Activities, descriptions, and ideas you can use to complete your VQManager Diary Logs
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) defines off-the-job training as any “learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an Apprenticeship.”
Here are some suggestions of the type of activity that you can use to log off-the-job training hours on to VQManager.
When deciding whether the activity is relevant, you can use the following questions to help:
- Is the individual undertaking this activity signed up to the Apprenticeship programme?
- Is the activity directly relevant to the Apprenticeship?
- Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?
- Is the learning taking place in Apprentice’s contracted working hours?
If the answers to the questions are all yes, then you’ve got an off-the-job training activity.
When updating your VQManager diary, entries must include some reflective comments about what training was undertaken, what you learned and how you will use this in the future.
Examples of off-the-job training activities:
Working through a relevant course or qualification or completing online learning modules/attending classes, conducting research, and seeking advice from a tutor or mentor.
Courses and qualifications relevant to the Apprenticeship Standard can include:
Health and safety training
Fire warden training
First aid training
Covid compliance training
Online safety training
Fire safety training
Manual handling training
Moving and handling training
Use of specific equipment training
GDPR, security training for premises and practices
Customer service training
- Working on and completing assignments, including obtaining workplace evidence to show knowledge, skills and behaviours
- Guided mentor/coach visits or remote sessions on Teams, Zoom or phone calls; sessions with a mentor/coach in which learning is taking place
- In-house training including training provided by your organisation to develop skills that are related to the Apprenticeship, such as using equipment like a pallet truck or new photocopier
- Shadowing a colleague to observe them performing their job role
- Mentoring – using your knowledge or skills to provide colleagues with developmental advice
- Meetings where training and/or discussions have taken place around topics or skills related to the Apprenticeship
- Industry visits to external organisations or departments within your organisation
- Working across partnerships such as HR/learning and development/payroll departments; or shadowing another colleague in any other team you do not usually work in
- Learning support provided by your organisation which relates to professional development
- Completing workbooks/tasks which are linked directly to the Apprenticeship
- Preparation for professional discussion; for example, any time spent preparing information or materials
- Gathering evidence for your w-portfolio
- Gathering evidence for reflective discussion; for example, any time spent preparing information or materials
- Revision classes, personal support, additional time, or any other accommodations for Apprentices with additional learning needs
- Individual and group training online with KT&A or other agencies, such as webinars with representative bodies in your sector
- Coaching and working with a colleague or senior to give you confidence in a particular area, or social skills
- Distance learning and completing e-learning relevant to your Apprenticeship
- Team meetings/all-staff meetings/away days (which directly relate to achievement of the standard/behaviours)
- Guided study for a module or task from your tutor
- Directed reading such as journal articles, online articles, books etc
- Mentoring – working with someone in your company who can support you in your Apprenticeship by answering any questions you may have, such as those about your role and the wider organisation
- Reading company newsletters or information from representative bodies, such as monthly articles from your sector, or guidance and support websites for advice online and access to resources
Examples can include:
- Collaborative learning, such as setting up peer groups and supporting each other with research or activities
- Demonstrations by other staff or tutors to give you ‘in the moment’ training to do a task e.g. picking a different courier, posting items, or working on new equipment or software
- Role play – a popular idea is to get a colleague or other Apprentice to call you from the office and ask you to use this to help build confidence in answering the phone
- Videos – asking a colleague to record you so you can see how presentable you are when welcoming visitors or taking calls
- Online learning – including webinars, podcasts, discussion forums, learning journal/reflective learning, preparation, or revision for assessment
- Observation and shadowing of others to help you understand you performing your job role
- Training from suppliers, sales representatives, or couriers
- Attending networking events which relate to professional development within the Apprenticeship
- Attending conferences relevant to the Apprentice’s job role, professional development or Apprenticeship