Poor language is linked to poor behaviour even in very young children. 2 in 3 language delayed 3 year olds have behaviour problems

Wendy Lee, Director of Wendy Lee Ltd, describes her experience of becoming a Platform 3 approved centre

The starting point

We were keen to deliver the Level 3 Award through Platform 3, so our first step was to discuss the qualification and online platform with The Communication Trust team. They developed and tested Platform 3 so had lots of helpful information about how it works and what had worked for other training providers.

There were basically two main options for training providers wanting to deliver the qualification:

  1. Become an approved centre
  2. Deliver through a partner who is already an approved centre.

After some deliberation, we decided to go down the route of becoming an approved centre. We looked at the different awarding bodies and decided Cache would be the best fit for us.

Becoming an approved Centre

The Cache website provided lots of useful information about the process so we downloaded their guidance document on ‘how to become an approved centre’. This provided a great framework of support.

All the interactions we had with Cache before, during and after the approval process were extremely positive, they helped us greatly to develop our centre and to progress our thinking for the next steps. Our CACHE Regional executive visited us, went through the process of auditing our centre and looked at our readiness to deliver Cache qualifications. We got the go ahead and became an approved centre at the start of 2016!

Working with the Communication Trust

The Communication Trust have been an invaluable partner in supporting our centre; they provided paperwork developed through the pilots which has been really useful.

They provided training for our centre staff, which supported our understanding of the platform and how it could be used to support learners. We have found that some learners really enjoy the platform from the outset and others take a little more time to adjust to this type of learning. Sometimes tiny hiccups can be a worry for less confident learners but having the Trust behind us, explaining quickly and easily how to overcome any issues has been brilliant. Learners have responded well to having a trusted national organisation behind the qualification they are studying.

We’ve supported around 20 learners so far and have had some brilliant feedback from our first cohort who have now completed their qualification. We’ve shared our experiences with other centres delivering the Award which has been a great support for all parties. We’ve also partnered with a local NHS Trust to act as an approved centre for their learners; a relationship we’re looking forward to developing further.

Some top tips

  • Be prepared to be on a bit of a learning curve – there’s always something new to learn, either with the whole world of qualifications, being an approved centre or working with an online platform
  • Relish the flexibility – the online platform gives a genuine freedom for tutors and learners alike – this has worked well for our team and our learners
  • Enjoy it for what it is – there is a real joy in working with non-specialists who have an interest in our issue. Some of our learners are doing fantastic work in their schools and settings and spreading the message of the importance of SLC, which we think can only be a good thing
  • Consider the finances – as an independent provider, we are happy to deliver the award and can use our own staff to support all aspects of the qualification, though if we had to employ external assessors, the costs could mount up.

We’ve enjoyed being able to offer the qualification to organisations we are currently working with and can see the impact it is having on staff in schools and settings, which has been great!