Gain real industry experience and a nationally recognised qualification
The role of a customer service practitioner is to deliver high quality products and services to the customers of their organisation. Your core responsibility will be to provide a high quality service to customers which will be delivered from the workplace, digitally, or through going out into the customer’s own locality. These may be one-off or routine contacts and include dealing with orders, payments, offering advice, guidance and support, meet-and-greet, sales, fixing problems, after care, service recovery or gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction. You may be the first point of contact and work in any sector or organisation type.
Your actions will influence the customer experience and their satisfaction with your organisation. You will demonstrate excellent customer service skills and behaviours as well as product and/or service knowledge when delivering to your customers. You provide service in line with the organisation’s customer service standards and strategy and within appropriate regulatory requirements. Your customer interactions may cover a wide range of situations and can include; face-to-face, telephone, post, email, text and social media.
Candidates will be taught to learn who the customers are, how to ensure customer satisfaction, communication, dealing with conflict, team work and developing yourself. These are just a few of the topics covered during the apprenticeship.
Topics covered throughout the Level 2 Customer Practitioner programme include:
• Knowing your customers
• Meeting regulations and legislation
• Customer Experience
• Product and service knowledge
• Dealing with conflict
• Team Working
Once you have been fully inducted and enrolled onto the Customer Practitioner level 2 course you will receive a welcome e-mail along with your e-portfolio log on which will enable you to access and complete your course work set by your assessor.
80% of the learning will be done in the workplace through 1-1 sessions with the other 20% being delivered via online resources, live webinars and classroom training by our highly qualified, industry experienced staff.
Typically this Apprenticeship will take 13-16 months
The End Point Assessment (EPA) can only be triggered after 12 months of starting the apprenticeship and is dependent on when the employer and Mercia College decide that you are ready. EPA is typically expected to conclude within 3 months of your expected end date. The employer has the final decision to progress the apprentice to EPA.
Ahead of EPA, we will support the apprentice in meeting the apprenticeship standard and then judge whether the apprentice has successfully met the learning outcomes to trigger EPA. Level 1 Functional Skills in English & maths are required to be achieved along with Level 2 English and maths exam before triggering EPA. In considering these factors, Mercia College is able to advise the employer when the apprentice is ready for EPA for the employer to decide.
The employer makes the final decision to progress the apprentice to EPA, by reviewing the Portfolio of Learning and performance of the apprentice in meeting the Standard. The employer confirms whether digital skills have been shown and the apprentice is recognised for on-the-job IT skills. If the employer feels that the apprentice has met the learning outcomes, and is competent in the apprenticeship role, they should progress the apprentice to EPA.
The apprentice makes every effort to have gained the knowledge, skills and behaviour across the Standard, as demonstrated in their Portfolio of Learning and 1-to-1s. The ‘showcase’ is to be completed before the gateway can be triggered. The apprentice must complete Level 1 English and maths and also sat the Level 2 English and maths exam before progressing to EPA, if not completed prior to the apprenticeship.
For each of the three assessment methods, all pass criteria (100%) must be achieved to progress and complete the apprenticeship programme, as outlined below and identified in Annex A.
For a distinction to be awarded, apprentices must also achieve a distinction in each assessment method, as outlined below and identified in Annex A.
The apprentice showcase is compiled after 12 months of on-programme learning. The Apprentice Showcase enables apprentices to reflect and present examples of their development over the whole on-programme period. With guidance from the employer and/or training provider the apprentice will select appropriate evidence from the on programme portfolio to demonstrate the minimum requirements of the standard at the final stage of the programme as an ‘Apprentice Showcase’. This will attest to professional competence at the level.
The apprentice showcase will be reviewed and assessed by the independent assessor. The evidence contained in the apprentice showcase will be assessed against the following areas of the standard as highlighted in Appendix A:
• Understanding the organisation
• Meeting regulations and legislation
• Systems and resources
• Product and service knowledge
• Influencing skills
• Personal organisation
• Dealing with customer conflict and challenge
• Developing self
• Being open to feedback
• Team working
The apprentice showcase, as agreed by the employer and apprentice with the assessment organisation, can be assessed face to face or remotely. It can be showcased by the learner through the delivery of a presentation or by a virtual form of assessment such as submission of a report, storyboard, journal etc to the assessment organisation.
Practical Observation & Professional Discussion
The practical observation and professional discussion provides the opportunity for substantial synoptic assessment across the standard and must include customer interaction.
The practical observation will be pre-planned and scheduled to when the apprentice will be in their normal place of work and will be carried out by the Independent Assessor. The observation should enable the apprentice to evidence their skills, knowledge and behaviour from across the standard to demonstrate genuine and demanding work objectives. Each situation within the observation will be different, and examples are, handling a general enquiry, dealing with a customer complaint or a need for further information or detail, but it is mandatory that the observation covers as a minimum: presentation, equality, interpersonal skills, communication and personal organisation. Those areas of the standard which are not able to be evidenced during the observation will be discussed subsequently as part of the professional discussion with the Independent Assessor.
The professional discussion will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the Independent Assessor, following the observation, to establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of knowledge, skills and behaviours. The professional discussion will need to take place in a suitable environment and should last for a maximum of one hour. The discussion will be against set criteria in the occupational brief to ensure standardisation and consistency.
The purpose of the professional discussion is to:
• clarify any questions the Independent Assessor has from their assessment of the learner journey and practical observation;
• confirm and validate judgements about the quality of work;
• explore aspects of the work, including how it was carried out, in more detail;
• discuss how the apprentice would behave in specific scenarios, should they not have occurred within the practical observation;
• ask questions in relation to personal development and reflection;
• provide a basis for the Independent Assessor to make a decision about the grade to be awarded.
The Independent Assessor will plan the professional discussion in advance and in conjunction with the apprentice and employer.
The professional discussion will be graded by the Independent Assessor based on the standard and grading criteria. Final judgement and the overall grade for the apprenticeship will be made by the Independent Assessor following completion of both the practical observation and professional discussion.
The apprenticeship includes Pass and Distinction grades which are applied at the end point assessment with the final grade based on the performance in the apprentice showcase, the practical observation and a professional discussion.
A pass apprentice will competently perform their role demonstrating application of the knowledge, skills and behaviours against the whole standard in line with organisation and regulatory requirements and ensuring customer satisfaction.
A distinction apprentice, in addition to meeting the pass criteria, will consistently perform above the required level for the role.
If any part of the assessment is not sufficient when first submitted, there will be an opportunity for resubmission, or observation or professional discussion to be repeated, however multiple assessment opportunities are not expected; all parties should be confident that the apprentice is ready to start the end point assessment with practice runs taking place before formal assessment is completed. Should the Apprentices fail any part of the end point assessment further development must be provided prior to a re-take.
The final grade will be based on the final end assessment. The apprentice must achieve the minimum pass threshold in each of the end assessment components and will be awarded a final grade based on the weighted average of these end assessment components.
Level 2 Diploma for Customer Service Practitioners (RQF)
Functional Skills in Maths and English Level 1 and progression to Level 2 Functional Skills Maths and English
Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level.
Non-Levy Employer 10% Contribution
£350 +VAT = £420
Levy Employer Cost
All costs include End point Assessment
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