Monthly Archives: April 2014

The not so golden rule of recruiment for small Entrepreneurs

Recruiting is not what it use to be in the 60's

Recruiting is not what it use to be in the 60’s

When it comes to recruitment, I have made every mistake in the book…and then some!

A fascinating blog was sent to me and I just had to reblog it because it is so important for expanding businesses.

Over the years I have signed psychopaths, nymphomaniacs, super depressives, dishonest reprobates, cheats, scoundrels and lazy-good-for-nothings.

I have also hired some of the most talented people in the universe – people with the intelligence, energy, determination and moral character to make a difference and achieve great things.

The golden rule of recruitment is that there is no golden rule! There is no secret formula for pinpointing the perfect person or for identifying the world’s worst worker.

Nonetheless, I have picked up a few nuggets of recruitment wisdom in my journey through life. I’m afraid, however, my methods are not for the faint of heart or the puritans of the planet so, if you are easily offended, STOP READING NOW.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to cease hiring ordinary people and begin hiring extraordinary people – read on!

In the recruitment game, the starting point is realising that every employee will either increase or decrease the profitability of your business.

It’s a fact of life that every employee will either make you money or cost you money.

So, resolve from now on to recruit only employees who will positively impact your business and, at the same time, start weeding out existing employees who are not contributing.

The ten million dollar question is – how do you identify the winners from the losers, the right people from the wrong people?

It’s not easy but it becomes a lot simpler when you realise there are only three categories of employee:

  • People who work against your business.
  • People who work for your business.
  • People who work with your business.

You obviously don’t want people who work against your business and, fortunately, they are as easy to spot as male peacocks during mating season.

Here are a few of their characteristics:

  • They are always happy to lend a listening ear to moaners and groaners.
  • They often have a hidden agenda.
  • They are lazy but they are good at making themselves look busy.
  • They sabotage success.
  • They undermine successful colleagues by gossiping behind their backs.
  • They tend to run in packs with others just like them.

These people are the devil in disguise. They are a cost, not an asset. Don’t hire them and, if you’ve already got them, get rid of them because a leopard can’t change its spots!

Let’s now move onto the second category – employees who work for your business.

Surely these people are OK?

They might be if you are prepared to settle for ordinary people rather than extraordinary people but if you want to build a great business they are not good enough!

The hallmark of people who work for your business is that they are not truly committed. They do what’s necessary to get by and they usually have some excuse for not going the extra mile such as doctor appointments and childcare demands.

They want to get paid for doing the job but their hearts are not in it. In sports parlance, they are people who are happy to settle for a draw. They are not losers but they are not winners either.

This may sound harsh but in my book – you don’t want them in your company unless you are prepared to settle for second best.

Employees who work with the business are the only people you should be hiring.

Here are the characteristics of the men and women you should be recruiting:

  • They are committed.
  • They always go the extra mile.
  • They feel responsible.
  • They are loyal.
  • They love to get involved.
  • They want to win.

In short, they know that the more they put into life, the more they will get out of life. That’s what makes them extraordinary.

Next time you are recruiting, resolve not to settle for ordinary people, instead be determined to hire only extraordinary people.

To ensure you identify these superstars, here are some questions to ask yourself about each candidate you interview:

  1. Will you enjoy working with this individual?
  2. Did they demonstrate an enthusiasm for your company and a passion for the job?
  3. Will they be dedicated to working shoulder-to-shoulder with you to help you achieve your goals?
  4. Will they inspire their colleagues?
  5. Will they be compatible with your team?
  6. Do they have the character to do what it takes?
  7. Will they be loyal through thick & thin?
  8. Will your customers and clients like them?
  9. Will they be industrious and hard working?
  10. Will they be ambitious for success?

If you can put a tick in the ten boxes, you may have found yourself the perfect employee.

There is, however, one more question you might want to ask yourself: “Could they be better than me?”

If the answer is yes – hire them immediately!

