DDLETB Learning and Training Experience

For detailed information regarding policies and procedures relating to the learning experience in a particular centre, please contact the centre directly [CB: link to DDLETB centres page].  As new policies and procedures are developed that are common to all DDLETB centres, they will be published here.  For general information, see below.

Becoming a learner or trainee in DDLETB: our admissions processes

DDLETB has developed an equality-proofed admissions policy which is common to all of its services and centres.  This policy is underpinned by codes of practice specific to each of our services, as well as an admissions appeals policy.  Please click the links below to see the policy and code of practice for the service you are interested in.

Typically, prospective learners attend an interview to assess their suitability for the course for which they are applying. The admissions interview is usually conducted by the course coordinator or an experienced teacher on the course. The purpose of the interview is to assess whether the learner meets the entry criteria for the course where these exist, or to facilitate the learner to find the course most suitable for their needs. Other, course specific, information is given to learners upon entry to the course. The DDLETB Admissions Appeals Policy outlines procedures for appeal for those learners who are not successful in their application onto a course.

It is expected that any learner seeking to access a particular course would have the knowledge, skills and competencies at the level of the National Framework of Qualifications [CB: add link] indicated in the prospectus for access on to that programme. Where the learner does not have a major award at the level indicated for access, life skills or work experience may be taken into account, as long as they possess the skills which would be required to allow them to participate successfully in the course.  It is the responsibility of the course coordinator or other identified staff member, to determine that a prospective learner has the knowledge, skill and competence to successfully participate on the course.

Depending on the nature of the course, a learner whose native language is not English may be asked to complete the Cambridge Placement Test or other test, and achieve the level indicated in the programme descriptor required to successfully participate in the course,

Please contact the centre directly for further information about admissions procedures and course-specific admissions requirements.

DDLETB does not currently have agreed quality assured processes to support the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for any purpose other than for access on to a course.

On starting a course in DDLETB, learners have an induction session/s in which they receive general information about the centre, as well as course-specific information such as modules to be covered, the course calendar and timetable, out-of-centre activities, assessments and assessment deadlines, DDLETB attendance policies and procedures, assessment policies and procedures, supports available to learners, SUSI grants, code of conduct, complaints procedure and other relevant information.

Throughout the course, learners are kept informed of activities and assessment requirements through briefs distributed in class, course notice boards, and where available, through a Virtual Learning Environment.

The Learning Experience and the Environment

DDLETB is committed to creating within its centres, a learning environment which in its physical, social, cultural and intellectual aspects allows learners to have a holistic learning experience, facilitating them to develop both personally and academically.

Learners engaging on a course will be respected and treated in an equitable manner, in line with DDLETB’s commitment to equality, as promoted through the ETB’s Equality Development Group. Where possible or appropriate, centres organise activities to support a positive social and cultural learning environment through activities such as field trips or guest speakers. For example, learners in the further education colleges have access to activities organised by their college’s student council, and the DDLETB Student Society organises activities where students from all DDLETB FE colleges and centres can meet together and engage in social and cultural activities.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

DDLETB is committed to providing an ongoing and enhanced investment in technology-enhanced learning to support innovative teaching and learning practices. Actions include supporting the creation and sharing of digital resources for use in the classroom, use of virtual learning environments (VLEs), such as Moodle to support the learning experience,  building staff capacity through CPD; expanding the ICT infrastructure, and developing TEL Communities of Practice and networks.

Quality Assuring Work Experience and Work Placement

At DDLETB we believe that work experience is a valuable part of the learning experience, allowing learners to get a taste of the realities of working in their chosen career.  Therefore, most courses leading to a major award include a Work Experience module with a compulsory work placement.

DDLETB is committed to ensuring that the work-based learning environments that learners experience as part of their work placements are appropriate, safe, and not exploitative of the learners that engage in them.

Giving Feedback on the Learning Experience

Learner feedback is an essential element to the life cycle of a course within DDLETB. Feedback is sought for most courses through mid-term and end-of-term evaluations, and the information gathered can be used to address issues arising throughout the course, and informs future iterations of the course, e.g. with respect to module choice etc., as well as new course development. In addition, learners can raise any concerns or feedback they may have about the course, with either the course teacher or course coordinator at any time between the formal feedback opportunities.

Learner Grievances

Where learners have complaints, they are expected, in the first instance, to address it with the person concerned. If still unsatisfied, they may take their concerns to the course coordinator, and thereafter may appeal to the senior management team within the centre.

Where a learner has appealed an academic issue to the senior management team within their centre, but is unsatisfied with the outcome of that process, they may wish to appeal at ETB-level. Where such an appeal is made, DDLETB will convene an ‘Academic Panel’, an ad hoc panel consisting of senior managers from other centres, and where appropriate, external experts. This panel, appointed by the FET Director, and supported by the QA Development Officer, will review all existing evidence, examine whether due processes have been followed to date, and will either uphold the original decision of the centre, or make alternative suggestions.

The Academic Panel is the final academic appeal body within DDLETB, and should the learner still remain unsatisfied with the result, they will be instructed to raise their concerns with the Ombudsman.

Where learners have grievances of a non-academic nature which are escalated to ETB-level, these are handled by the DDLETB Corporate Services Department.

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