So we’re into 2019 and I’m officially stuck into the scheme and my first placement which means I’ve just about got my head around how things work now. The first 3 months have been a complete whirlwind – filled with 20 days of orientation, various inductions, university days, assignments, EGA residential, experiential learning residential, IAG’s, ALS groups… and that’s before you even look at work on placement! So I thought it might be handy to have a blog about what you can expect in your first 3 months of education, particularly those of you who are looking at the General or HR scheme.
Everyone on the scheme takes part in the Elizabeth Garnett Anderson Award. This starts in about November time with a 4 day residential and you are in groups of approx. 50. Out of this group you will be allocated an IAG (Inquiry and Application Group) who are like your tutor group throughout the award which is approx. 8 people. Your IAG group will meet together once a module. This award is all about leadership so you can expect to get a lot of investment into your leadership skills throughout this award. If you are on the general scheme, you’ll take part in this award for 2 years. If you are on the HR scheme, you will only do the first year.
Everyone on the scheme also takes part in Experiential Learning. This starts in about December time with a 3 day residential. The residential is really fun, it’s about learning by doing, and you’ll have some experts train you in various skills which will help you both personally and professionally. Out of this, you are allocated an ALS (Action Learning Set) group which again is like a tutor group of about 8 people. You’ll meet with them about 10 times a year, and the idea with this group is that you overcome challenges you are facing at work together.
Now, if you are on the HR scheme, you also study for a post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management which is a level 7 CIPD qualification. You’ll go to the DMU in Leicester to study for this by distance learning and your first visit will be in October. This is very typically university style, (except you will learn an entire module in two days!) and you are assessed by assignments and exams. Our first assignment was a 3500 word essay, and we have our first exam this month. I was quite worried about going back to University having been working for 3 years, however the university are very supportive in helping you to find your studying feet again.
The first 3 months of the scheme are very busy and not particularly placement or “work” focussed, you’ll probably find you are barely in the office that you are based at – I was only in the office 3 days in December!! However what you can expect is massive investment into your professional knowledge, skills and development which prepares you not only for your placements but for your future in leadership roles as well. I’m really excited to be getting stuck into placement and applying all these new skills now January has arrived, but I will miss the whirlwind of the first 3 months!