Thursday, 31 March 2011

BNU - Bucks New University and Premier IT announcePRINCE2 Project Management Residential Programme

On the 31st March 2011 Premier IT was delighted to announce the introduction of residential PRINCE2® training to its project management certification portfolio, delivered in partnership with New Buckinghamshire University (BNU) as part of a new PRINCE2 Project Management Residential Programme.

The Programme offers delegates the opportunity to attain a PRINCE2 qualification without a daily commute and outside distractions. The partnership combines the skills of Premier IT trainers with the stunning venue and prestige of the University to deliver unrivalled PRINCE2 training with the additional incentive of receiving an academic Project Management Award.

Once delegates have passed their PRINCE2 exams they are offered the opportunity to receive the University's Project Management Award by writing and submitting a reflective log for a project they have conducted after their course. This unique combination of professional certification and academic award sets us apart from other residential project management training providers.

The residential PRINCE2 courses will take place at the University's stunning Missenden Abbey Conference Centre in 2011.

The Premier IT residential PRINCE2 training courses include the same excellent, comprehensive and high quality material as a non-residential PRINCE2 training course. The added bonus is that they have a higher first time pass rate owing to a more intensive learning experience, where learners and trainers have additional time to collaborate and share real world examples of implementing the PRINCE2 methodology. Alternatively delegates are still able to attend the course on a non-residential basis.

Ian West, Chairman, Premier IT says: "we are delighted to form a solid partnership with a prestigious University to offer our delegates that little bit extra when it comes to attaining their PRINCE2 qualification.

More information about Premier IT

Premier IT is a workforce performance improvement specialist. We deliver a wide range of IT and learning solutions to over 500 clients across London and the UK. These include:

• Professional Development Software We are a market leader of professional development software solutions to professional institutes, Royal Colleges, membership bodies and educational establishments. We currently enable tens of thousands of members and employees, across more than 40 clients, to conduct their professional development online through the use of CPD, e-Portfolio and Multi Source Feedback systems

• IT & Business Skills Training We have a wealth of experience in providing first class IT and business training solutions to a wide variety of organisations throughout the UK. In the past two years alone we have delivered almost 25,000 student training days!

• NHS Training & Development We are a highly experienced provider of training and development solutions to the NHS. Our services are in use at NHS Trusts all over London and nationwide.

• Cloud Computing & IT Support We specialise in providing IT network support and security services to organisations in London and across the UK. Our in-house team of qualified and experienced IT engineers can assist with your strategic IT planning, as well as take ownership of your day to day IT issues.

More Information about Bucks New University

It is the only publicly-funded higher education institution in Buckinghamshire. The main university is in High Wycombe, Bucks with the Nursing Division located in Uxbridge, Middx. See also: Feedback on evaluation forms from Bucks New University (BNU) Equal Opportunities in Selection Interviewing Course delivered by jml Training and Consultancy

Institute of Directors poll shows Budget has boosted business confidence

26th March 2011 - Following the UK Budget on Wednesday 23rd March, The IOD - Institute of Directors issued this News Release - The survey for the News Release below of 620IoD members was conducted from 23 March until 25 March.

Business confidence in the UK’s economic outlook has been boosted significantly by the Budget, according to a survey of 620 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD). 58 per cent of company directors say they are now more confident about the long-term economic outlook of the economy as a result of the Budget, with only 9 per cent feeling less confident. The poll also reveals that a large majority of IoD members believe the Government’s economic leadership is sound and that the Chancellor’s Budget will have a positive impact on their businesses, as well as the wider economy. Key points from the survey of 620 company directors Business confidence in the Government’s economic policy:

•58 per cent are more confident about the long-term economic outlook of the economy as a result of the Budget, with only 9 per cent feeling less confident. •69 per cent believe George Osborne is doing a good job running the economy as Chancellor. 14 per cent do not think George Osborne is doing a good job.

Positive impact on wider economy:

•70 per cent believe the Budget will have a positive impact on the economy, with only 6 per cent believing it will have a negative impact.

Positive impact on IoD members’ companies:

•55 per cent believe the Budget will have a positive impact on their business, with only 8 per cent believing it will have a negative impact.

