The qualification is a level 3 apprenticeship and is aimed at those just starting out in, or wishing to gain more knowledge and skill in learning and development.
What makes this qualification unique is that Popcorn are a successful digital learning agency in their own right. Since they started 5 years ago, they have worked on hundreds of projects for prestige clients including Marks and Spencer and Dixons Carphone; winning multiple awards along the way.
The launch of the qualification means that, for the first time, Popcorn are sharing with other learning and development professionals the secrets to their success and giving them an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t from the masters.
The Popcorn apprenticeship is an open programme, so learner cohorts are made up of people from a variety of different organisations across many different sectors. This means that learners get the rare opportunity to build their own network outside of their organisation, and share ideas with people who they otherwise would not have met.
The qualification will last for 18 months. During this time, learners will have the opportunity to master essential skills and gain valuable understanding, including:
- L&D and its relationship with the organisation;
- Evidencing change and return through evaluation;
- Identifying learning needs effectively;
- Designing learning activity; and
- Delivering learning activity.
With two main routes within the qualification, learners can specialise in either traditional face to face learning, or digital learning and development.
Regardless of the route chosen, the programme focuses on ensuring that learners develop a deep understanding of what they need to do to produce learning activity that supports their organisation commercially.
The programme caters for all learning styles and has a completely blended approach to delivery. This includes:
- Digital learning modules;
- Face to face workshops, delivered around England;
- Digital group discussions;
- Self-led activities;
- A curated library of content;
- One to one coaching sessions;
- An online learning journey;
- A learning community;
- One to one support; and
- A digital learning platform.
Most larger organisations are likely to be able to fund participation of their employees on this programme through their apprenticeship levy. The team at Popcorn can provide advice and guidance to see if this is the case.
On announcing the qualification, Popcorn Director and Co-Founder, Mark Glanville said, “Apprenticeships of old were always based around a master passing skills and knowledge on to the learner. For far too long, this seems to have changed and it seems that anyone is able to run an apprenticeship on anything. We want to change that. We only run apprenticeships on subjects that we have mastered, and our new Level 3 Apprenticeship for Learning and Development Practitioners is a fantastic example of that”.
Fellow Director and Co-Founder, Eric Gresswell, adds, “Popcorn are already a multi-award-winning digital learning agency. We deliver digital courses, filmed video and animations to a fantastic client base. Digital learning is not something that we’ve seen at the core of similar apprenticeships to date, and so we feel that we are in a unique position to teach the learning professionals of tomorrow, the skills for tomorrow, rather than the skills of yesterday”.