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Issue 8 October 2011

Climbing Frame Newsletter Helping ULRs and learners climb higher



The revised matrix Standard


Climbing Frame Discussion Forums


Health Sector Learning Theme Pilots


The unionlearn 2011 ULR Survey


Spotlight on a Learning Theme: Higher Learning


Climbing Frame Support Resources


Frequently Asked Questions


In the next edition…


Contact Us


Hi Everyone, Welcome to this October edition of the Climbing Frame Newsletter. In this issue we keep you up to date with developments with the Climbing Frame website, provide information on the revised matrix Standard and the Climbing Frame discussion forums. We give an update on the Health Sector Learning Themes project, take a closer look at the ‘Higher Learning’ Learning Theme and we outline some of the Climbing Frame Support Resources. If you haven’t already, make sure you complete the unionlearn 2011 ULR Survey, information about this is on this on page 3. We hope you enjoy the rest of 2011 and will see you in 2012! Best wishes

The Climbing Frame Team

What’s New? Over the past few months we have made a number of improvements to the Climbing Frame website, helping to make it even easier to use. These include some changes with regards to navigation, quick links and information included on the Learner Climbing Frame training sessions, Forms. above a CWU session in Exeter We have added some and below a health sector session in Nottingham.

new links to the ‘Other Links’ area and have also added a range of resources to the unionlearn Learning Themes, including some interesting case studies and videos. We have been out and about providing training on the Climbing Frame at a number of locations for a variety of unions and workplaces.

If you are interested in attending a training session, or having one in your workplace, please let us know. We are also always keen to get your feedback and suggestions for new features for the website, if you have any ideas please email:

Coming Soon: A Climbing Frame Glossary


The revised matrix Standard The matrix Standard is a quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of careers. Following extensive consultation and trialling a new version of the matrix Standard is now available. The Standard

now has 4 elements instead of the previous 8, and requires organisations to consider more explicitly the client outcomes that their service intends to achieve, and ensure the resources and services delivered enables the achievement of those outcomes. More information about the matrix Standard can

be found in the Climbing Frame Learning Themes or visit:

Also the Climbing Frame Team and emqc (the organisation responsible for the matrix Standard) are currently working on a document mapping how the Climbing Frame and the matrix Standard link together, look out for this in 2012.

Climbing Frame Discussion Forums The Climbing Frame discussion forum is available for all users of the Climbing Frame as a place to have your say. There is an area for discussions about ‘Using the Climbing Frame’, ‘Supporting Learners’,

‘Learners’ and ‘General Discussions’. There is also a section for each unionlearn region and devolved nation, so you can post questions for ULRs based in your area. You can create a new post, reply to existing

posts or simply just view the discussions already listed. The Forums are located in the top left hand corner of the website. So go on, have your say today.

Health Sector Learning Theme Pilots As mentioned in previous editions of this newsletter, we have been working on some Learning Themes written specifically for ULRs in the health sector. This is a joint project with the health unions, Skills for Health and unionlearn. The first version of these Learning Themes was completed in August. Five Learning Themes were initially created which for example include information on learning and development in the health sector, getting the most out of your NHS appraisal, health

sector apprenticeships and developing your career in the health sector. In September we piloted these new Learning Themes at a range of locations in order to get initial feedback and suggestions from ULRs. The Learning Themes went down very well and received lots of positive feedback from ULRs, unions and others in the sector. ULRs liked having specific sector information in one place along with being able to access the generic unionlearn Learning

Themes. Many commented on the wide range of information and resources included, and felt the information and inspirational case studies could really help them in their ULR role. A number of new ideas were suggested and some changes and improvements are currently being made. Thank you to everyone that took part in the initial pilots. In the next edition of this newsletter (which will be available in January) we will update you on this exciting project.

Log in today!:



The unionlearn 2011 ULR Survey The biennial survey of ULRs is being mailed out during the first week of November to all ULRs that unionlearn have an address for. The information from these surveys is used to ensure that Government

ministers understand the benefits you bring to the workplace, and the challenges you face in carrying out your role. The survey also helps us to identify and provide the support that you need and argue the case

for more funding to help you. If you haven’t received your copy of the survey by the 11th of November 2011 please contact Ann Joss at: or phone: 020 7079 6945.

