Utilizing, Selecting, and Utilizing an academic guide


The goal of this doc is to offer recommendation and steerage in selecting a guide within the discipline of training. You might be the headteacher or principal of a faculty or school, an officer in a neighborhood training authority (LEA) or college district, or the director of a personal firm wishing to undertake work within the academic sector. This text focuses totally on info and communication know-how (ICT), however the underlying rules additionally apply extra usually.

Utilizing a guide

Consultants, not less than within the UK, have a poor repute as a species, and but they’re in larger demand than ever. Why? Why would any group elect to make use of a guide relatively than burning somebody? There are a number of causes for this.

Brief-term work

Some work is, by its very nature, short-term. If, for instance, you might be having a brand new laptop suite put in, you may want some recommendation from an exterior one who has no ax to grind – and what you may blame when half the employees complain in regards to the design, the tools and so forth!


In a specialist space, similar to ICT, it's fairly doubtless that the varsity doesn’t have the experience in-house to do what it must do inside a selected time scale.


Though consultants could be costly, it’s (or needs to be) a comparatively short-term expense. And don’t forget that you just should not have all of the on-costs, like pension contributions. These can add as much as 20% of the wage prices. Additionally, if the guide goes on vacation or falls unwell, you don’t incur any further expense.

Selecting a guide

When selecting a guide or advisor to help your college in ICT, whether or not for Palms-On Assist, coaching, strategic improvement or another facet of ICT, it's essential to get the suitable individual or firm for the job.

That can assist you achieve this, here’s a checklist of questions you might want to ask earlier than firing somebody. You’re illegally to search out any individual or firm who can reply "sure" to all of those questions, so you will have to carry your individual skilled judgment to bear in your choice.

1. Is the consultancy independently accredited by a top quality assurance scheme, similar to NaaceMark or comparable scheme? If not, is it searching for accreditation? Observe that a solution of "No" in both case is just not essentially a foul factor. In my very own expertise, the work itself is so time-consuming that it's fairly troublesome to undergo the hoops required to show that you are able to do what you're doing! That's why the subsequent few questions are essential too.

2. Is the guide a member of a related group, similar to (within the UK) Naace or the Society for Training Consultants? These kinds of group present a sure diploma of high quality assurance within the sense that they won’t settle for simply anybody as members, though they’ll give no ensures in regards to the high quality of labor undertaken by their members. Additionally, they typically present useful details about the sector wherein the guide works, which in idea not less than retains the guide up-to-date on present developments within the discipline.

three. Ask for particulars of comparable work undertaken by the consultancy, and for particulars of happy shoppers – however keep in mind reference to provide such particulars could also be as a result of concerns of confidentiality.

four. Ask for references, testimonials, or particulars of evaluations, ie proof of high quality assurance of the consultants' work.

5. You may as well ask how the guide will get most of its work. Phrase of mouth is an efficient signal.

6. Ask for the CVs of the consultants who shall be working in your group when you resolve to enroll this consultancy.

7. Is the guide certified to undertake the work? This could possibly be an educational qualification, accreditation as an inspector or coaching supplier in a number of schemes, or qualification by expertise.

eight. Has the guide been on related coaching within the final 12 months?

9. Make sure that the consultancy agreements to not subcontract the work with out prior dialogue with you, the consumer.

10. In case you are contemplating the guide for workers coaching, ask when you can attend one in every of their coaching classes in one other college.

11. Ask for different proof that can enable you to resolve if the consultancy is the very best for this specific work in your college, similar to a consumer checklist (however notice level about confidentiality above), examples of video work, revealed work or an internet site.

Utilizing a guide

When you've selected a selected guide, have an settlement drawn up that ensures, for instance, that you can be saved knowledgeable of progress. For instance, it might not be unreasonable to ask for a abstract each 2 weeks, if you’re an LEA and the guide is working in your colleges.

When you've employed a guide, ensure you get the very best worth for cash. This implies some and even all the following, relying on the actual circumstances:

Have a transparent set of goals and aims that you’re each agreed upon. This can be developed in dialogue with the guide earlier than signing on the dotted line, however there have to be a transparent set of expectations by the point the guide begins work.

Make it possible for the guide has the instruments wanted to do the job successfully. This might imply entry to the pc community, desk house, important contact info and so forth.

Guarantee that you’ve all of the contact info you want too: cellphone and fax numbers, a cell phone quantity too, typically, with the power for leaving messages, and an e mail tackle.

Put in place no matter is required to allow the guide to "hit the bottom working". If, for instance, you spend the primary morning discussing what the guide ought to do, you're throwing cash down the drain: all that ought to have been agreed beforehand – in any other case, after all, there’s a want for a sudden change in plan, though even in these conditions there ought to have been a contingency plan (a "Plan B") in place.

Don’t preserve asking the guide to do an increasing number of in an unplanned form of approach. If extra work is required, focus on wherever it may probably be executed properly within the agreed time, or if extra days have to be allotted for it.


With correct groundwork when selecting a guide, and sound planning, hiring a guide that will help you along with your ICT work could be a superb technique of reaching the goals of your group.