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Scoping Report - SCOPING EXERCISE

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					National Occupational Standards for Student Liaison
  Officers working in the further education sector




            SCOPING EXERCISE

                  FINAL REPORT




                Version 2, April 2008
                                            Contents



1. Executive summary                                                                3

2. Background                                                                       6

3. The aims and objectives of the project                                           7

4. Policy context                                                                   8

5. Key research issues                                                              11

6. Methodological approach                                                          13

7. Results of the scoping exercise                                                  15

8. Options                                                                          25

9. Recommendations                                                                  29

10. Next steps                                                                      30



Appendices

1. Steering Group members                                                           33

2. Questionnaire                                                                    34

3. List of respondents                                                              45

4. Collation of information from respondents                                        47

5. Where standards may be drawn from                                                51

6. SLO functions mapped against available standards                                 52

7. SLO functions mapped against Professional Standards and NOS for                  59
Youth Work and common standards for Community Learning and
Development

8. Stakeholder map                                                                  64

9. Outline functional map                                                           55

10. Examples of best practice                                                       70

11. Reference materials                                                             74




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1.       Executive summary

1.1      This report is based on a scoping exercise, researching and reviewing the
role of the Student Liaison Officer (SLO) in the FE sector across the four nations of
the UK. It identifies the range of key functions, activities and skills required to
perform the variety of roles defined broadly as ‘SLO’ across FE, with a view to
recommending whether professional standards for England are needed, or National
Occupational Standards (NOS) for the UK as a whole. The report follows an interim
review, produced in March 2008, which was based primarily on the position in
England.

1.2     The research was undertaken in the light of the government’s FE White
Paper 2006 Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances, which stated
in paragraph 3.13: ‘…. we will extend the successful national scheme of support for
learner representatives. And we will strengthen the Staff Student Liaison Officer role
by asking Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) to develop standards for this vital role’.

1.3     The research identified that there are a significant number of job titles which
can broadly be defined as SLO. What links all the jobs is the common function of
‘learner involvement’.

1.4     Using a variety of methodologies which included web-based desk research,
structured interviews supported by a detailed questionnaire, focus groups and re-
analysis of previously collected raw data, the core functions of the SLO in England
were identified and subsequently amended in the light of the position in Scotland,
(where the role is most clearly defined), Northern Ireland and Wales. In summary,
these core functions are:
        • Representation and advocacy (including supporting/promoting ‘Learner
            Voice’ and ‘Learner Involvement’)
        • Supporting Student Unions and Student Councils (at a variety of different
            levels)
        • Supporting student campaigns
        • Encouraging student communications through appropriate media
        • Supporting students in preparing for disciplinary/appeal hearings

In Scotland SLO’s (or their equivalent) already have a significant role to play in
quality improvement in colleges, and this function is being developed in many
English (and Northern Ireland) colleges at the present time by senior managers.

1.5    In addition, in England and Wales the role is also significant in the
development, promotion and management of enrichment1 activities and in providing
information and advice and promotional activities for potential and current students.

1.6     Based on the current trajectory for development of the FE sector in England,
Scotland, Northern Ireland and emerging college-driven developments in Wales, a
number of future functions of SLO’s are also identified through the research. These
include supporting and representing off-site learners, including in the workplace,
where learner involvement is generally limited at present. In addition, there is further
scope for SLO’s to contribute to curriculum reviews, quality reviews and institutional
strategic planning, providing professional and strategic support to Student Unions
including supporting student elections (including for student governors) and for
mentoring and coaching individual students.



1
  For the purposes of this research enrichment is being defined as ‘activities which broaden learning
and self-development that are not integral to the individual’s primary learning objectives’
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1.7     In reviewing current available standards, it is evident that there are few
standards that are specific to the functions associated with the development and
management of enrichment or many of the constituent parts of Learner Voice,
although there is commonality with some components of the Youth Work NOS and
the common standards for Community Learning and Development. Where wider
standards do exist, such as related to trade union development, they assume a very
different union structure to that found in the FE sector. There are no standards that
transfer readily to the functions related to contributing to curriculum reviews, quality
reviews and institutional strategic planning in FE. Thus, arguably, many of the
functions associated with Learner Voice and Learner Involvement are not
underpinned by existing standards.

1.8     Standards can also facilitate a consistent approach to transferable skills
which can be used within or taken outside the FE sector. This in turn will provide the
context for the development of career pathways for SLO’s and assist with recruitment
to posts which provide real support to learners.

1.9     There are risks in developing National Occupational Standards, in that
approval is needed from national partners in all four nations. If this approval is not
forthcoming, professional standards for England only can be considered, which may
lack the credibility of NOS. However, the evidence suggests that national partners
in Scotland and Northern Ireland are interested in NOS as they would help to define
the functions of an increasingly important part of the FE workforce and enhance the
credibility of the SLO (and equivalent) role. In Wales the FE institutions themselves
are interested in standards for the SLO role for the same reason.

1.10 It is recognised, however, that NOS can also result in a lack of flexibility and
responsiveness to local or diverse learner needs if they are too tightly defined or
colleges interpret them too rigidly. There has been some comment during the
research that by developing NOS there may be a relatively limited return on
investment for a relatively small SLO workforce. FE managers have also expressed
the view that FE is changing so rapidly at the present time in all parts of the UK that
standards development now must be fully ‘future-proofed’.

1.11 However, the evidence from the research is that the benefits outweigh the
risks since standards will professionalise a key support function in the FE sector,
benefiting individuals, institutions and FE as a whole by giving a national identity to
the SLO sector. Furthermore, by defining standards for key functions performed by
SLO’s, the profile of Learner Voice and Learner Involvement, including student
democracy, active citizenship and the youth work standard should be raised and
promoted as fundamental to quality improvement in FE.

1.12 There is, therefore, a clear case for the professionalisation of the SLO
workforce through the development of standards. It is proposed that these should be
National Occupational Standards (NOS) since the role definition related to student
representation across the UK is broadly comparable (although the terminology used
may differ slightly). Since NOS can be defined flexibly, although ‘Learner Voice’
functions are prevalent in Scotland and are gaining momentum in England, it is
important that NOS should reflect the wider SLO role definitions evident in England
and Wales. This will enable functions defined broadly as ‘enrichment’ – activities
which broaden learning and self-development that are not integral to the individual’s
primary learning objectives – to be an integral component of the standards.

1.13 Thus, it is proposed that as NOS are defined, the terminology for the broad
range of roles that the ‘SLO’ encompasses is explored further, with a view to defining
standards for what may be described as ‘learner involvement’.

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1.14    The next steps require:
        • Preparation of a detailed functional map (to include the full scope of
           learner involvement)
        • Preparation of an occupational map
        • Definition of the values that underpin the SLO role
        • Detailed review and cross-reference to appropriate existing standards
           and to Work Based Learning (WBL) roles which are currently being
           identified
        • Undertake a detailed analysis across all roles within the lifelong learning
           sector to ensure that there is no equivalent role
        • Consult on the draft functional map and occupational map based on the
           stakeholder map prepared as part of the current research, to enable
           stakeholders to contribute to the development of and subsequent
           validation of the standards
        • Revise the draft standards in the light of the consultation
        • Gain approval for the standards in the four administrations through their
           submission to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

1.15 It is proposed that the process commences as soon as possible. On the
basis that there is already a receptive audience among SLO’s and FE managers,
(endorsed by the scoping exercise) agreed standards could be drawn up within 8 -12
months – i.e. by March 2009.




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    2 Background

2.1    LLUK has been commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Universities
and Skills (DIUS) to undertake a scoping exercise to identify whether there is a
requirement for professional standards (for England) or National Occupational
Standards (UK-wide) for Student Liaison Officers (SLO’s) within the Lifelong
Learning Sector and what would be required to develop them.

2.2     LLUK is the independent employer-led Sector Skills Council for the Lifelong
Learning Sector. It is responsible for the professional development of the 1 million+
people working in further education, community learning and development, higher
education, libraries, archives and information services and work based learning
across the UK, and is the voice of employers in the FE sector on workforce skills
issues.

2.3     LLUK is licensed by the UK government to set standards for occupational
competence for those employers whose primary purpose is the delivery and support
of learning. Hence its role is pivotal to enabling the skills supply system to increase
in quality and capacity to meet skills challenges across the UK.




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3.      The aims and objectives of the project

3.1    The aim of the project was to examine the functions that make up the role of
the Student Liaison Officer (SLO) in FE institutions in the first instance in England,
drawing comparisons with the rest of the UK. An interim report produced in March
2008 considered the position in England; the final report looks at the position across
the UK and puts forward options, recommendations and proposes the next steps.

3.2     The key objectives of the project were:
        • To identify the commonality of roles between those who work as Student
           Liaison Officers in the FE sector and those in similar positions, such as
           Learner Voice Coordinator in FE or in the wider lifelong learning sector
        • To identify the key functions and activities that make up the SLO role
        • To consider whether the SLO role is duplicated across the UK
        • To consider examples of good practice in the UK for developing this role
        • To determine if there is a defined need for professional or national
           occupational standards for this role
        • To determine recommendations for next steps to address further
           standards based development

3.3     A Project Steering Group (PSG) comprised representatives of the following:
        • National Association of Managers of Student Services (NAMSS)
        • Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL)
        • UNISON
        • National Union of Students (NUS)
        • National Learner Panel (NLP)
        • Association of Colleges (AOC)
        • Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)
        • Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK)

        A full list of the names of PSG members are listed in Appendix 1.

3.4     The Steering Group provided invaluable support and advice throughout the
project. Members of the Steering Group also helped to ensure that the questionnaire
– central to the collection of evidence – was promoted through their own networks to
maximise the penetration of the research within the FE sector.




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4.      Policy context

England: the national government policy

4.1     In March 2006 the DfES published the FE White Paper, Further Education:
Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances. This was a response to Sir Andrew Foster’s
report published in December 2005 on the future of FE colleges, Realising the
Potential. Central to the White Paper is the public service reform policy of raising
the ‘bar on standards’, with a ‘tough approach to both inadequate and coasting
providers; encouraging a diverse and quality set of providers; promoting learner
choice; tailoring provision that is responsive to the needs of all…….’.

4.2     Chapter 3 of the White Paper is specific about the direct role of learners in
national and local agencies, colleges and training providers and defines a
requirement that each provider will develop and implement strategies for involving
learners and parents/carers of younger learners. The White Paper also led to the
establishment of a National Learner Panel to increase the influence of learners in
direct policy decisions, which commenced activities in November 2006.

4.3     Based on the LSC national learner satisfaction survey, the White Paper
emphasises that learners are now expected to feed back their levels of satisfaction
so that colleges and training providers can make improvements. It also defines and
expectation that there should be effective mechanisms for engaging directly with
learners through student committees.

4.4     To progress this intention, section 3.13 of the White Paper is unequivocal and
specific: ‘Working with the Centre for Excellence in Leadership, the Association of
Colleges and the National Union of Students, we will extend the successful national
scheme of support for learner representatives. And we will strengthen the Staff
Student Liaison Officer role by asking Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) to develop
standards for this vital role’

4.5    The National Learner Panel (NLP) has contributed to key policy
developments such as the Leitch Review of Skills, Learner Involvement Strategies
and Ofsted inspection proposals. A regional learner panel is also being piloted in
Yorkshire and Humberside. However, despite significant progress, the update on the
White Paper published in July 2007 indicates much more to do including ‘further
support for Student Liaison Officers’, the responsibility for which lies with CEL and
LLUK.

4.6     The role of the SLO is also related to the personalisation agenda. In
November 2006, DfES published ‘Personalising Further Education: Developing a
Vision’. In this document, personalisation was defined as ‘working in partnership with
the learner – to tailor their learning experience and pathways, according to their
needs and personal objectives – in a way which delivers success’. Personalisation is
not seen as an end in itself but a key driver in achieving ambitions for the learner,
through working with the learner. SLO’s were seen as a key to improving
responsiveness to individual needs.

Scotland: devolved administration policies

4.7     The stakeholder-led Review of Scotland's Colleges in 2005-7 took a close
look at the college sector, possibly the most comprehensive since colleges'
incorporation in 1993. The Review considered what the college sector delivers for
Scotland and what more it could do in the coming years. It examined issues around
the three key elements to successful learning - learners, staff and the places where
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learning occurs. The Review considered how to support successful and accountable
governance. It also looked further ahead in exploring colleges' strategic future.

4.8     In the Scottish government’s response to the Review - Promoting Excellence
- published in autumn 2007, the introduction to the section on staff, learners and
learning environments states quite categorically: ‘Individuals need to be at the centre
of learning and skills development. Colleges should therefore support the active
involvement of individuals in shaping their own learning experience. Strong and
effective student representation are important aspects of that’.

This is reiterated in the section on accountability and governance, which states that
to promote excellence the government must contribute by ‘providing better support to
student and staff members to maximise the vital contribution they make to boards'
deliberations’

4.9     Clearly, student representation is seen as central to the effective functioning
of further education colleges in Scotland to the extent that the current Scottish
Funding Council (SFC)/HMIE quality enhancement framework, quite specifically
includes student input as one of its key strands. Under this strand, colleges should
be able to demonstrate that they are listening to students and taking appropriate
action in response. The SFC has also made what it defines as "learner-centredness”
a cross-cutting theme of its new draft corporate plan. The learner-centric theme was
emphasised in Inspiring Achievement: report of the Staffing, Learners and Learning
Environments working group published in 2007. As a result student representation is
more developed than in the other UK administrations.

