|Qualification:||Level 5 Leadership in Management|
Lynne Gill completed her Level 5 Leadership and Management Apprenticeship through IPS International in June 2019 with her employer National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network and graduated from the first ever Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony held in Rochester Cathedral on the 4th October 2019. She has spoken to IPS about her progression to upskill with her Apprenticeship and how she is continuing to develop with a degree…
“I worked for an NHS mental health Trust for 15 years, doing several roles within the Trust. I did several NVQ/QCF qualifications and leadership courses there and considered doing an ILM qualification. An opportunity came up to work for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) for Kent, Surrey and Sussex as the Senior Administrator. I applied, was given the job and because I still had this training in the back of my mind as something I wanted to naturally progress towards, at my induction I spoke to the Training Manager and asked what my chances were of doing this qualification. It was favourable.
The NIHR is the country’s largest funder of health and care research. It provides the people, facilities and technology for research to take place within the NHS and other settings. It is funded by the Department for Health and Social Care. Each of the local CRNs are hosted by an NHS Trust, so my employer is based in Guildford while I am based in Kent.
My employer started looking for a local training provider for me and this is how I found out about IPS International. I contacted IPS to discuss what training was available and I was really impressed with what IPS provided. I then looked at what other courses could be provided to my admin team, as I was a line manager/team leader at the time. Everyone on my team started to do the NVQ Business Administration level 3 qualification, so we were all training at the same time. Half way through my course I was offered the opportunity to change roles and become a Project Coordinator. A member of my team was promoted to my previous role. They and another member of staff are now doing more courses with IPS, so we still have an ongoing relationship with the company.
My Apprenticeship was brilliant, I learned so much. As my role changed half way through the course, I no longer had any line manager responsibility, however I was able to use previous line manager experience to answer my course questions. Kier, my IPS Trainer, was good in getting me to tackle first the assignment that I felt could be the hardest. This was the ‘making a financial case’ module. The great thing was that halfway through the assignment I started to enjoy it as I realised it was work I had already been doing, I just wasn’t used to the terminology. I feel my Apprenticeship and this assignment helped improve my math skills. The beauty of an Apprenticeship is that you can work at your own pace, if you’re busy at work you can be flexible with your assignments, I was told by my Trainer to slow down, as I was completing one module per month. I felt better for taking a bit of time out and going back to studying with fresh ideas. I feel like my Trainer saw something in me that I hadn’t picked up on and that I was putting pressure on myself. My course content made me think about how we function, what we do and how we can be better.
I completed my course in half the expected time. I had such a sense of achievement and pride, it felt like a journey, seeing how far I had come and how I had helped people along the way.
After speaking to Kier, my Trainer, about what I could do next I was advised that the natural progression would be going on to the next level and I recently started my Level 6 Chartered Manager programme. Some people have asked me why I didn’t do a degree straightaway, but it didn’t feel right for me. My Apprenticeship was a stepping stone that gave me the confidence to do a level 6. Hopefully in four years’ time I will progress onto a Masters course.
I would recommend Apprenticeships, it’s a no brainer, you get training funded by your employer. The training also provides you with confidence and it confirms what you know, as well as learning new skills. If you’re struggling, you have a Trainer and employer to support you and as I mentioned, you can work at your own pace and in your own way. I started my career through a training scheme and I do believe Apprenticeships open possibilities and give you more choices to your career. I attended the first ever Medway and Kent Apprentice Graduation Ceremony held in Rochester Cathedral on 4th October 2019 and this was a great event to celebrate everyone’s success and show the achievement and importance of Apprenticeships in a range of sectors.