First Great Western has introduced a rail industry-focused NVQ qualification
as part of a £7m revamp of its customer service division.
The train operator’s 400 customer service staff can achieve the vocational
qualification through on-the-job training.
The NVQ is directly linked to the company’s customer service targets in its
train crew manual, which include how to welcome passengers on to trains,
placing seat safety cards and the presentation of free newspapers.
A group of the company’s managers have been trained as NVQ assessors and the
City and Guilds awarding body will oversee the scheme.
It will take staff between four and 12 months to complete the programme and,
because there is no extra paperwork to complete, staff will be able to
concentrate on their jobs.
First Great Western aims to put customer services at the heart of the
organisation and it hopes the focus on training and development will help it
attract and retain quality staff.
Clare Hannah, head of HR at the train operator, said: "Offering NVQs is
part of our strategy to get the best out of staff and so give the best possible
service to our customers."