4.10 Scotland also has a separate body, funded primarily by the Scottish Funding
Agency (SFA) and supported by the NUS in Scotland – Sparqs (Student Participation
in Quality Scotland). This organisation provides support for the student
representation functions – both for the student undertaking those roles and student
union/association representatives, some of who are now sabbatical officers, and for
the staff who are supporting the students in those roles.

Northern Ireland: devolved administration policies

4.11 Implementation of FE Means Business in 2007 resulted in the 16 FE
institutions in Northern Ireland being merged into 6 regional colleges. The underlying
reasons for the merger programme were to improve student choice, the quality of
student experiences and effectiveness of institutions. Individual institutions are now
reviewing their structures, and are considering how they can provide additional
support to students, enshrined within their missions as well as increasing student
participation within the development of quality systems.

4.12 The outcomes of this report, in terms of the functions and opportunities for
learners afforded by the SLO type role, are likely to inform some of the decisions
made by individual colleges to enhance student representation.

Wales: devolved administration policies

4.13 The Welsh Assembly commissioned an independent review of FE in Wales at
the end of 2006. This was identified as a need in Wales: The Learning Country –
Vision into Action report in 2005. The outcomes of the independent review were
published as the Webb Report Promise and Performance: The Report of the
Independent Review of the Mission and Purpose of Further Education in Wales in
the context of the Learning Country: Vision into Action in December 2007. The


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review was intended to take a holistic review of the whole of the post-14 sector. The
Welsh Assembly has yet to respond formally to the report.

4.14 However, there is no apparent explicit policy towards Learner Voice, or an
overarching approach to student representation, in the same way that there is in
Scotland or is emerging in England. Although represented in the Common
Inspection Framework for Wales implemented by Estyn, the types of functions
encompassed by SLO’s in other parts of the UK appear to be less well developed.
Most support (e.g. through QAA) appears to be for higher education students
studying within further education colleges in line with the normal condition of
franchise arrangements to have student representation on course programmes as
part of quality assurance systems. It will remain to be seen if the response to the
Webb report includes a strengthening of student representation as a means to
enhance quality and improve standards in Wales.

4.15 Emerging evidence is that Welsh Colleges do not see the Welsh Assembly as
being opposed to the development of Learner Voice, but as yet have not defined it
as a strategic priority. Consequently the colleges in Wales are starting to work
closely together with Fforwm and NAMSS to begin the process of developing learner
representation in Wales. Any move towards NOS might provide a framework and
support for this development process.




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5.      Key research issues

Why have National Occupational Standards?

5.1     National Occupational Standards (NOS) essentially define what constitutes
good practice within a given sector of the workforce across the UK. They differ from
professional standards in that NOS need to be approved via the UKCES in each of
the four nations that comprise the UK, whereas professional standards would be
approved and apply only to England.

5.2     National Occupational Standards are of value to employers as:
        • They provide an invaluable business planning tool, since they describe
           the skills needed in their workforce and can help them assess the skills,
           knowledge and expected behaviours already available in the workforce
        • They define the areas where training and recruitment is needed to fill any
           identified skills gaps and skills shortages
        • They may be used as the basis for recruitment and selection purposes
        • If used as a development tool, they may assist with staff retention
        • They can be used as the basis for setting objectives in appraisal and
           performance management
        • They can be used to inform the content of training, as they specify in
           detail what constitutes good practice.
        • They can also be used to evaluate training by defining the expected
           outcomes
        • They provide an excellent basis from which to develop bench marking
           exercises, either internally or to compare with other similar organisations
           and as a self reflective/self assessment tool.

5.3     National Occupational Standards are of value to employees as:
        • They can undertake an assessment of their own competences against
           their job or other jobs, which can be useful for professional development
           or career progression. NOS can also increase mobility and career
           progression, as they apply across all four nations.
        • They provide the basis of qualifications that relate to work needs
        • They can provide motivation for further development of learning and skills
        • They provide a baseline against which individuals can be appraised,
           improve their performance and gain credit for their achievements, so
           enhancing job satisfaction

5.4     It should be noted that having National Occupational Standards or
professional standards, does not require employers or employees to use them for
any of the above functions. It has been estimated by the Management Standards
Centre (MSC) that there are 115 uses of standards.

Collection of sufficiently robust evidence

5.5      Although relatively small scale and with short timescales, it was recognised at
the outset that the scoping exercise had to collect sufficiently robust data in a
consistent format to be able to draw sound conclusions. To do this, structured
interviews using a questionnaire (primarily comprising closed questions) was
identified as the means by which consistency was most likely to be assured, but
supported by focus groups at which issues could be discussed and explored.




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Gaining learner views

5.6     The timescales and research period approaching the Easter holiday period
resulted in there being limited opportunity to gain the views of learners. The
research relied on contributions through the National Learner Panel and via the
National Union of Students. On the basis that standards are ultimately developed,
further input by students will be an integral part of the development process.

A variety of institutional viewpoints

5.7     Inevitably, different organisations and individuals who work with learners in
FE and other post compulsory sectors have very specific views about the workforce
and its development needs. The research has to balance the views and focus on
what the consensus suggests is best for the student to improve the quality of
experience, maximise the opportunities for learning and ensure that as many wider
opportunities for his/her personal development are available as possible. Although
many ideas as possible promoted by the various organisations and individuals who
contributed to the research have been accommodated, a number of those expressed
less frequently have been given less weight.

5.8     The issue of balancing views becomes all the more important when
considering whether NOS should be developed, rather than merely professional
standards for England. Each of the devolved administrations are at different stages
of development and have different approaches in terms of student support and
representation functions. There is a danger that by introducing NOS, the important
differences within the SLO role which reflect the individual devolved administration
policies may be diminished or even lost, especially if the standards were deemed to
be insufficiently flexible.

5.9    However, NOS can be developed to accommodate differing practice. This
may lead to the production of ‘generic’ and more ‘specialised’ standards, as
evidenced by the Youth Work NOS. Hence, not all NOS apply to every situation and
should be used flexibly in combination to support a variety of roles.

The demand for the SLO workforce

5.10 It is difficult to estimate the number of individuals across the UK who have a
role which falls within a broad definition of SLO, not least as many have more than
one function within their institution. In England, most FE institutions have 1 to 2
individuals – however, they may not be full time roles; in Scotland most colleges
employ least 2 and Wales and Northern Ireland up to 2. On this basis, there are
probably approximately 700-1000 individuals with a broadly ‘learner involvement
role’. However, some institutions, such as sixth form colleges, have a well defined
pastoral tutorial system and others are developing roles to support the
personalisation agenda, personnel who may not be seen as SLO’s. There are also
new roles, such as the FE Sports Coordinators (FESCO’s), who may have
overlapping or complementary roles.

5.11 The significance of this discussion is to identify whether there is sufficient
volume of people to warrant an investment in standards development, and to
ascertain if the number of post-holders with broadly a SLO function in the FE
workforce is growing or reducing. On the basis of the estimates, there are sufficient
personnel to support investment, not least as the roles are growing in number and
stature.



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6.      Methodological approach

6.1     Given the time frame for the project, data had to be collected quickly and
efficiently. The methods to collect information about the role of SLO’s comprised,
therefore of:
        • Web based research
        • Questionnaires - used to collect structured and consistent information
             from telephone discussions and from web-based consultation
        • Focus groups
        • Previously collected information from third parties - re-analysed

Web based research on the role of the Student Liaison Officer

6.2     Although web searches provided primarily information on the functional role
in the higher education sector, some useful background to learner involvement and
learner representation was identified from across the UK. Web searches also
provided background to the policy context and its application in the devolved
administrations within the UK.

Development and application of a questionnaire

6.3      The initial research enabled the development of a simple questionnaire which
defined the functions that seemed to be incorporated in the broad area of student
liaison and support. The questionnaire was subsequently refined after discussions at
the first Steering Group meeting and with three SLO’s.

6.4      The final questionnaire (attached as Appendix 2) included questions
concerning the position of the SLO within an institution’s hierarchy and about the
skills that SLO’s perceive that they need to perform the functions effectively. It also
enables the collection of information on the possible development of the SLO sector
functions in the light of current government policy. The structure of the questionnaire
enabled it to be used with SLO’s and with employers. It was also used as the basis
of discussions with representatives based in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Telephone interviews (semi-structured)

6. 5   The questionnaire was used as the framework to discuss and collect
information from SLO’s (and in some cases their managers) in a number of colleges,
known to be models of best practice. We spoke to six managers and four SLO’s in
this way.

6.6     Telephone discussions were also held with college employer representatives
in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, using the findings from England to inform
the discussions.

Network and web-based consultation

6.7    The questionnaire was distributed through appropriate networks by Steering
Group representatives (NUS, UNISON, NAMSS, CEL and AoC) for members to
respond direct to Learning etc and was also placed on the UNISON website. The
approach brought in relatively limited additional information (10 responses) which
may have been partly as a result of the timing of the research in the run up to, and
over the Easter period.




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6.8      Subsequently, the questionnaire was sent around the Welsh-colleges
facilitated network of Student Services managers as a means to collect information
on the position in Wales.

Focus groups

6.9     Three focus groups were held, each making use of the questionnaire as the
basis of discussion. Two were with employers (largely colleges) and were facilitated
by LLUK and Learning etc jointly during the NAMSS (National Association of
Managers of Student Services) conference in March 2008. This allowed discussion
of the functions and the benefits and risks of introducing standards by primarily
senior staff managing SLO’s from within the FE sector. From these focus groups 39
questionnaire responses were collected. The third focus group was facilitated by the
National Union of Students (NUS) in March 2008 and comprised 30 NUS Officers
based from around England. This latter group, supplemented by input from the
National Learner Panel, provided the views of the learners themselves.

Previously collected information supplied by CEL

6.10 CEL supplied 50 unanalysed questionnaire responses from SLO’s which had
been collected at their summer 2007 conference. This provided additional
information concerning the functional role and skills requirements of SLO’s.

Benefits and risks of developing standards

6.11 Members of the Steering Group at its meeting in March 2008 and the two
NAMSS focus groups were also invited to consider the benefits and risks of the
development of standards. The purpose of this was to encourage open discussion
about the SLO functions, and how the role might be impacted upon by the approval
of standards.

Collation of the evidence

6.12 In total 95 responses were received, excluding the 50 forwarded from CEL
(see 6.9 above). A full list of the institutions (which gave their name) and the
respondents are in Appendix 3. All the information was collated into a single
response form, which is attached as Appendix 4.

6.13 The responses also allowed a stakeholder map to be drawn up showing the
key relationships between the SLO role and other stakeholders in England, which is
attached as Appendix 8. Although derived initially for England, it is broadly
applicable across the UK.

Relevant standards

6.14 Following the data collection and analysis, the researchers carried out an
initial review of existing occupational standards relating to the functions, skills and
attributes that the primary research indicated were incorporated within the role of the
SLO’s. The list of standards setting bodies and the relevant standards that can be
applied to aspects of the SLO role are listed in Appendices 5 and 6. A more detailed
analysis against the standards which are probably closest – Youth Work NOS and
common standards for Community Learning and Development is in Appendix 7.
These analyses should still be regarded as work in process that needs further
refinement once a detailed functional map is completed, on the basis that standards
are developed.


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7.      Results of the scoping exercise

The function of Student Liaison Officers in England

7.1     Although most SLO’s in England perceive their role to be more complex and
extensive than most of their managers understand it to be, the results of the research
indicate that there are a number of core functions and activities that managers and
SLO’s agree are common to all SLO’s. These include:
        • Developing, promoting and (sometimes) managing and risk assessing a
            wide range of enrichment activities – for some SLO’s this function forms
            the main requirement of their role
        • Promoting representation and advocacy at least at a basic level (although
            this may not be called ‘Learner Voice’)
        • Providing an input into information, advice and promotional activities (but
            rarely school liaison)
        • Supporting Student Unions and Student Councils (although the level of
            the support varies from basic administration to more complex planning
            and budgeting)
        • Supporting student campaigns
        • Student communications through appropriate media (e.g. magazine,
            websites)
        • Supporting students in preparing for disciplinary/appeal hearings (and
            sometimes accompanying them)

7.2       Having reviewed the research evidence, it had been expected that a greater
proportion of SLO’s would currently have functional roles (which include
representation) aligned to a named curriculum area, as evident in higher education
and a core function within institutional quality review (as envisaged in Learner Voice).
Furthermore, although they may have a role within the strategic planning of Student
Unions, few contribute to institutional strategic planning. The role is also
underdeveloped in off-site learning - few SLO’s perform functions in work based
learning.

7.3    Interestingly, it is managers in FE that wish to see the development of the
SLO role as much as or more than the SLO’s themselves. Evidence from
conversations with SLO’s suggests that some see themselves stretched at present –
so would not wish to develop the role without either additional resource reporting to,
or working alongside them.

