Shelley moves forward with her career thanks to the Graduate Academy!

By Shelley Hughes, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales

Shelley HughesI took part in the Part Time GO Wales Graduate Academy that took place over October and November 2013. I applied at my line manager’s advice, who has also completed the Graduate Academy, with ILM, because I wanted to broaden my management skills and build upon my knowledge in this area, as well as knowing how to learn from my past and current experiences in the work place. I also wanted to gain more self confidence in presentation skills etc, and I received excellent feedback on this from both tutors so felt that I achieved this. Of course, the course provides an excellent qualification and will strengthen my CV but my  main objectives were to develop personally as well as professionally.

I work for Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales which regulates and inspects services such as nurseries, childminders and care homes. I am on the Business Support Team on the Customer Service branch; we receive concerns about these type of services from a variety of parties including the public, service users, family members of service users, other service, safeguarding etc. We also receive notifications such as serious incidents and deaths from these settings. Therefore, my role revolves around logging this information on our database, liaising with inspectors and when appropriate, closing the concerns down; as well as providing excellent customer service and empathy to complainants.

Since completing the Graduate Academy I have had a discussion with my manager and we feel that between my performance at work, and with the addition of the course, I am ready to apply for progression this year. If I pass progression I will become a line manager within the next few months and will be able to put my new skills and knowledge into practice as soon as possible. I believe that the confidence that the course has given me will help me throughout the assessment and interview processes and will impact my application in a positive way.

I really enjoyed the whole experience and would certainly urge others looking to develop their skills as potential or current managers to complete the course. The excellent tutoring, the massive support the Graduate Academy provides as well as the huge networking opportunity that it provides when meeting the other delegates is exceptional. All in all a genuinely enjoyable, interesting and valuable course to undertake.