The power of a Bucket List – Stephen Sutton exceeded his raising over £3million

stephen sutton raises over 3 million report expresstraining coursesThe Power of a Bucket List

Have you made one, or thought about it? Maybe it includes a marathon or to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, walk the Wall of China or a skydive? Well then this should inspire you to get going on that list…

At the age of 15, Stephen Sutton was diagnosed with bowel cancer and two years later he was told it was terminal. Some teenagers would have quit there, given up on their hopes and dreams and let the b*stard that is cancer beat them. But not this one.

Instead, Stephen created a whopper bucket list with 46 tasks on it that he wanted to complete with all funds raised going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. It included:

 ─        Skydive for charity

─        Organize a charity party

─        Write a book

─        Organize a charity football match

─        Organize a charity gig

─        Go busking!

─        Persuade local schools to have a ‘get wiggy with it’ non uniform day

─        Charity quizzes at local pubs

─        Organize a charity ball

 All of which Stephen completed since being diagnosed, really quite amazing let’s be honest. But the best was yet to come. Stephen aimed to raise £10,000 for the trust but thanks to the wonderful world of social media the world spread with #ThumbsUpForStephen trending in the UK and one point donations were being made at a rate of £1,000 a minute.

The result
Stephen has now raised a total of £2,225,152 and it’s still going up. He really is quite the legend and we hope that Stephen feels proud of what he has done and it motivates him to continue fighting his cancer.

So have you created your own Bucket List  it is similar to setting goals, click here to find out how to go about setting your goals and creating your own fantastic bucket list.

1 AVPT Student Recruitment Advert

6 Things the Most Influential People on Social Media Do

Train to become a Linkd in specialist

Train to become a Linkd in specialist

How do you earn respect, stand out, and get noticed in noisy social-media circles? Take a cue from the Web’s biggest influencers.

Guest Blogger 

Influencers are among the most magical, powerful creatures in social media.

Within specific niches or across large audiences, they have the power to shape how people think about an issue, start important conversations, make businesses stand up and take notice, and more.

Outside of having a large following, how do they do it? And how did these influencers amass the following they have in the first place?

The ability to stand out in noisy social circles helps influencers build their audience and connect with them over and over again. It keeps them relevant. It keeps them influential.

Here are the six things influencers do to stand out:

1. They’re Superconnected and Almost Always On

Brand advocates, superfans, loyalists–influencers of all stripes–are hyperconnected to their audience. They have a passion for their topic of choice, which means they’re always on and use multiple devices to ensure they’re connected throughout the day.

Influencers use tools such as Topsy, Trackur, and Social Mention to find interesting conversations, stay on top of breaking news in their niche, and help them manage and schedule content for maximum exposure.

Influencers treat social like their j-o-b. (and sometimes it is). They get it; you have to invest time and money in yourself to help you scale if you are going to stay superconnected and become an influencer.

2. They Make Boring, Dry, or Otherwise Uninteresting Topics Fascinating

When everyone is saying the same thing, who grabs your attention? Influencers are the people coming up with a creative take on a topic, saying something different or contrary or funnier, etc.

Take Gretchen Rubin, for example. Rubin is a popular author, blogger, and speaker, but then a lot of people write and speak. How is she also one of LinkedIn’s 150 Most Influential People?

For one, while everyone else was writing self-help books, Rubin decided to parody them with her first book, Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide.

See, while everyone else was trying to tell people how to be happy, Rubin decided to take a quirky, self-deprecating, and humorous approach.

When she tweets to her 92,000-plus followers, they listen and share because she’s not spouting the same old conventional wisdom. Her take is unique and makes something that could be tedious–finding happiness–an adventure in which her social connections can all participate.

3. They Create a Ton of Awesome Content

The killer content top influencers are banging out on a regular basis really helps them stand out in a sea of noise, regardless of the topic.

Influencers are great at creating content that people can’t help sharing.

They might do this by way of original research, powerful commentary, sharing a unique take on the news, turning information into stunning visuals, hosting webinars or online chats, or blogging prolifically.

Whichever medium they’re using, influencers love to create awesome content, and they have mastered techniques that allow them to scale their efforts. This might mean partnering with others to increase their reach and maximize their time, or building a great team around them to assist in their efforts.

