Bookseller giant Waterstones is the latest employer to use the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's (QAA's) training accreditation service to evaluate its in-house training and facilitate a university partnership.
Thanks to QAA's Employer-Based Training Accreditation (EBTA) service, the University of Derby Corporate is now collaborating with Waterstones not only to accredit its staff training to Certificate of Higher Education level, but also to develop Waterstones' staff professionally as tutors.
This will support Waterstones in realising its ambition of creating a centralised hub of training resources and qualifications for staff - the Waterstones Academy. As there are no higher education accredited programmes or degrees in bookselling in the UK, the programme will be a national first for the sector.
This is the second partnership EBTA has facilitated since its move to QAA, continuing the success of the service to the benefit of employers, employees and universities. To date, EBTA has brought about some 70 university-business partnerships.
EBTA works closely with a community of practice, comprising 37 higher education providers with expertise in supporting and delivering workforce development, and work-based and employee learning. EBTA helps employers who seek to add value to their in-house training to recognise the potential of this training, and to find a provider who can accredit it.
Emma Cox, Senior Learning and Development Manager at Waterstones, said: 'We are delighted to be working with the University of Derby Corporate on developing this innovative course for booksellers.
The job they perform is demanding and complex and it is right that they will be able to receive accreditation for the skills that they learn at Waterstones.'
Paul Wilkinson, Head of Client Partnerships at University of Derby Corporate, added: 'We welcome the opportunity to work with Waterstones in aligning its talent development activity with a higher education award.
'Our work-based learning expertise will ensure that the investment Waterstones is making in its booksellers will deliver the result being sought.'
Jayne Mitchell, Director of Research, Development and Partnerships at QAA, said: 'Through EBTA, we can offer an alternative route into higher education that benefits the employer, higher education and, most importantly, the employee learner.'
More information about EBTA, including case studies of employer/higher education partnerships facilitated through the service, is available on the EBTA website.
Notes to editor:
1. For more information, please contact Joanna Wynn, Media Relations Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org 01452 557074.
2. For more information on the Employer Based Training Accreditation service and to view case studies of previous partnerships, visit the EBTA website at: http://ebta.qaa.ac.uk/.
3. EBTA was established in 2008 by Foundation Degree Forward. QAA took over responsibility for EBTA in October 2011.
4. QAA safeguards the public interest in the quality and standards of UK higher education. We check how UK universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality. We review and report on how they meet their responsibilities, identify good practice and make recommendations for improvement. We publish guidelines to help UK universities and colleges develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience. Further information on QAA is available at: www.qaa.ac.uk.