ASA Newsletter – July 2018

Welcome to the July edition of the Advice Skills Academy newsletter.  This month there’s bitesize learning on The Art of Delegation, Powerpoint SmartArt, and On the Job Learning.  We also have information about ASA Accredited Training.

This month it’s the World Day for International Justice on 17 July, and the Liverpool Pride Festival on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July.

Accredited Training

Advice Skills Academy will be delivering 10 different Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 3 accredited unit qualifications:

Understanding leadership
Leading and motivating a team effectively
Understanding good practice in workplace mentoring
Undertaking mentoring in the workplace
Reflecting on workplace mentoring skills
Managing workplace projects
Developing yourself and others
Understanding training and coaching in the workplace
Understanding stress management in the workplace
Understanding mental health in the workplace


For more information on each of the accredited units download the ASA accredited training booklet.

The accredited qualifications are available free to people who are signed up to the Advice Skills Academy.  If you aren’t signed up to the Advice Skills Academy, your organisation may be able to pay for the unit qualification.  For those of you who haven’t already expressed an interest in the accredited qualifications, you will need to get ‘sign off’ from your CEO, and your details will be sent to us by your organisations ASA Link person.

Learning Story

Caryn Matthews

Assistant CEO Citizens Advice Liverpool

I have always been interested in learning and training since I attended my first training event as a member of the CPSA union many, many years ago. This was delivered by an organisation called the WEA (Workers Educational Association), which introduced me to a different way of learning as it used participant involvement, where we learned from each other as well as the trainer.

This led me as an adult to get actively involved in the WEA both as a learner and subsequently as a WEA tutor. In fact it was the WEA who paid for me to attain the City and Guilds 7303 which enabled me to then deliver training to adults.

Over my working life I have embraced learning whether in or outside work, not just for me, but for family and friends, and this varied from dressmaking with friends to astronomy with my late father. I believe that meeting and learning with others not only increased my skills and knowledge but also provided me with a wider understanding through different people’s opinions and attitudes.

Some fifteen years ago I embarked on one of my major learning events in my career and that was the successful completion and attainment of a Masters degree in Business Studies. This was done on a part time basis over a three year period and gave me a greater understanding of the world of business from finance, planning and delivery of all business elements.

Unfortunately over the last five years I have not undertaken much learning, so when the idea of an Advice Skills Academy was mooted I was very excited and volunteered to lead on this initiative as it would not only benefit me but also my colleagues and our volunteers.

Working on the Advice Skills Academy with Helen Simpson and Liz Reed has done one major thing for me and that is helped me re-evaluate what learning is and move culturally from a training concept to a “Learning environment” using the 70/20/10 model, which is groundbreaking, and the key to an adult learning environment.

Finally, I didn’t think I would ever say I looked forward to an email, as I receive about 100-150 per week, but I actually look out for the monthly Advice Skills Academy newsletter as it is a quick reference to what is out there and I can`t resist having a quick look at the Bitesize Learning, whether it’s a stress busting quiz or an article on “stretch assignments”, so thank you Liz and Matt.

Learn Something Today

This Month’s Latest Bitesize Learning

In last months newsletter we had a bitesize learning on Eisenhower’s Matrix – part of using the matrix is thinking about what tasks we can delegate. This month we’re following up with a piece on delegation.

Effective delegation is something that can pay dividends for both managers and teams, as it frees up time for managers, and provides opportunities for team members to develop, as well as use existing skills and knowledge.

To delegate effectively, managers need to:

  • Define the task
  • Decide if the task should be delegated
  • Select who should have the task delegated to them
  • Introduce the task, and get initial agreement
  • Clearly communicate the details needed to do the task
  • ‘Let go’, and let team members get on with the task
  • Monitor progress (but don’t micro-manage)
  • Provide coaching and feedback if needed
  • Do a post-delegation assessment

The Guardian ‘how to’ guide is a short introduction to the art of delegation. For more information, why not have a look at the Mind Tools page.

