Who were they looking to train?
The Training and Professional Development Unit of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) needed an ongoing programme of professional development for annual intakes of between 40 and 60 staff. They wanted to customise The Open University Business School Professional Diploma in Management so that it directly addressed the needs of the following three groups:
- International Trade Advisers throughout the UK (typically graduates, either with business experience from the private sector or government office)
- Customer facing Commercial or Trade and Investment Officers overseas, either UK nationals or locally engaged staff (usually graduates with variable levels of exposure to commercial work in trade and investment promotion)
- Staff based at headquarters in customer facing or technical/analytical supporting roles (with a mix of backgrounds, public/private, graduate/non graduate)
What kind of programme were they looking for?
They wanted a programme of professional development which was accredited and which would lead to an internationally recognised professional qualification – in this case The Open University MBA.
The purpose of the programme was to develop the knowledge and skills needed by trade development and inward investment staff - especially their knowledge and skills in business and management.
It was important that the management development training was readily accessible to staff in the UK - and internationally - and that it gave recognition to prior learning, academic and professional qualifications.
How did we address their requirements?
We delivered tailored work-based learning which enabled each target participant group to identify, plan and implement changes and improvements to the UKTI work for which they were responsible. To facilitate this, an experienced developmental tutor was allocated to each participant to support work-based performance improvement plans.
While UKTI registered staff on the programme, we appointed, briefed and managed groups of suitable learning advisers. As part of the professional development programme, we also managed:
- The production and delivery of extra course materials
- Additional facilitated workshops or residential events
- The creation and delivery of a corporate web page on the course website
- Extra conferencing support
- The appointment of a dedicated Project Director and Project Manager from the our Centre for Professional Learning and Development.