There are a lot of people out there with something interesting or brilliant to say. The ones who garner influence, though, are incredibly skilled in how they get their message across to the greatest audience possible.

1 day social media and marketing course

4. They Know Who You Are and Want You Want

Influencers don’t operate in a vacuum, churning out social updates and content like traditional broadcasters. They know their audience and what you like–in fact, they often know what you’ll like before you do.

Knowing your audience goes far beyond demographics, and influencers totally get it. They listen, engage, and converse so they can truly understand what drives people. They’re thirsty for audience insights that will help them create that next amazing piece of content, or fuel their next groundbreaking research project.

They don’t get bogged down in popular opinion or go with the crowd, because they know you’re looking for something different. They know this because you’re telling them in a thousand different ways, and they’re actually paying attention.

It might be through social-media activity and sentiment tracking. It could be through website analytics. It may very well be gleaned through actual conversations with the real people who hang on their every word.

The difference is, they actually care about what would be most useful, helpful, or entertaining for you and go from there.

They’re more concerned with what you want to hear than what they want to say.

5. They’re Hip, They’re Happening, They’re Current

And they can’t help being all of these things, because they are so in tune with the topic on which they’re influential.

They read voraciously. They eat data and facts for breakfast. Influencers eat, sleep, and breathe their passion and are always at the forefront of the industry.

When everyone else is talking about what happened this morning, they’re already talking about what’s going to happen tomorrow. And they know what’s going to happen tomorrow, because they know just about everything there is to know about what’s already happened, who is working on what, which technologies or developments are on the horizon, and more.

6. They’re Trustworthy

And this is huge, massive, critical! They don’t waste words, publish fluff pieces, tell half-truths, or otherwise lead their audience astray.

People elevate others to the level of influencer because they trust them. It’s as simple as that.

It can take years to build that trust and one poorly thought out statement to break it, so influencers are incredibly careful about what they’re putting out to their networks.

They stand out in a sea of noise because time and again, they’ve proven their voice is worth listening to and their advice worth taking.

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses Diane Shawe at express courses, London UK


CPD pending? Pressed for time?

CPD on the move

CPD on the move

Continued Professional Development is entering a new phase for UK Law Firms.

At the Academy of Vocational & Professional Training we understand that you firm is often pressed for time, so nudge thinking, heuristic learning, or brain plasticity are great but, your law firm already have complex challenges, so we are going to keep it simple.

We train in soft skills courses like HR, PR, Management, Technology and Social Media to name but a few. CPD approved by the SRA to help you and your staff meet the challenges expected of skilled professionals.

Doing your CPD the smarter way

Doing your CPD the smarter way

You can study on the move using your smartphone, tablet or at our intense 1 day workshops.

Give us a call on 0203 551 2621 to request a quote or visit our

How can employers help keep their work force healthy so as to avoid high healthcare costs? you’re talking about asthma, cancer, COPD, or even rare conditions, lung disease is on the rise.

The experts are calling lung disease a “time bomb waiting to explode.”

sourced: by Diane Shawe from the  Institute for natural healing

Whether you are creating a workplace wellness program from scratch, or enhancing what you already have, you’re already on the right track! With increasing costs of health care, a shrinking workforce, and aging workers, a savvy workplace understands the value in supporting workers to improve their conditioning and to live a fitter lifestyle.

For instance you could help by engaging with your workforce through your company blog by blogging about five natural ingredients to keep their lungs young and healthy as follows:

1. Milk Thistle: You might already know that it has the power to help your liver regenerate its cells. But milk thistle contains silymarin. It’s a compound that flushes toxins out of your liver. It also helps prevent lung cancer from forming and spreading.

Milk thistle also contains silibinin. Like silymarin, it protects you from lung cancer. But even better. These cancer cells spread quickly to other organs in your body. And they can become drug resistant. Silibinin doesn’t only reverse drug resistance in these cells… It causes natural cell death in cancerous lung tumors.2 You can find milk thistle extract pills in health stores and online. Organic milk thistle tea is another option.