Use SmartArt to power up your Powerpoint Presentations and take them to the next level with this collection of resources for PowerPoint SmartArt. 

This Ultimate Guide to PowerPoint on includes free & premium tips, tricks, tutorials and templates that you can access online to polish your SmartArt slides.

Visit for more.

Part of the work of the Advice Skills Academy is trying to encourage people to think more about their learning, and to adopt a 70:20:10 approach to learning, where 70% of learning is done on the job, 20% of learning through people we come into contact with, and only 10% through formal learning. With 70:20:10, there’s a process of continuous learning.

So if learning in the workplace is so important, exactly how do we learn on the job?

There are really 2 main ways we learn at work: one is when we need to find something out fast so we can complete a task, or deal with a client’s particular needs – this is a more reactive type of learning; and the other is when we (or our line manager) has identified that we’ve got a gap in skills or knowledge in a particular area, and need to do something about it – which is a more proactive type of learning.

Finding out something fast

We all have times when we need to find something out fast – for example how to show 2 documents side by side on screen, or what’s the difference between monitoring and evaluation?

The ways that we can find something out fast tend to be either:

  • Using the internet to find out information – these days Googling a subject is a common way that people can find out about things, and there tends to be a wide range of choices on which information to look at. The main issue with this approach is making sure we can trust the information we find, which is especially important when giving advice.
  • Asking a colleague how to do something, or what they know about a subject – this is a great way of learning something fast, unless the person you need to ask is in back-to-back appointments with clients. If you regularly ask colleagues for information, then you’ll be taking part in the 20% part of the 70:20:10 approach to learning, which is the ‘social’ part of learning through people you know.

When we identify a skills or knowledge gap

This is a more proactive form of on the job learning, and is often the one that gets left on our to-do lists, especially when we’re constantly busy. The learning that we can do when we’ve identified a skills or knowledge gap can be more planned, involve a variety of different ways of learning, and we can more easily record what learning we’ve done. Ways of learning can include:

  • Reading on a subject (in more detail than when we need information fast)
  • Shadowing colleagues (which is particularly useful for learning new skills)
  • Learning sets – where small groups of people can share how to do things, what works, and what doesn’t work.

For any of these types of learning, one of the important things we need to do is to record what we’ve learned, and reflect on what we’ve learned – so we know that we learned what we set out to learn, and have been able to start using that new skill or knowledge in our role.

For more ideas about how we learn at work have a look at the following links:

World Day for International Justice – 17 July

The World Day for International Justice is observed every year on 17 July. The day aims to promote international criminal justice, and the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The International Criminal Court focuses on serious crimes or atrocities, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. The World Day for International Justice aims to unite everyone who wants to support justice as well as promote victims rights.

The International Criminal Court came about in 1998 (coming into force in 2002) when 120 states adopted the Rome Statute. All of the countries were agreeing to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC – but national courts were not being replaced – with the ICC empowered to intervene when a country can’t or won’t carry out investigations and prosecute perpetrators. The ICC has opened 10 investigations so far, and some of the work of the ICC includes investigations in Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, and Libya.

For more information on international justice in countries across the world visit the Human Rights Watch website:

Liverpool Pride – 28 and 29 July

Liverpool Pride is being celebrated in July, and with an estimated 50,000+ festival-goers in 2017, Liverpool Pride is considered one of the biggest free-to-attend Gay Pride events in the UK.

The first Liverpool Pride event was held in 1979 as a week-long remembrance of the Stonewall Riots, but was a one-off event, as it was too difficult to sustain an annual event at that time. Further Pride events were held in Liverpool in the 1990’s, but these were also not sustained annually. The most recent and more regular Pride events started in 2010.


Whilst many Pride events happen in June, in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, the Liverpool Pride event happens as close as possible to the 2nd August. The timing of the event was chosen to commemorate the death of Michael Causer, a young gay man who was murdered in 2008.

For information on the Liverpool Pride march, and other activities see the Liverpool Pride website, or the Visit Liverpool website: