The winning criteria
Our goal has always been to provide high quality accountancy education to our students, helping them achieve their potential to become fully rounded professionals while delivering excellent service levels to our employers, whatever their size. We understand that every business and apprentice are unique and every employer requires a individualised approach. A strong partnership built on trust underpins our delivery. Our strap line ‘where people count’.
From the moment a student walks into our college they are made to feel welcome. We provide free tea/filter coffee, fruit, cakes and biscuits. We have large air conditioned rooms and comfortable desks and chairs. Our tutor team are all qualified chartered accountants who also have teaching qualifications. Our tutors bring a huge amount of experience from practice and industry ensuring the learners benefit from understanding real life application of their concepts. They use up-to-date teaching methodologies such as ‘flipping the classroom’ and the latest technologies to embed learning. They also make themselves available outside of the classroom to help one to one with learners. Learners leave the college having had a wonderful experience with us.
During July 2022 we had our first full Ofsted visit. We achieved the OUTSTANDING grade in every area possible, making us one of only 4 colleges in the UK that have achieved such an accolade while delivering L7 programmes. Highlights from our July 2022 Ofsted report. ‘Employers endorse the very strong partnership they have with FI Reading. They appreciate the thoughtful and significant support for them and their apprentices. One employer said “they take employees who often don’t have much confidence and get them to walk 7 feet tall’’’. To view the full report click here.
We have a schools programme where we visit local schools to inspire those looking to get into a career in finance. These presentations will look at the benefits of an apprenticeship in finance vs going to university. We also host interview and CV writing workshops to help apprentices gain their first job.
Where People Count
Our strap line ‘where people count’ is also extended to our employees. One size doesn’t fit all for our customers, nor does it for our staff. Strategies we have in place include:
– Encouraging staff to share their annual cultural celebrations involving their team and beyond
– We support staff as far as possible to allow them to do the job in a way that works for them, for instance 2 of our employees are Polish and work remotely from Poland for 4 weeks a year to be with their families
– We promote and teach psychological safety, encouraging and rewarding shared ideas and concerns. The board/management have an open door policy and make time to listen.
– Each team meets at least once a week which is especially important where some team members are working from home, allowing a check in and catch up
– We have several employee led communities who action initiatives such as the social committee for team building events, the environmental committee to action better sustainable practices and our charity committee to arrange sponsored activities etc.
– We also have an equality, diversity and inclusion group, who look to implement best practice for all our stakeholders internal and external.