2. Fiber: Oddly enough, fiber is critical to your lung health. It may help relieve symptoms of–and even prevent—asthma.

A high-fiber diet changes the makeup of your gut bacteria. The good bacteria feed on fiber. When you keep these bacteria well-fed, they produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and irritation in the lungs. But don’t add grains to your diet for more fiber. They actually increase the amount of inflammation in your body—including your lungs. Instead, eat more organic artichokes, peas, raspberries, and blackberries.

3. Ginger: It’s full of antioxidant power. But two of these antioxidants in particular protect your lungs against inflammation and damage. Gingerols help clear your lungs by reducing the amount of mucous they produce.3 And 6-shagaol, the compound that gives ginger its flavor, stops bronchial tubes from tightening.4 This keeps airflow open and easy.

Ginger can be pretty intense if you aren’t used to it. Add it to your diet slowly if you don’t eat it on a regular basis. When it comes to ginger, fresh is always better. Cutting up some fresh ginger and adding it to a meal gives you antioxidant power and extra flavor. You can also juice with it or use it to brew your own tea to help soothe your lungs when you have a cough.

4. Broccoli Sprouts: Broccoli sprouts are rich in vitamins A, K, and C. But they also contain sulforaphane. It’s a compound that helps you fight the inflammation that causes asthma. One study found that it helped restore defective white blood cells in the lungs. More white blood cells mean less bacteria and inflammation.5

Broccoli sprouts have about 50 times more sulforaphane than regular broccoli. But you may not be able to find them at your grocery store. If that’s the case, look at your local farmer’s market. Or you could grow them yourself. Try them steamed or throw them raw into a salad. For convenience, you can also find broccoli sprout extract as a supplement online.

5. Bromelain: It’s an enzyme used to reduce inflammation of the sinuses after surgery. But it’s also a natural way to treat pulmonary edema.6 This condition prevents the fluid from draining out of your lungs. The result? Shortness of breath. If left untreated, it can cause deadly infections. One study found that bromelain reduces the amount of inflammatory neutrophils in the lung by up to 85 percent.7

The best way to start getting more bromelain in your diet is by eating fresh pineapple.8 And lots of it. Most of the bromelain in a pineapple is in the stem. Or you can supplement.

Pollution and secondhand smoke aren’t the only things that can irritate your lungs. Inflammation is a major factor in the development of most lung disease. Lowering it will help ensure that your lungs are working at their best. Using these five natural solutions will help keep you free of disease—and breathing a little easier.

So you can see the benefits of preparing a workplace wellness program.

Creating a Workplace Wellness Program

Whether you are creating a workplace wellness program from scratch, or enhancing what you already have, you’re already on the right track! With increasing costs of health care, a shrinking workforce, and aging workers, a savvy workplace understands the value in supporting workers to improve their conditioning and to live a fitter lifestyle. We have a  two-day course includes all aspects of designing or upgrading a workplace program, from concept through implementation, to review.

AVPT’s two-day workshop will help you  to:

o   Describe the necessity of workplace wellness programs
o   Create program elements that reflect the needs of employees and the objectives of the organisation
o   Select program elements that fit the context of current operations
o   Establish implementation and evaluation strategies

Getting you qualified in days not years!

Getting you qualified in days not years!







other article you might be interested in : Dangers of Hypertension to Founder owners of SME.

Does nine different kinds of intelligence make you any smarter?

In this article, I will talk about the different ways in which Multiple Intelligence Theory can be implemented in e-Learning to help the learner effectively acquire, retain, and utilise the information being provided within the e-Learning course.

the enquiry process to soft skills training april 2014

The Multiple Intelligence Theory was developed by Dr. Howard Gardner in 1983. Dr. Gardner, a noted psychologist and professor of neuroscience from Harvard University, suggested that every human being interacts with their environment differently. We each possess nine different kinds of intelligence, but our experiences, cultural beliefs, and knowledge base determine their exact configuration.

What is “intelligence”, according to Multiple Intelligence Theory?

