Bottle Green Training (BGT)

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Bottle Green Training (BGT)

Since 1999, Bottle Green Training (BGT) has offered apprenticeships in Level 2 Animal Care and Level 3 Veterinary Nursing via the Small Animal and Equine routes. Sarah is one of two Directors of BGT and a Veterinary Nurse by trade; Sarah and her business partner bought BGT in 2008, taking on 21 onsite learners with only one other member of staff. Since then, BGT has expanded to 265 learners and 32 members of staff

What made them go for the matrix accreditation?

A couple of years ago during COVID they, like many others at the time, adapted the way they operated by seizing the opportunity to embrace digital technology and deliver courses online. Alongside the development of their digital skills, they also recognised the importance of mental wellbeing. This led to the creation of a wellbeing team, made up of an onsite councillors and wellbeing officers, that remains in place today as an important part of the structure.

Having previously worked with an organisation that had been through the matrix Standard, Sarah and the team knew they were ready for the Standard. Also, as the Standard now included well-being, with their strong focus on this the 2023 Revised matrix Standard was the perfect fit!

Sarah Parkhouse BSc (Hons), PDTLLS, V1, DSL, RVN

Director & Tutor / Bottle Green Training Ltd (BGT)

”I was confident about the brilliant work that my team did, and I believed they deserved the recognition.”

Sarah wanted the staff in all areas of the company to be acknowledged, as each department was working to exceptionally high standards delivering advice and guidance to the student nurses to help further their careers. Before the assessment took place, Sarah presented to the team and the learners and outlined what achieving the matrix standard accreditation would provide for BGT and their learners, and the benefits of being involved to improve their practice and receive recognition.

Sarah has also mentioned how much more user-friendly the Revised Standard is and how it suits general day-to-day life, with the content being up-to-date and very specific. Overall, she knows it was the right choice for her organisation.

“Our reason for choosing the matrix Revised Standard is that it was suited for us. With the improvements that had been made to the Standard such as well-being and wider support for learners, it was a no-brainer to get involved.”

How did they measure the use of the matrix Standard?

Sarah kindly provided the key changes implemented in their process after their assessment feedback.

Newsletter implemented and sent electronically to all Coaches and employers keeping them up to date with college, changes within the industry, sharing of success, new courses etc.This significantly improved employer feedback at the 2021 feedback request (48% scored BGT a 9 or 10 across the employer survey in 2020, whereas the following year there was a significant increase with 63% scoring 9 or 10).
Development of new senior staffing roles, and redistribution of job roles and responsibilities within these roles.Separate teams are managed by staff who feed into monthly SMT meetings, so issues can be dealt with at the team level or taken by managers to SMT. Team meetings happen regularly to share knowledge, distribute changes effectively to all and to bond teams.
Implementation of weekly staff briefings by Directors detailing key happenings within the company for that week, such as exam dates, teaching updates, apprentices taking breaks, early leavers, and exam results/successes.Increased information sharing has benefited the learners by allowing the opportunity to resolve issues and raise questions at the time. Staff feel ‘included’ in all aspects of the learner journey, and confident where they can access this information. All of which supports job satisfaction!

The Assessors

Sarah and her assessor had a great working relationship; she found her incredibly helpful, with assessment planning meetings over MS Teams to discuss the company, their position and an overview of the assessment process. The assessor’s involvement in the planning was appreciated as it enabled the observation of interactions with learners and key staff members. Members of staff relayed to Sarah how comfortable and at ease with the assessor they were.

“It was a very pleasant experience and felt fortunate to have had such valuable support throughout the whole process.”

What’s next for BGT?

“In line with the continuous improvement ethos of the matrix Standard, we are planning to enhance our IAG practices, to offer to be able to offer even more choices to, support learners with their career development.”

matrix Standard is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the delivery of high-quality information, advice and guidance (IAG)


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