7.4    As a group, managers expressed the view that they would like to see SLO’s
involved further in:
       • Actively promoting Learner Voice to all, recognising the diversity of the
           student body
       • Following from the above, supporting and representing off-site learners,
           including in the workplace
       • Contributing to curriculum and quality reviews and college strategic
           planning
       • Providing professional support to Student Unions, including at a strategic
           level
       • Supporting student elections including for student governors
       • Supporting students in disciplinary/appeal hearings
       • Mentoring, but not counselling (unless specifically trained to do so)
           individual students



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7.5     Although it does not automatically follow from the evidence presented in 7.4,
it does suggest that FE institutions in England are willing to invest further in SLO’s so
that they can be effective in:
        • Representation and advocacy, negotiation and diplomacy
        • Coaching and mentoring and (occasionally) counselling - with the
            implications in the case of the latter that the SLO’s will need to take
            professional qualifications in order to practice
        • Quality systems
        • Equality and diversity
        • Essential HR law – at a basic support and information level related to, for
            example, grievance and disciplinary procedures – there is no requirement
            for a legal qualification
        • FE governance

This could require a significant training investment in the SLO sector.

The role and functions of the SLO (or similar role) in the devolved
administrations of the UK

7.6    The Scottish system of SLO’s (and equivalent roles) is more developed than
in England, especially in terms of representation. The appointment of Student
Union/Student Association sabbatical officers is common to the point of being
expected. However, the role is rarely involved in the area of enrichment, and most
SLO’s support student associations as the sole or major part of their role.

7.7     In 2006, 23 Scottish colleges had student representation on their main
academic committee and five had students on their management board. Since then
the numbers have increased substantially, as seen in the policy context, student
representation is a strand running through SFC/HMIE inspections. However, as yet
fewer colleges have representatives on their board’s main strategic planning sub-
committee – which in some cases acts as the Academic Board. However, having
representation is one thing – actually attending and contributing is another. Over half
the 23 colleges noted that attendance was poor at the senior committees, with many
resignations resulting in poor continuity. In part to overcome this, the Student
Liaison Officer (or equivalent) role is seen as crucial, and it is these officers who in
their own right attend senior committees and in many instances have a direct route to
the Principal or Vice Principal.

7.8      Where more than one student representative is acceptable, and/or is
supported by the ‘SLO’, attendance appears to be greater since they can provide
mutual support and if one cannot attend the other may be able to. However,
evidence from colleges and Sparqs suggests there also appears to be a relationship
between the student representatives who have training and their attendance at board
meetings, regardless of the SLO. For example, at Reid Kerr College, 95 out of a
possible 97 course representatives have been on training offered by Sparqs – and
the colleges have a sophisticated and effective student representation system. Many
colleges have course representatives who also make up the student association’s
elected members. At least one college has enshrined in the Student Charter, the
right to be represented by a course representative. However, it should be noted that
despite all the support, young men are the least likely to volunteer as course
representatives.

7.9     Where colleges teach higher education courses, they generally take on board
the university’s representative and related roles. Like in England, the evidence
suggests that engaging with off-site students (especially in work based learning or


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outreach centres) is difficult and few of these learners are involved in student
decision making processes.

7.10 Scottish colleges also have a more positive attitude to paying for students to
take on responsibility within the student’s association. Around 30% pay for officers
within student associations (generally President of the Student’s Union) of which
seven (in 2006) were full time posts and three were part time posts. This tends to
encourage representation at senior committees and better communication with
course representatives. Some of these paid officers take on the SLO role; others
work directly with SLO’s. College teaching and learning and senior staff
acknowledge that having paid sabbaticals encourage student representation.

7.11 Course Team Boards in many colleges provide the mechanism for taking
issues to senior management, where there is no direct student representation. In
most cases course representatives are there to ensure a review of activities against
the inspection framework – so, unlike England, the link with quality is central to the
debate.

7.12 As in England, there is evidence about where student representation could be
improved and how the SLO role could be developed. Inspiring Achievement, a
report of the Staffing, Learners and Learning Environments Group of SFA, concluded
in a report in 2005 that much still needs to be done to improve student representation
in terms of:
     • Increase student, staff and board of management awareness of the benefits
        of student participation
     • Be more aware of what prevents students from participating fully in college
        life – and provide support where ever possible
     • Foster a philosophy of inclusive learner development
     • Increasing support available to enable students to represent fellow students
        effectively
     • Broaden awareness and use of effective channels of communication within
        college
     • Broaden awareness of the effective use of feedback from learners

7.13 Many of these conclusions are in line with the evidence collected directly from
English institutions in the course of this research. However, despite these
observations, it is clear that the Scottish SLO role is generally quite well anchored
within the college quality improvement strategy and benefits from not being a
multiplicity of roles, as is seen widely in England.

7.14 In Northern Ireland the roles that can be broadly defined as SLO are probably
less well developed than in England and certainly less well developed than in
Scotland. Colleges in Northern Ireland have recently completed a substantial series
of mergers and are currently identifying support roles for students.

7.15 The position at Southern College is typical – in that pre-merger they had one
part time post – mainly concerned with NUS activities. The plan is to expand this
support substantially to two full time posts and widen the role to include the
organisation of and support for clubs and societies and developing a Learners Forum
for college class representatives. The areas included in the questionnaire are
interesting as in the previous structure; the Learner Voice activities such as surveys
were covered through the marketing function. As yet the SLO role is relatively ill-
defined as the new colleges are developing their support structures and the
introduction of NOS could provide an impetus for the further development of the role.



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7.16 In Wales, the SLO role appears to be less consistently defined and ‘Learner
Voice’ is currently not as well developed except in a number of individual colleges,
especially where they have a considerable amount of higher education provision. In
these cases there tends to be roles that support student representation that are
devolved from a HEI which are franchising or otherwise accrediting the course.
Roles in Wales appear to vary considerably from Student Welfare and
Accommodation Officer with quite narrowly defined roles through to Learner Support
roles with very wide remits.

Commonality of functions across the UK

7.17 The evidence suggests that although there is some commonality of approach,
the four administrations within the UK have a different approach to the core activities
enshrined in the SLO role and functions and are at different stages of development
of the role.

7.18 In England the role is diverse, and although developing rapidly to ensure
better representation of students within colleges, has in many institutions a remit that
extends well beyond Learner Voice. In contrast, the SLO role in Scotland is almost
exclusively focused on student representation, but is much more developed than in
England since it is founded within quality processes and quality improvement. In
Northern Ireland and Wales the SLO role is less well defined, and at present learner
representation is still to be fully established at the centre of quality systems and
processes.

What standards currently exist?

7.19 The functions that are common to all SLO’s, as well as those which
managers and SLO’s have identified should be part of the role in England and
Scotland, where the systems are more developed, have been reviewed against
existing standards. The outcomes of this review are shown in Appendix 6. This
indicates that many of the functions can be accommodated by appropriate standards
drawn from LLUK, (largely from Youth Work and Learning and Development, which
is developed further in Appendix 7), ENTO and the Council for Administration.
However, there are a number of functional areas where although there are standards
that with a broad interpretation could be applied to the SLO role, professional
standards may need to be developed.

7.20 A good example of a broad interpretation of standards is related to providing
democratic support for Student Unions and Student Councils. Standards specific to
trade unions support the professional functions of the Union, but those specific to
democracy and electoral services are focused on local government. A second
example relates to the enrichment function, where although there is commonality
with some standards taken from Youth Work, there are also applicable standards
from the hospitality industry or from sport.

7.21 Overall, there are currently few standards specific to roles associated with
students that are not directly related to teaching and learning. There are a few of
some relevance that have been developed by the Training and Development Agency
(TDA) for schools, but they tend to be focused on, for example, the gifted and
talented or other specific groups Equally, there are few which are related to planning
and development within the post compulsory learning and skills sector. Professional
standards may be required, therefore, for the following functions:
    • Developing, promoting, managing and risk assessing a wide range of
       enrichment activities. Current standards are primarily related to learning in
       the community and/or outdoor education

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    •   Supporting student campaigns specifically
    •   Preparing for and supporting at disciplinary and appeal hearings. Standards
        are primarily related to grievance and disciplinary processes in the workplace
        or are specific to union activities
    •   Communicating effectively with students. Although there are some standards
        with applicability from Youth Work and hospitality (and of very loose
        relevance in the metal industries sector), they do not cover all the functions
        evident in colleges
    •   Contributing to institutional strategic planning
    •   Contributing to institutional quality processes

7.22 Arguably, all but enrichment, (which has traditionally been a key role of the
English SLO) are an integral part of ‘Learner Voice’, so in effect the main gaps in
standards are in those functions which specifically support Learner Voice.

7.23 SLO’s and learner representatives see the development of the SLO sector as
crucial in ensuring that all FE institutions take seriously the Learner Voice agenda
and in particular the development of learner democracy, to bring FE closer to the
position in higher education. However, there is some concern among managers and
SLO’s alike, especially in England, that if the role emphasises Learner Voice too
much it could be to the exclusion of other activities that form part of the learner
experience, especially enrichment.

The structure of the SLO team and reporting arrangements

The structure of the SLO team

7.24 Most SLO’s in England currently report to a manager in the Student
Services/Support team within FE institutions. A small proportion (less than 10%) of
SLO’s are incorporated within the quality team and, unlike in higher education, less
than 10% of SLO’s are attached to a specific curriculum area or team. In 90% of
colleges where there are a team of SLO’s, they report to the same manager;
however, there are several colleges where different SLO’s have different managerial
arrangements, and may report to individual heads of functions/departments.
Although most have extensive administrative duties, only 20% see themselves as
part of the administrator team. In two of the institutions involved in the research the
SLO was a voluntary (i.e. non-salaried) position, but this appears to be unusual and
was evident only in small FE institutions.

7.25 Approximately 75% of SLO’s work all year, with only 25% working term time
only. However, 75% of SLO’s in England have an overall job role that incorporates
other activities, such as a teaching assistant/learning support role or providing
specific support for an individual learner. The SLO function can vary therefore, from
full time to as little as 6 hours a week. One of the reasons for this in some colleges
may lie in the structure of the support staff workforce, with enrichment being seen as
a distinct role from that of Learner Voice. It should be noted that not all colleges, let
alone FE institutions, have SLO’s, although some may have other more narrowly
defined roles such as Enrichment Officers. A small number of FE institutions have a
single SLO who has a number of people reporting to them – especially to deliver
enrichment activities.

7.26 In Scotland most SLO’s are linked to the student union/association with a
direct link to the quality systems in place. They are generally employed all year and
in full time posts and appear to have more status within their institutions than in the
rest of the UK, since they are seen as having a pivotal role between the senior
management team and the student body. Career pathways for the SLO are more
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likely to lead to middle and senior management positions, since the functions they
fulfil involve considerable management and advocacy.

7.27 In Northern Ireland and Wales there is no distinct single reporting mechanism
located within the college. This is probably a function of a less developed policy
framework that otherwise might define the SLO role and functions within these two
administrations at the present time. As a result the career pathways for the SLO are
indistinct.

Team leadership and management responsibilities of SLO’s

7.28 Approximately half the FE institutions who were involved in the research in
England and almost all the Scottish colleges have SLO’s who have either a team
leadership and/or management responsibility. This may be delivered in one or more
of the following ways:
        • Managing and liaising with other staff and external bodies to deliver
            enrichment
        • Supervising/managing elected officers in Student Unions
        • Supervising/leading course representatives

7.29 Much of the team leadership and supervisory management indicated above
also involves or requires SLO’s to provide training for:
        • Course representation
        • Students Union functions (such as basic budgeting)
        • Equality and diversity representatives

7.30 It is encouraging that almost all the SLO’s involved in the research in England
and all in Scotland are able to secure time off for their own professional development
and training to support their role, and in the latter are actively encouraged to do so.
In Scotland training for SLO’s, as well as for course representatives themselves, is
often offered through Sparqs. It is clear that this organisation, in terms of direct
advice and a very helpful website, is crucial in the supporting the successful delivery
of student representation in quality improvement in the country.

The position of the SLO in the college

7.31 In England, the vast majority of the SLO’s and at least half their managers
feel that SLO’s form an important communication channel between the staff and the
students in a college. However, it is recognised, particularly by the managers, that
they do not have much, if any, access to the most senior managers in colleges and
do not contribute to college strategic planning. This is a key role that has been
identified by SLO’s and managers alike that needs further development.

7.32 In Scotland most SLO’s have a direct link to the senior management,
including the Principal and/or Vice Principal. Many sit on college management
boards and in many instances on Academic Board (or equivalent), so have some
role in strategic planning and decision making. The direct route to the most senior
managers also means that if problems emerge, for example, between students and
their tutors, they can be dealt with before they become major issues.

7.33 In Northern Ireland and Wales SLO’s are not involved in senior management
decision making and by virtue of the disparate nature of their roles and where they sit
within the college structure, do not always have a key role to play in quality
improvement.



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Skills requirements for Student Liaison Officers

7.34 Based on evidence primarily from England and Scotland, the skills
requirements for SLO’s appear to fall into six main categories (communication and
interpersonal skills, business, management and team leadership, advice and
guidance, training, administration/office skills). The categories do not at this stage
define the skill level required, which varies considerably. This is not an issue for the
development of NOS, as NOS have no associated skill levels, but are based on ‘how
they are used’.

