I joined Specsavers 12 years ago in a regional training role as a member of the team that I now manage. Since then, I’ve had six different roles including roles in management training and working with the new store’s team. Embarking on my Level 5 three years ago really helped to put a stake in the ground to show I was serious about career progression.
I currently lead a team of 45 L&D professionals who are responsible for delivering learning and development to staff in Specsavers’ stores throughout the UK and Ireland. We cover everything from optical training to contact lenses, product training and customer service.
Specsavers has become increasingly international since I joined. The company now has 17,000 employees and 1,500 stores in 10 countries, as far away as Australia and New Zealand. We used to be fairly UK-centric, and push most of our training out from the UK, but increasingly we’re looking at what’s working best in the different territories, and making the best practice core for the whole business, wherever that may have originated from.View Course
I knew that I didn’t want to do something purely by distance learning, and looked at different CIPD providers who offered a blended learning approach. I really liked the fact that DPG offered such flexibility, both in terms of the time taken to complete the qualification, and that I could be flexible about workshop locations. I attended workshops in both London and Birmingham, which not only worked well with my schedule, but also meant that I had the opportunity to meet a wider network of professionals.
I completed my Level 5 CIPD qualification last August, and was keen to continue my professional development, and started my Level 7 in October. It’s sometimes challenging juggling work, family and studying, but the company is very supportive, and I know it’s going to be really worthwhile. I’m hoping to complete my Level 7 in two years, but it’s good to know that I can extend that if I have to.
Aside from broadening my knowledge, it’s been great for networking and I’ve been really lucky with the people I met. Eight of us who embarked on the qualification together three years ago, who were working in similar roles, have built our own networking group. It’s a really strong group, and we try to meet up once a quarter to share ideas. And because I attended workshops in different locations, I’ve had the opportunity to dip in and out of other groups too.
I came across DPG and it was the flexibility in their delivery of the programme that struck me. I work full time and have fantastic support from them, so am able to balance study requirements alongside my day to day role.
DPG is a fantastic organisation and has some fantastic people working there and I believe that DPG helped me change my future.
Within 3 months of completing my CIPD qualification with DPG, I had secured a temporary position which turned into permanent employment as a HR Generalist. Since then I have gained a promotion.
There is a really inclusive ethos built into everything about it – and being able to stay as part of the DPG family even after completing the programme is such a valuable part of that.
The learning was at the right pace, the workshops were engaging and interactive. I could manage my study in hours to suit me around my work and personal life.
I’m so happy I chose DPG because of the excellent support I’ve received throughout my studies. The DPG online community continues to be an excellent resource where you can mingle with like-minded professionals in a supportive and friendly environment.
DPG are well-organised, professional and understand the needs of their participants. It definitely feels like a partnership when you are training with them.
I have been able to implement a lot of ideas directly into my current role, improving the training portfolio and materials with the skills I have learned. The ROI is through the roof which has already been recognised in my appraisal.
I chose to use DPG as they were able to offer an in-house solution at a competitive rate and have an excellent reputation for delivering quality programmes.
I chose DPG because I wanted to complete this course flexibly and fit studying into my schedule rather than fitting my schedule around studying.
I really liked the fact that DPG offered such flexibility, both in terms of the time taken to complete the qualification, and that I could be flexible about workshop locations.
DPG provides a fantastic environment to learn, the facilities are great, the facilitators are knowledgeable and the online modules are easy to submit. Plus, feedback is both informative and swift.
DPG are supportive, relaxed and disciplined. You create your own learning environment through the DPG framework and everyone has the opportunity to excel providing you’re willing to put in 100%. DPG are always willing to help and you will meet good people along the way.
Without a doubt, I would gladly recommend DPG to others. It is rare to see such a learning organisation that treats the learning needs of its participants not just as a collective unit but on an individual basis.
I did quite a lot of research about L&D qualifications suited to my role and CIPD seemed to offer the best options. I looked at several providers but had really good feedback on DPG from some of my colleagues who had done their qualifications with DPG recently, and it was definitely the right decision for me
Everyone I have met at DPG has been genuinely interested in seeing me grow and develop. It also doesn’t just stop when you finish the qualification. They will offer you some really practical advice that will help you to choose what is best for you and your development.
Compared to other courses I have done online, DPG supersedes the others by far. Not only do I have really good support from the online facilitator, the course is also really fun to follow and I can correlate it with my real life scenarios.
So far the support has been amazing. There is always someone there to support you and make you feel at ease – I would recommend doing the course with DPG.
My advice to anyone looking to study with DPG is do it! The tutors and facilitators are very supportive and will help you in any way they can to succeed.
The CIPD Level 3 Certificate in L&D has been useful in thinking about L&D from a perspective I hadn’t looked at before, and has really helped my understanding grow and helped develop me as an L&D practitioner. It has definitely helped me bring new ideas to the table at work and I’m sure the knowledge I have gained will continue to help me.
It was a really easy decision to make in choosing DPG. They offered a practical and applicable course whilst also allowing me the ability to fit studying in with a busy full time work schedule.