ASA Newsletter – January 2018

Happy New Year to everyone, and best wishes and lots of learning for 2018.

This month our programme of training starts with Stay focused, stay well on 18th January and includes:

We’re looking to arrange training in design and presentation software (for producing reports and infographics) and media promotion techniques.

Training dates, details and booking

Thurs 18 Jan 2018 and delivered again on Wed 28 Feb 2018Stay focused stay well – skills and strategies for managing high workloads in advice services
This one day course is designed to equip advisers at all levels with the skills and confidence to stay focused and stay well in busy advice services. It is a participatory programme, bringing in some of the latest research on wellbeing and brain science at work, as well as a raft of both practical and reflective techniques for managing time, working through conflict and developing personal resilience in the workplace.

Mon 22 Jan 2018  and delivered again on Tue 15 Mar 2018Take charge of your career and personal development
This one-day course is designed to put you in the driving seat so that you can take control of your own learning, development and career planning.

Wed 24 Jan 2018 – Starting to think about strategy (Revised Date)
This one day session is aimed at managers, new managers, trustees, and project managers, and will introduce the process of thinking about strategy, and why it is so important for how we manage and run our organisations.

Tues 6 Feb 2018 – managing and mitigating risk
This one day session is aimed at managers, those new to managing, trustees, and project managers, and will provide participants a strong understanding of what risk is, and why we need the skills and ability to respond effectively to risk.

Wed 14 Feb 2018, and Wed 21 Feb 2018 – Developing Training Skills
This two day course is aimed at people who haven’t done any previous training skills courses, and are interested in developing training skills, with a view to delivering training.

Friday 16 Feb 2018 – Universal Credit Problem Areas (NEW)

This one day course is aimed at advisers who will be advising and supporting Universal Credit claimants. The course is aimed at those who have a working knowledge of welfare benefits, and a basic understanding of Universal Credit.

Mon 19 Mar 2018 – Using scenarios to plan and manage ahead
This one day session will be useful for managers, trustees, and those new to management, to develop their skills in the planning and implementation of strategy.

Thursday 19 April 2018 – Moving into leadership and management
This one day course is for people who have moved into a management or leadership role for the first time, or for people who are about to make the move.

Friday 27 April 2018 – Universal Credit Problem Areas (NEW)

This one day course is aimed at advisers who will be advising and supporting Universal Credit claimants. The course is aimed at those who have a working knowledge of welfare benefits, and a basic understanding of Universal Credit.

The BIG Learn

Would you like to work towards a FREE level 2 accredited qualification?

You could work towards a free Level 2 accredited qualification in:

  • Customer Service
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Team Leading
  • Managing Difficult Behaviour
  • Lean Organisation Management
  • and much more…

The BIG Learn campaign is an opportunity for staff or volunteers to gain a Level 2 accredited qualification in one of nearly 20 subjects.

The BIG Learn campaign aims to get 50,000 people to participate in lifelong learning.  As part of the Advice Skills Academy, we’re looking to get a group of learners ‘signed up’ to take part in the lifelong learning opportunities.

As part of the Big Learn you will need to attend a 90 minute induction (arranged by ASA in a central location) where you’ll be allocated a dedicated tutor to provide support and advice, and then you will have access to online learning modules or workbooks, to work towards your chosen qualification. Participants can achieve a Level 2 accredited qualification in 6 – 8 weeks, and will be invited to a Big Celebration event, to celebrate your achievement.

The full range of subjects on offer include some that are industry specific for health and social care, or warehousing, but some that are more generic will be suited to a range of roles within Citizens Advice services.

The ones that seem like a good fit for staff and volunteers in Citizens Advice services are:

If you’re interested in getting one of the qualifications on offer, we’ll need to register a group of at least 10 learners. Please email by Friday 19th January 2018, and tell us which subject you would be interested in. Once we know the level of interest for the subjects, we can arrange a group induction.

For more information on the Big Learn, and the list of all the subjects on offer, please visit the Big Learn website:

Learn Something Today

This Month’s Latest Bitesize Learning

Develop the skills
you need for life

Skills You Need

With over 650 pages of content, Skills You Need covers all aspects of personal growth and development, for home, study and work. Ranging from coaching and mentoring to presentation skills, this free resource provides a wide range of information to help you get the skills you need.

The website has been developed by learning professionals who are passionate about the development of people’s essential life skills, so that they can develop personally and professionally. The team at Skills You Need, and guest writers, have developed information pages on personal, interpersonal, and parenting skills.