7.35 However, skills levels would normally be related to levels of responsibility
within a given role, and hence qualifications that could be developed and QCA
accredited at some future stage to support the SLO sector. In England it is
interesting that in job descriptions, the level of specificity of skill varies considerably,
and only half the SLO’s involved in the research had to have a particular level of
training or qualifications (normally equivalent to level 3 or level 4) for the SLO role.
However, in Scotland, there appears to be an expectation of a degree level
qualification for the SLO role, reflecting the way in which they are valued in the
sector.

Communication and interpersonal skills

7.36 Managers and SLO’s alike agree that a range of verbal and non-verbal
communication and interpersonal skills are fundamental to the success of the SLO.
These include oral communication and active listening, advocacy, negotiation,
diplomacy and basic counselling. In looking at the future development of the SLO
sector the workforce requirements include far more mentoring support for individual
learners. The skills associated with self-management are also essential for an
effective SLO.

Business skills

7.37 Few SLO’s in England specified that they need business skills to perform
their functions effectively. However, Student Union support functions already do and
in the future are much more likely to include essential business skills such as
planning, strategy development and budgeting and financial management. A
requirement for these essential business skills is already evident in the role in
Scotland.

Management and team leadership skills

7.38 Most SLO’s have a team leadership role or supervisory or management role,
even if their team is comprised of people outside the institution (such as to deliver
enrichment opportunities). Team members may be reporting directly to them to
others or may be volunteers. Increasingly, they are responsible for managing the
officers within the Student Union; in Scotland this is a generally a key function within
the role.

Advice and guidance

7.39 Many aspects of the defined functions of SLO’s fall into the category of
identifying sources of information and providing impartial advice and guidance. This
appears to be a significant element in some of job roles defined broadly as student
liaison in the Northern Ireland and in particular the Welsh colleges.



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Training

7.40 SLO’s are often required to train (primarily) student representatives - either
formally or informally. The training areas may be as diverse as supporting course
representatives to providing specialist advice to Student Unions on finance or equal
opportunities. However, they are rarely required to train to meet legal requirements.
Nonetheless, this requires a range of skills that need to be developed within the SLO
sector. In Scotland these skills are well recognised.

Administration/office-related skills

7.41 Most SLO’s undertake routine administrative tasks as part of their role,
including telephony, customer service skills and need familiarity with IT, including
word processing and using spreadsheets.

Development opportunities and career pathways for Student Liaison Officers

7.42 At present there is no defined career structure for those who are in the role of
SLO. Evidence suggests that SLO’s either move on into management posts in
colleges and other FE providers or use their skills to become Teaching or Learning
Support Assistants, or move into youth work and/or community based roles. By
developing standards and thus specifying the functions, skills and attributes defining
the SLO role, it could lead to the position whereby SLO’s have a much more clearly
defined career path as well as to recognise the role within the workforce
requirements of further education.

7.43 A simple functional map is attached to define the role and is available in
Appendix 8. This will need further development in order to derive clearly defined
standards.

Development needs for SLO’s

7.44 Most SLO’s have time off for training and development and feel that their
development needs are recognised and met. However, the role often demands a
number of skills areas for which development is not readily available such as being
impartial, campaigning and briefing candidates before elections (evidence of this
need extrapolated from NUS). Few, other than in Scotland, have had their training
function recognised so have not benefited from ‘train the trainer’ support.

A strategic perspective

7.45 Much of the previous discussion considers the SLO role and functions from
the point of view of the SLO’s themselves and that of their immediate managers.
Some of those interviewed held more strategic roles within their institutions at
Deputy/Assistant Director/Principal level. It was clear from these discussions that
senior managers in all four nations see the benefit of involving SLO’s and learners in
strategic planning and quality improvement. Although evident in Scotland, the
implementation of this had not gone much further at this stage than in England,
drawing up learner involvement strategies and in Northern Ireland, considering the
strategic planning role of SLO’s role within the newly merged colleges.

Best practice

7.46 There is substantial good practice evident from across the FE sector in
England and Scotland. As yet there is only limited information about good practice in
Northern Ireland and Wales, but there is little doubt it will be evident. Any standards
development should be informed by this best practice, and representatives from
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colleges where SLO’s play a key role within the college involved directly in the
development of standards. A summary of some examples of good practice is
available in Appendix 9.

Benefits and risks of developing standards

Benefits

7.47 The general benefits of developing any form of standards, but in particular
National Occupational Standards were identified in section 5 of this report. However,
the research has also identified a number of specific benefits if standards are
developed for SLO’s since they will:
    • Professionalise a key support function in FE, which will be of benefit to the
        individual, the institution and the FE sector as a whole by gaining national
        identity for the SLO sector
    • Raise the profile of Learner Voice and the importance of an effective learner
        engagement strategy
    • Encourage the development of student democracy in the FE sector, bringing
        it more in line with higher education
    • Clarify the boundaries of the SLO, facilitate a consistency of approach and
        encourage the development of transferable skills which can also be taken
        outside the FE sector and across the four nations
    • Provide the context for the development of career pathways for SLO’s
    • Assist with recruitment to posts which provide real support to learners
    • Encourage appropriate qualification development to support the SLO
        workforce
However, benefits can only be realised if NOS are actually used to express roles and
functions; their approval does not automatically require institutions to embrace them.

Risks

7.48 The risks associated with the development of standards for SLO’s have been
recognised not only by managers but by the current SLO workforce. Standards
could:
   • Result in a lack of flexibility and responsiveness to local or diverse learner
       needs if they are too tightly defined
   • Reduce the quality of involvement of SLO’s with learners if they are too
       broadly defined
   • Encourage valuable individuals who by definition have recognised
       transferable communication and interpersonal skills to move to other
       roles/other sectors outside FE, if it suits their career ambitions and personal
       circumstances
   • Become redundant if too focused on Learner Voice, which subsequently
       moves down the national agenda in favour of new initiatives
   • Be overkill for a very small group of individuals within the FE workforce,
       whose functions can largely be defined by other relevant standards (e.g.
       advice and guidance, counselling) and hence show limited return on
       investment




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Summary of outcomes from across the UK

7.49 The evidence suggests, therefore, that although disparate, there are core
functions and activities that all SLO’s in FE perform in England and Scotland and are
likely to be developed in Northern Ireland and possibly Wales, and will continue to do
so in the future:
         • Information, advice and promotional services on behalf of the
             college/Student Union
         • Promoting and supporting Learner Voice
         • Supporting Student Union activities
         • Encouraging student democracy
         • Acting as a communication channel between the student body and staff
         • Providing a student focused input into strategic planning and quality
             improvement (still being developed outside Scotland)
         • Providing specific support for individual and groups of learners

7.50    There are also core skills that all SLO’s need:
        • Communication
        • Business
        • Team leadership and management
        • Advice and guidance (although this can have legal implications)
        • Training
        • Administration/office-related

7.51 In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are a range of other important
functions that SLO’s are involved in including:
        • Development, promotion and management of enrichment activities
            (primarily in England and Wales)
        • Information and advice – on a broad range of subjects including essential
            course information, how to access learning services, informal support and
            advice, pastoral tutorial support
        • Student welfare, such as providing support for accommodation services,
            referral to statutory and other agencies.

7.52 Although there are standards already that are relevant for many of these
functions and associated skills areas, there are none that are specific to, for
example, supporting student democracy.

7.53 The SLO role is one which is developing in most FE institutions across the
UK. Although more developed in colleges, it is becoming a recognised functional
role within off-site FE learning, including in the workplace. It is critical as part of a
career structure (and hence progression route) for individuals who have started as
student representatives and wish to move into a professional role within the FE
support staff workforce. It is also an important role for aspiring managers of student
services and a range of other senior quality-related posts in colleges. The
transferable skills developed by the SLO are also required in a range of related
functional roles such as in youth work, community liaison and development, learning
support services and quality management.




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8.      Options

8.1     Although the evidence from the scoping exercise is that the benefits of
developing professional standards outweigh the risks, it is important to consider in
detail what the implications of this are, and to review the options for their
development. There are four main options that relate to the development of
standards, each of which will be considered in turn:
    1. Maintain the status quo (and let the SLO role evolve gradually)
    2. Use and possibly develop further existing standards that are relevant to many
        of the role functions
    3. Develop professional standards for England only
    4. Develop National Occupational Standards (NOS)

Option 1:        Maintain the status quo

8.2     The research indicates that currently (with the possible exception of in
Scotland), the role of the SLO has no clear definition within the FE sector, nor have
post holders a clear position in terms of their functional responsibility and to whom
they report within their institution. There are also some managers in England in
particular who feel that, since FE is currently changing so rapidly, the timing may not
be right for the development of standards with so much else for employers to
contend with. This could indicate that there is no appetite in England for the
development of standards at the present time. However, discussions in Scotland,
Northern Ireland and Wales and with individual managers in England do not confirm
this view.

8.3   However, maintaining the status quo is not a viable option for the following
reasons:
    • It will not enable the government to deliver its White Paper commitment: ‘And
      we will strengthen the Staff Student Liaison Officer role by asking Lifelong
      Learning UK (LLUK) to develop standards for this vital role’.
    • It will be more difficult for the SLO role to be recognised as a significant one
      with a national identity in supporting students within the FE sector
    • It will not help to raise the profile of Learner Voice consistently across
      employers in the FE sector, embedding its role as fundamental to quality
      improvement
    • It will not facilitate the professionalisation of the SLO function – and so will not
      accelerate the development of career pathways

Option 2:        Use and develop existing standards

8.4     The scoping exercise suggested there are a number of existing standards
relevant to functions that are within the remit of the SLO. There are two, developed
by LLUK, which are particularly relevant that were approved in March 2008 – i.e.
during the course of the scoping exercise:
    • Professional and National Occupational Standards for Youth Work
    • Common Standards for Community Learning and Development

8.5     Appendix 7 to this report indicates the scope of the SLO function mapped
against the two sets of standards to indicate where gaps may be evident. It suggests
that although both sets of standards relate to functions that have significant
commonality with those delivered by the SLO, neither cover them completely.

8.6    Of the two, the Youth Work standards are probably the closest match, but the
standards are designed for young people, rather than students of any age (although
in some institutions SLO roles may be primarily focused on young people and
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generally speaking standards can be contextualised into other related occupational
groups). They are based on the key purpose of youth work – defined as to ‘enable
young people to develop holistically, working with them to facilitate their personal,
social and educational development, to enable them to develop their voice, influence
and place in society and to reach their full potential’. Their central role is to provide
the context for youth workers ‘enabling young people to reflect on their learning,
learning from their experiences and to apply this into other areas of their lives,
establishing goals for their future development.

8.7      The above definitions would suggest that there is a direct link with the SLO
function and that of the youth worker. However, the Youth Work standards state
explicitly that they are based on a suite of values which ‘distinguish youth work from
other, sometimes related activities involving young people’.

8.8     In contrast, common standards for Community Learning and Development
are designed to be relevant to a number of the groups within the community learning
and development constituency, including young people. The starting point in terms
of the underpinning values is that people become involved in community learning
and development as they wish to find support to bring about personal and social
change. Their central role is to ‘encourage individuals, groups and/or communities to
represent themselves and their views and interests, and includes providing
appropriate support towards developing relevant skills and confidence’.

8.9     Hence, common standards for Community Learning and Development relate
to functions that are probably drawn more widely than those represented in the role
of the SLO, and in less structured environments. However, unlike those of Youth
Work, they can readily be applied to those working with any age group.

8.10 Neither Youth Work NOS nor the common standards for Community Learning
and Development have standards relevant to the SLO functions in respect of the
advocacy and democratic services associated with the Student Union/Association,
have a limited relevance to enrichment activities, do not encompass a number of
important administrative roles, have little specification related to training and do not
include mentoring. Furthermore, although they advocate representation and
responsibility, this is an underpinning value rather than a specific function that needs
to have high profile to encourage effective representation and student democracy.

8.11 To conclude, although both Youth Work NOS and the common standards for
Community Learning and Development have relevance to the role of the SLO,
neither is sufficiently flexible to be able to be revised to encompass the SLO role.
However, in developing standards for the SLO role, both these sets of standards will
be drawn upon, especially the NOS for Youth Work.

Option 3:      Develop professional standards for England only

8.12 The scoping exercise indicated that standards are required to professionalise
the SLO role and to ensure that it is seen to be an essential part of the support staff
workforce in FE in England. The review of Option 2 (above) suggested that existing
standards are insufficient to encompass all the SLO functions and that in particular,
new standards would need to emphasise the profile of Learner Voice and learner
involvement, including student democracy, active citizenship and their relationship to
quality improvement in FE. Thus is may be necessary to develop professional
standards to ensure that the range and scope of functions are covered effectively.

8.13 Managers in FE in England are generally supportive of the principle of the
development of standards providing that they are not too restrictive. Although the
drivers in England are towards an increasing emphasis on Learner Voice, a narrowly
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defined set of standards that focused on Learner Voice, while helping to develop and
bring credibility to student representation, could result in many of the other functions,
which are crucial to the overall student experience, (such as enrichment), being
diminished or lost completely. This is one reason why the standards already
available for Youth Work and Community Learning and Development are
insufficiently broad to encompass all the disparate functions without substantial
redevelopment.

