Award Nomination

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Opps Training has been privileged in being able to support St Mungo’s ( over the years by training their annual intake of apprentices.  This year St Mungo’s and its partnership with Opps Training has resulted in a nomination for an award through the Training Journal  Watch this space!PRINT READY_TJ awards 2014_Finalist

Student loans for learners 24 years and over

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Opps Training is informing learners and employers on the student loans that are available for people who are aged 24 and over to fund Diplomas or Certificates of Level 3, 4 and 5.

Student loans for learners 24 years and over gives students a great opportunity to progress onward to higher level qualifications.

Learners can apply for funding now to begin their studies in August.  Employers may wish to discuss this opportunity with employees.

Should anyone wish to receive further information, they can call Barbara Seymour, at Opps on 01480 415930.

Employability and Customer Service with Opps Training

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Opps is working with a group of real stars during this current week.

Having spent time looking at the skills employers are looking for, our Employability Award learners wrote, directed and appeared in three short videos demonstrating a variety of approaches to interviewing and being interviewed. The video shown below is their take on ‘a perfect interview’.

The groups will now be undertaking an intensive course in Customer Service.  Successful participants will achieve a level 2 Certificate in Customer Service.  The Opps team has been wowed by the skills and experience this young group is demonstrating.  Their level of support for one another and their willingness to learn has bowled us over!

Director’s Note on Government Funding Opportunities

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

September is one of the most innovative months of the year for Opps and its clients. The new government funding regimes are now available and wise employers look to Opps for information on how they can work together on maximising the resource to support their employees.

For employers, having information on available funding is vital, however, I would suggest that having a clear, targeted training and development plan is of equal importance. When an employer plans training around funding, they limit their organisation’s potential for growth and miss the opportunity to establish a first class service.

Opps is always available to support an organisation in analysing training needs, planning how to maximise funding opportunities, building on in-house potential for training and identifying key performance indicators. Good planning always reaps benefits!

If you would like to speak to myself regarding these opportunities, call our switchboard on 01480 415930 and ask for Barbara or alternatively, email

Barbara Seymour, Director

Government Funding – Alternatives to Apprenticeships

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

We are now in a new academic year which heralds the new government funding regime and new opportunities. We are posting this update to brief you on current qualifications and invite you to talk to us in more detail on how we can support your training and development requirements.


Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care

Whilst the level 2 diploma is a central requirement for organisations operating in the care sector, the most recent government guidelines show that funding has become tighter. For those aged 19 – 23 without an existing level 2 qualification of any sort, full funding is still available. Part-funding is available for those aged 24+  if they work in a Small or Medium Enterprise, but no funding is available if they work for a larger organisation.

Read more about the course here.

Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care

Funding is tighter for the standalone level 3 Diploma than for the level 2. For those aged 19 – 24 without an existing level 3 full funding is available. For everyone else there is no funding available.

Read more about the course here.

We deliver both the Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma as a standalone course. Please contact either Vince Davies or Barbara Seymour on 01480 415930 to check what funding you will be able to access for your staff.

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care

Opps is delivering the Level 5 Diploma to a number of different organisations. The Diploma has a number of pathways to choose from:

Adults Advanced Practice Pathway

The units in this pathway are to support anyone who is working in a senior carer /practitioner or first line management role in adult services. The Advanced Practitioner’s main responsibilities will be in providing services although they may have some management/supervisory responsibility. Their job role will include fewer routine tasks than at the other levels and more non-routine tasks acting upon their own initiative. The advanced practitioner may be part of a senior team but unlikely to be in a position to make strategic decisions regarding the service. They will be supported and supervised by someone more senior but this may be someone who doesn’t work in the same location e.g. an owner; regional or group manager. Their job title will reflect the seniority of their practitioner status and experience.

Adults’ Residential Management

This pathway is suitable for anyone working in a leadership position within a residential service for adults.  It is likely that they will be the registered manager or be managing across a number of services and taking a strategic lead in both service delivery and development.

