Case Study

Nottingham Trent University

NTU - Student Services Centre

Case Study

The Student Services Centre (SSC) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is the one-stop shop for general enquiries and gateway to Student Support Services. We have SSC Advisers at all three campuses, who can provide card services, enrolment support, information and guidance on all student matters. We refer and direct students to specialist support services including Health & Wellbeing, Disability Support, Financial Support and International Student Support.

With commitment to delivering high-quality services to all customers including NTU staff member and students, we put our customers at the heart of everything we do. CSE has proven an effective tool for our self-assessment and continuous improvement and we successfully hold Customer Service Excellence certification since 2011.

We Chose Customer Service Excellence Standard

The Student Services Centre is committed to providing a high-quality service in a friendly customer focused environment. Customer Service Excellence provides us with a practical tool to access and monitor our performance on a regular basis while focus on continuous improvement and delivering customer-focused services, which is associated with our corporate culture, goals and commitment.

We Chose Assessment Services for our Certification

Assessment Services Ltd is an international assessment centre with more than 30 years of experience in assessment and accreditation, whose Assessors have achieved the SFEDI Assessor qualification. We have been working with Assessment Services since 2011 and we are satisfied with their assessment process which adds value to our department. We have found Assessment Services to be responsive, professional and supportive.

How we prepared for our Assessment

Every year, a new current student at Nottingham Trent University is recruited for a 12-month placement at the Student Services Centre as our Customer Satisfaction & Project Assistant (CSPA) who coordinates our customer satisfaction programmes and CSE assessment process. Our CSPA has a weekly meeting with the SSC manager to discuss each CSE standard from the beginning of the academic year. We look at the previous Assessment Report to identify the areas of improvement and plan for new changes and projects and start inputting the evidence. CSE standards are used as our drivers of change throughout the year, not only a tool for assessment of our services.

Our Learning Points

1

Each team member should contribute their good work into the CSE submission, which requires regular self-reflection and continuing learning & development.

2

CSE standards should be discussed at team meeting to encourage everyone get involved from the beginning of the academic year.

How the certification has impacted our customer service

The Customer Service Excellence Standard allows us to self-assess our capability and our performance throughout the academic year, to make sure we are committed with our service standards and identify area of continuous improvement. CSE is designed to encourage us to drive changes and improve services based on an in-depth understanding of our customers and customers’ feedback. This has led to higher customer satisfaction and positive changes we have made at Student Services Centre across 3 campuses. At City, we have made major structural changes to the Front Desk configuration for better engagement with students while also providing more confidential spaces. With the Front Desk + initiative, SSC staff are providing a more personalised and 1 to 1 service when students are distressed or in discomfort. The new Student Services Centre at Clifton offers students a wide range of services and a modern, friendly space right in central location of campus.

SSC staff are encouraged to actively promote and participate in the customer focused culture of the department by getting involved in the assessment process for CSE. SSC staff have regularly reflected on the training program they have taken to deliver better customer services and exchanged knowledge and experience in dealing with difficult situations.

We are hapy with our experience with Assessment Services Ltd who offer timely support and professional services.

Head of Student Services Centre, NTU Tweet
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Goldsmith’s, University of London

Goldsmiths, University of London

Case Study

The Student Experience Directorate at Goldsmiths, University of London has been working with Excellence Squared / Assessment Services for the last three years. We have been very impressed with the service and support that they have been able to offer us, from initial advice and guidance, a thorough pre-assessment process and regular catch up meetings right through to the on-site assessment stages of the accreditations that we eventually gained.

We undertook two awards simultaneously, those of Customer Service Excellence and the Leadership and Management accreditation, and advice and support from our two assessors, Graham and Lorna respectively was always very joined up and appropriate for the dual award approach. In effect they allowed and enabled us to achieve far more than we had originally set out to do by guiding us through the two awards simultaneously and the dual framework approach has really paid dividends in respect of the culture change that we have been able to achieve at Goldsmiths in such a short space of time.

Assessment Services ensured that our assessors were technically expert and knowledgeable about our business and they brought a high level of understanding and awareness of what we were trying to achieve, into our assessment process. Graham and Lorna themselves demonstrated excellent customer service and attention to detail throughout the process and their assessment approach was thorough and fair and ensured that we were challenged throughout and that as an organisation we developed and improved from the process.

I would happily recommend Assessment Services to other organisations seeking to develop and improve in their leadership and management cultures and approaches to customer service.

Leo
Appleton

Director of Library Services

Library Services (Student Experience Directorate)
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

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Walsall College – Case Study

Walsall College

Case Study

Walsall College’s Careers Guidance Service is free and available to all students and prospective students.  Students and prospective students can access the Careers Guidance Service in many different ways i.e. by telephone, face to face and e-guidance. There is also a dedicated Careers Centre located on the ground floor in the Atrium where we operate a Quick Queries Drop-in service for current students on a daily basis. The college provides an extensive vocational provision for students aged from 14 years old and over to no upper age limit.

The Senior Management and Curriculum team are all fully aware of the Careers Guidance Service and curriculum staff actively encourage students to attend or take part in activities or refer students to the Careers Team for further support, when they have surpassed their expertise.

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

A Whole College Approach

The Careers Team previously delivered a series of events for students “we used to deliver events we believed were useful for students”, but they found that attendance was decreasing and wanted to find a way of ensuring what they were doing was actually meeting the needs of students. At the time, there was a framework of young people’s careers IAG that was used to help frame the offer. Starting with asking curriculum areas to identify the activities they were already undertaking in their area, a gap analysis identified the gaps in provision – it was these gaps, rather than perceived need, that led to Partnership Agreements being developed with each curriculum area. Partnership Agreements ensure that the support provided is tailored to each curriculum area and recognises the role of both the Careers Team and curriculum area; staff described how this has helped to raise the profile of the Team and curriculum based staff, who have an expertise in their own area, know when to refer to specialist careers support.

Careers education is everyone’s job, not just the Careers Department

As a result of the gap analysis and implementation of the Partnership Agreements, the team found that the activities they were delivering were more relevant to students, it reduced duplication and increased the attendance at those events that were held.  Another change was to move from a ‘satisfaction’ based evaluation model, to one where the impact on students was measured, for example how events helped to make informed decisions, greater awareness of options etc.  The College also report an increase in applications to higher education and positive destinations.  The Partnership Agreements have continued to develop with discussions now taking place with Curriculum Leaders Managers who are responsible for single vocational areas, rather than Head of Cluster Managers who oversee a number of different areas, ensuring that the CEIAG offer is even more tailored.

Using Quality Benchmarks

As identified above, the team have sought to use different quality frameworks to develop their work, such as the Careers Education Framework (CEG) 7 – 19 and now work with both The matrix Standard, one of the Quality in Careers Standards, and the Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Careers Guidance.

“The matrix Standard is for all our IAG, all aspects across the College – it helps to inform our staff throughout the student journey from initial contact through to progression. The Quality in Careers Standard highlights the specific work of the Careers Team and is recognised by schools. Using the standards gives credibility of the service; having an external, impartial view helps to verify the good service we offer and gives us suggestions of areas to continue to develop. We really do have the students’ best interests at heart, we are impartial, and if that means them not coming here – then so be it”

- Carol Egan, Director of Student Journey Tweet
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