8.14 FE managers in England are concerned about developing new standards at
the present time, arising from the three substantial strategic imperatives that will
change the shape of FE - major curriculum reform, the introduction of new funding
bodies and methodologies and self-regulation. However, it could be argued that
each of these is reason alone for giving greater emphasis to the student and the
learner both inside and outside a traditional college environment (as with the
changes increasingly many will be) in terms of the representation role and the wider
remit of the SLO.

8.15 Nonetheless, as well as professionalising a significant part of the FE
workforce, and supporting a job role which has an important place in FE quality
improvement, professional standards for England would meet the DIUS requirement
to meet its White Paper commitment, and should be developed as a minimum.
However, if by developing National Occupational Standards this enhances and
brings even greater credibility to the role, this should be the priority. This is explored
in the next section of this paper.

Option 4:        Develop National Occupational Standards

8.16 The scoping exercise also explored whether the SLO role is similar across
the four nations of the UK and whether there was any desire for National
Occupational Standards, rather than professional standards for England only.

8.17 The report has already identified that in Scotland, the representation role is
more developed than in the remainder of the UK. Scottish colleges could benefit
from the development of National Occupational Standards, since they would
recognise at a UK level the pivotal role played by those supporting Student
Unions/Associations in Scotland within the FE college workforce and provide a clear
career framework for the role. Informing the development through best practice,
NOS would also enable the Scottish FE workforce to demonstrate how it was leading
‘Learner Voice’ in the UK as a whole.

8.18 Evidence, albeit limited, suggests that the FE colleges in Northern Ireland, as
well as LLUK in Northern Ireland, would welcome the development of National
Occupational Standards in order to develop and raise the profile of the student
representation and support role. It would give definition to the role at a time when
colleges in Northern Ireland are developing their student support mechanisms post-
merger.

8.19 The outcomes of the consultation process in Wales suggests that, although
the Welsh Assembly currently has not embraced the concept of learner
representation, it is not as a result of any antipathy towards the concept, rather that
at present it has other priorities. However, within the colleges there may be an
appetite for the development of the SLO role and student representation. This is
exemplified by the extent to which the colleges have begun to meet to consider how
to take this forward. Standards would, therefore, help to emphasis the key functions
of the SLO role and provide a framework for colleges in Wales as they develop
student representation.

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8.20 Overall, the evidence suggests that the development of NOS would,
therefore, bring much needed national credibility to the role of SLO and give it the
place in deserves in the FE workforce as a key component of institutional quality
improvement. The rider to this is that standards need to be flexible – since NOS
based on the English position, could define the role as delivered in Scotland too
broadly, removing the focus away from the well developed consultation and
representation framework, unless they were sufficiently flexible.




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9.      Recommendations

9.1     It is recommended that National Occupational Standards are developed for
the role of the Student Liaison Officer.

9.2     This recommendation is based on the role definition related to student
representation across the four nations of the UK being broadly comparable (although
the terminology used may differ slightly), a clear case for the professionalisation of
the SLO workforce, and the need for recognition of career pathways.

9.3     Furthermore, in the preceding section it was suggested that existing
standards are insufficient to encompass all the SLO functions and that in particular,
new standards would need to emphasise the profile of Learner Voice and learner
involvement, including student democracy, active citizenship and their relationship to
quality improvement in FE.

9.4     Since NOS can be defined flexibly, although ‘Learner Voice’ functions are
prevalent in Scotland and are gaining momentum in England, it is important that
NOS should reflect the wider SLO role definitions evident in England and Wales in
particular, especially those defined broadly as ‘enrichment’ – activities which broaden
learning and self-development that are not integral to the individual’s primary
learning objectives.

9.5     On the basis that the recommendation is accepted, it is proposed that the
terminology for the broad range of roles that the ‘SLO’ encompasses is explored
further, with a view to defining NOS for what may be described as ‘learner
involvement’.




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10.     Next steps

10.1 On the basis that the recommendation is accepted, it is important to detail the
next steps required and the likely resource requirements to derive NOS for the
Student Liaison Officer role. In particular, it is important that the momentum is not
lost given the scoping exercise has raised the profile, and to an extent, expectations,
across the sector within institutions and in bodies with a stake in learner
representation, such as the NUS and CEL and with learners themselves – as
represented by the National Learner Panel.

Step One - Prepare a detailed functional map and an occupational map

10.2 The evidence collected for the scoping exercise will also be used to form the
basis of a definition of the broad SLO functions clearly within a functional map.
Although this report includes an outline functional map, this needs to be developed
further and include:
    • Very specific role definitions based on the evidence and supported by best
        practice
    • Activity definitions about expectations that relate to each of the functions
    • Skills that are needed to deliver the functions

10.3 The functional map should also define precisely what the values are
underpinning the role of the SLO. Although not wishing to pre-empt any deliberation
of the values, the evidence from the scoping exercise suggests that the values are
likely to relate to recognition that:
     • Individual values, views and principles (student, SLO, other stakeholders) are
         equally valid and are to be celebrated and respected within a culture in FE of
         equality, diversity and interdependency
     • Widening horizons, promoting active participation and inviting individuals to
         be creative and critical in their own environment and beyond is essential for
         personal development and extending personal experiences
     • Active citizenship is at the heart of individual, institutional and community
         development
     • Empowering the voice of students, individually and collectively, is at the heart
         of improving experiences and enabling them to influence the environment
         within which they live
     • Individual and group development is based on respect and is responsive to
         peer, family, community and cultural networks
     • Students are an equal partner within their own learning and development
         processes
     • Students are entitled to a safe environment within which to develop and
         explore their learning, beliefs, values and ideas

10.4 The functional map will be complemented by an occupational map, defining
the job roles and career pathways that are needed to ensure the SLO role is credible
and professionalised within the FE workforce.

Step Two – Review and cross reference to existing standards

10.5 Step Two will be to review and cross-reference to appropriate learner support
standards including a more detailed review of the standards which have already
been identified as having particular relevance to the role:
    • NOS for Youth Work
    • Common standards for Community Learning and Development
In addition, there work is currently being undertaken by LLUK on Work Based
Learning (WBL) roles which will also need to be taken into consideration.
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10.6 There are also other standards endorsed by several SSCs and SSBs which
have been identified in Appendix 6 that will also need to be reviewed in more detail
to identify gaps in the standards that make up the SLO’s role. These SSCs and
SSBs include the Management Standards Centre (MSC), ENTO, Council for
Administration, Training and Development Agency for Schools, Skills Active, Skills
for Justice, SkillsPlus and the Marketing and Sales Standards Setting Body.

10.7 This analysis will enable gaps to be reviewed against the functional map
defined in detail as part of Step One. This will enable the initial drafting of standards
to fill the gaps.

Step Three - Consultation

10.8 The consultation phase is essential in the development and approval of NOS.
It will require a focused consultation implementation plan to be drawn up and put into
practice. This will enable employers, SLO’s, students and stakeholders within the FE
sector to contribute directly to the development of standards, validate the functional
map and comment on their detailed definition and applicability as they emerge. For
the purposes of the consultation the definition of the sector will be broadened to
include the whole lifelong learning sector, since standards should have relevance
across the sector. The stakeholders consulted will be based on those identified in
the stakeholder map prepared as part of the scoping exercise.

10.9 The purpose behind the consultation is to enable all the interested parties to
give their views on and to validate:
    • The detailed functional map
    • The occupational map
    • The draft of the standards

10.10 Although the next stage of the project (i.e. beyond the scoping exercise) will
require the definition of a consultation framework, it will need to include a number of
methodologies, applicable across all four nations of the UK, which are likely to
include the following:
    • Presentation at relevant conferences
    • Use of networks to gain access to employers, learners and other
        stakeholders with an associated online consultation framework and the use of
        focus groups
    • Direct targeting of those organisations which contributed to the scoping
        exercise
    • Individual discussions with key decision makers including the devolved
        administrations in the four nations

10.11 The consultation process will enable the draft standards to be reviewed and
revised as required. To ensure that as many employers, SLO’s, students and
stakeholders as possible are consulted, the consultation process will need to extend
for several months.




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Step Four – Revision of the draft standards and verification of the consultation
process

10.12 Following the consultation, revised standards will be drawn up on the basis of
the outcomes. It is good practice to run these through a limited consultation process
of key stakeholders and selected employers to verify that the consultation outcomes
have been interpreted properly and that the end product is fit for purpose. It is
proposed that a project steering group, with a similar constitution to the one
assembled for the scoping exercise, takes on this function.

Step Five – Submission of the standards for approval

10.13 Once the standards are completed they need to be approved by each of the
four administrations in the UK and submitted to the UKCES for final approval.


Timescales

10.14 It is proposed that the process commences as soon as possible. On the
basis that the NOS development phase will need to go out to tender, this process
should commence as soon as possible to ensure that a consultant is in place to start
the work before summer 2008. This will give the summer 2008 to refer back to
existing standards and draw up the drafts of the detailed functional map and the
occupational map in time for a consultation process in the autumn.

10.15 On the basis that there is already a receptive audience among SLO’s and FE
managers, (endorsed by the scoping exercise) agreed standards could be drawn up
within 8 -12 months of the commission being agreed – i.e. by March – June 2009.




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Appendix 1: Steering group members


Joanna Bayton-Smith                LLUK (Chair)
Tim Bevans                         Guildford College, National Association of
                                   Managers of Student Services
Sian Davies                        UNISON
Chris Fabby                        UNISON
Kat Fletcher                       Centre for Excellence in Leadership
Debbie Ribchester                  Association of Colleges
Lisa Seymour                       Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Oliver Wood                        National Learner Panel
Robert Whitaker                    National Union of Students
Louise Thompson                    LLUK (Project Manager)
Sue Parker                         Learning etc (Consultant)


Special thanks are extended to all members of the Project Steering Group, who
provided invaluable support during the course of the project, both in assisting in the
research and in developing the report. Without this support the research could not
have been completed within the timescales.




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Appendix 2




National Occupational Standards for Student Liaison Officers working in
                     the further education sector

                                      QUESTIONNAIRE

Background

LLUK is looking at the option of developing National Occupational Standards for
‘Student Liaison Officers’ (SLO’s) in further education. Alternatively, professional
standards for England only may be developed.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) identify the outcomes people in particular
job roles need to achieve. They also include the skills and knowledge people need
to work effectively in those job roles. NOS can be a useful tool but will only work if
they are developed in conjunction with the people working in or managing that job
role.


The role of the ‘Student Liaison Officer’

Initial work suggests that the role of Student Liaison Officer may vary considerably,
depending on the institution. This is, in part, reflected in the range of job titles that
people in a student liaison/representation role currently enjoy. As well as using this
questionnaire to ask SLO’s about the skills, knowledge and competences that are
expected in their role, employers are being consulted on what they feel the role
should include. It should then be possible to identify which common or core skills,
knowledge and competences define the role, and will also facilitate preparation of a
‘functional map’ that defines the areas of work, functions, skill requirements,
relationships and roles expected of a Student Liaison Officer.

We have, therefore, identified of activities that we think a Student Liaison Officer may
carry out from which we can derive the knowledge, skills and competences that they
will need to demonstrate in that role. We would welcome your comments. We are
very concerned to ensure that we ‘future-proof’ the feedback so have inserted a
specific section on Learner Voice, which we feel will increasingly be the focus for
many of the ‘SLO’ roles.


Learner Voice

Within the national FE agenda, the concept of Learner Voice is gaining increasing
prominence, with commitment to it expressly mentioned in Sir Andrew Foster’s
review, the FE White Paper and the Quality Improvement Strategy.

Its principle is that when collected, listened to and used effectively learners' views
can be a powerful tool in assisting providers in driving up the standard of educational
provision and developing more responsive and personalised services. Hence in
common with other public services, users ie students/learners must be at the heart of
policy and practice.

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An integral part of self-regulation, the key areas of Learner Voice are:
    • advocacy at national, local LSC level and college level through learner panels
    • colleges required to collect learner views in a consistent and systematic
       manner as a key way to improve college provision
    • learners should be consulted on major issues impacting on their learning and
       the learner environment – this should be part of the learner entitlement
    • college should be required to publish all the above annually in a report

Learner Voice representatives should ensure that:
   • all learners receive impartial advice about all learning options
   • a variety of learning modes should be offered to all learners
   • their college takes steps to streamline qualifications and learning pathways


What next?

The questionnaire has been designed primarily to enable you to tick the relevant
boxes. Please tick all that apply and add any others that we do not cover. It may
help to look at your/a SLO job description. Please send us completed questionnaires
and comments by COP on 13th March. We are sorry that the timescale is so short
but we have to complete the project this side of Easter. Questionnaires should be
emailed to info@learning-etc.co.uk

Thank you

Before you start – about you

 Please provide us with your details
 Name

 Job title

 College

 Phone

 Email

 Which department are
 you in?
 Who do you report to?

 Do you supervise
 anybody and if so who?


