Please note that ETF will not be collecting data for SIR going forwards. The Department for Education will be getting in touch with stakeholders regarding the future plans for SIR.

Operating nationally and rated Ofsted Good, independent training provider Release Potential offers a wide range of apprenticeships and traineeships at all levels to help organisations maximise performance and increase productivity. The company is based in Northumberland with 46 staff, operating across more than 20 locations. Chief Executive Officer Gaye Hutchinson firmly believes that investing in apprenticeships and traineeships can make a difference, commenting: “At Release Potential our innovative staff are constantly developing original education solutions by adapting our apprenticeship offer.” Working closely with DWP National and the BBC Academy, the company has also developed a number of innovative solutions to offer those currently not in work, with significant success in progressing people into jobs or apprenticeships.

We asked Gaye why she decided to use the new workforce data system, SIR Data Insights, from the Education and Training Foundation:

“We are committed to using data wherever we can get hold of it, we are very data oriented.  It’s part of our management strength, which Ofsted commented on when they inspected us.  For example, staff get weekly reports about their learners so they’re informed.

The SIR Data Insights service fits with our ethos and it gives us free data.  We have an HR system that give us information but not in the visual way that the SIR Data Insights service does with the management dashboards. We want to use it to benchmark our operation against similar providers in due course; that requires lots of independent providers in the sector to enter data.

You have to enter data if you want to get the benefit of using it. The service is only as good as the data that’s input so we want as many providers as possible to input so that it’s useful to all of us.

The SIR Data Insights website is really easy to follow. I decided to do the data collection and submission manually using the template spreadsheet provided. I got some errors the first time I submitted but it was really straightforward.  It probably took me two and a half hours in all. Once you’ve done one, it should be so much quicker the next time. 

My advice to other independent training providers is to use SIR Data Insights. It’s free and the more people that use it the more everyone will get out of it.”


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