Simon Ellison - Lead Internal Quality Assurer

Topic

[Trainers and Assessors]

I completed a level 3 IT apprenticeship whilst working at a technical support provider. I was recruited by Baltic based on my experience in that role and apprenticeship, joining as an associate trainer in 2010.

I left full-time education many years ago, having gone to university back in the late 90s and dropped out. My recent education has been much more vocational, including a level 3 apprenticeship in my previous job. Baltic have supported me in continuing my education on-the-job.

Prior to moving into internal verification I worked as an assessor for Baltic, having joined the company as an associate trainer. My previous role was as the operations manager for a commercial IT helpdesk, having worked my way up from first-line support.

After leaving full-time education I studied a range of IT qualifications in my own time, including Cisco, Microsoft and CompTIA certifications. I completed a level 3 apprenticeship whilst working in IT support. Since joining Baltic I've been certified in assessment (level 3) and internal verification (level 4) and completed the first year of a degree in computing with the Open University.

Working at Baltic

I joined Baltic in October 2010, so just under 9 years at the time of writing.

As Lead IQA I work with our assessment team on the evidence learners will take to their end-point assessments (EPA). My day revolves around reviewing evidence the assessors have signed off and giving feedback on that, driving continuous improvement in the support we give learners working towards their EPA.

My role means that I'm involved with the progress of every IT learner. I enjoy the challenge involved in working with so many different learners, standards and competencies.

I spend a lot of time buried in written work and evidence these days. Back in 2010 as a trainer I worked with a group of apprentices, delivering all of their training over a few months. It was a great experience seeing those young people through from joining us to achieving their apprenticeships.

Change has been the biggest constant in my time with Baltic. Between changing job roles and the ever-evolving apprenticeship sector, my role has rarely stayed still for long. I started as an associate trainer, working in classrooms delivering training courses. As an assessor I travelled all over the country visiting learners in their workplaces, before transitioning to what became our Online Live delivery model. Now as an IQA I spend most of my time at Baltic House working with the quality team.

#1 Item on Bucket List

Possibly not as 'out there' as some, but I'd love to see the pyramids in Egypt.

Interesting Fact

I was originally heading for a career in physics, but decided to swap relativity and stellar mechanics for working with IT infrastructure back in the late 90's.

Greatest Achievement

Aside from having three amazing kids, some of my biggest achievements have been playing gigs in one of the bands I used to play with. We played some amazing shows with some great bands. There's nothing quite like playing live music in front of a big crowd.

Hobbies and Interests

I'm what you'd call a classic geek... I spend my free time (limited with three kids in the house!) reading, playing various games including miniature wargames (Warhammer) and roleplaying games (Dungeons & Dragons). Although I don't really play these days, I'm still a great lover of music.

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