To Whom it May Concern,
A few years ago LTS (Leicestershire Traded Services) were established and we were encouraged to advertise our training packages through their website. However, the website still does not allow for payments to be made directly through the website and so Autism Learning Support Team have tried several means to receive payment for our training that we deliver to you, our customers.
The Council is having to make huge cuts to its services and we are having to change the ways we work. LCC is now “digital by default” and we are encouraged to use on-line payment methods as much as possible to reduce the amount of time, effort and costs.
It has been established that setting up a single invoice costs (in time) £36 per invoice. This is a cost carried by the service and so I’m sure you would agree that until such time that LTS has its own fit for purpose on line payment method an alternative needed to be sourced.
ALST now use Eventbrite to carry their training & conferencing packages, and although this still carries a cost (for an £195 course it will cost £11.22) this is cheaper than the generation of an invoice. Therefore we will continue to use Eventbrite until further notice.
It has come to my attention that my admin team spend a HUGE amount of time chasing up non-payment of training. This means that not only are we paying £36 to generate invoices we are also paying admin time to chase – and this is not acceptable.
From April 1st 2019 we are instigating a strict no payment no course/no booking policy. In the same way that if you were purchasing a ticket for a movie, football match or concert we would expect that the school/individual are in possession of a payment slip before setting out to attend an open course or to expect ALST to turn up at the school to deliver training. I apologise for the inconvenience this may cause but I now have 2 pages of unpaid training courses totalling over £10,000 that I must spend time chasing non-payers. It is essential that participants who are booked on a course by their office for an open course have a receipt of payment before attending to avoid embarrassment and anger if they are turned away on arrival.
For courses based in schools where our trainers come out we expect that you pay us at least a week before the course is due otherwise these are liable for cancellation.
I also understand from some quarters that certain schools believe that ALST are making a considerable amount of money on the delivery of Autism Education Training. I can assure those parties that this simply is not the case. As with guidance within the Code of Practice we are providing opportunities for schools and individuals to increase knowledge and skills (something we as a service have been doing since 1993) but we support the delivery of a national product, partly funded by the Department of Education and thus is LCC’s preferred training programme. We feel strongly that all schools should be more preventative in their approach and skill their staff up in anticipation of having children either on the pathway or with a formal diagnosis. AET has a number of free resources through their website that schools can download – the autism standards, competency framework and progression framework – and that these resources could be used in conjunction with whatever training input you receive.
Many thanks for your time and patience with this matter. We are simply trying to find more efficient ways (both time and resources) in order to serve you, and utilising on-line based tools is certainly one way this can be achieved.
More than happy to answer any queries that you may have with this and AOStraining@leics.gov.uk would still be the route for discussion with the admin about potential training issues. Our open courses are all advertised via www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk and then through Eventbrite for payment.
Autism Outreach Service (AOS)