BRANCH DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Appointment of Project Manager and Mentors
Can you help us with the above project?
The last issue of News and Views broke the good news that the DfES and LSC had agreed to fund the further development of NAEGA Branches in England. Further information is given below. We are now ready to appoint a Project Manager, for approximately 20 days and mentors, to work in England, for 5-15 days, depending on the needs of the particular Branch they are working with, over a period of 15 months from Jan 1 2004 - March 31 2005. The Project Manager will receive a consultancy fee of £300 per day and the mentors £250 per day. Please note that the fee may have to go to your employer depending on the nature of your contract.
Click here or contact the NAEGA office for application forms. Posts will be allocated on the basis of your application and a telephone or face-to-face interview. The last date for applications for the Project Manager is 30 Jan.2004. We expect to appoint mentors over a period of 2-3 months, but please note that the first appointments will be made from 29 Feb 2004.
1. Encouraging active member participation across the UK
At the AGM in July, Jo Ward, Chair of NAEGA, listed branch development as a Board priority for the immediate future. She emphasised that active participation by members at local/regional level is essential to achieving our aims as an Association. We are delighted to report that the DfES and the Learning and Skills Council have agreed funding to support NAEGA branch development in England. However, NAEGA is a UK organisation and the new Branch Development Project will apply across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Association is actively seeking other funds to work outside England in all parts of the UK. The project is also intended to be sustainable and, when external funding ceases, will continue as part of our on going arrangements for supporting branches.
2. Project Purpose
To enable members of NAEGA to take a proactive part in achieving the aims of the Association, through participation at regional/ local level, by:
It is proposed to develop active regional/national branches of NAEGA in appropriate areas in the UK. Discussion is underway on the development of a branch in Wales, in collaboration with NIACE Dysgu Cymru. A combined Northern Ireland /Scotland branch has flourished in the past, but discussions have commenced on the development of separate branches, which are better able to respond to internal change and development. In England branches will be developed in each of the nine government office regions, to ensure coherence with regional socio economic planning arrangements, including LSC and RDA boundaries. The Association believes that adult guidance practice, as well as learning opportunities provision, must be responsive to local conditions and meet differing consumer demands. Branch activities can play a significant role in encouraging best practice in supporting the development of learning communities.
Funding from the DfES and the LSC will extend over a 15 month period. However the project is intended to be sustainable and to continue as part of NAEGA's on going arrangements for supporting branches. Final project reports to sponsors will include an action plan for the future.
3. Current position
NAEGA currently has active branches in the East of England, London and the South East, the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside and Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each meets regularly with an agreed programme of activities and elects a representative to the NAEGA Board. Branch meetings take place 3-4 times a year and normally include a mix of business activity and training /briefing events. For example, speakers at branch meetings have included: Cathy Bereznicki, the new Chief Executive of the Guidance Council and Professor Mike Danson, University of Paisley. Presentations and workshops have included: cross cultural communication, opportunities for non IT graduates in IT, held in collaboration with AGCAS and E-skills UK, opportunities in probation and social care facilitated by the probation service, psychometric testing for guidance and recruitment, briefing and discussion on the recent White Paper and redundancy counselling. Non members are normally welcomed to branch events, though they may not vote at branch AGMs.
Branches have normally elected officers on an annual basis, including nominating a Branch Representative, to attend meetings of the National Executive. In December 2002, NAEGA became a non-profit making company. The Company Articles require branches to elect a chair, secretary, treasurer and branch representative at an annual AGM. The latter is an ex officio member of the NAEGA Board.
Each year a different branch forms a planning committee for the annual NAEGA Conference. The two day residential event is designed to meet the needs of adult guidance practitioners across a broad range of practice. Conference 2003, held in Chester attracted 270 participants from across the UK. The generosity of sponsors, for example the DfES, LSC and IAG Partnerships, and the provision of conference bursaries, for example a bursary supported by the Guidance Council to a first time participant, help those with low incomes to attend. A conference manual has been developed to support planning committees and to develop even more successful events.
Branches are funded through a proportion of the annual subscription fee. Some branches charge a small fee for training events and may charge a higher rate to non -members. Branches are expected to agree an annual budget with the NAEGA Treasurer, which takes into account the sum remaining in the branch account.
