It started in early 2017 when management were informed that NZQA would be visiting us later in the year to conduct one of the infamous EERs (External Evaluation Review). This wasn’t a run of the mill financial audit, this was an evaluation of how we work as a business, how well we educate our learners and how well we self-assess ourselves in several areas. This would pitch us against all other tertiary education providers in New Zealand – we wanted to know just how good we were as an organisation and to see if we were one of the top educators in the country.
Capital Training had been growing and developing organically for several years and was doing very well in terms of learner achievement and engagement. True to the ethos of continual self assessment and improvement, we continued to work on what we had highlighted as areas for development, such as our cultural engagement and updating our technology.
We were confident that we were doing well, but we are always trying to improve, to keep ahead of the game and provide the best education to our youth and adult learners.
Towards the end of 2017, a few evaluators from NZQA came in to our centres to observe and to gossip (ask questions and discuss procedures). I’m not going to lie, it was nerve wracking stuff. Our reputation as well as our pride was on the line. We were confident that we were going to do well, but there is always that voice in the back of your mind saying that everything is going to go pear shaped!
Questions were asked, and records were scoured over a three-day period that felt like a lifetime. Then the waiting began. It would be months before we finally received the results of our NZQA evaluation…
As it turns out, WE ARE AWESOME!
We were rated as a Category 1 education provider. This means that NZQA is highly confident in Capital Training’s ability to educate and self-assess. We were deemed to be excellent in every single rateable category. This was great news! We were not just good at our jobs, we were excellent!
Being a Category 1 education provider has its perks, but honestly, the best part about getting such a great EER report is the self confidence that every single staff member gained from the outcome. I have seen a change in each one of my colleagues since the report came out. Everyone seems to exude a little more pride and a little more confidence in what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong, we were all proud of our jobs and confident in them before the report, but now it seems a little different. The pride and confidence seem to have gained a keener sense of focus, a sense that we can and will continue to grow and succeed.
For us, it is time to knuckle down and improve on an education experience that is already something special.