Business Awards Finalists
ACCM College is a proud member of the Business Chamber and this year has been successful in being a finalist in the IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards in 5 categories: Large Business of the Year; Excellence in Customer Service; Innovation; Employer of Choice; and Business Leader.
What is Unique about ACCM College and How Do We Demonstrate Excellence?
The current public perception of Vocational Education and Training and “study” is sadly not what it should be. Current perceptions are of a sector (both public and private) that: is out-of-date; has lost touch with industry needs; has let generational issues become an unsolvable problem; has failed to keep up with changing needs; and is in it for the quick buck.
ACCM College breaks this perception, and has established industry best practice benchmarks by using technology that frees up staff time, and allows staff to focus on our students and customers.
In 2016 ACCM College was identified by the NSW Premiers Department, through their analysis of independent data, as a training provider that was achieving results well above the sector average. This triggered them to make us part of a formal study aimed at identifying best practices that could then be shared with both public and private RTOs. The goal is to improve the quality of outcomes across both the public and private training sector.
Participation in this study highlighted to us how unique our mix of technology, customer focus and quality of staff is, and how our investment in these areas equated to business excellence in our field.
More importantly, it has focused us on continually improving and not resting on our laurels (especially if some of our secrets are being shared!)
The key to using a technology solution, to achieve business growth and excellence, is to make sure it is customer focused technology. By this we mean technology that helps us and our customers equally. This is especially critical in the delivery of training in the ICT, business and financial sectors that ACCM College specialises in!
It is worth noting that we have also deliberately ruled out using some technologies – as our customer input shows that that is not what they need!
ACCM College is unique in our sector for its adaptation and use of technology in effective and customer focused ways. We are highly active in capturing and measuring key metrics. We use this in conjunction with qualitative data to identify what the customer's next need will be. Then we are quick to respond and meet that need.
In the past we thought we were great at customer service; but today we know that we are. This can be attributed to our ever increasing focus on our customer needs and devotion to continuous improvement.
We are a customer centric Wollongong based business that is being recognized as the best in its field.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that get missed, but make up so much of the impression customers and potential customers form. For example the ACCM.edu.au website is a key information tool for customers. A further major improvement over the past 18 months has been that the website has been made fully dynamic to our “back-end system”. This means that if we make a change to a fee – it updates immediately. If we change an available elective subject it gets updated immediately, and automatically updates our printable web brochures.
This improvement ensures accuracy of published material and provides customers with a wealth of information to assist them in their decision making process. Most importantly, the nature of the way we disclose all of this information, and current fees, supports our brand position – of being flexible, open and a quality provider.
We have already mentioned that identifying and meeting the needs of key third parties was a key strategy. Our national regulator ASQA has given us the highest compliance rating possible (which we publish in the footer on our website). In addition we have just flown through our state NSW Smart and Skilled audit. Clearly for government stakeholders they need a strong, financially viable business that follows the set rules and shares the ethos of “student comes first”! A key way we achieve such high levels of compliance is to utilize technology to ensure accuracy of data, to schedule staff activities and to ensure quality control.
Measures of Success
To measure our performance in our industry (RTO), we measure business success in the following client focused measures:
The main measure for our sector is the % of students that complete their qualifications.
The sector average is 58%. (NCVER data). ACCM College has a 74% completion rate and if the closure of courses due to trainees ceasing employment is taken into consideration, our rate is 96%. This was recognised by the Premiers Department in their study to identify best practice.
The main measure is the nationally set Quality Indicators Student survey. In this survey students give us a strong rating in the upper quartile for every measured area eg Trainer Quality, Competency Development and Effective Support. Overall satisfaction in the past 24 months has improved by 5 percent from an already high standard, and all this despite our growth.
Other internal measurement surveys are in place at the subject level to ensure that the student experience of each and every subject is both worthwhile and enjoyable.
Employer / Client Satisfaction:
The main measure is the nationally set Quality Indicators Employer survey. In this survey employers also placed ACCM College in the upper quartile for all factors, for the first time; reflecting our efforts to continue to identify and meet the different
needs in this group. Overall satisfaction levels are at 82.1 %
A Great Year
The finalist status and our Trainer of the Year finalist status has capped a great year. ACCM College has experienced its most successful year yet (yes I know we say this every year - but it's true). Our growth has been planned and has been informed by stakeholder needs. Careful management of this approach has translated into customer value which has directly translated to a great outcome for clients, students and the College.
In addition to ACCM College's nomination for Excellence in Business Award, we have also been nominated for: