For the first time since it began in 1998, the Training Standards Council has awarded top marks to a training provider in an assessment.
Aston Commercial Training in Northampton received 'Grade 1's for all five of the areas it was assessed on - Business administration, Equal opportunities, Trainee support, Management of training and Quality assurance. Aston operates a recruitment agency and training provider for government-funded and private training programes in the areas of administration, clerical work and accounting. The company has held a contract directly with Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce Training and Enterprise (CCTE) since April 1997.
Aston’s managing director Beverley Whatmore may be unusual: she says she felt sad when the inspection was over. "It was something of an anti-climax,” she said. "We had planned down to the last detail and involved all our staff every step of the way." Although suprised that company had received the highest-ever grades awarded for what the TSC called 'outstanding' work, Whatmore said everyone at the company was "completely thrilled to receive recognition from the TSC for the quality of what we do."
TSC chief inspector David Sherlock added: "we are delighted to be able to give praise to Aston Commercial Training. What they do epitomises the principle of continuous improvement. Aston’s attention to detail is exemplary. It is clear that they never stand still in striving to reach the high standards they have set themselves."
Three-fifths of all Northamptonshire employers provided or arranged off-the-job training for their employees in 1999.