 How long have you been
 in the SLO post?
 How many hours a week
 to you do as SLO?
 What job would you like
 to do next?
 Would you be prepared
 to take part in further
 consultation?
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 Activities                                                          Applies to     Would like to
                                                                     you/your       apply to you/
                                                                     SLO (√)        your SLO
 AG and admissions support
 Provide basic information and advice about college
 courses
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Support the college admissions process
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Support the new student registration process
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Participate in marketing and promotion?
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (Please state)




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                                                                      Applies to    Would like to
                                                                      you/your      apply to you/
                                                                      SLO (√)       your SLO
 Academic/course-related activities
 Support a college programme to extend students’
 education outside their main course of study
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Support/develop enrichment activities
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Undertake risk assessments
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Visit work based learning sites/work placements
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Monitor attendance and make regular reports about
 students causing concern
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (Please state)




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                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Learner Voice
 Promote ‘Learner Voice’
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)



 Recruit, organise and support course representatives
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)



 Compile course review meeting notes and actions
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)



 Support learner reps at course reviews
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Take part in college strategic planning
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Contribute to curriculum reviews
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Contribute to quality reviews
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Support learner involvement in the college review of the
 learner involvement strategy
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Write/revise learner engagement strategy
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Support student governors
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Recruit equality and diversity representatives
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish




 Other (Please state)


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                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Work with Student’s Union
 Act as returning officer for student union elections
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Arrange postal voting for evening and off-site students
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Have a specific role at Executive Committee (eg Chair,
 Secretary – if so please state)
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Support student campaigns
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Promote role of Student Union/Association
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Control Student Union expenditure
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Plan student union budget
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Train/induct Student Union reps
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Organise handover between Student Union reps
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Liaise with other college/university Student
 Unions/Associations
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (Please state)

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                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Student advocacy and welfare
 Represent students in appeals/disciplinary matters
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Provide basic information about student welfare matters
 (signposting sources of professional information/support)
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Provide support for students looking for accommodation
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Provide counselling to students
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Provide advice/other role in child protection
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)



 Administer student hardship fund
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Mentor individual students
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (please state)


                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Student Ambassadors
 Identify Student Ambassadors
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Manage Student Ambassadors
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (please state)

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                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Student support functions and communications
 Encourage wider use of common room/leisure facilities
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Plan events for new students
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Plan /support charity events for students (eg Rag Week)
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Prepare/support preparation of student magazine
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Manage/support student web site / social networks
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (Please state)




                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 School liaison (external – with secondary/primary schools)
 Support the Schools Liaison Officer
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Attend school liaison events
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (please state)




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                                                                        Applies to   Would like to
                                                                        you/your     apply to you/
                                                                        SLO (√)      your SLO
 Administration and liaison
 Answer any telephone, written or email requests for
 information about the Student Union/ association or
 student facilities
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Develop/maintain basic records of all student contact
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Manage Student Liaison Assistants
 (Please use space below to describe the role further if you wish)




 Other (please state)




 Other(s)
 Please state




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  Structure and organisation of the SLO team in your college – this may be easier to fill
  in by college employers rather than SLO’s!

                                                                        Yes           No
Reporting
Do you have a dedicated lead person in the organisation
to whom all SLO’s report?
Who do you report to (please state)?

Do all SLO’s report to the same person?
Is the SLO function part of a larger remit?
Are all SLO’s salaried?
Do SLO’s work time term only?
Is the SLO a member of the administrative staff?
Is the SLO role associated with a specific curriculum area?
Is the SLO role integrated within the quality team in the
college?
What committees or groups not mentioned already do you attend (please state)?

Do the SLO’s ever attend senior management team
meetings?
Development opportunities
Do SLO’s have opportunities for professional
development?
If so, please state what training you (as a SLO) have had, or the college has offered as
SLO training, in the past two years



Do SLO’s receive time off for training?
What further training would SLO’s like/need?


Qualifications
Were you expected to have a particular level of
education/training or qualification to become a SLO?
What qualifications do you have? (Please state)


Other similar roles
Are there other similar roles to the SLO in the
organisation?
What are they called and how do they differ from the SLO role?




Please use box below to add any further information not covered above




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Skills

What skills are needed to be effective in the SLO role in your college?

 Skills                                                                             Please if
                                                                                    applies to you/
                                                                                    your SLO
 Administration
 Written communication
 Oral communication/presentation
 Active listening
 Word processing
 Use of spreadsheets
 Basic database manipulation
 Basic web design
 Representation
 Negotiation
 Advocacy (on behalf of all students)
 Advocacy (on behalf of individual students)
 Diplomacy
 Supervisory/management
 Leadership
 Training
 Basic counselling
 Other(s) (please state)




                                 Thank you for your help




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Appendix 3:           List of respondents

AoC                                          Deborah Ribchester – Curriculum Manager
Aylesbury College                            Tina Wooler – Learner Services Manager
Bishop Auckland College                      Claire Holliday – Student Support Team Leader
Bourneville College                          Fearon Hemmings – on behalf of a SLO
Burnley College                              Denise Hartley – Student Services Manager
Burton College                               Lucy Schlappa – Student Services Manager
Canterbury College                           Tony Payne – Student Activities Manager
Castle College                               Jennifer Hope – SLO
CEL                                          Kat Fletcher – Leadership of Learners
                                             Strategic Coordinator
Chichester College                           Vicki Illingworth – Manager Student Success
Chichester College                           Lisa Humphries – SLO
Colchester Institute                         Bill Bates – Student Services Manager
Coleg Ceredigion                             Sue Jones, Head of Quality & Student
                                             Services
Coleg Morgannwy                              Elaine Griffiths – Welfare Officer
Coleg Sir Gar                                Rob Davies, Head of Student and Threshold
                                             Services
College of North West London                 Mercy Udoh - Students’ Union Administrator
Cornwall College, St Austell                 Fiona Westaway – Head of Student Services
Craven College                               Mandy Taylor - SLO
Darlington College                           Diane Evens – Student Activities Manager
DIUS                                         Lisa Seymour
Dudley College                               Stephen Williams – Student Services Manager
East Berkshire College                       Juliet Holloway – Director of Learner Services
Eccles College                               Louise Greaney – Student Voice Coordinator &
                                             Janet Holloway – Director of Learning Services
Fforwm                                       John Graystone, Chief Executive
Gateway College                              Shirley Munden – Student Services Development
                                             Manager
Grantham College                             Nicky Watson – Senior Student Tutor
Greenwich Community College                  C. Stow – Director Learner Support &
                                             Development
Guildford College                            Tim Bevans – Director of Student Services
Herefordshire College of Technology Denise Thomas – Head of Student Services
Hugh Baird College                           Pam Dernell – Student Services Manager
HMI (Wales)                                  Gavin Thomas (former Inspector)
Leeds College of Music                       Leanne Huggins - SLO
Leicester College                             Jay Moore- Student Liaison Team Leader
Lewisham College                             Jayne Morgan – Assistant Quality Manager
LLUK                                         Christine Fitton –Director, Scotland
LLUK                                         Brian Henry, Director N.Ireland
LLUK                                          Alison Twiney – Director England FE & HE
LLUK                                          Michelle Creed – Director Wales
Mid Cheshire College                         Jenny White – Student Services Coordinator
Milton Keynes College                         Ruth Hester – Youth Worker
National Learner Panel                        Emma Pearson - Chair
National Learner Panel                        Oliver Wood
Nelson & Colne College                        Jean Weston- Head of Student Support
Newham College of Further Education Linda Toms – Head of Learning Services
North Lancs. University                       Tara Allen – Student Liaison Officer
Northampton College                           Barry Hansford – Assistant Director Learner
                                               Support
NUS                                            Robert Whitaker – FE Policy Officer
NUS                                            Beth Walker – Policy Officer
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Oatridge College                               Shirley Kirkpatrick-Student Services
                                              Administrator
Peter Symonds College                         Liz Crouch-Head Student Welfare
Regent College                                 Rhiannan Lloyd-James – Assistant Principal
Reid Kerr College                              Alan Cowan - Head of Student Liaison
Runshaw Adult College                         Janet Hodgson – Head of Student Services
Solihull College                              Jim Busher – Head of Student Services
Somerset College                              Sue Stevens – Customer Services Manager
South Downs College                           Alex Howarth – Helpzone Manager
South Downs College                           Liz Langley –SLO
South East Regional College                   Eleanor Ross – Deputy Director
South Leicestershire College                  Wayne Harrison-Healthy College Coordinator
Southwark College                              Peter Bertloud – Head of Student Support
                                              Services
Sutton Coldfield College                      Adam Comery - SLO
Thanet College                                 Brian Dunne – Head of Student Services
The Oldham College                            Naomi Sanderson - SLO
Thurrock & Basildon College                    Sue Blake – Learner Support Manager
Unison                                         Chris Fabby – National Officer
Unison                                         Sian Davies-Assistant National Officer
Uxbridge College                               Ardele Corby - SSLO
Waltham Forest College                         Kevin Grindley – Head of Student Services
Ystrad Mynach College                          Helen Vickery – Student Worker


Thanks are extended to all who contributed to the research in any way, by
participating in a telephone interview, filling out a questionnaire or providing written
materials. Without this support the research could not have been completed within
the timescales.




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April 2008
Appendix 4:               Collation of information from respondents

The table below shows the current key activities that were identified by respondents that constitute the role of the SLO.
(√ in table below indicates >20% of responses)
  Activities                                                  Questionnaire Questionnaire NUS focus CEL                     Notes
                                                              - managers       – SLO’s         group                        (%age involvement)
  Information and advice, admissions support                         √               √                                      Few see this role as being
  - marketing and promotion                                          √               √                                      extended
  Learner Voice                                                                                                             Few SLO’s support off-site
  - promote learners voice                                           √               √               √              √       learning, curriculum review,
  - representation/advocacy (incl. support learner reps)             √               √               √              √
  - support learners in work based learning                                                                                 30% in college planning
  - taking part in college strategic planning                                        √               √
  - contribute to curriculum reviews                                                 √               √                      50% in quality review
  - contribute to quality reviews                                                    √               √
  - review/develop learner engagement strategies                     √               √                                      60% in learner involvement
  - support Student Union                                            √               √               √
  - train/induct Student Union reps                                  √               √               √              √       50% support off-site students
  - support student campaigns                                        √               √               √              √       in elections
  - support student governors                                        √               √
  - arrange student elections                                                        √               √              √       50% want greater role with
  - support equality and diversity incl. reps                                        √               √              √       Student Ambassadors
  - identify/manage/support student Ambassadors                      √               √
  - support preparation of student magazine/website                  √               √                                      40 % want to see more
  - pastoral tutorial role                                                                                          √       support for student
  - plan events for new students                                                     √                                      communications




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  Activities                                                              Questionnaire Questionnaire NUS focus   CEL       Notes
                                                                          - managers    – SLO’s       group                 (%age involvement)
  Learner support                                                                                                           60% in disciplinaries
  - basic welfare support                                                                    √
  - monitoring attendance                                                           √        √                              40% wish to do more
  - discipline/learner appeals                                                      √        √            √             √   mentoring
  - mentor individual students                                                      √        √
  Enrichment                                                                        √        √            √             √
  Risk assessment                                                                   √        √            √                 20% managers want this
  School liaison                                                                    √                                   √
  Administration                                                                    √        √            √             √   40% managers wish to see
  - maintain basic records of all student contacts                                  √        √                              this extended




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The table below shows the key activities that managers and SLO’s would like to see in the future role of the SLO, where they do not currently perform
this function. (√ in table below indicates >20% of responses)

       Activities                                                         Managers      SLO’s   Comments
       Information and advice, admissions support
       - marketing and promotion                                                            √
       Learner Voice                                                                            Managers see the role developing further as a means
       - promote Learner Voice                                                      √           to promoting and advocating Learner Voice – with a
       - representation/advocacy (support learner reps)                             √       √   possible extension of the role
       - support learners in work based learning                                    √       √
       - taking part in college strategic planning                                  √       √
       - contribute to curriculum reviews                                           √       √
       - contribute to quality reviews                                              √
       - review/develop learner engagement strategies                               √       √
       - support Student Union
       - train/induct Student Union reps                                            √
       - support student campaigns
       - support student governors                                                  √       √
       - arrange student elections                                                  √
       - support equality and diversity reps                                        √       √
       - identify/manage/support student Ambassadors                                √
       - support preparation of student magazine/website                            √
       Learner support
       - monitoring attendance
       - discipline/learner appeals                                                 √       √
       - mentor individual students                                                 √
       Enrichment                                                                   √           Most managers expect the role to continue to
                                                                                                develops/support enrichment in the future
       Risk assessment                                                              √
       School liaison                                                                       √
       Administration                                                                           Managers see record keeping and other forms of
       - maintain basic records of all student contacts                             √           administration as crucial – not reflected in SLO
                                                                                                responses

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   Skills

   Based on the discussions and feedback from the questionnaire, the skills areas
   required for a SLO to be effective in an institution are given below.

Skill area                                % managers consider                % SLO’s consider
                                          essential                          essential
General communication skills
Written communication                                   100                             85
Oral communication/presentation                         100                            100
Active listening                                         90                            100
Specific interpersonal skills
Representation/advocacy                                  90                            90
Diplomacy                                                90                            90
Negotiation                                              80                            90
Basic counselling                                        50                            55
Office skills
Administration                                          100                             90
Word processing                                         90                             100
Use of spreadsheets                                     70                              70
Database manipulation                                   60                              50
Web design                                              25                               5
Management
Supervision/management                                   70                            70
Leadership                                               80                            70
Training
General training - course reps etc                       70                            90




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Appendix 5:               Where standards may be drawn from

The list below provides basic information on the named standards already available
(with the relevant SSC/SSB) that might be relevant to the role of the Student Liaison
Officer.

