2012 Best Practice Awards

The ICS Skills Best Practice Awards 2012

The ICS Skills Best Practice Awards were presented at the 15th National IT Training Conference which took place last week in Dublin. These awards recognise the ICS Skills Test Centres that demonstrate best practice and innovation in the implementation of ICS Skills programmes.

Each nomination went through a rigorous examination process, and those that met the tough criteria were presented with certificates. Commenting on the awards, Mary Cleary – ICS Skills Deputy Ceo said, “These awards recognise the high level of commitment to quality training and certification adopted by our prizewinners. They have shown consistent concern for the provision of positive learning experiences for candidates, and for maintaining the integrity of the global certification of ECDL.”

There were two categories of awards presented on the day (to view pictures of the award winners click here):

ICS Skills Test Centre of the Year 2012
This award is selected from best practice entries and is given to the ICS Skills centre that has demonstrated the overall best practices throughout the past year.

•    EDEN TRAINING
Eden Training has been delivering ICS Skills programmes since 1999, programmes ranging from Equalskills through to ECDL Advanced and more recently our Get Ireland Online initiative funded under the Benefit3 scheme from the Dept. of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources.  Eden Training’s mission is to provide training of the highest quality which allows their learners gain new skills and advance their careers.  They believe ICS Skills broad range of courses are key components in their success story.

ICS Skills Best Practice Award 2012
This award recognises centres that carry out best practices in their day-to-day business. These best practices can relate to administrative and quality assurance processes, client/customer service, candidate retention/evolution through programmes, budget optimisation, quality, health and safety, etc.

•    THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE
The Defence Forces Training Centre deliver ECDL in the Curragh Camp and at five other locations.  In addition, a group of about 40 soldiers serving in the Lebanon are studying ECDL using courseware CDs and they will be tested when they come home on leave.  The dedicated staff at the Training centre work hard to maintain student throughput, while also juggling what they refer to as the “day to day rigors of military life”.

•    EDEN TRAINING
Eden Training has been delivering ICS Skills programmes since 1999, programmes ranging from Equalskills through to ECDL Advanced and more recently our Get Ireland Online initiative funded under the Benefit3 scheme from the Dept. of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources.  Eden Training’s mission is to provide training of the highest quality which allows their learners gain new skills and advance their careers.  They believe ICS Skills broad range of courses are key components in their success story.

•    CO. CAVAN VEC ADULT EDUCATION SERVICES
In 2010 Co Cavan VEC launched Equal Skills in answer to an increasing demand for a certified introductory level programme.  It has proven to be a major success with learners gaining confidence with computers and making a smooth transition into further learning programmes.  Cavan VEC is delivering the Equal Skills programme in their Adult Learning Centre, Youthreach Centres and also on the Skills for Work Programme throughout the county via their satellite test centres.

•    ST. AIDAN’S COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL
ECDL at St. Aidan’s has gone from strength to strength since 2006 and three classes now study the programme.  SCRATCH has also been introduced into the current transition year’s digital module.  The coordinator, Marie Monaghan, believes that students who use technology as part of the learning process perform better in school, are better motivated to learn and enjoy their learning more than students who do not.

•    THE OPEN LEARNING CENTRE
The Open Learning Centre at Colaiste Ide in Finglas, Dublin opened in 1994 with the ethos to provide “Educational opportunities for people who require flexibility with their education and for those not in main stream education”   Its students come from a range of different backgrounds such as lone parents, the unemployed, students with disabilities, the elderly and early school leavers.  They are accredited to deliver Equalskills, ECDL and ECDL Advanced.

•    ALKERMES PHARMA IRELAND LTD
The Athlone manufacturing facility of Alkermes Pharma employs over 450 people.  The Learning and Development department introduced ECDL in response to a business request for upskilling of staff in computer knowledge and applications.   They tell us that “ECDL has offered a platform for individuals to use technology to communicate more effectively, assist with the development of policies, procedures, overall site strategy and contribute to achieving the goals of the business.”  The Learning and Development department use ECDL online learning combined with mentoring and hold regular staff briefings on the benefits of ECDL.

•    ST. WOLSTAN’S COMMUNITY SCHOOL
ECDL has been an integral part of the school curriculum at St. Wolstans since 2002. It is held in such high regard within the school that it is integrated into the Senior Cycle curriculum.  106 out of 120 fifth year students complete their ECDL with on average an over 90% pass rate. Some of the teaching staff has also achieved their ECDL and more recently St. Wolstan’s has been a pilot school for the ICS Grid.  The provision of ECDL training within learning life at the school is seen as paramount to the continued growth and development of students and staff in their everyday working and learning lives.

•    CO. MEATH VEC
Co. Meath VEC Alpha learning centre has been training and testing ECDL since 2004.  Over the past 8 years they have grown dramatically in course provision and student numbers with ECDL being a very important part of that growth.  Their candidate profile includes the unemployed and early school leavers.

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