Branches have in the past held their own mailing lists, but will now be able to contact members in their area through the main NAEGA database. Some branches produce newsletters and /or publicity fliers to communicate with members. The Association intends to encourage branches, through the project, to make more use of the NAEGA website for promoting activities.
4. Branch Development Packs
NAEGA is currently redesigning its brand and overall image, as part of an overall review of current marketing practice. Branch packs are being prepared as a part of the Project, to support new and existing branches in both meeting company requirements and to stimulate good and exciting practice, ultimately providing a better service to members. Separate sponsorship is being sought for publishing the pack, but its development will form a part of the work of the Project. The pack will be produced in ring binder format and will include information on NAEGA as an organisation, its structure and branch details. It will also include sections on branch development, training, network contacts, occasional papers etc. The intention is to provide a working tool for members and branches.
It is proposed to allocate a named mentor to each existing and putative branch, to help members develop a branch infrastructure and a programme of activities. Mentors will also support the branch in liasing with relevant NAEGA officers and promoting the branch to practitioners in the region. Mentors will be paid a consultancy fee. This may go to their employers depending on individual contractual arrangements.
Branches will also be eligible for small grants from the project budget, to fund activities and development work. Branches will be expected to work with mentors to draw up applications for grants, which will be approved by the Project Steering Group on behalf of the Board.
It is anticipated that new and moribund branches will require more mentor time than established ones. However it is proposed that established branches are encouraged to draw on both funds and mentor time to pilot new ideas, such as regional development work, in order to set up examples of good and interesting practice, to stimulate members in other regions.
The project has the following outcomes:
7. Project Management
The Project Steering Group will be a sub group of the NAEGA Board. The NAEGA Treasurer, an ex officio member of the steering group, will have direct control of project funds on behalf of the Board and will provide financial statements to Steering Group and Board meetings. The Project will be a standing item on the NAEGA board agenda.
The Steering Group will include representatives from the DfES and LSC and at least 2 other Board members, one of whom the Board will nominate as Chair. It may also include 1-2 other NAEGA members, who have substantive branch experience and representatives of future sponsors if appropriate. The group will meet regularly and the chair will be responsible for reports to the NAEGA Board.
The Board will appoint a Project Manager, who will:
Mentors will report progress to each Steering Group meeting, providing written interim and final reports. These will form the basis of interim and final reports to the Board and to sponsors, against agreed outcomes.
The Board, in liaison with the appropriate funding bodies, will appoint an external evaluator. The latter will work with the Steering Group to agree an overall evaluation strategy, including their independent appraisal of the impact of the project.
* NAEGA understands guidance for learning and work, to embrace a range of activities, which may be provided by a variety of different agencies. These include 'embedded guidance' provision delivered on course, that is as a part of learning opportunities. These activities are defined in '' The Challenge of Change '' UDACE, 1987, and republished as a NAEGA Occasional Paper, 2003. They are summarised as follows;
Informing, providing information about learning opportunities and related support facilities available.
Advising, helping clients to interpret information and choose the most appropriate option.
Use of counselling skills, working with clients to help them to discover, clarify, assess and understand their learning needs and the various ways of meeting them.
Assessing, helping clients, by formal or informal means, to obtain an adequate understanding of their personal, educational and career development, in order to enable them to make sound judgements about the appropriateness of particular learning opportunities.
Enabling, supporting the client in dealing with the agencies providing education or training, or in meeting the demands of particular courses.
Advocating, negotiating directly with institutions or agencies on behalf of individuals or groups for whom there may be additional barriers to access or to learning (e.g. negotiating exceptional entry arrangements or modifications to courses).
Feeding back, gathering and collating information on unmet, or inappropriately met, needs, and encouraging providers of learning opportunities to respond by developing their provision.
8. Job Descriptions
The Project manager responsibilities will include:
The person appointed will need to demonstrate:
The mentors will report directly to the Project Manager. They will be allocated to specific existing and putative branches, to help members develop an appropriate branch infrastructure and a programme of activities. Their responsibilities will include:
Mentors will be paid a consultancy fee. This may go to their employers depending on individual contractual arrangements.
Applications should be sent to:
Tel: 028 9027 1509
If you have any queries the NAEGA Administrator, Kathleen Quinn, will put you in touch with an appropriate member of the NAEGA Board.