The international Matrix Quality Standard accreditation, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), ensures organisations deliver genuinely independent and impartial information, advice, or guidance (IAG) to support an individual’s career, learning, work, or life goals.
Since the last Matrix Accreditation Review in 2020, the 2023 report stated: “The College is continuing to raise standards including that of support and accountability across the campuses.”
The award follows a five-day assessment in April at the College. This covered all the student services and support available from both specialist and teaching staff. It assessed the quality of advice and guidance given at all stages of the learner journey, including at enrolment, during the course, and in relation to onward progress into employment or higher education.
Lisa Briscoe, Truro and Penwith College, Director of Student Experience expressed her joy of receiving re-accreditation: “We are absolutely delighted. Information Advice and Guidance is at the heart of the work we do to support students and those transitioning into college. The inspector met over 50 staff and interviewed many students to demonstrate our commitment to Careers Advice and Guidance, Student Services, Safeguarding and Schools Liaison; all essential to our vision to Look Further, Reach Further and Go Further.”
Commenting on the College’s success to attract students from across the county, despite some learners living in isolated rural settings the report stated: “Some students travel long distances to college, up to an hour and a half each way for example, drawn to the college by its excellent reputation.
“The communities served can be inhibited by limited access to transport and college buses can be a lifeline to students. T&P College works hard to ensure potential students and their families are aware of the many opportunities available to them which may not be apparent in their market towns and villages.
“Substantial evidence was gathered around key aspects of support across T&P College’s provision. The ‘IAG service’ to students is well delivered and provides comprehensive support arrangements enabling targeting and general support.”
The report also commented on the College’s status among the business community and key partners.
“The College is very highly regarded by the business community, local authority, and public bodies such as the NHS and Devon & Cornwall Police. The college is also well-embedded with the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP and is a key partner around development plans and structures, and benefits from good relationships with other partnerships such as the voluntary sector and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) particularly with the universities of Falmouth and Plymouth.”
The report highlights how student surveys by the College show the information and advice received was helping learners with their decision making. An example of this was 75% agreeing the initial interview for the college was extremely useful from the 2500 completed forms in the 2022 survey.
Finally, the report concluded by saying: “The wealth of evidence encountered in interviews, and the quality of documentary evidence provided to the Matrix Assessor demonstrates that the College is operating at a high level of competence and effectiveness.”
Roger Chapman, Head of the Matrix Service, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Truro and Penwith College and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services is strong leadership, excellent service, and a focus on continuous improvement, all underpinned by effective use of the resources available.”