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Silver linings

Covid-19 has put a dampener on a lot this year with festivals being cancelled, live music cancelled, restrictions on our ‘taken for granted’ daily life as well as a whole host of other, not-so-great things.  At ITC First it’s been no different, we had to temporarily furlough some staff, a month or two with no qualifications being delivered and other hits to our family run AO.  Whilst we have received some government support for the business (as many of our Centres have) the middle 6 months of 2020 will likely go down as some of the most challenging times in ITC’s history. 


Nevertheless, there are some silver linings to this virus laden cloud.


Both in the midst of the national lockdown and now as we tentatively step out of the other side, ITC and Centres have been (and are) busy, making a difference and getting work done.  Here are the highlights:


-       Three ITC qualifications have now gained IOL Accredited Course status, allowing learners to complete qualifications which are not only regulated by our external regulators but also have the added kudos of receiving recognition from the professional organisation for outdoor education.

-       The vast majority of ITC Centres are now open for business and are busy delivering the full range of qualifications to learners.  No small feat, given the current covid-19 guidance and health and safety precautions being taken to protect everyone completing their training and gaining their qualifications.

-       New training providers have become approved ITC Centres and have now started to deliver qualifications

-       We have delivered a variety to CPD events, induction events and hosted live Q&A sessions for Centres.  All this has been completed from the safety of our own and our Centres homes.  This has been one of our favourite ‘lockdown’ activities, as not only is it a great way of disseminating, often quickly changing guidance and updates but it has also allowed us to support Centres not just on qualification delivery but also business management and bouncing back.

-       Some ITC Centres have inducted and trained new first aid assessors recently, bringing on board enthusiastic, competent and driven individuals to deliver ITC First qualifications.

-       We have worked with SQA Accreditation to adapt our dog first aid qualifications to be delivered and assessed using virtual learning environments (VLE), which we will be reporting on later in the year.

-       We have updated internal IT systems to allow an even better more responsive service to Centres.

-       We have started the development of a new and efficient way for Centres to meet and manage IQA requirements.  More of this a little later on in the year.


Yes, it’s been tough and yes it’s been frustrating, but we’ve learned and achieved a lot and as another set of rules are released and new ‘lockdowns’ are proposed, we know that even when things might seem a little dark, there are always opportunities and there is always work to be done.


Thanks to all ITC staff, Centres and their staff for working hard, persevering and doing their bit to ensure that qualifications continue to be delivered effectively and safely!