SERC is an impressive college, with seven sites in Co. Down and Co. Antrim. It is one of the largest Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland and committed to bringing top-class education and learning opportunities to its local communities. The College has 1,100 staff and over 32,000 annual enrolments on courses spanning 40 different subject areas. Proud of its close working relationships with industry the college works hard to generate real business benefits.
The college aims to provide building professionals with the skills and qualifications they need to succeed in industry. Elaine Flynn, the college’s Commercial Contracts Manager says, "Raising skills delivers many positive returns including improving staff moral and retention, attracting the best people to an organisation and boosting productivity and performance - which both job creation and growth depend.”
We asked Paul Henry, Lead Consultant in Business Services at SERC, whose relationship with Logic Certification stretches back to 2006, what he thought about working with LCL:
LCL: Why did SERC choose to work with LCL over some of the other certification bodies?
PH: Logic Certification is very professional and really approachable. If I’ve ever any queries they’re very helpful and it’s great to be able to speak directly to the people who have designed and deliver the qualifications if we need to. This is unusual in a certification body and something I really value.
LCL: What support does LCL offer, once the qualifications are up and running?
PH: It’s great, we get up-dates as they become necessary and the office staff are very helpful and responsive with day-to-day enquiries.
LCL: What is the most significant help that LCL has offered you?
PH: LCL is very forward-thinking and keen to support us in developing new courses and qualifications. This has had a significant impact on our business and has allowed us to move into several different market streams.
Recently, Belfast Health Trust came to us asking for a specialist qualification in Water Safety in Healthcare. In collaboration with LCL, we designed and wrote a course and LCL certified it for us so that we’re now able to offer an excellent qualification for plumbing installers, heating technicians and maintenance workers as well as healthcare staff responsible for infection control and water treatment services within hospitals and healthcare environments.
This qualification offers professional development for those looking to build on their existing qualifications enabling them to diversify. There’s a big demand for bolt-on qualifications these days. SERC provides a variety of compliance training and assessment packages that can be tailored to suit individual requirements and it’s been great to have LCL’s support in delivering these.
LCL: So, your link with Logic Certification has helped your business grow?
PH: Absolutely, we are growing fast. Working with LCL has enabled us to expand and develop a new Professional Skills Centre in Dundrod. This centre opened at the end of 2017 and offers four practical, fully working workshops with built-in rigs as well as classrooms so we’re able to offer our students the very best learning environment.
In 2018 we’ll be moving into a number of different areas thanks to LCL. There’s a large demand for qualifications in plumbing and solid fuels in particular, and there’s been a great deal of interest in the new MLP and gas compliance so we’ll be working closely with LCL in these areas.
LCL: And what about the future?
PH: Well that’s exciting, I am working on a 'Skillscard' for the N.Ireland Fire & Security employers federation, and plan to speak to LCL about managing a database of competent installers within the NI Fire & Security Industry.
We’ve built up a very successful working relationship with LCL over the years and the encouragement they offer to developing centres is second to none. This is obviously good for industry and for us as well – keeping us interested and up to speed with developments ensures we’re able to offer our learners the best opportunities.
SERC Commercial Contracts Manager Elaine Flynn, added: "Having trained, knowledgeable staff with relevant qualifications is extremely important in meeting the regulatory requirements in the industry and when tendering for work. SERC has built up a strong reputation in providing bespoke training packages to help meet the requirements of a wide range of sectors."
Logic Certification has designed a comprehensive quality management system (QMS) for use by centres wishing to be an approved centre for the delivery of Logic Certification QCF qualifications.
This QMS contains all the guidance and document templates needed by a centre to effectively administer the centre and meet the requirements set out by Ofqual in their General Conditions of Recognition which forms the requirements for an Awarding Organisation to operate along with its approved centres. If you’d like to discuss how we might work together, please get in touch and we’d be delighted to start a conversation.
Find out how to become an LCL approved centre, here.
To find out more about SERC, click here.