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EDUCATION Skillset Accreditation Assessor Observation for Skillset Accreditation by Nick Way A fter the ITTP’s inaugural con- ference on 27th January this year Skill- set very kindly invited a member of ITTP to observe them accrediting a University Film and Tele- vision Course. I responded quickly and won the prize…! I journeyed from work on the Thursday evening to the hotel for an evening meeting so the team could introduce themselves and explain in greater depth the structure for a very full-on day at the University. I had previously been sent the information but it was good to clarify what they were looking for and how they would be following up a previous and less deep session and their questions that had arisen. I explained my background and interest as well as the ITTP’s aims, and all four on the team told me where they each fitted into the panel as well as their involvement with Skillset. There was only one full time Skillset member and the other three worked in various areas of our industry but also had an involvement within the education sector. I asked if there would be an opportunity for me to ask questions because I can get desperate in these situations to get involved as many of you will know. This was welcomed and by mutual consent it was agreed that I should quietly address a panel member to ask the question on my behalf. The following day the five of us took a cab to the University arriving at 0845 in time to be greeted and shown to the room that would be ours for the day. Refreshments were provided and we had an informal chance to meet the Academic and Support Staff for half an hour before the programme started at 0930. The day continued with half an hour with the two course leaders, a tour of the facilities then a comprehensive presentation by four students including a five minute short film they had produced and entered into a competition. During a short break I spoke to the four students to find out more about them and explain more about ITTP. I was then spoken to by the Creative Skillset Chair who quietly explained the need for total discretion about the process, which I had been, but it was good to be reassured that I was observing a professional approach to the accreditation process. We then spent a private hour looking at student work and course presentations followed by two parallel sessions with Alumni and current students to discover what they thought of the course both past and present and where many of them were now working or what opportunities were available to assist them with work experience. The Chair suggested that I might like to sit in each session for a flavour of the Student’s progress and this I did, firstly the Graduates then the Undergraduates. An hour followed talking to the staff without the two course leaders present which allowed a frank and honest discussion. I was pleased that the team were asked about facilities, working conditions and importantly what research and relevant outside activities they undertook to complement their teaching as, as we know, this is an industry that requires constant updating of practices, equipment and software. Penultimately we spent half an hour on our own to start to wrap up the day. Lastly a further thirty minutes with the two Course Leaders to finish the day and ask a few final questions based on the previous visit and what had transpired during the day. We wrapped at about four o’clock. I had a wonderful day and was warmly welcomed by the whole panel and at several stages was asked by the Chair if I had any questions I’d like to ask – some I did directly. The whole process was structured well with good planning and information on the day and by email previously and I especially liked the “triangulation method” of being able to talk frankly with all the different factions involved with teaching and learning on the course. Thank you Skillset for this opportunity to observe and be involved and even more pleasing, I have been able to offer some work experience – some with payment – through meeting the students. Pick the Tick TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 90 JUNE 2014 | 37