An independent learning provider training more than 600 accountancy apprentices has been given an ‘outstanding’ rating after its first full inspection by Ofsted.
At the time of the visit just over 600 apprentices were in training across levels 3, 4 and 7 qualifications, with more than half on level 7 accountancy taxation courses.
Amy Forrest, managing director of First Intuition Cambridge, said: “We are incredibly proud, it’s such an achievement to receive that grade, and to have our apprenticeship programmes recognised as outstanding is fantastic.
“Receiving the outstanding rating demonstrates the brilliant impact that these programmes have for our employers and our apprentices.”
The inspectors reported that “apprentices feel proud to be part of the accountancy profession,” with Forrest citing the firm’s relationship with employers that help design the programmes as a key part of that.
The report said the mutual respect from staff allowed learners to take responsibility for their studies, noting that they “develop important skills such as preparing to deal with difficult clients and prioritising work”.
It said that “extensive support” is provided to prepare apprentices for end of course assessments, while workplace mentors are “highly valued” by learners to “rapidly improve their skills”.
Inspectors said that most tutors continue to work as accountants so that up-to-date industry standards are maintained.
Tutors are aware of individual training needs for apprentices, inspectors said, adding that they used “highly effective teaching strategies”.
The firm started 13 years ago, with Forrest saying the firm was about “continuous improvement,” having managed to grow its numbers while maintaining the quality of teaching. It began delivering apprenticeships for the first time in 2017.