According to Gardner, there are three key elements that determine a person’s intelligence:

  1. The ability to create a service or product that will be valued in the person’s society of culture.

  2. A skill set that allows the person to solve real world problems that they may encounter in life.

  3. The ability to potentially create new solutions for problems or to utilize existing solutions. This typically involves the acquisition of new knowledge. 

Multiple Intelligence-Based Activities in eLearning

Multiple Intelligence Theory can be implemented in eLearning based upon the nine multiple intelligences. Let’s take a closer look at each category and which multiple intelligence-based activities can be utilized during instructional design to create the best possible eLearning experience for the learners:

  1. Musical (or Rhythmic) Intelligence
    This intelligence involves the capacity to think and learn in terms of music and rhythm, and to recognize and hear patterns. An activity that would appeal to this type of intelligence is a lesson that includes music or sound, such as a multimedia presentation. Try to use music that emphasizes the subject matter and creates a more immersive experience for the learner. Since there is more of an auditory aspect with this particular intelligence, lectures can also be very helpful. People who demonstrate a high degree of musical intelligence may be ideally suited for musical professions, such as composing or playing an instrument.

  2. Linguistic Intelligence
    This intelligence is associated with expression through language. These people tend to be able to eloquently convey their thoughts and to understand the words of others. Writers and speakers typically display a high degree of this sort of intelligence. Any activities that include discussion, such as online forums or group-based scenarios, are ideal for individuals who lean more toward linguistic intelligence.

  3. Mathematical (or Logical) Intelligence
    This involves the ability to identify principles or structures within a system. This intelligence is often associated with the logic or the manipulation of numbers.  Activities ideally suited for this intelligence may include diagrams, charts, or tables. Critical thinking scenarios are also useful with this group. Accountants and researchers often have a high level of mathematical intelligence.

  4. Kinesthetic (or Bodily) Intelligence
    Body Intelligence involves the use of a person’s entire body to figure out solutions or to create something. People who demonstrate a high degree of kinesthetic intelligence may be ideally suited for performing arts professions, such as dancing, or careers that require an innate knowledge of one’s own body, such as a doctor or athlete. Activities that are best suited for this sort of intelligence include games that involve hand-eye-coordination or interactive scenarios that require physical involvement. The thing to keep in mind about this group is that they are best able to learn when muscular movement is involved. So, include activities that require movement and physical response.

  5. Spatial Intelligence
    This intelligence pertains to a keen sense of space and how one can navigate those spaces. Activities that involve flow charts and graphics are ideal for this intelligence group, as well as games or multimedia that is visually appealing.  Architects, pilots, and sailors often have a high degree of spatial intelligence.

  6. Intrapersonal Intelligence
    This involves an in depth understanding of oneself, such as what you can accomplish and how you react to certain situations. As such, individuals with high intrapersonal intelligence often have a sense of what they should avoid and what they want to achieve in their lives. Professors and philosophers often possess high degrees of intrapersonal intelligence. Activities such as collaborative learning exercises (online forums) and chat programs enable intrapersonal intelligence learners to help others and to share experiences and ideas. This category responds well, first and foremost, to activities, which require introspection.

  7. Interpersonal Intelligence
    This is the capacity to understand and learn from others. People who demonstrate a high degree of intrapersonal intelligence may be ideally suited for service professions, such as teaching or politics. Those who identify more with this category of intelligence may benefit from group discussion activities and in depth questions that make them fully explore the topic. What’s important to remember about interpersonal intelligence is that these individuals are sensitive to others’ moods and feelings. They work well in-group settings and are often able to learn more effectively when collaborating.

  8. Naturalist Intelligence
    This intelligence involves the capacity to differentiate between living organisms and to view the connection between all natural things.  People with a high degree of naturalist intelligence usually have a close bond with nature. Botany and biology are two career fields that closely identify with this sort of intelligence. Activities that involve classification or organization appeal to these individuals.

  9. Existential Intelligence
    This particular intelligence was added later by Gardner, and is not commonly associated with learning environments, as it is geared more toward spiritual and philosophical views. For example, someone who has a high degree of existentialist intelligence may have a tendency to pose questions about life’s purpose or death. 

