Training Qualifications UK and The Skills Network partnership continues to go from strength to strength

We here at Training Qualifications UK (TQUK) believe an innovative, forward-thinking approach is vital to pushing the sector forwards.

Over the past few years, we’ve been working hard with The Skills Network, our strategic partner for learning technology and learning resources, to develop new ways of doing this, and the relationship continues to grow.

The partnership already covers a vast range of learning resources related to our regulated qualifications, and as distance and blended learning become the new normal, a number of new learning resources are planned for release throughout the year.

The technology we can now offer as a partnership is unrivalled and perfect for the environment that faces us in the new academic year – with uncertainty of face to face delivery and the increased demand for learning technology.

Our technology offer includes:

  • A powerful learner management system to deliver qualifications
  • A new online diagnostic builder to create individualised learning plans
  • Paper-based and online learning resources for funded distance or blended delivery – exclusive with TSN’s learning resources
  • Online content for apprenticeships and non-regulated AEB delivery
  • E-certificates supplied by TQUK
  • The Verve management platform that helps simplify the administrative process
  • API integration to seamlessly connect your internal system to Verve

Andrew Walker, Managing Director at TQUK, said: “When TSN and TQUK joined forces in 2018, our vision was to create a service for our centres that was one of the most innovative, high quality and cost effective in the sector.

Our hard work and commitment to this has seen us realise this vision probably sooner than we all thought but we are delighted to see our centres utilising the tools available to them and transform the way in which the sector operates.”

James Earl, Executive Director at TSN, said: “We have seen some great examples of excellence, quality and outstanding learning – using both organisation’s system and processes.

It is fantastic to see the buy-in from providers, as well as so many new providers joining both TQUK and TSN to utilise our products and services. We’re both very excited to continue our relationship and transform the way organisations operate and give exciting learning experiences, as well as changing the perception of the sector to be a tech-enabled innovator.”

One of the latest training providers to join us on our journey is Back2Work Group, which has announced TSN and TQUK as its strategic partners.

Utilising TSN’s leading learning technology and online content, whilst benefitting from TQUK’s e-certification and innovative methodology, has allowed the organisation to continue to deliver a quality experience to their learners and customers during lockdown.

Luke Muscat, Managing Director at Back2Work Group, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with both TSN and TQUK. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength as the technology, learning content and quality of service both organisations provide is unrivalled in the sector.”

James Earl, Executive Director at The Skills Network, said: “Organisations like Back2Work are vital for the sector. They can see the vision of what we’re trying to achieve in a partnership between ourselves and TQUK – giving the learning content and operational technology needed to provide a great experience for learners, whilst innovating in delivery and compliance.

“We’re excited to work with Luke and the team in the future to further develop products and services that will fly the flag for innovation and outstanding delivery.”

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“Suffering from Mental Health is something you shouldn’t hide or be ashamed of.” – GB Olympic gold medallist Shona McCallin MBE talks brain training with TQUK.

From the highs of winning an outstanding gold medal with Team GB at the 2016 Rio games against the Netherlands to suffering a tour-ending concussion in February 2018 during a game against Argentina, Shona has already had to deal with an enormous amount of physical and mental strain, all by the age of 26.

For any athlete, the pinnacle of achievement is performing at the Olympics, and this alone will place a tremendous amount of strain on the mind, but the strain and frustration of not being able to play at all, or very little, since her concussion earlier this year has posed all sorts of new questions for Shona’s mental well-being.

“Concussion is a really difficult thing to understand and treat.” Says McCallin.

“In terms of rehab, I have experienced 3 strands.”

  • The physical rehab e.g. starting running, gym exercises, biking.
  • The psychological rehab e.g. resting the brain, practicing mindfulness.
  • The emotional rehab e.g. keeping emotions constant, strategies to help avoid stress/anxiety.

“The rehab process is therefore complex as you have to manage all of the three strands. It’s all based on symptoms, for me, it has been headaches, neck pain and eye pain.

“I had to consciously keep stress and emotions low in order to help my brain before I could start any form of exercise.”

In a previous interview with the Hockey Paper, Shona states the effects of the concussion started almost instantly after her head collided with the shoulder of an Argentinean player. Feeling sick and having a headache were the early warning signs before developing into fatigue, balance problems and sensitivity to light and sound.

During recovery, Shona controlled her exposure to social media and any emotional situations and then, once doctors permitted, she slowly started to increase her physical activity and social situations to build her strength, both body and mind in recovery.