Views on some specific Budget measures:

•93 per cent believe that reducing the main corporation tax rate to 26p this year and 23p by 2014 will be positive for the economy, with 74 per cent stating that it will be positive for their businesses. •43 per cent think the increase in the lifetime limit for entrepreneurs’ relief from £5m to £10m will be positive for their businesses. •48 per cent think the improvement to the capital allowances for short-life assets will be positive for their businesses. •81 per cent think that increasing the limits for investment under the Enterprise Investment Scheme is a positive step. •65 per cent think moving an increase in fuel duty to an increased tax on North Sea oil production when the oil price is high is a positive step.

Commenting on the survey, Graeme Leach, Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “The economic recovery is fragile so it is good news that business leaders have responded so positively to the Budget. At a time when confidence could make the difference between recession and recovery, the IoD’s Policy Voice survey suggests that the Budget has improved the outlook for business investment. And at a time when international developments are making people worried, the Chancellor has helped steady nerves at home.”

Source: IOD Now the budget has taken place, have you arranged your training for the next financial year? At jml Training and Consultancy we offer an excellent selection of "in-house" training courses designed for your organisation. For more information visit jml -training courses and if the course you are looking for is not there, just let us know and we will try to assist.

UK Government U-Turn on Equality Duties published this in the last few days - "Government U-Turn on Equality Duties may reduce need for Diversity Specialists"

In a surprise announcement Theresa May Minister for Equalities and Women has commissioned a policy review on the specific equality duties that were due to come into force on April 6th. Of note fundamental changes have been proposed to draft legislation published on January 12th 2011.

The policy review proposals suggest organisations with more than 150 staff may no longer be required to publish data demonstrating • Engagement they have undertaken when determining their policies;
• Engagement they have undertaken when determining their equality objectives;
• Equality analysis they have undertaken in reaching their policy decisions; and Information they considered when undertaking such analysis. Many equality practitioners are left questioning how policy decisions can be fair let alone inclusive without the need for transparent engagement.

If these changes are approved this would potentially see a dramatic drop in public sector bodies conducting equality impact assessments, and monitoring of how diverse workforces or service users are. Much of the work historically to meet the considerations has been performed by Equality and Diversity Managers, or Consultants.

The Telegraph estimates the cost of the compliance reaches a figure of around 29.8 Million, potentially a huge saving for a Coalition Government tasked with reducing the deficit. At the same time many diversity practitioners contracted or employed in this field may say their roles disappear. The past decades policies have favoured diversity practitioner work strongly, Consultants and specialist Diversity roles have been in abundance. Now much of that may be undone within a year of the Coalition Government’s tenure. Practitioners in the field may feel like their worlds have turned upside down.

Many may have hoped that they would be heavily involved in formulating the data required for public scrutiny. This does not appear to be the case anymore Speaking about the proposals Theresa May said “We have considered the draft regulations further in the light of our policy objective of ensuring that public bodies consider equality when carrying out their functions without imposing unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy.

As a result, we think there is room to do more to strip out unnecessary process requirements.” Linda Bellos of the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners has slammed the proposals as going back to the 80’s, commenting on the changes she said: “In my view these proposals especially those in paragraph 14 will, if implemented, take us back to days when the loudest voices prevails. These changes go beyond reducing bureaucracy they are both ideological and regressive to the point of hostility to equality” Was the U-turn fuelled by the governments embarrassing defeat in the courts?

The Infamous Building Schools for the Future case hinged on the government not undertaking the correct equality impact assessments when scrapping plans to build new schools. If more Austerity measures are to come this could be a welcome loss of a legal obstacle. The Coalition argue that by removing the administration and analysis public bodies will deliver better on equalities, and they will be better able to comply with the specific duties. Those working in the field seem sceptical. Are Diversity Practitioners merely gatekeepers clinging onto their positions or could the coalition be making a huge mistake with its equalities agenda leading to an 80’s style era of widening inequalities? If the policy review is approved we will surely find out the hard way.

To see the consultation Click on this link

Source: Diversitylink which is the only specialist job board on the internet for Equality and Diversity practitioners

For information on Diversity and Equalities training from jml Training Click Here

Public bodies have duties to demonstrate that they are taking action on aspects of equality in policy-making

The March 2001 Equality and Human Rights News arrived in our email in box today.

