Introductory Course Rep Training

Our Introductory Course Rep Training (CRT) is aimed at newly elected course reps who have not attended training before.  It can also be used as a refresher course for returning reps.  It aims to develop confidence in their role, as being a course rep for the first time can be a daunting prospect.  This is the basic, recommended package for training reps in Scotland. 

Regardless of the delivery method of the college or university, reps should access the training via their institution or students' association, rather than directly via sparqs. 

There are various delivery options open to institutions for introductory CRT:

  1. sparqs' CRT – training delivered to an institution's reps by sparqs' Associate Trainers (ATs).
  2. An IAT Scheme – training delivered by Institutional Associate Trainers (IATs) who have been trained by sparqs.
  3. In-house delivery by institutions (using their own rep training package, possibly based on sparqs' materials).

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Introductory CRT

sparqs’ introductory CRT for Scottish institutions has continued to be available in an online format for the academic year 2023-24 and we have also offered in-person training dependent on institutional needs.  We will continue to do the same during 2024-25. 

The training is in two parts:

Introductory CRT - part one
The self-directed study module has been developed in Rise 360 and will be hosted on institutions' own learning platforms for reps to complete before attending part two.  The module should take between 1-2 hours to complete and is designed to help new course reps in these ways:

  • To gain an understanding of the course rep role and the work involved.
  • To identify skills and methodologies that will help them perform the course rep role effectively.
  • To identify strategies for communication with students, in order to listen to the views of classmates about their learning experience.
  • To learn techniques for good communication with staff, in order to enhance the quality of the learning experience for the whole class.

Introductory CRT - part two
This bookable part of the training will be delivered by sparqs ATs or institutional IATs.  Via Zoom, the training is designed for 10-30 delegates and lasts 2 hours.  Ideally, sessions run best when there are between 15-25 delegates, but they can be run with a minimum of 10, and up to a maximum of 30.  Delivered in person, the timings and arrangements may vary, depending on the needs of the institution. Even if delivered by sparqs, reps should book onto the training via their institution or students' association, who will have arranged sessions with sparqs. 

Part two of the training designed to help reps in these ways:

  • To refresh understanding of the course rep role and the work involved.
  • To discuss the Student Learning Experience and explore how reps can use the Student Learning Experience model in their role as reps.
  • To practice some of the skills that will help reps work effectively.
  • To understand the support and resources that are available to reps.
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Training materials 

The training materials are revised every summer, and are made available to relevant Scottish institutions as appropriate.

Institutions updating their own in-house rep training materials are welcome to request to see copies of the sparqs' materials if it would be helpful.  

As in previous years, we are always keen to hear from any institutions delivering their own training, who might be willing to share their evaluation data in order to contribute to the overall national picture of Course Rep Training. If you are interested in contributing your evaluation data, please get in touch.

Any non-Scotland institutions wishing to access the sparqs' training materials, please contact Eve Lewis, Director of sparqs, at eve.lewis@sparqs.ac.uk.

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How to book your 'part two' training sessions for delivery by sparqs

This process is still open for 2023-24, although most institutions will have completed their training by now.  The above information will be updated for 2024-25 in early summer - our introductory CRT will continue to be available in an online format, offering in-person training dependent on institutional needs. 

Institutions should submit booking requests to sparqs for part-two training. Once confirmed, institutions should then advertise the sessions to their reps for sign-ups. 

We request that all institutions read our Guidance on booking sparqs Course Rep Training before making bookings, and follow the guidance in order to ensure the sessions are run efficiently and securely. This includes the requirement for reps to register for sessions in advance, and a requirement for a minimum of ten registered reps per session.  

  • The booking process for 2023-24 opened on Friday 18th August 2023. 
  • Training delivery has been available from week beginning Monday 18th September 2023.
  • Sessions should have a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 30 participants.  Ideally, sessions run best when there are between 15-25 participants, but they can be run with a minimum of 10, and up to a maximum of 30. 
  • Each session lasts approximately 2 hours and will be delivered by sparqs' Associate Trainers, via Zoom or in person.  In-person timings may vary. 
  • Institutions will have installed the part-one self-study module on their VLE and made it available to reps to complete in advance of attending a part-two session.  
  • Completed booking forms for part-two sessions should be completed by Course Rep Training organisers and sent to admin@sparqs.ac.uk at least 3 weeks in advance of requested training dates. 
  • Reps will book onto part-two sessions via their institution or students' association (as opposed to directly via sparqs).
  • Please view our Privacy Policy for details of how we collect and use your personal information.

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Queries

If you are a students' association or institution and have any questions about the sparqs' CRT booking process, please contact us at admin@sparqs.ac.uk, or if you would like to discuss how we can support you to deliver training within your institution, please get in touch with Nicola Cameron, Business Manager - nicola.cameron@sparqs.ac.uk.  

If you are a course rep and have any queries about registering for training, please contact your students' association or institution.  If your institution uses sparqs to deliver their training, or if they are part of the IAT scheme, they will invite you to complete the part-one module and co-ordinate your registration to attend a part-two training session (regardless of whether it is delivered by sparqs' ATs or their own team of IATs).  

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