Over the past two years, Rinova has been active in an exciting European partnership to develop a new professional qualification to certificate the practice of Job Brokers to the international standard of ISO 17024.

The CQJB project, which is funded through Erasmus+ Key Action 3, built upon a previous project which had been led and designed by Rinova, which was awarded the accolade of ‘Best Practice’ by the UK Erasmus+ National Agency. This predecessor project provided the much-needed groundwork to specify the range of challenges and responsibilities that are performed by Job Brokers in different contexts.  It developed a flexible, action learning-based professional development programme and a self-directed learning guide identified the job profile for the role.

The last Job Broker project was very positively received by the 60 Job Brokers who participated from across Europe – so much so, in fact, that their main feedback about the programme was that it would benefit from formal, professional certification, which led to CQJB.

After a period of development work, including the design of new learning materials and the creation of the qualification scheme, at Rinova we started recruitment in November 2019.  Staff from stakeholders across London joined us as our first cohort of Job Brokers to become candidates for the certification.  These Job Brokers came from a wide range of organisations, including Local authorities, disability charities, recruitment consultants and a housing association.  Most of the Job Brokers had 20 or more years’ experience, but with widely varying levels and types of qualifications – so were strongly invested in achieving the ISO 17024 accreditation (which is awarded at RQF/EQF Level 6).

Pictured Above:  Alex Walker of Rinova with some of the successful Job Broker candidates at a pre-lockdown workshop at our office in Canary Wharf.

We started the pilot training sessions at the end January 2020.  Whilst we had our first draft of blended open learning materials, we also had to be mindful of the need to plan the group and coaching sessions around the fulltime work commitments of the participants. It was all going really well – and then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we went into lockdown!

It took a few weeks to re-group and ensure that we could access the remainder of the training virtually. Most of our group persevered, taking the training in bitesize sessions as most of them were working from home and also having to home school. This group finally took their examinations – and passed with flying colours in October 2020! Rinova also recruited an additional group who took a ‘fast-track’ course and achieved their ISO certification in December 2020.

Our group in London join over 100 professionals across Europe – in Austria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Italy and Iceland – who have also participated in the programme and have, or are in the process of completing, their examinations. They become the first candidates to successfully hold this award – the ISO 17024 International Professional Certificate for Job Brokers.

Although the CQJB project is coming to an end, the journey is not!  The CQJB partners have established a new professional association – the Association of European Job Brokerage organisations.  This Association will oversee and quality assure the future development of the international aspect of the award, as well as acting as a new network for professionals who achieve the award to explore further training and development opportunities.

Moreover, as a result of the process, Rinova is delighted to have become established as a licenced accreditation centre to offer the ISO certification to qualify future cohorts of Job Brokers with this prestigious new award.   Therefore, we are making plans to open up this opportunity to practitioners working in employment-related services, vocational education and IAG, as several individuals and organisations have already registered an interest with us to take the qualification in future.

If you would like to find out more about the ISO 17024 International Professional Certificate for Job Brokers and register an interest to participate in future courses to obtain the qualification, contact Alex Walker at a.walker@rinova.co.uk

The European Commission support for the production of this communication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.