One of the topics is - "New regulations coming into force early!" Public Sector Duties - Public bodies have duties to demonstrate that they are taking action on aspects of equality in policy-making, delivering services and employment. Under the Equality Act, previous duties will soon be replaced by one new Equality Duty Changes to commencement of PSED general and specific duties On the 18 March 2011 the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has announced that the government’s draft regulations on the specific duties for England (and non-devolved bodies in Scotland and Wales) are to be revised and therefore will not become law on 6 April, as originally envisaged.

The specific duties – which are different for all three nations – are intended to help public authorities meet the general equality duty. GEO has also announced that the commencement date for the new general equality duty for England, Scotland and Wales will be 5 April 2011. You can read the full announcement on the GEO website. The general duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations across all of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

These include the existing characteristics of race, disability and gender as well as some new characteristics, including age, sexual orientation, and religion or belief. The Commission has published guidance that includes advice about meeting the general equality duty. It is essential that all public authorities understand the effect of their policies and practices, to assist them to comply with the general equality duty. This revision of the specific duties may create a degree of uncertainty for public authorities.

The Commission previously set out its views on the previous draft regulations and we will review the new proposals before submitting our views to the GEO. We support the aim to reduce bureaucracy and we will need to examine the new proposals closely to make sure that they offer organisations certainty; without that certainty public bodies will simply replace bureaucratic procedures with legalistic overprotection to guard against every possible source of challenge. Our focus remains on providing public authorities with the information and guidance that they need to prepare for the new equality duty.

In light of the new proposals we will be reviewing our non-statutory guidance on the equality duty as soon as we can. Further queries from public authorities in England (and non-devolved bodies in Scotland and Wales) should be directed to our helpline for England: 0845 604 6610 The Scottish Government is currently reconsidering its proposals for specific duties in Scotland, and so it is not yet clear when these will come into force. Read Scotland's interim advice on the Equality Act Scottish Specific Duties for more information.

Regulations to bring in the Welsh duties have been laid. If passed by the Assembly, they will come into force on 6th April 2011. Further queries from public authorities for Scotland or Wales should be directed to the relevant national helpline: Scotland: 0845 604 5510 Wales: 0845 604 8810

More News from The Equality and Human Rights Commission -Government consults on the Commission’s powers and duties

22 March 2011

In response to the Government’s consultation on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s powers and duties, its chair Trevor Phillips, said: “The Commission began its own review of its role and focus around 18 months ago, before the review of non-departmental bodies by government. We are already talking to our stakeholders about our vision for the Commission’s future and will continue to do so during this consultation and beyond.

Our priorities reflect changes in the equality landscape and the evidence we have been gathering about where our work is most needed, such as those identified in our review of equality 'How Fair is Britain'. We are confident that this will allow us to deliver maximum impact and value for public money.

“We plan to respond quickly to this consultation on our powers and duties so that other organisations are aware of our view of our future. While it is too soon to comment on the Government's proposals in detail, we are concerned that the removal of our good relations mandate may prevent us from being able to do many practical things at a time when community relations are under particular strain.

"A critical aspect in our move to becoming an effective, high-impact regulator will be updating our approach to threats to equality such as the English Defence League. Now is the moment for us to focus and intensify our efforts in this area, not to abandon them." Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission

See also:Government U-Turn on Equality Duties may reduce need for Diversity Specialists

Looking for Equality Training? Visit Today

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Reforms for Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Government Equalities Office issued a press statement on the 22nd March 2011 saying:

Radical reforms to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will make it a stronger, more focussed and more efficient organisation, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said today.

The Government Equalities Office has published detailed plans for major changes to the way the EHRC operates. The reforms will correct mistakes of the past and increase transparency, accountability and value for money.

The proposals are contained in a consultation that will run for three months from today. Ministers plan to make changes in three key areas:

1) Clarifying the EHRC’s remit.The government will amend the legislation that established the EHRC, the Equality Act 2006, to clarify the Commission’s core functions. This will allow the EHRC to focus on the work that really matters, where it alone can add value. At present, vagueness in the Equality Act, for example, the duty to “promote understanding of the importance of equality and diversity” has led to the EHRC undertaking a wide range of activities that are not regulatory in nature, including running summer camps for young people.

