When formulating a decision over CPD providers, Fir Tree College place a huge significance on making sure their staff can evidence tangible results.

After spending time previously searching for training which not only delivered that aim, but catered for specific niches, particularly around SEMH needs, they ultimate opted for The National College.

Since then, it’s been a story of remote video CPD success for the learning centre, which offers a personalised education programme for young people aged 16 – 25 with learning disabilities, social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

Worthwhile training

Having a School Membership allows Fir Tree to alleviate any former doubts, because they have the reassurance of a high-quality, bespoke CPD programme at their fingertips.

Martin Taylor, Director at Fir Tree College said: “Our philosophy isn’t a lot of training for training’s sake.

“What’s really good about The National College is that we found that we can really personalise the content dependent on the staff member – so you’ll see that I’ll complete different training to a Learning Support Assistant or our Centre Manager.

“There’s such a broad array of training opportunities, that we don’t need to go hunting for training externally.

“The content is really strong, current and the feedback I get from staff is that it offers value to them. The whole package just works on every level for us.

“We use it as our one-stop-shop now.”

Niche and empowering CPD

Over 14,000 minutes of completed training would suggest that an attitude of self-improvement is already evident, and Mr Taylor says this only going to be enhanced the longer Fir Tree have access to The National College.

“I was recently looking back at some of my CPD, and some of the courses were so niche and specific to us as a college,” he explained.

“The courses are not overly-complicated sometimes, which I think is really important. You can sometimes be that lost in jargon, that you don’t necessarily get what you want out of the training.

“However, with The National College, they’re delivered on a level where everyone can understand, which I think is really important.

“Staff are doing it off their own back. They often come to me and tell me about training which they’ve completed on The National College, because they thought it would impact them.”

An economically viable membership

It’s that all-encompassing offer which continues to impress Martin and the rest of his staff, with full access to our entire CPD library included within every School Membership.

He stated: “Once you’ve paid your subscription, all the content is then available for staff. Whereas some other organisations might charge over and above for certain parts, which is a bit restrictive.

“In the past we’ve commissioned such niche training, face-to-face. When you’re doing that, it can cost you a lot of money and we’ve had sessions like that which we’ve felt haven’t benefitted our staff.”


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