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An excellent showcase for the way that GQA’s ‘Accredited Training’ service works is its collaboration with Optic-Kleer, the windscreen repair specialists. Optic-Kleer wished to introduce an accredited training programme for its franchisees, and called on this specialist service from the fenestration industry’s leading awarding and qualifications-writing organisation.

GQA’s Accredited Training service is aimed at employers in the industry who want to have their in-house training endorsed by GQA Qualifications, and gives them the opportunity to deliver training that focuses on candidates’ particular needs in relation to the employer. In this instance, Optic-Kleer’s aim was to help its franchisees to further their knowledge and skills to enhance the customer experience.

David Overton has a unique understanding of what franchisees need, having been an Optic-Kleer franchisee before becoming Managing Director of the company. He comments:

“Our focus as franchisor has always been to deliver the complete support package for our franchisees. This is why the introduction of a market-leading franchisee training programme accredited by a highly-acclaimed third party is such an important part of our strategy. In addition, we wanted to ensure that the training offered aligned with the relevant British Standards. Having met Sean Hayes, Operations Manager at GQA Qualifications, when we were part of the committee for the review and revision of the British Standards for windscreen repairs, I knew GQA was going to be the perfect fit for us.

“Being involved with the British Standards for windscreen repair is something I take pride in. Working with GQA to develop the Optic-Kleer training programme has been a fantastic step forward for us. Our business is now perfectly placed to lead the charge in ensuring the whole industry is up to our high standards.”

Commenting on the work with Optic-Kleer, GQA’s Sean Hayes said:

“We have helped to come up with the new structure of the Optic-Kleer training to align with the British Standards. Optic-Kleer franchisees come from a variety of industry backgrounds, and the training has been developed so that new recruits will undertake quality-assured training and assessment against both the British Standards and Optic-Kleer’s own exacting procedures.

“As the British Standard for windscreen repair has been updated, I have worked with David and his trainer, John, to develop an update test that will ensure all franchisees are aware of, and working in accordance with, the revised standard. This update course will be rolled out over the coming months.”

On successful completion of the course and assessments of knowledge and skills, individuals are issued with a Skills Card showing their achievement.

Commenting on its Accredited Training service, GQA’s EQA/Technical Officer, Martin Sadler says:

“Using our Accredited Training service means that employers can develop their own training to suit their employees’ or their customers’ needs with the GQA stamp of approval to show the quality of the training delivered. The GQA-branded certificate we offer is an important tool and highlights the third party endorsement we bring. We can also help to develop specific courses in the consultation phase of our collaboration.”

In addition to its Accredited Training service, GQA also offers one in ‘Bespoke Qualification’. Together, the two specialist services are helping the fenestration industry to develop training solutions tailored to the specific needs of employers and their staff. The two initiatives mean that employers can create and accredit in-house developed training courses and learning programmes in addition to utilising existing qualifications.

GQA’s Bespoke Qualification service is aimed at employers who wish to be able to offer those staff and customers undertaking very specific roles the opportunity to work towards gaining a qualification where one does not already exist. The service is perfect for niche specialist areas, which do not lend themselves to meeting the required content of a standard regulated qualification.

GQA has close to 200 qualifications covering a broad variety of sectors. The fenestration industry, just like any other, needs training solutions tailored to its specific needs. The organisation’s services are helping to facilitate this, and are contributing to raising standards and assisting in shaping careers.

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