2) Stopping non-core activities. One of the causes of the Commission’s difficulties was the breadth of its remit – extending beyond its core role to, for example, operating a helpline and grants programme. The Commission has struggled to do these things well in the past, so we have decided that we should not fund it to do them in the future. The evidence suggests that this work could be done better or more cost-effectively by others.

3) Improving transparency and value for money.Problems with financial controls mean that each set of the EHRC’s accounts have been qualified since its creation, and it has struggled to deliver value for money. Today’s proposals include a legal requirement for the EHRC to publish an annual business plan in Parliament, and comply with the same rules as all other public bodies when spending money. Where the Commission fails to show that it has spent taxpayers’ money wisely, financial penalties will apply.

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May said:“It’s vital that we have a strong, effective and independent equalities and human rights body, but since its creation the EHRC has struggled to deliver across its remit and demonstrate that it is delivering value for taxpayers’ money.

“We want the EHRC to become a valued and respected national institution, championing effective implementation of equality and human rights laws and holding government and others to account for their performance, while delivering maximum value for money for taxpayers. The proposals being published today are intended to make that happen.”

The EHRC covers England, Scotland and Wales. It was set up in 2007 and took on the responsibilities of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

The EHRC is chaired by Trevor Phillips, who was reappointed in 2009 for a second three year term. The body’s interim Chief Executive is Helen Hughes.

Looking for Equality Training? Visit Today

Friday, 18 March 2011

New research by CIPD shines a light on the management behaviours that drive employee engagement

18th March 2011 - News from The CIPD - The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which is Europe's largest HR and development professional body with over 135,000 members, supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations.

The extent to which managers provide guidance, feedback and the appropriate level of autonomy for staff is key to whether employees go the extra mile for their organisation, new research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests.

The research was commissioned to help organisations develop practical guidance for use in promoting better line management performance amongst managers.

Ben Willmott, CIPD Senior Public Policy Adviser, says:
"The central role of managers in boosting individual and organisational performance is well recognised - with the recent government commissioned MacLeod review of employee engagement making the point particularly well. But managers need more specific, tried-and-tested guidance on what they can do on a day-to-day basis to fulfil this key role well. Our new research is designed to fill that gap.

"The research findings may seem on the face of it simple, common sense recommendations. But it is precisely that kind of plain-speaking common sense that managers need. Our findings shine a light on what managers can really do on a day-to-day basis to ensure employees will go the extra mile.

"In today's tough economic environment how managers manage is even more important in supporting employee commitment and motivation in the face of job cuts, pay freezes and cuts to training and development budgets."

Emma Donaldson-Feilder, research author and Director of employee wellbeing consultancy Affinity Health at Work, which conducted the study, says: "We hope this research will help employers and HR practitioners support managers in enhancing employee engagement. The framework, and particularly the specific behavioural indicators, can help managers understand what they need to do. They can be used in learning and development, performance appraisal and even assessment and selection to ensure that those with people management responsibilities behave in ways that will best engage those they manage."

The research asked employees what management behaviours supported them in:
• focusing on what they do
• feeling good about themselves in their role
• acting in a way that demonstrates commitment to their organisation's values and objectives

The most frequently mentioned management competencies for supporting employee engagement were:
• reviewing and guiding
• feedback, praise and recognition
• autonomy and empowerment
• level of interest the manager shows in employees as individuals

The research, Management competencies for enhancing employee engagement, is a pilot study based on interviews with nearly 50 employees working for the emergency team call centre of a large global energy provider.

The research was co-funded by the CIPD and a consortium of other organisations, including employers from a range of sectors. Consortium membership provides a range of benefits including being involved in cutting-edge research.

More information HERE

You have read the CIPD News Release now you need training for your management team. Take a look at the the jml Training website and arrange some in-house training HERE

Age Equality Exemptions consultation launched

The website has the following report under it's News section.

With new Single Equality Duties set to kick in from April 2012, the government has launched a consultation on how exemptions may apply in practise on age as a protected characteristic. Older people are entitled certain concessions such as cheaper car insurance, it was feared certain age related concessions may have become illegal. Holidays aimed at under 25 may become a thing of the past for example.

