Updated: Feb 24
It makes more sense for the assessing company and the training provider to work together and explain what they need and what distinction looks like - Gavin Jacobs, FWD Coach
DSW was recently privileged to assess FWD Training’s Mortgage Advisor apprentices as its preferred EPAO for this Standard.
Several of FWD’s apprentices achieved Distinction, including Hannah Matthews, the first Mortgage Advisor apprentice in the UK to pass at the highest level.
FWD Training develops apprentices on behalf of an enviable client list comprised of leading Banks and Financial Services firms.
We asked Hannah and the FWD team what makes their approach so successful, and found that consistency from the provider, determination on the part of the apprentice and a supportive EPAO are key ingredients to success.
Although she was initially unsure about undertaking an apprenticeship and faced a number of challenges, she was convinced by FWD’s clear approach to developing professional knowledge, skills and behaviours under the Mortgage Advisor Standard.
Hannah's story: the road to Distinction
She said: “FWD provided structured training – something that I feel is crucial to any learning environment.
"They helped me set a goal, and a goal that I consistently worked towards.
“I did not anticipate leaving the company I was working for, however; after passing my CeMAP exams and, like any good professional, updating my LinkedIn – an opportunity presented itself – and I decided to take it.
“With the help and support from my mentors, I decided to take the challenge and try to finish my apprenticeship.
"It was difficult and tiring, but with the guidance and regular contact with Gavin I managed to do it, and do it well!
“I don’t think there are words to explain the feeling of passing and achieving the results I only dreamed of.
She added: “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity presented and the support received.”
FWD's approach to developing Distinction
FWD Coach, Gavin, said: “I tell the apprentices at the outset that we will we challenge and stretch them to fulfil their potential, and this has seen Hannah achieve her Distinction.
“It makes more sense for the assessing company and the Training Provider to work together and explain what they need and what Distinction looks like.”
Marcus Bowsher, MD of FWD – a leading Financial Services Training Provider and Consultancy firm - said: “We take pride in giving our apprenticeship candidates exceptional training, designed with the needs of our apprentices and employers at its heart.
“Our coach, Gavin Jacobs, helped Hannah to identify what she needed to do to prepare for Gateway and created professional opportunities for her to show what she had learned and achieve her full potential.”
Julie Hampshire, DSW's Lead Assessor, worked with FWD's Coaches and Trainers to help them understand how each Standard would be assessed, the process and what was involved, and what 'good' looks like.
Julie, said: “We were delighted to assess Hannah’s work as being of a Distinction standard and could see her Coach had clearly given her every opportunity to demonstrate her knowledge and skills were worthy of the highest award.”