Lincolnshire apprentices benefit from expert BPEC support at Stamford Gas Training

Photo shows (L to R) Jay Stacey, Ellie Wallace and Ben Nayar

End-point Assessments and more for a fast-growing regional training facility

Background

A subsidiary of Stamford College, Stamford Gas Training was established in 2018 to provide independent training and high-quality assessments for all personnel in the gas and plumbing industries. Stamford College is part of the Inspire Education Group, which also includes Peterborough College.

“We created the centre to meet rising local demand for the highest levels of gas training and assessment,” says centre manager, trainer and assessor Mark Hudson “The centre offers every type of gas course, and our commitment to quality means we want to work with the leading specialist players in the field, including BPEC.”

Mark Hudson continues, “If I need to know something, I know I can pick up the phone and call BPEC, talk to the tech team and get an answer straight away. BPEC are very approachable and helpful—it’s a good working relationship that benefits the centre and our apprentices.”

Why BPEC?

BPEC is Stamford Gas Training’s End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for Gas Engineering EPA, with the centre also using BPEC Services for MLP and unvented qualifications.

Mark Hudson says, “We’d previously been with a major awarding body and then moved into gas, which was obviously more specialised, so we started looking at specialist providers. A colleague had previous experience of BPEC at another college, we contacted BPEC and it was a really positive response. It was a good fit in terms of what we wanted to do, and what BPEC could provide. They offered exactly what we needed and we had confidence they could deliver. Other awarding bodies couldn’t do what BPEC does.” Services provided included BPEC support offered to the centre during on-programme delivery and preparation for the EPA.

“BPEC provides us with all of the support materials we need to carry out the preparatory assessments throughout an apprenticeship. It’s all very high quality. They provide access to knowledgeable industry professionals with the right specialisms. We know we’re getting expert advice.”

Kickstart your career

Smaller class sizes help Stamford Gas to deliver a focused and personal approach for learners, with all training and assessment carried out in an environment as relaxed and friendly as it is professional.

So what do apprentices say about the training and assessments they are receiving with the support of BPEC?

Successful apprentice Ellie Wallace rated the EPA process throughout as “excellent” and said she had “clear instructions”. Ben Naylor commented that the EPA was “well explained” and he “felt comfortable through all stages of the process.” Gas engineering apprentice Jay Stacey added that the EPA was “very good” and the assessor “explained throughout what was happening.” All three rated the EPA facilities as “excellent” and said they would recommend BPEC as an EPAO.

A fast-growing business

Mark Hudson adds, “Stamford Gas Training has been extremely successful in our first few years—it’s beyond our expectations how the business has taken off. Of course, during the pandemic we had to adapt like everyone else and move to remote learning. But the numbers of apprentices coming through the door has continued to rise. As for our commercial work with existing gas installers, the ACS side of the business has also grown and grown.

“For us, the major benefit of working with BPEC lies in the help and support we receive. That communication and approachability make a real difference: we know BPEC are there for us, when we need to get things sorted, and we don’t have to wait around. For apprentices, they clearly benefit from a high quality approach and the level of training we can provide. We are putting high-quality trained gas engineers out into the field with the right training and rigorous assessment.”