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Stuart Fairhurst and Mark Wightman marked as outstanding in the latest round of TTA teaching observations

TTA has earned an enviable reputation over the years as one of the North West’s leading logistics training organisations. As a company we’re totally committed to providing the highest quality training for each and every one of our candidates, as well as supporting, embedding and promoting equality, diversity and safeguarding in every part of our training.

The feedback and testimonials we get from candidates suggests that we must be doing a good job, but we like to go the extra mile to ensure we are providing the very best training available. We do that by carrying out our own objective assessments. That’s why Lee Stewart, TTA’s Head of Teaching, Learning and Quality, makes twice-yearly visits to all of our assessor/trainers to carry out observations. Lee has just completed two of these assessments at our Burnley Office for assessor/trainers Stuart Fairhurst and Mark Wightman. Here are Lee’s thoughts on the process:  

What exactly are teaching and learning assessments, and what does TTA learn from these observations?

“They’re something we do as a company for all of our teaching/learning instructors a couple of times a year. I’ve just completed two observations for two of our Assessor/Trainers, Stuart Fairhurst and Mark Whiteman, up at our satellite office in Burnley. I sat in with Stuart in a classroom course with candidates, and observed Mark carrying out a forklift truck one-to-one instruction.”

“We carry out these assessments, firstly so that we can keep up-to-date records on our trainer/instructors, but more importantly, so that we can give feedback to our assessors. During the observations we keep accurate records of what goes on in the classes; things like how many people are in the classes and what they’re doing. The length of the session varies, depending on the nature of the observation, whether that’s simply a review or an assessment on information and guidance, but generally teaching and learning observations usually last between 30 and 60 minutes.”

Do you carry out these observation/ assessments for all assessor/trainers during the course of a year?

“Yes, we try to make sure we observe all our training staff, so that we can be assured that the quality of learning experience that each candidate gets is as good as it could be. I suppose it’s similar in a way to what Ofsted does in schools and colleges. We keep records of all our observations, both for the assessors and also for our own records so that we have a paper trail should the auditors come to carry out an inspection.”

What do you once the observations are completed?

“The most important thing we do is to give feedback to our instructors on their teaching technique, and make suggestions if improvements could be made. I also try to establish whether the assessors feel they have all the learning resources they need to do their job effectively. My observation role isn’t just limited to assessors, however: I also try to give and get feedback from the candidates too. It’s not always possible to judge what candidates are getting from each session from my position at the back of the class. So I ask the candidates for their thoughts and reflections: what did they get from the class, how the instructor came across – that type of thing.”

“When we have all the information we need, it’s my job to grade the instructors and their performance on a scale of 1 to 4. The great thing about the recent observations I’ve carried out is that both Stuart and Mark got grade 1 observations, which is outstanding. Because they’re working from the satellite office in Burnley, they don’t really have too much day-to-day contact with their colleagues in Atherton. That’s why it’s important for me to go there a couple of times a year and sit down with them and give them some feedback. We knew when we employed them that they would do a great job, but the observations just help us to show objectively that they are doing everything we ask of them.”

When will you be carrying out the next series of observations for TTA trainers/ assessors?

“Well, as I said, we try to do them twice a year. So if I carry out observations early on in the spring, I’ll try to go back at the end of the year. With Stuart and Mark, I’ll probably go back out to Burnley some time in December”  

Celebrate TTA's Latest success stories...

Aaron Cochran


Well Done to Aaron Cochran for passing his CAT C with us on 21st February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Ryan Talbot


Well Done to Ryan Talbot for passing his B+E with us on 21st February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Christopher Murnaghan

Transport Manager CPC

Well Done to Christopher Murnaghan for passing his Transport Manager CPC with us in February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Andrew Meanley


Well Done to Andrew Meanley for passing his CAT C with us on 14th February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

Paul Donoghue


Well Done to Paul Donoghue for passing his C+E with us on 14th February 2020. Congratulations from all at #TTA

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