Age discrimination in the workplace has been illegal since 2006. The decision to extend this ban to the provision of goods and services follows the announcement earlier this year that the government plans to phase out the default retirement age, which can be used to force people to retire at 65 even if they don’t want to.

Speaking about the proposals Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities said it was important to have certain exemptions such as free bus passes for the elderly, whilst banning all forms of age discrimination.

“It’s high time we put an end to outdated stereotypes based on age and recognised the valuable contributions that people of all ages can make to our society and economy. When older people are turned away from the market place through unfair treatment, the economy misses out on increased business and revenue.

These proposals will ensure that doesn’t happen, providing new protection and support for people of all ages. However, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, which is why we will allow businesses to continue to provide the age-specific services that many people of all ages benefit from every day.”

The new rules will apply to services provided by the public sector as well as by private companies.


For information on Diversity and Equalities training from jml Training Click Here

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Age discrimination - The Equality Act 2010

Direct Gov posted the following on their website on the 8th March 2011.
"It will soon become unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their age when providing goods and services, when the Equality Act 2010 takes effect. However, a number of exceptions to the Act have been proposed. Read the proposals in full and have your say.

Proposed exceptions to the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act was signed into law in 2010 and is due to take effect in 2012. Before that happens the government has to decide what kind of organisations will still be allowed to treat people differently because of their age.

In summary the proposed exceptions are:

•age-based concessions such as free or reduced cost travel rights for older or younger people
•group holidays organised around age, such Saga and Club 18-30 holidays

•immigration: age is a factor taken into account in allocating visas

•sport: age-restricted competitions, such as championships for the under-21s
•residential park homes: admission rules

•financial services and insurance products, but only when age is an important factor

If you would like to comment on the consultation, visit the Government Equalities Office website. The consultation runs until 25 May 2011. At "

The Equality Act 2010 - Is your organisation compliant? jml Training have a course that will help you - Details Here

Monday, 7 March 2011

Investing in High Performing Managers with jml Training

"If organisations don't invest in developing high-performing managers, they
may find better managed competitors racing past on the road to recovery…." CIPD 2011 1st Quarter Survey

To deliver the services that people expect, in the face of a challenge to do more with less, managers need to be skilled at increasing employee engagement and improving performance.

Middle managers are the powerhouse of any organisation or business. They need to be skilled in developing, motivating, and securing a high level of performance from all their employees in a changing environment.

The jml Training management development programme recognises that middle managers are the conduit between the senior strategic team and the front line services. It is designed to develop in managers a robust and pro-active approach to change; highly effective influencing and communication skills; the ability to focus on the things that matter and to get things done.

The programme strongly emphasis:

Close involvement with senior managers to ensure the content is integrated to organisational priorities.
Managers and participants agree personal development goals prior to the programme and review on completion.
'On-the-job' opportunities to practice new skills and techniques.
Application of a range of practical techniques and tools that the participants can immediately apply in their work situations.
A strong focus on delivery, producing results and customer service.

Programme content in four modules

Effective communication, influencing and relationship management
Management/leadership skills to develop high performing teams
Developing skills of personal effectiveness - planning, prioritising, delegating and productivity
Leading and delivering successful change - including behavioural change, team learning and collaboration.
The four modules are best run over a period of four/five months, allowing time for application of learning back in their workplace.

As with all jml Training, the material and the practical exercises will be adapted to meet the needs of your organisation very precisely. Additional modules can be added to the programme.

Guided learning

The participants will develop a Personal Portfolio of course materials, references, group work check lists and their own notes and personal action plans. The results of group work exercises will be typed up and circulated to participants where appropriate.

All participants will be provided with extensive Reading Lists to support their learning and they will be encouraged to reflect on their practice and application of new learning and experiences using Learning Diaries. The participants will leave with a Management Toolkit to use and share with their teams.

Impact on work practice - Each session will end with an Action Planning activity related to work practice.

Working with difference - Individual coaching and the use of diagnostic assessments, for example, Myers Briggs or Firo B instruments can be included in the programme if required.

Programme outcomes

Confident and self-aware managers prepared to lead and manage
Greater collaboration and consistency of message between levels of management and across departments or directorates.

Where does your organisation go from here to start this programme of "in house" training modules?