More power to their feedback

26th August 2005 at 01:00
We read the FE Focus article "Student feedback shapes FE's future" by John Berkeley (August 12) with considerable interest. It is absolutely right that work-based learning providers should be seeking to listen to the views of their learners.

In the further education sector, more than 160 colleges have successfully used QDP Services' feedback framework to improve quality for years.

All QDP reports are benchmarked, so colleges can compare the views of their own students with those in similar colleges across the country. All reports are linked to the new common inspection framework and can even show contributions to Every Child Matters.

Perhaps more importantly, the core reports, based on individual courses, demonstrate quickly and easily what is going well and where students are not getting a good deal. Many colleges are already using these reports systematically to improve individual student experience.

We are in no doubt that work-based learning providers could gain a lot from following the lead that colleges have set. Obtaining feedback from learners doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. We already have a suite of questionnaires suitable for learners in the workplace and can provide comprehensive advice on how best to use them. John Berkeley hits it on the head when he says that it makes sound economic sense to get this information.

The basis for work-based learning providers to use feedback as a cornerstone of their self assessment and development planning is already there.

With 1.75 million learner voices already speaking to the FE sector through QDP, it will be interesting to see how work-based learning providers respond to the challenge.

Robert Graham

Managing director

QDP Services Ltd

Macclesfield, Cheshire

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