Polymer Sector Developments Ltd (PSD), the employer group formed to oversee the provision of new Vocational/Educational Technology Advancement Centres for the polymer sector in the UK’s East Midlands, is developing an e-learning facility for composites processing operations.
Two composites programmes – Resin Infusion and Wet Lay-Up – are currently undergoing a four-month piloting period with nineteen learners testing the facilities. An additional seven courses are also in development, covering extrusion, sign making, blow moulding, rubber processing and composites.
E-learning is ideal for providing training to companies that do not have the resources either for staff cover or for the travel and accommodation costs involved in attendance at traditional training courses. In addition to the cost benefits, the PSD programmes will allow company staff to work towards and achieve a qualification certified by an accredited awarding body.
Each programme comprises around ten hours of learning, available on-line at any time and separated into a number of individual modules. The modules cover the same elements as those included in a standard NVQ, ensuring the learner gains a well-rounded understanding of each particular process area.
On completion of each module, candidates take a short multiple-choice test. Candidates must achieve at least 80% in every test to progress to the end of course examination, which is taken on-line in an invigilated environment. Successful candidates then receive a VRQ (Vocationally Related Qualification) certificate. In order to gain a full NVQ, the learner simply has to complete the practical elements of the qualification.
An on-line tutor is available via email throughout the course to offer support and guidance and each company is also asked to provide an in-house mentor for on the spot help. The pilot programme now underway will provide detailed feedback of both course content and the effectiveness of the on-line facilities to ensure each programme is fully workable and completely user-friendly on its launch.
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