Skills You Need is split into 8 sections:

  • Personal – this section covers some simple ideas that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It also provides information to help you learn, such as The Importance of Mindset, and develop our character, for example, Learning to Use Your Moral Compass and the basics of Emotional Intelligence.
  • Interpersonal – this section includes information on Interpersonal Communication Skills, including Listening, through to Building Rapport and Persuasion.
  • Leadership skills – this section includes theory and practical information, including What is a Leader?, Leadership Styles, Ethical Leadeship, and Projec Management Skills.
  • Learning skills – this section provides some theory on learning, including pages on Learning Styles and Lifelong Learning. It also includes skills that you need for studying, and for helping others to learn, including Coaching and Mentoring Skills.
  • Presentation skills – this section covers all you need to prepare and give great presentation, from What is a Presentation? to Overcoming Presentation Nerves. It also contains information about heandling specialised presentations, such as Press Conferences and Lectures and Seminars.
  • Writing skills – this section is designed to provide the information you need to communicate effectively in writing. It covers both basic writing skills, such as Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation, and more advanced information such as Writing a Business Case, or Preparing a Report
  • Numeracy skills – this section is designed to help you brush up on your basic and more advanced numeracy, from Addition and Subtraction, through to Fractions, Understanding Percentages, and Budgeting.
  • Parenting skills – this section includes information to help you with some of the ongoing challenges of everyday life with children, from Preparing for Parenthood, through Looking After Your Baby, to Entertaining Children and Toddlers, and Parenting Teenagers.

The home of union
learning and skills

Are you a member of a Trade Union?  If you are, you could benefit from learning opportunities available through Unionlearn.  Unionlearn does more than deliver training for union representatives (although this is still a key part of what they do).  Unionlearn have a range of other learning opportunities to support union members grow and develop, and have partnered with the Open University to offer 6 free courses to members of a trade union:

  • Planning a better future – a course that helps you reflect on where you are now, and where you would like to be, and to help you identify goals and actions for the future
  • Introducing practical healthcare – a course that introduces the role of a health care assistant, working with colleagues and patients, privacy and dignity, and duty of care.
  • Supporting children’s development – an introduction to stages of child development, through looking at theory and case studies, reflecting on the work of teaching assistants, and the value of the role.
  • Caring for adults – looking at the role of a carer, how communication, and mental health impacts on caring for adults, and the importance of looking after yourself as a carer, as well as the cared-for person.
  • Taking part in the voluntary sector – an introduction to the voluntary sector including the types of organisations there are, how they are funded, volunteering, and the role and responsibilities of trustees.
  • Starting your small business – looking at the types of structure for small businesses, sales and marketing approaches, legal and financial requirements, and exploring the aspects of successful small businesses.

You’ll need to register to access the courses, and then you can access the courses online.  Each course will take approximately 15 hours to complete, and you can receive a ‘badge’ that you can share with your employer.

Unionlearn is the learning and skills organisation of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Trade unions work to protect employee rights for their members through collective bargaining. Unionlearn works to assist unions in the delivery of learning opportunities for their members, as well as managing the Union Learning Fund (ULF). Unionlearn believe that the life chances of all people can be transformed through access to learning, throughout their working lives.

More than 37,000 Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) have been trained, and more than 250,000 people are being given training and learning opportunities through their union every year.

Unionlearn is also responsible for providing education and training opportunities for workplace reps and professionals via TUC Education. Each year, more than 24,000 trade union reps enrol in TUC education courses.

As the learning and skills organisation of the TUC, Unionlearn organises or is involved in a range of campaigns to improve learning opportunities for members of trade unions. From campaigning on behalf of apprentices to supporting workers aged 50+, Unionlearn seeks to ensure that workers have learning opportunities at all stages of their careers.

To find out more about learning opportunities through Unionlearn, visit the website, contact your union office, or contact Unionlearn in the North West.

Liverpool Office

NW TUC & Unionlearn
4th Floor
Jack Jones House
1 Islington
L3 8EG

T: 0151 482 2711

Education Officer

Tony Saunders

10 Reasons to
Learn Something
New Everyday

Why not make your new year’s resolution all about learning? Read this blog about why we should learn something new everyday, and see if it inspires you to make learning your top resolution for 2018.

Read the Blog

If you’re thinking about other resolutions, why not check out this blog article about 50 New Year resolution ideas, and how to achieve them.

50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them (

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 27th January 2018

Holocaust Remembrance Day is recognised internationally on 27 January each year. The day is for everyone to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed in Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in CambodiaRwandaBosnia, and Darfur. The 27 January was chosen, as it marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Source: YouTube.  To learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day please visit:

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day is ‘the power of words’. Words can be used for good, and can be used for evil. The 2018 day will focus on the impact that words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, through propaganda used to incite, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on. The words that we see and hear all around us today – in newspapers, online, in conversations – the words that we choose to use, all have an impact upon us and those around us.

“I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I am so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s in me. When I write I can shake off all my cares; my sorrow disappears; my spirits are revived.” – Anne Frank, written in her diary, 5 April 1944


Every year the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chooses a different theme to enable people to learn something new about the past. Each theme is relevant to the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and to subsequent genocides, and the theme always has the life stories of those who were murdered and those who survived at its heart – as well as the experiences of resisters, rescuers and witnesses.

Holocaust Memorial Day is organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity set up to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. With over 7,700 activities happening in the UK in 2017, the remembrance day has seen an incredible growth since it was first recognised in the UK in 2001.

For more information on the Holocaust, genocide, and the Holocaust Remembrance Day visit the Holocaust Remembrance Day website.