News & Events

Chris Bonsall – FSE British Association

As a part of our 20 years of GQA feature we talked to Chris Bonsall who now works with the FSE British Association. We asked Chris to tell us all about his association with GQA Qualifications, when it began, what it means to him, and what he is involved with now.  His comments make great reading….

Name of Organisation

FSE British Association (British Scouting Movement)

When did you first engage with GQA?

I have been engaged with GQA since it operated under its previous structure as GTL, which was in the early 1990’s so my association with them has been for nearly 30 years now.

Tell us how you are/were involved with GQA in your day-to-day work and how the relationship has developed since the initial engagement.

I worked for Auto Windscreens from June 1975 to October 2014. In August 1990 we opened the first ever training school in the industry purely for Windscreen fitters. We wanted a formal qualification for them and the NVQ fitted to a tee with my own thoughts and, crucially, Auto Windscreen’s fitting procedures.

Former Chairman of GTL Alan Murray was my contact, and my mentor on qualifications and so we worked closely on a new level 3 to raise standards even further.

When GQA was formed the relationship continued to grow with Mick Clayton and later Sean Hayes, and not forgetting the team in their office.

“The whole team were, and continue to be there whenever you need support, guidance or just information”.

The relationship between GQA and Auto Windscreens has always been very strong, open and honest.  By that I mean the support that GQA has given over the years has been nothing but positive and helpful making the assessment centre more effective in delivering qualifications.

When I retired from Auto Windscreens in 2014, I had more time to get involved with the FSE  3rd and 4th Derbyshire Scout Group.

One of our long serving leaders (over 35 years) had the idea of a qualification in Scouting, two of the main reasons being: –

  • To help with retention from scouts to rovers (senior scout), and on to becoming a leaders of scouts
  • Secondly for someone holding the qualification it would prove to potential employers that the young person has a hunger for learning outside school. Most of the lessons learned from the qualification units are transferable to the workplace – H&S, risk assessments, planning and organisational skills, giving the scout a head start when it came to job applications.

So, I was asked to write a qualification for scouting and my first thoughts of course was GQA.  Sean and the team, and the service and support I had while working at Auto Windscreens made it an obvious choice, and sure enough the enthusiasm, backing and guidance from GQA has been invaluable.

Tell us how the association with GQA has impacted on your colleagues/ candidates/ organisation.

For me achieving an NVQ with GQA has real meaning as their rigorous quality assurance process and commitment to making sure it is done right and as it should be is second to none.

Knowing how professional, approachable and committed GQA are gives everybody confidence.

“At Auto Windscreens when our customers, whether private or from large organisations saw that our fitting staff were trained and qualified to NVQ standards it gave them confidence in the service we were about to deliver”.

Today, in my role with the FSE, I can tell you that we are so impressed with the way GQA has and is supporting our new qualifications – the very first qualifications for Scouts.

In one sentence tell us why you think GQA is important?

GQA are a trusted and respected awarding body with a great team of people that work to the highest standards and are always looking to improve if possible.

What other words would you use to describe GQA?

Reliable, Open, Honest, Constructive, Challenging, Supportive – Always willing to discuss new ideas.

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