“My injury has further highlighted the importance of the brain and the need to look after it and train it. Whether that is making sure you are talking to people to help with emotions, practicing mindfulness or having strategies in place to help with confidence or relaxation.”

A few months ago, Shona decided to undertake the TQUK Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness (RQF) via The Skills Network after conducting some research about mental health qualifications.

“I’ve always been proactive and interested in the part mental health plays in life and in sport. I really do believe that at the level of sport I play, you need to be strong mentally.

“The difference between a good player, a great player and a world-class player has a lot to do with the mind. Can they handle the pressure? Can they make the right decisions constantly under pressure? Can they maintain confidence throughout setbacks? Can they perform under stress and fatigue?

“It was an interesting qualification which provided a wide range of information on Mental Health. Some things I was aware of some I wasn’t. It was easy to fit into my spare time alongside training and I could complete at my own pace.”

The Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness (RQF) is designed to help develop learners’ knowledge and understanding of mental health issues. It develops and recognises any personal knowledge and skills to help encourage a healthy lifestyle, and prepares the learner for further training.

The qualification can help the learner to acquire skills in supporting family members who may have suffered or may be suffering a mental illness by ensuring they understand the signs and symptoms to look out for and how best to help people.

It can also help you to understand your own mental health and well-being, identifying possible causes and triggers and how to avoid them and outlining when and where to look for help and support.

After completing her first qualification in mental health, Shona is eager to follow this up with the Level 2 Certificate in Mental Health Awareness (RQF) with GB Hockey team psychologists encouraging players to understand training of the brain as much as the body.

“I think if you look at how far society has come in the last 10 years, in terms of talking about Mental Health, we as a society are going in the right direction.

“10 years ago, people were ashamed to speak to psychologists and it was often seen as a weakness in sport. Nowadays, especially in the GB Hockey squads, Mental Health is talked about and discussed much more openly.

“I think this has helped us realise the ability the brain has on performance and it needs to be trained.”

The prevalence of poor mental health in sport has been well documented over the years, from the rigors of playing at a high, professional, level to having the courage to take part in sports at school.

And, as experienced by Shona, the strain placed on the mind when an injury occurs can be significant, leading to a long road to recovery or even being career ending. Understanding the mind and having the correct avenues of support available in the aftermath of an injury is crucial.

“I think society has highlighted that suffering with Mental Health is something you shouldn’t hide or be ashamed of.

“Various sports professionals, celebrities and members of the Royal Family have come out in the last 5 years and highlighted how important it is to talk and look after your mental health.”

For more information on the Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness (RQF) please visit the Health and Social Care section on TQUK website or alternatively, you can see the qualification outline via The Skills Network.


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TQUK partners with The Skills Network

Here at Training Qualifications UK, we’re proud to be partnered with The Skills Network (TSN) to produce and endorse a range of learning resources.  

The partnership brings together the fastest growing awarding organization in the UK with one of the country’s leading providers of qualification resources and skills solutions.  

Resources are available for a wide range of qualifications. Just look in the ‘TSN’ column in our qualifications search engine to see if the qualification you’re looking for has TSN resources associated with it. 

Based in Selby, Yorkshire, The Skills Network is one of the UK’s most successful providers of technology-enabled training and skills solutions. Developing an impressive selection of qualification materials, they deliver a number of innovative products and services to colleges, local authorities and training providers.  

Claire Conlaund, Managing Director at The Skills Network, said: 

“The Skills Network are delighted to have secured this partnership with Training Qualifications UK. It is with great pride that we begin this journey of working alongside the fastest growing awarding organisation in the UK, and through working in conjunction with TQUK’s brilliant global reputation and suite of regulated qualifications, we can in-turn enhance our own portfolio of courses.’ 

‘We look forward to building on our opening collection of TQUK endorsed qualification resources, as we look to roll-out further learning resources as the partnership flourishes.” 

The Skills Network help individuals increase their skill sets, whether that’s for job opportunities or gaining knowledge in specific subjects, TSN enable  people to get exactly what they need to power forward in the next step of their life. 

Andrew Walker, TQUK Managing Director said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to partner with such a fantastic organisation like The Skills Network. We feel that The Skills Network and ourselves are very much alike in terms of our commitment to innovative and contemporary approaches to qualifications and resources.’ 

‘Their range of learning resources is second to none and we look forward to driving our partnership forward past the opening six resources we have endorsed and worked on with them so far.’ 

‘The partnership promises to be of great benefit to those training providers and learners associated with both of our organisations.” 

To see all the TQUK qualifications that The Skills Network offer, take a look at their website. 

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