ODP Cross Government Qualification Buddy Scheme

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ODP Buddy Scheme information pack

Introduction to the Buddy Scheme

Our ODP Cross-Government Buddy Scheme is here to help increase student support for those undertaking an ODP qualification.

We understand that everyone learns differently so we offer this scheme as an option to those who feel they would benefit from further support during their qualification journey.

For those who have completed their qualification already, this is an exciting opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge, by leading and managing candidates, whilst working collaboratively across different government departments.

Buddies will offer additional support and guidance to people who are currently undertaking the same level of qualification that they have previously completed. It is an informal support network that will be carried out in a way that the buddy and candidates agree suits everyone best.

In this pack we will outline what you can expect from the Buddy Scheme and explain how you can get involved if you haven’t done so already.

Roles and Responsibilities – who is involved?

Buddies

  • Provide support and guidance to your candidates
  • Answer queries regarding the qualification
  • Encourage discussion between yourself and your candidates
  • Lead and manage your candidates
  • Update the ODP central team if a candidate completes their qualification or withdraws
  • Progress queries if answers cannot be provided immediately

Candidates

  • Engage with your buddy and fellow candidates
  • Be open to suggestions and advice
  • Take part in group discussions and share best practices with other candidates where possible
  • Feedback to your buddy on how effective you are finding the support and suggest ideas for improvement where required

ODP Central Team

  • Manage any enquiries regarding the scheme
  • Be a main point of contact for buddies where support is required

It is important that although you are there to support each other and share best practices you must not plagiarise each other’s work – this may be viewed as serious misconduct

LISTR

If you have not yet registered yourself onto the LISTR tool you will need to do this in order to start your buddy/candidate journey, you can do this by clicking here – Listr tool – Register and entering your email address and a password and clicking “register my account”

To register as a buddy: If you are interested in registering as a buddy all you need to do is register yourself on LISTR. During the registration process you will be asked if you would like to be a buddy and which ODP qualification you have completed. Once you are registered on LISTR candidates can directly request you as their buddy – you will be given the option to accept or decline any candidates.

To register as a candidate: If you are interested in matching with a buddy to help you with your qualification, please follow our quick guide below once you have registered on LISTR

  1. Click into the “Community” Tab at the top of your profile page
  2. Search for an individual who is listed as having the same qualification that you are currently undertaking, you can do this using the filter tool at the left of your screen and selecting Qualification as shown below.
  3. Once you have selected your qualification click “Filter” and the tool will automatically list only people who have completed the qualification that you are currently undertaking.
  4. Please select the person you wish to be your buddy and select the “Connection Request” button next to their profile which will lead to the page below.
  5. Select I am requesting a “Qualification Buddy” as above and leave your potential buddy a message to introduce yourself. Then click submit and await their response.

If the person you have selected declines your request you can ask somebody else to potentially buddy you – there are no limits to how many people you can request but we do recommend that you only have one buddy.

Next Steps

Once you have found a suitable match and have contacted them direct, we would advise that you arrange a time/date suitable for you both to review where the candidate is currently up to with their qualification and how the buddy feels they could support the candidate best.

Before starting this process have a think about what you would like to get from the scheme and make a note of any ideas you might have about how you can contribute and ways you can communicate across government.

Buddies should think about how much time you can dedicate and what support you can offer. Consider practical issues, such as how you would prefer your candidate group to contact you?

We would recommend that candidates remain with the same buddy for the duration of their qualification, as a minimum. Hopefully you will remain in contact with your buddy/candidate following completion of their qualification however, offering continuous development and support across government as your careers progress.

Hints and Tips

Please remember that the Buddy Scheme is flexible in order to accommodate all and will develop depending on the requirements of the individuals involved. It’s up to you to decide how you wish to communicate, how often and what forums you may use.

Candidates

It is important that you get what you need from your buddy so please come to all meetings arranged by your buddy fully prepared. You may wish to consider pulling together any questions/issues you are having with your qualification and sending them to your buddy prior to these meetings. This would enable your buddy to ensure they are equipped to answer all of your questions.

Buddies

Once you have received contact from your candidates, we recommend that an initial telekit is arranged by you to introduce yourself, from here you can decide how you both wish to proceed.
A suggested agenda for the first chat is:

  1. Introductions and ice breaker
  2. Where you are on your journey (have you completed any units yet, when did you register for you qualification, how long have you got left to complete)?
  3. Aims & objectives – what do you want to get from the scheme, what support would you like, how will you communicate with each other? What part of your qualification are you most worried about?
    Agreed outcomes – for example will you be having monthly dial-ins, are you going to set up an online forum for discussions? Will you be contacting each other via email?

Both
We’ve included below a list of things that could be considered by buddies and candidates when arranging their meetings:

  • Monthly telekits
  • Online forums for buddies with more than one candidate
  • 1-2-1’s – conducted over the phone, face-to-face, email
  • Webinars, video conferencing
  • Revision sessions
  • Proof reading
  • Email contact
  • Buddy diary – issues log to record FAQ’s
  • Candidate diary – recording development, best practice, obstacles faced.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as “presenting someone else’s work, in whole or in part, as your own. Work means any intellectual output, and typically includes text, data, images, sound or performance”. (University of Leeds, 2017)

It is important that everybody fully understand what plagiarism is and the techniques that can be used to avoid plagiarising. For units with written assignments candidates will be asked to submit a statement of authenticity confirming that the work being submitted is their own. When submitting any work (including exam papers) electronically candidates are also declaring that the work is authentic and is their own.

In cases where plagiarism is identified these will be investigated further by Premier Partnership and City & Guilds and may result in candidates being disqualified from the qualification itself. Plagiarism and malpractice will not be tolerated, any incidents will also be reported to candidates departments and may result in disciplinary action.

Candidates- Please visit The University of Leeds – Academic Integrity & Plagiarism page before starting your qualification and familiarise yourself with the information available.

We would also recommend completing the You Be the Judge activity and Recognising Plagiarism to test your understanding.

If you anybody is still unsure what constitutes plagiarism, or would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact the ODP Central Team [email protected].

FAQ’s

Q: I’ve completed one qualification already and started my second. Can I take part as a buddy and a candidate at the same time?

A: Yes, if you’d like to support others with the qualification you have completed but would also like to join a group who are undertaking the same qualification as you this is fine.

Q: What do I do if I no longer want to take part in the scheme?

A: If you’re a candidate please discuss this with your buddy at the earliest opportunity. Involvement in the scheme is not mandatory, if at any time you wish to withdraw you can. If you are a buddy please contact your candidate and tell them of your decision to enable them to contact potential new buddies at their earliest convenience.

Q: As a buddy how much time will I need to dedicate to this? I’m worried that I won’t be able to fit this in around my day job…

A: How much time you put in is entirely up to you, however the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. As a buddy you’ll be facilitating and encouraging your candidates. How you chose to support your candidates will depend on what you decided between yourselves. For example, you may decide to offer a monthly dial in for an hour or set up an online forum where you can manage and answer queries as they are raised.

For help and support with learning please email [email protected]

For help with LISTR/Account issues please use the “help” button at the top of the Listr tool – Register

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