From governance officer to being a highly commended office hero and Ofsted superstar as Whyy? Change’s head of apprenticeships.

In July 2019, Emma joined Whyy? Change as their governance officer and this month celebrates her three-year anniversary as director of governance. Emma shares her transformation journey since starting her quality practitioner apprenticeship and being named as a ‘good provider’ by Ofsted.

Following Emma’s recruitment, Ray Byrne, CEO of Whyy? Change,  said: “Systems matter and it was always my intention to build the business with strong governance in mind. Emma was my first recruit to the cause and tasked with protecting the business from me.”

In January 2021, Emma was one of the first apprentices to enrol onto the quality practitioner level four apprenticeship, with Whyy? Change being one of only a select few providers delivering the standard. Continuous learning is embedded into all employees at Whyy? and Emma’s decision to start an apprenticeship at 46 years old shows apprenticeships aren’t just for college leavers.

Emma said: “There were limited training courses that offered the breadth of knowledge that I was looking to gain, so when the quality practitioner apprenticeship was approved, I jumped at the chance to start.”

By April 2021, Emma was promoted to director of governance. Ray added: “Emma leads from the front by being a role model in her practice and her willingness to enhance her qualifications through an apprenticeship.”

When asked about apprenticeships, Emma said: “I’m super passionate about learning and the opportunities that apprenticeships provide, seeing apprentices grow in confidence, skill and achieving success motivates me every day.”

Through her course, Emma has developed skills in implementing quality tools to develop Whyy?’s strategic direction which she has applied through the application process for Whyy?’s CIPD centre status which was successfully achieved in July 2021.

In December last year, Emma received Glu Recruit’s highly commended office hero award, having been recognised for her hard work, dedication and commitment to maintaining a robust, learner centric, accredited apprenticeship delivery plan to meet the needs of their learners and employers.

With all the work that Emma put in, when Ofsted came knocking in February, Whyy? Change was prepared and were graded as a ‘good provider’ across all five assessment categories in their first full inspection.

Following Ofsted’s grading of Whyy? Change, Emma said: “Our customers matter. It’s important that we share knowledge and value to a high standard to help not only our apprentices, but the businesses themselves.

Ray added: “The proof is in the pudding, and if Ofsted say we are ‘good’ this is because Emma has delivered above and beyond. I am the sole shareholder, but only one of many leaders in the business.”

Success didn’t stop there, with Emma playing a key part in being nominated for Training Provider of the Year at the South Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards for the second time running.

Emma’s question to you is: “What are you hoping to learn in 2022?”