Hear what our recent Certificate Graduates say about their awards

Seven recent graduates from our Certificate programmes were awarded their certificates at the conference last week. Read here about what John Cundy, Resource Analyst at Yorkshire Building Society and some of the other graduates have to say.

John Cundy, Resource Analyst, Yorkshire Building Society
John was awarded the Foundation Certificate in Contact Centre Planning. He writes to us as follows:

“When I attended the foundation course I had only been in my planning role approximately 12 months and I was encouraged as part of my ongoing development to take part in the foundation certificate in contact centre planning, I personally saw this as a great opportunity to develop my skills, make sure what I was doing in my role was the right approach and take away many new ideas.
The 3 day course was very informative and I took lots of 'takeaways' from the session, it was also really good to share experiences with peers from other organisations. After the 3 day course the process reviews I had to complete was a chance to look in more detail at other processes within my own team which I had not previously had involvement in. In addition to the reviews I got a lot of benefit from the telephone tutorials as this gave you the opportunity for one on one discussions with my tutor about the process reviews, my case study and the chance to ask questions about all aspects of contact centre planning.
During the course, myself and my colleague hosted a site visit for one of the other course delegates and we also visited his site in return.  The site visits for me are a real good opportunity to see how other organisations approach planning and to also share ideas and experiences.
The biggest impact of the course for me was the case study as this had a big impact on my area. I plan for the back office mortgage team and the way calls were handled in the team was not the best. We always had a high abandonment rate and long call waits and each member of the team had single published extension numbers so there was no way of controlling the call routing. I decided this was an ideal project to use as my case study and I therefore set about using my learning from the course to introduce scheduled telephony into the back office mortgage team. I came across a number of hurdles when I really began to look into making this reality and because of these hurdles I was unable to have the telephony changes in place by the end of the 4 month course. Although the course had finished I continued with my project and 3 months further down the line scheduled telephony was introduced into the team. This reduced the abandonment rate immediately to single figures from previously been in the high 60s/70s per week and allowed calls to be routed to specific skills. If it was not for attending the planning forum course and the advice which was given I don't think the project would have got off the ground.
On completing the course I had a great sense of achievement and it was also good to read and listen to the other delegates case studies and this was topped off by being nominated by my peers for the merit award.

I recently attended the effective scheduling course and hope to attend future PPF courses. Many thanks.”
Peter Phelps, Resource Planner, Eurostar

Peter was also awarded the Foundation Certificate in Contact Centre Management and comments that “I had a great time at the Gala dinner and really enjoyed the whole conference. It was great to hear the case studies from other contact centres and we have all taken back lots of ideas that we hope to apply to our operation.
The two days were topped off by being presented with the merit award. It was a great experience to collect it in front of industry leaders and Innovation Award finalists as well my peers from the foundation course who had voted for me. This has given me renewed confidence in my ability to drive improvement within our contact centre.”

Richard Woods, Analyst, Western Mortgage Services
Richard, winner of the Tutor Merit Award, writes about his surprise as the recipient of this award is not notified in advance!

“Thank you very much for the award: it was a surprise as I had no expectation that I was due to receive an award and advised others on the table that I had already received my course certificate. As the award was described, the content became all too familiar and I realised what was fast approaching…….my name was announced and with a mixture of happiness and shock I ventured to the stage to collect my prize.’  

I look forward to the Back Office Course which I’ll be attending later this month.”

Paul Howarth, National Realtime Lead, NHS Direct

Paul, one of our advanced certificate awards, explains that “the conference was a great success from my perspective...It's good to have completed the course and to have a formal recognition at the conference. The advanced certificate has given a good grounding in all Resource Planning disciplines, much more far reaching than an individual, more specialised, role can deliver and should help us broaden our future career plans.

Now it's over we just need to ensure we apply the knowledge to our own careers to put it to good use and achieve some ROI that the organisation has made in us.”
Maria Pedley, Scheduling and Capacity Manager, NHS Direct
Maria shares her views on the evening and the advanced certificate programme from which she graduated.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful evening.  It was lovely to see colleagues from other contact centres celebrating in everyone's achievements together.

I know that when I completed my benchmarking report in February I breathed a sigh of relief.  I didn't think I would make it to the end due to work pressures and the ever changing environment that all contact centres go through.

I can definitely say that without the help and mentoring of John Casey who pushed me at those times I needed motivating I wouldn't have been receiving my award at this year's conference.

When I began the course I was apprehensive as my thoughts were that NHS Direct as a relatively new contact centre were nowhere near the standards of other businesses.  I was pleasantly surprised at my first workshop and realised that no contact centre was perfect and that we were actually ahead of the game on some processes but needed development in other areas.

The workshops helped immensely with my own development in the roles I held whilst completing the course.  Being able to work through issues or queries and sharing other people’s experiences.

I feel I have grown in confidence throughout the two years and continual involved in PPF discussions and workshops have helped me in this.

I feel extremely proud in receiving the award and this will definitely be an achievement I will have pleasure in talking to others about.

I do thank John Casey for his support, advise and directing and the PPF and NHS Direct for giving me the opportunity to develop myself and feedback my achievements, development, knowledge and expertise into the Planning area.

On another note I received a message from someone who used to work at NHS Direct and now heads up a small 100 + contact centre.  He is being put forward for the Advanced Certificate and wanted to know my views.  I had no hesitation in telling him that it was a great opportunity for him to share his ideas and also to gain the insight and expertise from others in the same industry. “

Joanne Taylor, Team Leader Resource Planning Motor Service, Retention & Payments,  Direct Line Group
Last, but by no means least, Jo, also received our advanced certificate award comments that “since returning back to the office I have had a feeling of such pride and the number of people that have congratulated me has been fantastic. The award has a genuine prestige feel to it and I feel very proud that I was given the opportunity to complete the course.

I have met a fantastic network of people through the courses I have attended and also my mentors it was also really good to actually see the friends I had made at the awards ceremonies themselves too.”

Take a look at these articles, videos and links
Editor’s choice for June/July 2012 - 5 ways to find the articles you want to read
Merit award projects from the Foundation Programme Students
See the latest articles on Back Office Planning
Student Case Study: General Admin Department Resource Planning improvements


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