    •   Community Justice (such as Children and young people to participate in
        recreation and leisure activities and related developed by Skills for Justice)

    •   Coaching and Mentoring in a Work Environment (developed by ENTO)

    •   Counselling (developed by ENTO)

    •   Health and Safety (developed by ENTO)

    •   Trade Union Representatives and Professionals (developed by ENTO)

    •   Youth Work (developed by LLUK)

    •   Learning and Development (developed by LLUK)

    •   Leadership and Management in the Post Compulsory Learning and Skills
        Sector (developed by LLUK)

    •   Common Standards for Community Learning and Development (developed
        by LLUK)

    •   Self Administration (developed by Council for Administration)

    •   Business and Administration (developed by Council for Administration)

    •   Outdoor programmes (developed by Skills Active)

    •   Electoral Services (developed by SkillsPlus)

    •   Health and Social Care (developed by Skills for Care and Development)

    •   Health and Safety (developed by ENTO)

    •   Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (developed by TDA – but
        recognising that the standards would not be applicable to people working with
        young people under age 16)

    •   Marketing (developed by Marketing and Sales Standards Setting Body)

    •   Youth Justice (developed by Skills for Justice)


Appendix 6 provides indicative standards relevant to the current and future role of the
SLO based on the above. This analysis needs to be refined further on the basis that
standards for the SLO role are developed.




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Appendix 6:               SLO functions mapped against available standards

The table below indicates the available standards that may be relevant to the current and possible future functions of SLO’s. In some instances, the
standard may have to be broadly interpreted to accommodate the specific SLO function.

 Current functions (identified in Section 7.1)
 Function                                                    Indicative/exemplar standards                              Suite                      Standards
                                                                                                                                                   Body
 Developing/planning enrichment activities                   4.2.5 Work with providers of youth work activities         Youth Work                 LLUK
                                                             Facilitate the personal, social and educational
                                                             development of young people
 Promoting enrichment activities                             None identified
 Managing enrichment activities                              None identified
 Risk assessment of enrichment activities                    O16NHSP2v2 Promote a positive health and safety            Health and safety          ENTO
                                                             culture
 Representation and advocacy                                 1.3.3 Enable young people to represent themselves and      Youth Work                 LLUK
                                                             their peer group
                                                             2.1.1 Ensure that the rights of young people are
                                                             promoted and upheld
 Support course representatives                              LDL9 Create a climate that promotes learning               Learning and Development   LLUK
 Information and advice (recognising the legality            1.4.1 Provide information and support to young people      Youth Work                 LLUK
 behind this)                                                1.4.2 Enable young people to access information and to
                                                             make decisions
 Promotional activities                                      3.2.1 Develop your personal networks                       Community Learning and     LLUK
                                                             (MSC A3)                                                   Development
 Supporting Student Unions & Student Councils                3.1.1 Communicate effectively and develop rapport with     Youth Work                 LLUK
                                                             young people through community learning and                Community Learning and
                                                             development processes                                      Development
 Supporting student campaigns                                UC6 Support activities and campaigns within the policies   Trades Union               ENTO
                                                             of the union                                               representatives and
                                                                                                                        professionals
 Communicating with students through                                                                                    Youth Work


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 appropriate media
 Preparing for disciplinary hearings/appeals                 UR10 Prepare and present cases on behalf of union        Trades Union           ENTO
                                                             members                                                  representatives and
                                                             Also TUC Learner Rep Role                                professionals
                                                             UR11 Provide specialist advocacy services on behalf of
                                                             union members
 Supporting at disciplinary hearings/appeals                 UR10 Prepare and present cases on behalf of union        Trades Union           ENTO
                                                             members                                                  representatives and
                                                             UR11 Provide specialist advocacy services on behalf of   professionals
                                                             union members
 Administration (to support Student                          RECR3 Use computer based information management          Recruitment practice   ENTO
 Union/Association functions)                                systems
                                                             08NSAS2 Deal with contacts (and others in the same       Self administration    Council for
                                                             suite)                                                                          Administration
                                                                                                                                             Community
                                                                                                                                             Learning &
                                                                                                                                             Development
                                                                                                                                             Youth Work
                                                             Plan, organise and coordinate meetings                   Business and           Council for
                                                             Organise and coordinate events                           Administration         Administration
                                                             Word processing software
                                                             Spreadsheet software
                                                             (and others in the same suite)
 Wider team management                                       5.3.1 Provide support to other workers                   Youth Work             LLUK




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 Future functions (identified in Section 7.4)
 Function                                                    Indicative standards                                      Suite                  Standards Body
 Providing support services in the workplace                 RECR14 Review health and safety procedures in             Recruitment practice   ENTO
                                                             workplaces                                                                       (Probably too
                                                                                                                                              legalistic)
 Providing strategic support to Student Unions               UC1 Represent the union and promote its policies          Trade Union            ENTO
                                                             UC3 Provide information and advice to union members       Representatives and    Youth Work
                                                                                                                       Professionals v2
 Providing professional support to Student                   Negotiate and agree budgets                               Business and           Council for
 Unions                                                                                                                Administration         Administration
 Planning and budgeting                                      LMD 1 Plan resource requirements                          Leadership &           LLUK
                                                                                                                       management in the      Youth Work
                                                                                                                       post compulsory        National Council
                                                                                                                       learning and skills    Voluntary
                                                                                                                       sector                 Organisations
                                                                                                                                              Management
                                                                                                                                              Standards Centre
 Contributing to institutional strategic planning                                                                      Youth Work             LLUK
 Contributing to institutional quality review                                                                          Youth Work             LLUK
 Promoting equality and diversity                            2.1.2Develop a culture and systems that promote           Community learning     LLUK
                                                             equality and value diversity through community learning   and development
                                                             and development processes
                                                             2.1 Promote equality and the valuing of diversity         Youth Work             LLUK

 Mentoring                                                   LDL14 Support learners by mentoring in the workplace      Learning and           LLUK
                                                                                                                       Development
                                                             CM11 Record and maintain notes of interactions with       Coaching and           ENTO
                                                             coachee or mentee                                         mentoring in a work
                                                                                                                       environment




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 Other standards which are similar but are not fully relevant
 Function                           Indicative standards                                Suite                Standards       Comments
                                                                                                             Body
 Developing/planning enrichment            4.1.1 Evaluate and prioritise requirements   Community            LLUK
 activities                                for relevant community learning and          learning and
                                           development opportunities from your          development
                                           organisation
                                           O64STL32 Promote the transfer of learning    Supporting           TDA             Related to compulsory
                                           from outdoor experiences                     teaching and                         education
                                                                                        learning in
                                                                                        schools
                                           B227Contribute to evaluating, developing     Sports               SkillsActive
                                           and promoting services                       development
                                           ES2 Contribute to raising awareness about    Electoral services   SkillsPlus UK   Includes promotion in the wider
                                           the electoral process                                                             community
                                                                                                                             Active Citizenship
                                                                                                                             Youth Work
                                           B222 Promote services                        Operations and       SkillsActive    Aimed at middle managers and
                                                                                        Development                          focuses on a promotional plan
                                           STL34 Support gifted and talented pupils     Supporting           Training and    Focuses on gifted and talented
                                                                                        teaching and         Development     pupils but includes setting
                                                                                        learning in          Agency for      learner driving learning
                                                                                        schools              Schools         objectives etc.
                                           SA44ND33 Facilitate education in the         Outdoor              Skills Active   Limited to narrowly defined
                                           outdoors                                     programmes                           enrichment experience




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 Communicating with students               3.1.1 Communicate effectively and develop   Youth Work           LLUK
                                           rapport with young people
                                           AB1 Communicate effectively with people     Common               Skills for       Also includes the security of
                                           Core skill comms                            standards across     Justice          information
                                                                                       the justice sector
                                           36 Communicate with customers               Metal processing     Metal industry
                                                                                       and allied           skills and
                                                                                       operations           performance
                                                                                                            Ltd
 Providing support services in the         RECR14 Review health and safety             Recruitment          ENTO             Risk assessment in workplace –
 workplace                                 procedures in workplaces                    practice                              (May be inappropriate as a legal
                                                                                                                             focus)
 Representation and advocacy               LDL5 Agree learning programme with          Learning &           LLUK             SLO role is less widely defined
                                           learners                                    development
                                           LDL16 Monitor and review progress with                                            More relevant in a learning
                                           learners                                                                          support capacity –a pastoral
                                           LDL15 Support and advise individual                                               tutor role (evident in some
                                           learners                                                                          English SLO roles)
 Support to Student Unions and             ES1 Develop and implement a strategy for    Electoral services   SkillsPlus       Suites intended to those
 Student Councils                          increasing electoral participation                                                supporting local government
                                           ES13 Manage polling day arrangements                                              elections
                                                                                                                             TUC, ENTO & Active Citizenship
                                           B12 Prepare for democratic and decision     Democratic           SkillsPlus       also have relevance
                                           making meetings                             services

                                           Work within your business environment       Business and         Council for      General business processes
                                                                                       Administration       Administration
 Contribution to strategic                 9 Contributing to the strategic planning                         Youth Work
 planning                                  process




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 Student campaigns                                                                                           TUC              Limited relevance
 Contribute to institutional               Inform and facilitate corporate decision      Business and        Council for      Focused on governance
 strategic planning                        making                                        Administration      Administration
                                           4.2.6 Involve young people in the strategic   Youth Work          LLUK             Focus on youth work
                                           development of youth work
 Promotional activities (related to        034N2 Research customer needs                 Marketing & sales   MSSSB            More generalised than required
 aspects of the SLO role such as                                                         standards for                        in FE sector in SLO role
 promoting Learner Voice,                                                                non-specialists
 promoting enrichment)                     034N16 Sell products and services to          Marketing & sales   MSSSB
                                           customers                                     standards for
                                                                                         non-specialists
                                           034N7 Target and promote your products        Marketing & sales   MSSSB
                                           and services effectively                      standards for
                                                                                         non-specialists
                                           034N10 Plan the promotion of your good        Marketing & sales   MSSSB
                                           and services                                  standards for
                                                                                         non-specialists
                                           HS6 Contribute to promoting hospitality       Hospitality         People 1st
                                           services and products                         Supervision
 Training student representatives          UC7 Enhance the role of the union             Trade Union         ENTO
                                           representative                                Representatives
                                                                                         and Professionals
 Disciplinary hearings                     016NPE38 Operate grievance, disciplinary      Personnel           ENTO             Workplace specific (TUC)
                                           and dismissal procedures
 Mentoring                                 CM5 Prepare for the mentoring process         Coaching and        ENTO             Much mentoring is outside work
                                           CM11 Record and maintain notes of             Mentoring in a                       environment
                                           interactions with coachee or mentee (and      work environment
                                           other standards in same suite)




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 Contributing to institutional             LML3 Lead and manage change and          Leadership &          LLUK            More broadly defined
 quality review                            continuous improvement                   management in         MSC,
                                                                                    the post              Leadership &
                                                                                    compulsory            Management
                                                                                    learning and skills
                                                                                    sector



Since there are a large number of standards identified which reflect the activities within the SLO sector and a large amount of roles reflecting these
activities, it would seem appropriate at the next stage of NOS development to:

    1. Contextualise the identified standards and create standards (if appropriate) to have one comprehensive set of SLO standards, liked in the first
       instance to the NOS within the LLUK footprint
           • Professional Standards for teachers, tutors and trainers
           • E-learning Standards, The application of ICT to teaching & supporting learning in the lifelong learning sector
           • NOS for Learning Support
           • NOS for Leadership and Management in the post-Compulsory Learning and Skills Sector
           • Professional and Occupational Standards for Youth Work
           • Standards for Community Learning and Development

    2. Contextualise and create (if appropriate) standards around job roles and have a suite of standards relating to a cluster of job roles

Using this approach, qualifications could be identified and/or developed based on these standards and job role clusters that will support the development
of qualification frameworks, career pathways and CPD frameworks.