Adults Management

This pathway is suitable for anyone working in a leadership position within adult services.  It is likely that they will be the registered manager or be managing across a number of services and taking a strategic lead in both service delivery and development.

 Skills for Care Workforce Development Fund

Although there is no government funding for the Level 5 there are funds possibly available to support Health and Social care qualifications including the level 5 Diploma through the Skills for Care Workforce Development Fund.

Please contact either Vince Davies or Barbara Seymour on 01480 415930  to talk about costs for the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care.

Alternatively, click here to book your place online today.

Standalone Units

Many of our clients are finding that Apprenticeships are not useful for some of their staff.  The Government is committed to funding Apprenticeships for existing staff and those coming into the sector.  Opps Training will continue to deliver apprenticeships however, we are now able to offer a new approach that we feel will have long term benefits to our clients.

The old NVQ’s were replaced by Diplomas Level 2 and 3 sometime ago.  The Diplomas are more demanding and most definitely secure the very highest of standards in a health and social care practitioner.

Opps Training is offering bite-size units of each Diploma to enable learners to prioritise their professional development and spread their studying time over a longer period of time.  The competitive costs to the employer are commensurate with the time needed to support their staff on an apprenticeship scheme.

These are accredited units for which the learner will receive a certificate from the accrediting body and will count towards their completion of the full diploma.

We are offering the following units at levels 2 and 3.  Where a learner is committing to more than one unit, or where there are groups of learners, Opps is able to offer a discount.




Level 2 Units
Person Centred Approaches



Dementia Awareness



Person Centred Approach to Care and Support for individuals with Dementia



Equality and Diversity



Level 3 Units
Person Centred Approaches



Understand Process of Dementia



Introduction to personalisation in social care



Facilitate person centred assessment/planning/implantation and review



Support person centred thinking and planning



Support Individuals at the end of Life



Support positive risk taking



Equality and Diversity



Model of delivery:

Each unit will be delivered in the workplace.

Please contact either Vince Davies or Barbara Seymour on 01480 415930 to find out more or to book your course.

IMPORTANT NEWS: Funding changes at the end of July 2012 for staff aged 25 and above

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Funding Changes at the end of July 2012 for staff aged 25 and above

The academic year ends at the end of July and is traditionally the time when changes in the funding of vocational qualifications takes place.

In the present climate it is not surprising that this year’s changes mean that the funding available is being reduced from the start of August.

The funding for apprenticeships is basically unchanged; it is the funding for the standalone QCF diplomas and certificates for those who are aged 25 and over that is changing.

Because of these changes it may be of benefit to have some of your staff, if they meet eligibility requirements, to be enrolled before the end of July.

The changes are as follows:

Up to July 31st 2012

From August 1st 2012

Level 2 Qualifications
For employees aged 25+ (24+ from August 2012)
For organisations with under 250 employees and the candidate does not have a first level 2

Fully funded


For organisations with over 250 employees and the candidate does not have a first level 2

Fully funded

Not funded

Level 3 Qualifications
For candidates aged 25+ without a first level 2

Fully funded

Not funded

The changes mean that:

If you want an employee to undertake a level 2 Diploma (and they do not have a level 2 qualification already) it is fully funded before the end of July but there will be only part funding or no funding available, depending on the size of your organisation, from the start of August.

If you want an employee to do a level 3 diploma (and they do not have a level 2 qualification already) it is fully funded before the end of July but there will be no funding, whatever the size of your organisation, from the start of August.

So if you have staff without level 2 qualifications and you want them to do a diploma we suggest you arrange to have them enrolled now!

(Examples of level 2 qualifications are: 5 GCSEs at grades A-C, Intermediate GNVQ, NVQ level 2, BTEC First Certificate, one AS/A’level. If staff have qualifications lower than these, for example 4 not 5 GCSEs at A-C they are eligible for full funding at the moment)

If you would like to discuss these changes to the funding rules further or if you have staff you would like to enrol before the end of July please ring Vince Davies on 01480 415930 or use the contacts page.

