I started out as a shorthand-typist when I left secretarial college. In my first job I had a manual typewriter and thought it was wonderful when I was upgraded an electric typewriter. I subsequently joined the University and graduated to an IBM “golfball” typewriter; it was considered state-of-the-art and I thought I’d really arrived! In 1985, when my department got a PC for its secretarial staff, it was shared between the five of us. Can you imagine that happening today? My current PC runs numerous applications and continues to amaze me – it’s a long way from my trusted manual typewriter.
With those changes taking place, it was important to try and keep up with changing technology. I have been lucky to be supported through the basic ECDL (European Computing Driving Licence) qualification and currently through my NVQ. Both require hard work but that all that effort is rewarded by learning just what amazing things PCs can do and gaining a qualification in the process.
Take a look at IT training activities for ECDL and NVQ on the Learner Support pages by going to http://www.brad.ac.uk/lss/training.
The University offers both the basic ECDL, made up of seven modules, and advanced ECDL, a choice of four separate qualifications (Access, Excel, Powerpoint and Word). For details, take a look at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/lss/training/ecdl/index.php.
There is a lot of information for prospective candidates and once you are accepted onto the programme you are included in the Blackboard organisation (a virtual learning environment). On Blackboard you can find even more useful information, advice and support. There are plans afoot to allow future candidates to produce their NVQ portfolios electronically by using Pebblepad, the e-portfolio application available through the University. As a member of the University staff you are well supported during your training and have the opportunity to access all sorts of facilities for your study which you might not use in your normal day-to-day job. For details look at http://www.brad.ac.uk/lss/training/nvq/index.php.
Why not talk to your line manager about support to do either an NVQ or ECDL? By applying to undertake either qualification you are developing your own knowledge and skills, and bringing that experience to your job and department.
Last updated: 18 November 2008
University of Bradford