The long awaited IPD Online upgrade has been launched this month. It is used to support ICE members on an ICE Training Scheme or following a mentor-supported training programme. The ICE has information on the upgrade available using this link if you are registered with them.
Having used it already, our Dr Andy Goodwin has prepared a brief summary of the key changes that he has come across:
- The interface is much improved, simpler and easier to navigate than previously. This is great news as those who used it previously will know it was anything but quick and easy before!
- Existing trainees have had all their previous information transferred to the new platform so they do not need to do anything other than log in and continue using the system. Again, great news.
- As a mentor it is easier to see how up to date your trainees are, and it is easy to download a summary report on trainee progress (including evidence and feedback, annual appraisals and completions). This will aid offline reading if required, and allow the trainee to keep a hard copy record too. Care will need to be taken by the SCE / mentor to avoid breaching confidentiality by sharing the e-report though.
- No longer do trainees need to record attribute evidence under each of the sub-attributes, which greatly speeds up data entry by the trainee and approval by the SCE / mentor. It will also make it easier for the SCE / mentor to make a judgement overall on the competence level achieved against each attribute group. No longer will each trainee have to show achievement of all sub-attributes to the same level notionally – they just have to record evidence and show competence ‘in the round’.
- All evidence previously submitted against the sub-attributes has been carried over automatically and collated under the attribute group. It is not easy to see under which sub-attribute the previous evidence related though.
- The competence level for each attribute group is meant to have been automatically set to the lowest level previously signed off for any one of the sub-attributes. On the whole this has happened but not always.
- An important exercise for the SCE / mentor to undertake now is deciding whether the assigned competence level for the attribute group as a whole is reasonable. Unfortunately having made an assessment the SCE / mentor can’t just go in to amend the automatically allocated sign-off level. Rather they have to wait until their trainee submits some evidence for review, but it will be easy at that stage to upgrade the assigned competency level.
- There remain 3 competency levels (Knowledge, Experience and Ability), but to aid differentiation between IEng and CEng candidates Ability can be signed off to Ai and Ac respectively.
- Improved help support is also available.
Overall the new system seems much improved and more efficient, but the proof will come over time as everyone uses it.
If you are in need of mentoring, or need a mentor for your staff, then please contact Andy on 01246 807808 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will happily talk you through what we could do for you to add value to your existing arrangements and processes, without any obligation.