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CPD Unit receive 15 Compliance Plus awards in Customer Service Excellence® assessments

6 January 2021

CPD Unit team zoom

We are delighted to announce that we have not only retained the 13 compliance plus awards gained in 2019's Customer Service Excellence Standard® but we have also gained another two, showcasing our continuing high standards of customer care.

Comprising of 57 elements, the Customer Service Excellence Standard® is a comprehensive assessment; to achieve it requires a whole-team commitment to delivering excellent customer service and embracing continuous improvement. The team were assessed in 2019, gaining 13 Compliance Plus awards. A Compliance Plus is awarded where the team is considered to be achieving over and above the required standard.

The most recent assessment took the form of a review of our customer service standards rather than a full assessment, which takes place every three years. Despite this, we have achieved an additional 2 Compliance Plus awards. Susan Smith, our CSE external assessor, noted that awarding additional Compliance Plus standards in a review year is "not normally possible, however the strength of evidence supported the judgements."

Despite the huge challenges we have faced during 2020, with many face-to-face courses and planned programmes being cancelled or adapted to online provision due to the pandemic, we have nevertheless continued to support our customers and ensure that we provide an excellent standard of care. We are particularly delighted with the additional Compliance Plus standards that we have achieved this year.

The senior level commitment and role modelling of excellent customer service practice was found to be like 'a stick of rock' and apparent in all activities and practices in the CPD Unit. The Customer Service Excellence journey was noted as being "hugely rewarding" as it has created the opportunity for staff to react and develop new skills and knowledge. During the exceptional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the involvement of the team in the Public Health Wales 'Track, Trace and Protect' initiative also demonstrates a strong corporate commitment to students.
Susan Smith, CSE Assessor for Assessment Services Ltd

The review involved a desk-based assessment of prior submitted evidence, plus a full day of virtual interviews with the team as well as with a group of customers and partners. This was conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 restrictions in force at the time. Susan focused her questions around the five key topic areas within the Standard: ‘Customer Insight’, ‘The Culture of the Organisation’, ‘Information and Access’, ‘Delivery’, and ‘Timeliness and Quality of Service’.

The Customer Service Excellence Standard®, backed by the Cabinet Office, recognises organisations that truly put their customers at the heart of what they do. The CPD Unit has found the framework to be extremely useful in identifying areas of success as well as gaps in service provision. Through sharing best practice with other departments across Cardiff University, and externally, the CPD Unit has been able to improve its service provision year on year.

The interaction with communities as part of the University's civic mission operates at different levels. At the strategic level this included the provision of free palliative care webinars during COVID-19 recognising the need for this kind of training. At the local level, low cost support through the civic mission is offered to local primary schools to improve the quality of teaching through reflective teacher practice. In terms of communities of interest, specific courses are provided free of charge to those who meet eligibility criteria... As a result of the planned nature of the action and the breadth of activities, this is considered Compliance Plus.
Susan Smith, CSE Assessor for Assessment Services Ltd

What's next?

As we move through the pandemic, we will work closely with academics across the University to develop professional development opportunities in order to support businesses and organisations train and upskill their staff at this challenging time. We are planning a second free virtual webinar programme, and we are also working with a number of departments, particularly within the School of Medicine, to develop free-to-access webinars to support frontline healthcare workers.

We're continuing to build on our successes, and we're always interested in hearing your views - if you have any suggestions or comments about our service, please feel free to send us feedback, we'd love to hear from you.

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Read our Review of the Year 2021.