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  Appendix 7:     SLO functions mapped against Professional Standards and NOS for Youth Work and common standards for
  Community Learning and Development

SLO Functional role                                        Youth Work                                    Community Learning and Development
Developing/planning enrichment activities                  4.1.1 Investigate the needs of young people Nothing of relevance
                                                           and the community in relation to youth work
                                                           4.1.2 Evaluate and prioritise requirements
                                                           for young work activities from your
                                                           organisation
                                                           4.2.5 Work with providers of youth work
                                                           activities
                                                           4.2.7 Work in partnership with agencies to
                                                           improve opportunities for young people
Promoting enrichment activities                            1.1.3 Encourage young people to broaden 1.2.3       Encourage      individuals through
                                                           their horizons to be active citizens        community learning and development
                                                                                                       processes to broaden their horizons and
                                                                                                       become active citizens
Managing enrichment activities                             Nothing of relevance                        Nothing of relevance
Risk assessment of enrichment activities                   1.1.6 Support young people in their           5.4.1 Make sure your own actions reduce
                                                           understanding of risk and challenge           risks to health and safety (ENTO HSS1)
                                                           2.4.2 Ensure that youth work activities       5.4.2 Ensure health and safety requirements
                                                           comply with legal, regulatory and ethical     are met in your area of responsibility (MSC
                                                           requirements                                  E6)
                                                           5.4.1 Make sure your own actions reduce
                                                           risks to health and safety (ENTO HSS1)
                                                           5.4.2 Ensure health and safety requirements
                                                           are met in your area of responsibility (MSC
                                                           E6)
Representation and advocacy                                1.3.3 Enable young people to represent        1.1.1 Enable people through community
                                                           themselves and their group                    learning and development process to
                                                           2.1.1 Ensure the rights of young people are   represent themselves
                                                           promoted and upheld


  Scoping exercise: National Occupational Standards for Student Liaison Officers v2                                                                    59
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SLO Functional role                                        Youth Work                                    Community Learning and Development
Support course representatives                             1.1.1 Enable young people to use their        1.1.2 Support people through community
                                                           learning     to     enhance   their  future   learning and development processes in
                                                           development                                   taking action and to tackle problems
                                                           1.1.5 Support young people in taking action
                                                           and to tackle problems
                                                           1.3.3 Enable young people to represent
                                                           themselves and their group
                                                           3.1.2 Assist young people to express and to
                                                           realise their goals
                                                           4.2.6 Involve young people in the strategic
                                                           development and delivery of youth work
Providing information and advice                           1.4.1 Provide information and support to       1.3.1 Provide information and support to
                                                           young people                                   individuals and communities within the
                                                           1.4.2 Enable young people to access            processes of community learning and
                                                           information and to make decisions              development
Providing promotional activities                           Nothing of relevance                           3.2.1 Develop your personal networks
                                                                                                          (MSC A3)
Providing support services in the workplace                1.1.7 Undertake youth work in settings other 2.2.1 Work with people through community
                                                           than those used traditionally                  learning and development processes in
                                                           2.2.2 Address the health and wellbeing of safeguarding their own welfare
                                                           young people
                                                           2.2.3 Work with young people in
                                                           safeguarding their own welfare
                                                           2.4.1 Fulfil the legal, regulatory and ethical
                                                           requirements relevant to youth work
                                                           2.4.2 Ensure that youth work activities
                                                           comply with legal, regulatory and ethical
                                                           requirements




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SLO Functional role                                        Youth Work                                  Community Learning and Development
Supporting Student           Unions      &     Student 1.2.1 Plan, prepare and facilitate group work   Nothing of relevance
Associations                                           with young people
                                                       1.2.2 Work with young people to manage
                                                       resources for youth work activities
                                                       1.3.3 Enable young people to represent
                                                       themselves and their group
                                                       3.3.3 Involve, motivate and support
                                                       volunteers (UKWH B2)
                                                       4.2.6 Involve young people in the strategic
                                                       development and delivery of youth work
Support student democracy                              1.1.3 Encourage young people to broaden         Nothing of relevance
                                                       their horizons to become active citizens
                                                       (fairly limited relevance)
Supporting student campaigns                           1.3.3 Enable young people to represent          Nothing of relevance
                                                       themselves and their group
Communication     with          students       through 3.1.1 Communicate effectively and develop       3.1.1 Communicate effectively and develop
appropriate media                                      rapport with young people                       rapport with people through community
                                                                                                       learning and development processes
Preparing for disciplinary hearings/appeals                Nothing of relevance                        Nothing of relevance
Providing administrative support for Student Nothing of relevance                    Nothing of relevance
Unions/Associations
Providing professional support to Student 4.3.1 Lead change (MSC C4)                 Nothing of relevance
Unions/ Associations                         4.3.2 Plan change (MSC C5)
                                             4..3 Implement change (MSC C6)
Secure    resources    for  Student   Union/ 4.2.4 Identify and secure resources for 4.3.1 Support communities to secure
Associations                                 youth work                              resources for community learning and
                                                                                     development services
Planning and budgeting                       Nothing of relevance                    4.3.2 Manage a budget (MSC E1)
                                                                                     4.3.3 Manage finance for your area of
                                                                                     responsibility (MSC E2)


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SLO Functional role                                        Youth Work                                      Community Learning and Development
Wider team management                                      3.3.2     Develop       productive          3.3.2
                                                                                                 working           Develop     productive    working
                                                           relationships with colleagues (MSC D1)      relationships with colleagues (MSC D1)
                                                           3.3.3     Develop       productive          3.3.3
                                                                                                 working           Develop     productive    working
                                                           relationships     with     colleagues    andrelationships      with    colleagues    and
                                                           stakeholders (MSC D2)                       stakeholders (MSC D2)
                                                           5.2.1 Provide leadership in your area of    5.2.1 Provide leadership in your area of
                                                           responsibility (MSC B6)                     responsibility (MSC B6)
                                                           5.2.2 Allocate and check work in your team  5.2.2 Allocate and check work in your team
                                                           (MSC D5)                                    (MSC D5)
                                                           5.2.3 recruit, select and keep colleagues   5.2.3 Provide support to other workers in
                                                           (MSC D3)                                    community learning and development
                                                                                                       activities
Contributing to institutional strategic planning           1.3.2       Encourage   young      people’s 4.2.1      Influence    and     support   the
                                                           involvement in the design of youth work development of strategies for community
                                                           activities                                  learning and development
                                                           4.1.3      Influence  and    support    the
                                                           development of youth work strategies
                                                           4.2.2 Develop a strategic plan for youth
                                                           work
                                                           4.2.3 Identify and address new youth work
                                                           opportunities
                                                           4.2.6 Involve young people in the strategic
                                                           development and delivery of youth work
Contributing to institutional quality review               1.2.3 Support young people in evaluating 5.1.1 Monitor and evaluate the quality of
                                                           youth work activities                       community learning and development
                                                           4.4.1 Monitor and evaluate the quality of activities
                                                           youth work activities




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SLO Functional role                                        Youth Work                                  Community Learning and Development
Promoting equality and diversity                           2.3.1 Promote equality of opportunity and   2.1.1 Promote equality of opportunity and
                                                           diversity in your area of responsibility    diversity in your area of responsibility
                                                           (MSC B11)                                   (MSC B11)
                                                           2.3.2 Develop a culture and systems that    2.1.2 develop a culture and systems that
                                                           promote equality and value diversity        promote equality and value diversity using
                                                                                                       community learning and development
                                                                                                       processes
Mentoring                                                  Nothing of relevance                        Nothing of relevance
Training student representatives                           5.3.2 Provide learning opportunities for 5.3.2 Provide learning opportunities for
                                                           colleagues (MSC D7)                      colleagues (MSC D7)

  NOTES:

  MSC (Management Standards Centre) is the Sector Skills Body (SSB) for management and leadership

  ENTO is the sector Skills Body (SSB) responsible for developing the competence of people who work with people i.e. learning & development staff; trainers;
  personnel; trades unions – full-time and voluntary officers; health and safety specialists and non-specialists and Advice and Guidance professionals including
  IAG partnerships, counsellors and mediators.




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Appendix 8:               Stakeholder map


                                                                                LEARNER
                               Professional services (e.g.
                                         legal)



                        PCTs/HAs                                       Third sector

                                                                                             Other unions
                                     Local authorities
                                     – social services
                                                                           Disability services
         Leisure facilities
                                             Schools
                                                                         Local authorities
                          Parents/carers                                   – ECM team

                                       Employers
 Inspection bodies                                                                  Connexions/IAG

 EXTERNAL                                                                                             NUS

               Marketing/promotion
                                                 SLO
                                                                    Governing body

                                                                                             Student
  INTERNAL                                                                                   governors
                                               Course representatives

                                                                                          Students Union
                                       Learning support

                                                                       Senior management
                                Student services



Explanatory note

The stakeholder map has been arranged to show the SLO at the interface between
the internal and external stakeholders and at the heart of Learner Voice in a college.
On the above map, the interfaces are shown as dashed lines since there is no
distinct point at which the differentiation begins and ends (eg with governors).
Relationships are not shown where the SLO does not have a role eg the governors-
senior management team.




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Appendix 9:               Outline functional map

The following summary map identifies the functions and principal areas of activity undertaken in achieving the key purposes underpinning the SLO
role. The areas suggested are not proposed to be of equal size/complexity, as they reflect activities undertaken by individuals of varying levels of
experience, responsibility and seniority. It is also recognised that many of the functions/activities are inter-related, such that the outcomes of one will
impact upon another.

Each area of activity may ultimately represent a discrete unit of National Occupational Standards, with these Standards defining best practice in
undertaking the activity described. The activities will need to address those undertaken across the UK. It is not implied that SLO’s will do all of the
activities. Indeed, this is highly unlikely. Consultation will need to establish those that are undertaken by all, and those that are undertaken by certain
roles, levels or within certain organisations.

The high level functions defined in the diagram below draw heavily the role defined within the Youth Standards




                                                  Promote & support                 Promote equality and
                                                  representation &                  young people’s
                                                  democracy                         interests and welfare



                                                                      Recognise &
                                                                        respect
                                         Lead, manage &                 student/              Promote & lead
                                         train teams &                learner as a            social & personal
                                         individuals                    partner               development
                                                                                              through enrichment



                                                                    Develop and
                                                                    contribute to
                                                                    strategy and quality
                                                                    systems
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                  Function                             Initial definition of sub-functions – still to be mapped to           Skills Required
                                                                       NOS/professional standards
 Representation                                Promote Learner Voice                                                 Communication
                                               Design strategy for student involvement and representation            Recruitment
                                               Oversee class elections                                               Motivation
                                               Design and undertake student surveys                                  Research
                                               Analyse the results of student surveys                                Interpersonal skills
                                               Present results of student surveys                                    Accurate record keeping
                                               Research evidence and prepare cases for student disciplinary
                                               hearings/appeals
                                               Present evidence for student disciplinary hearings/appeals
                                               Ensure the rights of all students are recognised and upheld
                                               Maintain secure records (as appropriate)
                                               Promote equality and diversity
 Democracy                                     Represent the student union/association and its policies              Communication
                                               Plan student elections                                                Advocacy
                                               Oversee student elections                                             Interpersonal skills
                                               Oversee election of and support student governors                     Accurate record keeping
                                               Consult with students on relevant issues
                                               Prepare for democratic decision making meetings
                                               Conduct student campaigns
                                               Provide specialist advocacy services
                                               Maintain secure records (as appropriate)




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 Support/advice                                Provide support for young people to represent themselves            Mentoring
                                               Mentor individual students                                          Counselling
                                               Risk assess situations                                              Communication
                                               Build and maintain productive relationships                         Interpersonal skills
                                               Maintain secure records (as appropriate)                            Accurate record keeping
                                               Provide information and support to young people                     Communication
                                               Enable young people to access information and make decisions        Interpersonal skills
 (Informal) staff-student interaction          Build and maintain productive working relationships                 Communication
                                               Communicate effectively with other people                           Advocacy
 Strategy                                      Promote Learner Voice                                               Advocacy
                                               Research student issues and present to senior management            Communication
                                               Present proposed solutions to senior management                     Planning
                                               Act on senior management decisions that affect students             Research
                                               Inform and contribute to the strategic planning process             Persuasive presentation
                                               Inform and contribute to development of quality processes           Negotiation
                                               Implement relevant quality processes                                Problem solving
 Management                                    Manage implementation of Learner Voice                              Management
                                               Manage/oversee student union/association                            Communication
                                               Manage relationship between liaison committees and SMT/ governors   Interpersonal skills
                                               Provide support to others working in student liaison
                                               Build the team
 Business support/administration               Support planning for student union/association                      Planning
                                               Plan and coordinate meetings and events                             Negotiation
                                               Prepare relevant plans                                              Computer skills
                                               Negotiate and prepare budgets for approval                          Basic financial management
                                               Oversee and monitor budgets                                         Basic personnel management
                                               Prepare/oversee preparation of financial statements                 Accurate record keeping
                                               Provide essential personnel support to student union/ association
                                               Use computerised management information systems
                                               Maintain secure records




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 Enrichment                                    Facilitate the personal, social and educational development of young
                                               people
 Training                                      Train student course representatives                                   Training
                                               Train student Academic Board/other senior committee representatives    Communication
                                               Train Student Governors                                                Interpersonal skills
                                               Train Student Union officers
 Communication                                 Communicate effectively and develop rapport with young people          Communication
                                               Provide advocacy services for young people across institution, as      Advocacy
                                               where appropriate, outside institution                                 Interpersonal skills
                                               Communicate (as required) with external stakeholders




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                                                                     Functional Relationships Map




                                                                                COMMUNICATION




                                                                                    Training

                                                                                                                Support/advice
                                        Representation                                                           for individual
                                                                                                                   students
                                                                                       Course
                                                                                       teams


                                                                                                                                       Enrichment
                        Democracy
                                                                      Student
                                                                       Union


                                                                                                Ac Bd/
                                                                                                 SMT                       Business
                                   Staff-student                                                Quality                    support/
                                    interaction                                                                            administration




                                                                    Management                       Strategy




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