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GQA Qualifications, the fenestration industry’s leading awarding body, is now offering interactive on-line webinars as part of its plans to develop extensive CPD activities for its network of over 100 approved centres. The first webinars have been delivered, and feedback from attendees located throughout the UK has been very positive. Going forwards, all webinars will be made available for viewing post-delivery. Content will be suitable for a wide range of topics and will be specific to all occupational sectors.


Webinars offer many benefits, particularly in the light of the social distancing necessitated by the Coronavirus crisis. They help to avoid the unproductive time and costs that can be associated with travelling or overnight stays; they widen the opportunity for training uptake; and they enable approved centres from a wide variety of geographical locations to attend the same event giving GQA staff access to many of their customers at one time.  Certificates of attendance for participants’ CPD records are also offered just as with traditional training delivery.


The first two webinar topics delivered by GQA covered how to make witness statements meaningful and assessing knowledge criteria. The next two will look at professional discussions and the use of technology, including candidate-provided video footage.


Commenting on the new initiative, GQA’s Operations Manager, Sean Hayes said:


“One of GQA’s strengths has always been our strong working relationships with our approved centre network, and the restrictions on movement and face-to-face meetings brought about by the Coronavirus meant we had to look at different ways to interact with the network. Our webinar course leaders, Martin and Simon, have really grasped the opportunity to provide advice, guidance and support to our centres, and the feedback so far has been great.


“This pandemic has proved there is great truth in the phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention, however I am certain the use of webinars and the like are not something we will only use in the short term: they will continue way beyond the current restrictions and form a real part of the way we can interact with our centres.”


One of the webinar course leaders, GQA Technical Officer / EQA, Martin Sadler, added:


“I feel that providing webinars will be one of the most effective and efficient ways of delivering GQA CPD events in the future. It will allow us to bring centres from all over the country together to look at subjects that relate to all of our centres, and to deliver them in a way which makes them more accessible for all.”


The second course leader, Simon Smith, also a Technical Officer / EQA with GQA, said:


“I think we’ve shown a great initiative with the webinars, which has enabled us to interact with our centres during this current pandemic. It’s made us push on with something that has been thought about for a while, and to see it take off so quickly with such demand too has been really encouraging. It’s something we will definitely build on. We’ve also been versatile and been able to adapt our presentations by listening to our centres via the feedback we’ve received.”

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