Inspiring Induction Practices

My favourite time of year is upon us again – the beginning of the ‘extended induction period’.

I remember inspecting a work-based learning provider in London and asking about the way they created a learning culture at the start of learners’ programmes. The head of quality said: ‘Ah, we used to run a two-week induction, but when we surveyed learners they told us it was too long. So we reduced it to one week. We recently surveyed learners again, but they said the same thing – “It’s too long!” – so we’re reducing it to just two days’.

This is a lovely example of jumping to an improvement action before taking time to find the root-cause issue. I strongly suspect the learners didn’t like the two-day version either.

Too often, induction experiences are driven by a ‘checklist’. Do you have one of these? Checklists can lead to dull, provider-centred activities that staff tick off (audit) as they work through the list. If this is you, then you might find this next bit a little provocative.

The way to design a wonderful, transformational extended induction period (which should ideally be around 6 to 8 weeks long [depending on your type of provision, of course]) is to set down as clearly as you can: how you would like learners to be different as a result of the experience.

For instance, if you want learners to hate your initial assessment of English and maths skills, then: sit them in front of a computer, preferably in a large room with lots of other learners and very few staff; don’t waste any time creating any sense of ‘value’ around the exercise; and do all of this in the first few days of their course. A perfect recipe for an awful start to the year – in particular for those who most need the experience to be wonderful.

This is what we’ll be looking at this Friday, September 3rd, from 1pm. Not the above, of course, but setting out exactly what skills and attitudes you want learners to have in order to be able to get the most out of your course. We’ll also be looking at some extremely provocative ways of achieving it. Do join us if you can, and do please forward this to anyone else who may be interested. Hope to see you Friday. Best wishes, Tony.

More details here:


Here are a few delegate quotes to give a sense of the impact this session can have:

  • An inspirational session this morning! Thank you. I took my induction idea to the JOYFE ideas room tonight and explored it further with a group from around the country! Watch this space?‍♂‍we are collaborating across colleges? Chesterfield College
  • This was an amazing session. We have now written our own quality induction standard. So inspiring and informative. Hopwood Hall College


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Inspiring Induction Practices

Image by ktphotography from Pixabay

Creating a blueprint for outstanding induction practice

Available in-person or online. Next open, online session:

  • Location     Zoom
  • Date            tbc (please contact for bespoke options)
  • Time           13:00 to 16:30
  • Cost            £39

To book onto this session, please click the Request Invoice  (if you are an organisation) or PayPal  (if you are an individual). To request an invoice for larger bookings, please drop me a line.
Please remember to add the name, organisation and email address of the delegates so that the joining instructions can be forwarded. Please also add any discount codes you wish to apply to this booking.

[Please note that you can pay by credit card via the PayPal button. Simply choose the PayPal option, then select the grey ‘Check Out’ option in the shopping cart.] 

Typical inspection issues

Did you know that due to the absence of Induction from the CIF, this essential step of the learner’s journey is rarely evaluated through either inspection or self assessment..


3 hour interactive online training session.

Information for event organisers

Are your tutors clear what an outstanding induction programme looks like? The journey towards it begins by firmly establishing how you would like your learners to be different by the end of the induction experience. What are the skills they need right at the start of the course to enable them to achieve well on their first assignments? What culture do you need to establish at the start of a programme such that all learners moderate their behaviour so that it’s in line with expectations?

When the learner induction programme works well, staff reap the benefits all year. When it does not, staff may have lost their chance to create the perfect conditions for success.

Is your induction programme focused on motivating learners, creating aspiration and curiosity? Or is it governed by the necessities of timetabling and access to testing?

This 3 hour online workshop develops delegates’ mindset and skillset to help them create a transformational induction experience. Using wiki functionality, delegates will actively contribute to the development of an Induction Quality Standard (the Intent) as well as generating new approaches to crafting an immersive induction experience (the Implementation). Both wikis will collate all delegates’ ideas and be available for download after the event.

And as we’re currently uncertain about the scale of personal interaction that may be possible in September 2020, this session will be focused on the creation of an immersive and collaborative, yet online, induction experience.

This session will enable staff to:

  • produce an aspirational quality standard for Induction
  • explore the Formula for Optima Flow and consider its impact on the production of schemes of work and lesson plans
  • prepare for inspection by considering the implications of the new Ofsted 2019 Education Inspection Framework.

What the delegates say

For an overview of feedback on this session, please click here.

These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.

  • Waking up from a deep sleep. I feel inspired.
  • ‘From prison to freedom.’
  • [I need to] Completely rethink induction – big inter-department project between construction and engineering??
  • One of the first training courses that kept my interest throughout!
  • A twisting, green-slimy feeling of guilt and abject excitement.
  • [We need to] Make the boring stuff unforgettable.
  • I feel empowered to take control of induction.


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.


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