Alternatively, download Vince’s vCard by scanning the QR code below.

QR Code generator

Are you 16 – 18 and looking for a career in Health and Social Care?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

OPPS is offering a fantastic opportunity for young people in Cambridgeshire to take their first steps towards a career in Health and Social Care. Over the next few months OPPS will be training 78 young people from the local community. The 4 week long course will award technical certificates in Health and Social Care and give those completing the course a stepping stone into the industry. The course comprises of 4 weeks classroom based training, one week work placement and is completely free! The first course will take place in Huntingdon and begin on the 20th February.

Want to find out more or enrol on the course?

You can contact OPPS via our website, email or telephone:

01480 415930

Course details:

Certificate in Preparing to work in Adult Social Care

Modules included in the course:

- Principle of communication in adult social care settings

- Principles of diverstity, equality and inclusion in adult social care settings

- Understand the role of the social care worker

- Understand the person centered approaches in adult social care settings

- Understand health and safety in social care settings

- Understand how to handle information in social care settings

- Principle of safeguarding and protection in health and social care

- introduction to duty of care, social care or children’s and young peoples settings

The Matrix Review

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Opps undertook the inspection for the Matrix Accreditation in April and are pleased to announce that we passed with flying colours so are now Matrix Accredited. The feedback we received in relation to our services and delivery was excellent, with comments such as:

“The energy and enthusiasm shown by the staff demonstrates commitment to the ethos of customer care and flexibility in service provision. It was a consistent theme highlighted by many of the learners and employers involved in the Review. The service provides a friendly, helpful and supportive customer centred approach which is responsive to the needs of learners and employers at all times.”

“There is a strong culture emanating from the positive attitudes of staff to put the client first and ensuring that they remain central to the objectives of Opps.”

The Matrix Standard is the government quality Standard for any organisation that supports individuals by enabling them to make informed choices about their future. The assessment process is outcome based and rather than focusing on paper based evidence, the Matrix Standard uses a number of evidence sources such as interviews with clients, observation and review of policies, amongst other things.

Opps remains focused on sustaining its high standards of delivery and on continuing to improve our services for the future.

Equivalent Levels of the Main UK Qualifications

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Qualifications in the UK are divided in to ‘levels’ with higher levels requiring a greater depth of understanding of the subject and typically taking longer to complete.

As a training provider we are often asked which qualifications are at which level, particularly as obtaining government funding for a course is often dependant on the learner’s previous level of qualification. The table below summarises the levels of the most commonly available qualifications.

Click for large

Delivering in-house Training

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

There is no longer any dispute that good training improves the individual’s performance and the organisational performance.  Organisations frequently overlook the training they deliver in-house either formally or through mentoring and supervision.  They also frequently fail to consider developing in-house training as an alternative to recruiting a specialist training provider.

Here are the fundamentals when developing your own in-house training:

  • Be clear on what you want to achieve through training
  • Set objectives and key performance indicators in order to measure the success of your efforts
  • Plan every minute of the training thoroughly
  • Provide yourselves with a clear profile of the participant’s present skills and knowledge base
  • Have participants take ownership of the training by consulting with them at the planning stages
  • Ensure the trainer/trainers have good presentation skills and understand the range of techniques used to engage the diverse learning styles of the participants
  • Provide ongoing continuing professional development to your trainers on both their subject matter and their training skills
  • Provide a range of good training materials
  • Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate…in this way you will continue to improve the quality of the training
  • Seek accreditation for your training if you have established organisational ‘gold standards’ – in this way your organisation will become its own academy!

Remember, a good training provider can support the development of your training and guide you through the accreditation process. Our free Learning Champions short course also coaches employees in many of the skills needed to develop and manage training in-house.