11 January 2012 – Arnie Skelton (Effective Training & Development) on SCOLA!

11 January 2012

Comments from Arnie Skelton – Effective Training & Development – “I’ve worked with over 100 FE colleges in my role as external trainer, and without doubt, SCOLA is in my list of top 5 favourites. Why? Here’s a few reasons, all in evidence last week, as I spent two days with the College and its staff:
– The standard of friendliness and courtesy shown by everyone, always, wherever I am, and whatever I’m doing
– People remember my name! This week, as I arrived, the receptionist said ‘”Hello, Arnie, nice to see you again..” – fabulous…
– People seem genuinely pleased to see me (even if they are not!), and take an interest in me, my work, my interests and my family. Geoff Kenward and I could talk for hours about our shared love of Tommy Cooper…..
– Everyone is always so helpful. I am constantly being asked “is there anything I can do for you?”, and when there is – it is instantly delivered. Just prior to one of my courses, I asked if Jenny Sims could get me a rope or a length of string…she got me both (so I could have a choice). And I never want for the offer of a cup of tea, or coffee. Nothing – nothing – is ever too much trouble
– People do what they say they will do. They turn up. On time. With the right materials. Trust me, that is, by most college standards, amazing…
– People willingly volunteer. This week I asked a senior manager if he’d speak to a potential student – “no problem” – even though it was clear Kevan was busy….
– People make sense of and apply, the learning I am hoping to provide. People like to tell me of the things that have stuck, and also (more importantly) the things they have put into practice. This week, for example, several people have not only said they enjoyed the sessions, but have also reminded me of what I have said, and how they intend to use it. A couple of people have already discussed their TFGs with me….it is fabulous for a trainer to see the impact the learning is having…
– It’s not just about me, though, and that’s the killer point. Whenever I visit a college, I informally carry out a mystery shop – how is it as a customer experience? And SCOLA always passes my inspection with flying colours. Students are treated courteously, and with respect; there is usually something going on to celebrate some student or staff achievement…the atmosphere, the mood, the spirit, is always good
– SCOLA is inventive: there’s always something fresh or new to see….this week it was the PRIDE documents, including the cartoons of the senior management team….everyone seems to be looking for, and finding, something new, fresh and exciting to add value to this College and the learner experience
– Above all, perhaps, and unlike (unfortunately) most of the colleges I go to, the staff here seem to want to be here, and want to work hard and well for the student success. I have never heard a moan or groan, a whinge or gripe, about students, or the college, or the community – or whatever. The mood is unfailingly upbeat, positive and pleasant: thanks to each and every one of you, for making this visitor feel very welcome, and for making every visit a delight….”

It is wonderful to hear comments like this about SCOLA from external providers!

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