Awarding organisation

CPD Provision

The brief

Our client, a leading awarding organisation (AO), wanted to explore whether they should offer further CPD provision to their UK customers. The AO already offered some ‘light’ CPD in certain subject areas, and had engaged in some early research on what CPD they could provide.

This research took that investigation further. In particular, our client wanted to understand the professional development needs of their customers and to gain their feedback on a number of new CPD propositions. The awarding organisation came to us wanting to explore potential strategy options for a teaching and learning support product in a key subject area.

They wished to understand customer satisfaction with current products, and to test a series of hypotheses to see how they could develop a product to meet the needs of both institutions and their students.

Our approach and methodology

The research took a qualitative approach, since the AO was still determining the needs of their customers. A two-stage methodology was used, which meant that the propositions could be refined before the focus groups, following feedback from the interview stage. The AO had identified three key subjects that they wanted to investigate: therefore all respondents were either involved with or were from an institution that provided the AO’s qualifications in at least one of the key subject areas.

The first stage involved 45 minute interviews with key decision makers and practitioners from FE colleges and training providers. Key decision makers included roles such as Head of HR or Directors, while practitioners were often tutors and/or assessors. Since the AO had two CPD propositions, one was tested with key decision makers and the other was tested with practitioners.

The results from the interviews were used to refine the propositions for the next stage of the research, which involved focus groups with Heads of Department from FE colleges and training providers. Both propositions were tested with the focus groups, and each focus group lasted 2 hours.

Delivering results and value to our client

This research allowed the AO to more clearly identify the CPD needs of their customers, both across their three key subject areas and within each of these areas independently. It also helped the AO to gauge the level of interest in their CPD propositions, and which of the two CPD propositions would be most popular.

An interim report was provided in PPT format, as well as an interim presentation. This allowed the AO to refine their propositions before the focus groups. A final report was also provided in PPT format, which included the results from both stages of the research, as well as a final presentation.