CNet Training (CNet) is the global leader in technical education for the digital infrastructure industry. They design and deliver network infrastructure cabling and data centre programmes. CNet offer introductory to master’s degree level in locations across the world and via live, instructor-led remote attendance programmes.
Having delivered apprenticeships since 2020 as a supporting provider, CNet Training took the decision to apply to become a main provider in 2022. At this point, they scoped the market for an apprenticeship delivery system.
CNet’s biggest priorities are quality and learner experience, having already established themselves as a high-quality technical education provider. Scalability is also a big consideration as demand for the Network Cable Installer (NCI®) Apprenticeship is high. “We looked at several systems,” said Rob Stonehouse, Apprenticeship Manager. “We selected Aptem because it gives us everything we need to deliver a high-quality experience to our learners and their employers, and because it provides reassurance that we are operating in a compliant way.”
Compliance is a key consideration for CNet Trainng. Like all providers operating in this highly regulated environment, the fear of ESFA funding clawbacks, fines for non-eligibility, or being non-compliant with Ofsted regulations, lays heavy. “Eligibility reviews are laid out simply and ask the right questions,” Rob continues. “The extensive Skills Scan at the start of the programme can be repeated at regular intervals to monitor progress. The RPL tracker recognises prior learning and auto reduces the minimum Off-The-Job Hours and the maximum you can charge. All of these features reassure us that Aptem is helping us to maintain compliance. I don’t need to keep going back to the funding rules and manually checking everything,” explains Rob. “We couldn’t find another system out there that could operate at this level.”
“The ILR upload is incredibly easy. It takes me 10 minutes to generate an ILR batch file and update. It’s simple to change if there are errors, with the ILR records being clear and accessible to edit manually if need be in Aptem. As a commercial organisation, we haven’t had to consider these regulations before. So, the reassurance provided by the system and the knowledge we are using the right documentation is invaluable. The system chases for signatures and ensures the ILR is correct so that we will receive our funding – it’s really helpful.”
All Aptem customers are given a dedicated Implementation Consultant who stays with the customer until they are fully confident using the system. “Implementation didn’t end with first learners going on to programmes,” said Rob. “Our Implementation Consultants have been very proactive, checking we are doing things correctly as learners are onboarding. We’ve been supported all the way through. Inevitably, there are things you get wrong, so having the immediate, proactive support is brilliant.”
“We have been given a dedicated SharePoint site filled with our own resources, including videos of all implementation sessions. This is helpful and something I frequently visit. The online Aptem Help Centre is very good and Aptem’s Customer Support team is always on hand. The Aptem Basics and Masterclass fortnightly training webinars help us to maintain best practice as the system evolves, as do the monthly updates communications. We also use the Aptem eBooks on offer to ensure we’re using the system in the most efficient and compliant way. Support has been first class and continues to be.”
Implementation of Aptem is very logical. Customers are guided through the onboarding set-up, into the delivery programme where programmes are mapped to KSBs. “Pre-mapping really helps trainers,” said Rob. “If a learner has completed a component, it automatically maps to these KSBs and there is nothing else to do.” Progress reviews can be mapped to the Skills Radar, monitoring progression from starting points, and there is a RAG rating within the Dashboards for ease of visibility. CNet uploads assets into Aptem using SCORM and builds surveys into their learning plan. Other features, like the ability to synchronise changes across learners and cohorts, have already proved invaluable time-savers.
“Aptem’s functionality is superb. Our learners do everything through Aptem. The transition from a supporting provider to a main provider was considerably eased by Aptem. There are so many rules and regulations to consider, and Aptem automates what it can, delivers updates in line with funding rules changes, and provides manuals to ensure we are using the system in the most compliant way.”
Learn more about Aptem Apprentice.