Training provider under investigation

A London-based training provider is under its second investigation from the same awarding body following complaints from learners.

Bright Assessing, which provides qualifications for unemployed people who want to re-enter the workplace, is under the spotlight of NCFE (formerly the Northern Council for Further Education) once again.

The provider boasts a pass rate of between 95 per cent and 100 per cent, but it is being investigating over claims learners claims that courses are substandard.

A spokesperson for NCFE said: “Following complaints from a number of learners earlier this year, we conducted an investigation into Bright International to ensure that the training provider met our quality standards.

“We concluded this investigation on August 16, putting in place a detailed action plan, working closely with Bright International to help learners have the best learning experience that they can.

“On October 14, on the basis of fresh information shared with us by learners, we launched a new investigation into the organisation.

“We are currently at the initial fact finding stage, clarifying the nature of the claims that have been made.”

She added that the Skills Funding Agency and Ofqual were both being kept informed about the latest investigation.

An Ofqual spokesperson said: “We are monitoring NCFE’s investigation into Bright to make sure we can be satisfied it is taking necessary steps to protect the quality and integrity of its qualifications.”

An SFA spokesperson also confirmed it would also monitor the investigation.

Krissy Charles-Jones, Bright’s chief executive, welcomed the new investigation and claimed the previous one had given her firm a “clean bill of health”.

She said: “We welcome this opportunity to have our practices and procedures re-examined, even though we have already been given a clean bill of health by NCFE. It is only right that when people have concerns they are dealt with appropriately, and we have re-examined our own procedures in the light of comments we have received as part of our commitment to continual improvement in all aspects of our work.

“We utterly refute the principal complainant’s allegations concerning the management of their training. Bright has supplied NCFE with proof that this accusation is unfounded.”

She claimed her firm trained 2,710 unemployed people in the last year, resulting in 81 per cent getting a job, 11 per cent going on to complete further training and 8 per cent remaining unemployed.

The SFA spokesperson said that Bright was a subcontractor and so did not receive public money directly. She added that this meant the SFA was unable to confirm how much government funding Bright received.

As a subcontractor, Bright would not be subject to an Ofsted inspection of its own.