Neil Drake – Level 5 Operations/ Departmental apprenticeship case study

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Case Studies, General, Leadership

Aspire Development has been working closely with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to create a Level 5 Operations/Departmental Management Apprenticeship which has already had a positive impact on the learners as well as the organisation.

Neil Drake, an External Communications Manager at NICE shares his experience on the programme and how the skills developed have helped him in his job role.

Aims prior to the Apprenticeship

Neil says, “I had three aims which included understanding myself, budgets and improve my project management skills more.”

He continues, “Alongside that, I wanted to stretch myself by undertaking a course whilst also working full time. My expectations were met in that I covered all of these and more and saw how they fit together in the overall strategic context.”

The skills developed on the Apprenticeship

Neil states, “There were a lot of skills learnt on this apprenticeship, all surrounding different modules. The two that stand out to me are operational planning and project management. These two skills have helped me approach my role with added structure and efficiency.”

When asked to talk more about the programme and structure he said, “Aspire’s mix of theory and practice appealed to me, and the blend of group work and self-study. Each module encouraged me to reflect and look for ways to apply it in practice, and also pointed me towards extra sources of learning and information.”

Direct impact into the Organisation

Neil Drake has had a very successful time on the apprenticeship and this positive impact can be directly seen in the workplace. One way this has been evidenced is when Neil became a member of NICE’S Change Network.

He says “During the second half of the apprenticeship I became a member of NICE’s change network, a group of people spread across departments who look for ways to encourage, introduce and learn from new approaches. The apprenticeship has helped me with this in two ways. Firstly, the modules about understanding your style and how you use your time and energy helped me allocate the time to this commitment alongside my job. Also, change management was covered in the apprenticeship and so it was good to apply it in practical ways as well as learn from colleagues’ approaches.”

We managed to get a few words from Neil’s line manager on how he has progressed since attending the apprenticeship.

They say, “Neil has actively sought ways to bring what the skills he has learnt from the apprenticeship hosted by Aspire into his workplace. His colleagues and I appreciate his reflections, rounded approach, and the way he probes what we are doing and why. It is good to see how enthusiastic he has been about the course, his project work and about using them to benefit NICE.”

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