Spotlight on a Learning Theme: Higher Learning The ‘Higher Learning’ Learning Theme has been written to help members understand what higher learning means, and how it could work for them. It includes helpful information about the

types of courses on offer, qualification levels, entry requirements and help with choosing a course. Useful booklets found in this Learning Theme include the ‘Progression pathways for all trade union reps’ and ‘Helping

learners into higher learning’. Information is also included about financing higher level studies, support for employers, higher learning advice and some study support websites.

Climbing Frame Support Resources We thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the key support resources available from the Climbing Frame: The Getting Started Guide is a fantastic resource to use if you are new to the Climbing Frame or if you simply need to refresh your memory about an aspect of the site. It provides a useful introduction to the Climbing Frame along with step by step instructions for carrying out activities using the website. The Using the Climbing Frame Learning Theme is a key resource for any Climbing Frame user. It includes information about all aspects of the Climbing Frame site and because it is a Learning Theme is fully searchable. Therefore if

you forget how to do something with the Climbing Frame, how to create a new learner record for example, you can search for this using the ‘Search’ function. The Help pages which are located in the top left hand corner of the website, provide a helpful place to go to find an answer to a Frequently Asked Question about the Climbing Frame. The Climbing Frame Publications area, located in the ‘Other Links’ section includes a range of useful leaflets, flyers and posters about the Climbing Frame which can help support you whilst using the website. The Climbing Frame Videos located on the main home page include

some demonstration videos which outline the main areas of the website. If you have a quick question, need some advice, or just want to find out what other ULRs think about something related to the Climbing Frame, make use of the discussion Forum, which is located in the top left hand corner of the website. The Contextual Help questions marks (‘?’) which can be found on the registration and learner forms gives you information as to how to complete a particular question or field. You can also find some useful links in the contextual help areas to help make completing the information easier, for example a link to a

postcode finder for the ‘Employer Postcode’ field. Don’t forget if you get stuck with any aspect of the Climbing Frame you can always Contact Us, there is a link for this on the main home page and also within the ‘Other Links’ area. You can get in touch with us by email, phone, fax or by post. Please let us know if there is anything we can help you with and the Climbing Frame team will get back to you as soon as possible. Coming soon: A Climbing Frame e-learning resource. Find out more about this in future editions of this newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions What types of learner information can I store on the Climbing Frame? You are able to store a range of learner information on the Climbing Frame. Within the Learner Management section and in the ‘Learner Details’ area you are able to store ‘Personal’ details (date of birth, gender, etc.), ‘Workplace’ details (company name,

workplace address etc.) and ‘Learning’ details (previous learning, how you like to learn etc.). Most of the fields on the Climbing Frame are not compulsory as we recognise time can be something that many ULRs don’t have enough of, but the more information you are able to store about the learners that you are working with the more

you will get out from the reporting function on the Climbing Frame. What exactly do you mean by a ‘Goal’? A goal in terms of the Climbing Frame is basically any desired result or objective which you are looking to work towards. A goal can be pretty much whatever you want it to be, for example ‘To become a teacher’, ‘To learn

Spanish’ or ‘To improve my maths skills’. The Climbing Frame recognises that people have work, career and personal goals which can all be recorded on the website. You can help learners to create goals and help them set manageable ‘actions/activities’ in order to help them achieve the goal/s.

If you haven’t already signed up to the Climbing Frame register today! Step 1: Go to Step 2: Click ‘Sign up now’ Step 3: Complete the registration form

In the next edition...

Contact Us

We take a look at what we achieved in 2011 Receive an update on the health sector Learning Themes project We launch the 2012 Climbing Frame Survey Take a closer look at the TU Education Learning Theme Plus lots more…

The next Climbing Frame Newsletter will be available in

January 2012

Unionlearn Congress House Great Russell Street London WC1B 3LS Phone: 020 7079 6920 Fax: 020 7079 6921 E-mail: Website:

If you would like more information about the Climbing Frame please visit: or email We welcome your emails and feedback

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Climbing Frame Newsletter 8  

Hi Everyone, Welcome to this October edition of the Climbing Frame Newsletter. In this issue we keep you up to date with developments with t...

Climbing Frame Newsletter 8  

Hi Everyone, Welcome to this October edition of the Climbing Frame Newsletter. In this issue we keep you up to date with developments with t...