Progress Careers, who deliver Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) to over 100 schools across South Yorkshire, the North East, North West, East Midlands and Lincolnshire, pride themselves in placing “quality at the heart of what we do”, so the Matrix seal of approval is welcome confirmation that the organisation is living its values.
The Matrix standard, is a quality standard for information, advice and guidance services that is only awarded to organisations who both maintain and continually improve upon their services.
Central themes of the Matrix report showed Progress Careers to be forging positive relationships and offering innovative approaches to support budget stretched schools to maintain a quality careers service.
Progress Careers expanded their reach this year from 82 to 104 schools working with students from 14-19 years of age via vibrant, passionate and friendly Careers Advisers, maintaining a quality service delivery through their highly trained team.
Schools feedback showed how much they appreciate the value (and added value) of what they receive from Progress Careers, with newly launched platform iProgress offered as a key example.
iProgress tracks learners’ evolving careers action plans, ensuring every student receives the support they need to progress onto their best possible destination. Using iProgress, Education Leaders make incredible time savings, operate a paperless careers provision and integrate MIS system data.
Matrix Assessor Steve Jackson also noted in his report that Progress Careers “work with Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) has been particularly effective”.
He commented “Relationships with senior school staff are very good such that many aspects of careers IAG work is delivered in partnership rather than simply a contractual requirement. This is significant and is testament to Progress Careers hard work in winning trust by adding value to its offer and understanding schools’ needs. The organisation recognises the need to be innovative and therefore competitive.”
One school Careers Leader said: “Careers Advisers understand our needs and are always responsive. They go the extra mile and they are involved in the design and delivery of our programmes”.
Interviews with Careers Advisers showed how willing they were to try new approaches, and establish and maintain excellent professional practice.
The Matrix report showed that staff support has grown since the previous assessment, with all Careers Advisers positively noting this development. Improved CPD, better Group People Management support and regular meetings with managers, all helping to reduce any sense of isolation whilst emphasizing teamwork.
A noteworthy example of building team capacity highlighted in the report was the ‘Apprentice Careers Adviser programme’ with around three new trainees currently taking part.
Trainee Careers Advisers interviewed were enthusiastic and enjoying their training period, and the company were praised for building a supply chain in the careers labour market.
Matrix Assessor Steve Jackson reflected “Progress Careers makes good use of its resources and its – staff are its principal asset. They are highly motivated towards supporting young people and Careers Advisers interviewed who had experience of other careers companies were able to reflect that they were happy working for Progress Careers suggesting the ethos and delivery support were very positive differences.”
Managing Director of Progress Careers, Paula Thompson said “We are thrilled to have received the Matrix quality assurance accreditation again, particularly hearing the positive feedback from both schools and our staff team about the work we do, reflected in the report.”
“We are passionate about offering young people a quality careers service that enables them to make informed decisions about their future. We are proud to work in partnership with our schools through our dedicated and highly skilled team to make this vision a reality, and the Matrix accreditation reflects the hard work and dedication of our team that makes Progress Careers a place we are all very proud to work.”