the moment, all classroom delivery has been suspended in line with government guidelines on social distancing and restrictions in movement.
Classroom based delivery has now been replaced by Live Virtual Classroom Delivery (refer below). All courses using classroom delivery were completed before the current restrictions were put in place.
For those Learners who only want to complete a QQI validated course with us using classroom delivery we have either offered them the opportunity to defer commencement until the current lock-down restrictions are lifted or we offered them a full refund.
Live Virtual Classroom Delivery (“LVCD”)
We are offering courses to Learners using Live Virtual Classroom Delivery (“LVCD”). These are delivered using either the Zoom Meeting platform or Microsoft Teams.
- Both plaftorms are secure and offer encrypted end-to-end connectivity for participants.
- All participants need a meeting ID and password to join the meeting and must be “admitted” by the tutor from a virtual meeting room before joining a class.
- These platforms are fully interactive with live audio and video feeds between learners and the tutor to facilitate real-time interaction.
- There is the ability for Learners and the Tutor to share screens in real-time (Word, Powerpoint and Excel) as well as a virtual whiteboard.
- There is a live chat option to allow learners to submit questions (a transcript of the chat feed can be shared with Leaners after the call).
- LVCD also facilitates breakout sessions where leaners can be allocated into smaller workshops to work on exercises.
- The Tutor can move between the virtual breakout rooms which have full audio and video interaction. LVCD courses are the same duration as their classroom delivered equivalent.
- In some cases, we have decided to stagger delivery over a week or two instead of having multiple consecutive days. This is to ensure the quality of experience is not impacted adversely.
We use a cloud-based IT infrastructure (file sharing and storage), CRM, and TMS. This risk of failure of any of these is considered remote.
In addition, the plaforms used for LVCT course delivery can be accessed using any internet enabled deviced (tablet, desktop or smartphone). This means that the tutor and Learners can continue to participate in classes should any device fail. Most of our tutors have mutiple PC’s (desktops and laptops) which can be seamlesly interchanged if necessary.
Assessment of Learning Outcomes
For all of our courses, written assignments are a key tenet of our assessment of learning outcomes and this will continue as before. Learners are given 12 weeks to complete their assignments and submit them for grading.
We have one course, 6N3326 (Training Delivery and Evaluation) where a Skills Demonstration is used (40% of total available marks). This will continue to be assessed using the LVCT platfrom, which has the ability to record Skills Demonstrations as before.
Assessment Grading and Quality Assurance
Assignments continue to be submitted by Learners and graded as before. All grading is done remotely and assignments are shared, as before using a secure file sharing platform (Dropbox). Assessors continue to submit detailed marking sheets remotely using Dropbox (as before).
IVR, EA and RAP
IVR is also completed remotely with follow up with Assessor / Learners as necessary. This was successfully achieved for the most recent certification period in April. Learners continue to receive feeedback on their grades and all communucations to Learners continue as before using our cloud-based TMS which tracks all communications with Learners and allows issues to be escalated to Management / Assessors if necessary for follow-up. The Results Approval Panel will continue to meet remotely (as it already did for the April period) to discuss issues arising out of IVR / EA and to approve results before issuing of provisional grades to Learners.
All of the above plans were discussed and approved by the Quality Review Board by video conference on 27 March 2020.