It’s important to note that instructional designers should not feel obligated to incorporate all of these multiple intelligence-based activities into their eLearning courses, just that it may be beneficial to offer a variety of multiple intelligence-based activities to more effectively illustrate the subject matter. If you are able to offer learners a diverse set of learning tools and eLearning strategies, then you gain the ability to increase comprehension and retention, not to mention enhance the overall eLearning experience.

Call us to enquiry about our soft skills courses

Call us to inquiry about our soft skills courses

Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Enterprise Womens Business Club Meeting – 15th May 2014

Join us in May for a productive event

Join us in May for a productive event

Please join us for the next Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Women’s Business Club on Thursday 15th May.

Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014 – 10:00 to 12:00

Venue: County House

Venue address: 46 New Broad St, London, EC2M 1JH

Price: £25.80 inc VAT (includes refreshments)

 “9 Deadly Mistakes that can kill your Linkedin Professional Profile”

Diane Shawe Host KCW Enterprise Womens Club

Diane Shawe Host KCW Enterprise Womens Club

Local host Diane Shawe will discuss with you all why LinkedIn is easily one of the most overlooked of the social networking sites for effective online marketing. Yet, if you get it right, it could also be one of the most lucrative.

She will demonstrate why LinkedIn really does have the power to help you promote your business to the right people. It helps to increase awareness of your brand and gets word out about your products  and services. So many LinkedIn members make crucial marketing mistakes when using LinkedIn that really can affect how your profile is perceived along with knocking your profitability. This social networking platform isn’t about accruing lots of friends or fans or ‘Likes’, as you would with Facebook. It’s not about finding people to ‘follow’ you, as you would with Twitter.

Instead, those people who find real success with LinkedIn are those who focus on building solid long-term business relationships.

Diane is Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd, which provides online and workshop fast-track soft skills training courses, Ms. Shawe is passionate about technology and the impact it will have on delivering training to students on the move that can be measured and proven. In addition Diane sits on several executive committee which includes the Conservative Education Society. As well as being a published author of several business books including, “The 10 habits of a successful women Rainmaker – which is about to be launch in June 2014!

Explorer, International Speaker, Author, Arctic Leadership Challenges

Explorer, International Speaker, Author, Arctic Leadership Challenges

We are delighted to announce that the inspirational guest speaker will be Rona Cant, Explorer, International Speaker, Author, Arctic Leadership Challenges, who will speak about her experiences and how she helps organisations and individuals across the world get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in leadership and teamwork and how you can overcome your obstacles and challenges using examples from her very diverse expeditions and her life through the medium of talks and master classes to help you become the best you can be.

Diane offers you a warm welcome to join her at the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Women’s Business Club meeting. The event is for women who are looking for that extra special support, advice, collaborative relations to help them develop and expand their business.  Join us on LinkedIn.


Leading Training Provider ‘AVPT’ Approved To Deliver CPD ‘Soft Skills’ Courses To The UK Legal Industry

CPD does not have to be hard anymore

CPD does not have to be hard anymore

Press Release  Press Release

London UK, Thursday 3rd April 2014 – A national organisation specialising in the delivery of vocational and professional training has been approved to deliver recognised ‘soft skills’ courses to the legal profession, following formal assessment and accreditation by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

The Academy of Vocational and Professional Training (AVPT) now offer ‘soft skill’ courses within the legal sector after successfully becoming the latest organisation in the UK to reach the expecting standards required by the national regulatory body. Not only are the courses approved and recognised industry wide, but also count towards CPD certification of course candidates.

Within professional development arenas, it is now widely accepted the development of ‘soft skills’ within a workforce plays a significant part in the performance and continued success of companies and organisations across every niche. This has lead to an upsurge in organisations looking to complement the traditional ‘hard skill’ base with ‘soft skill’ development programmes.

Law firms begin to up skill their staff with soft skills

Law firms begin to up skill their staff with soft skills

In contrast to the occupational ‘hard-skills’ – those needed to physically undertake a role, ‘soft skills’ focus on the personal characteristic traits which allow individuals to excel in the work place, such as communication, empathy, emotional intelligence and social interaction.

As the legal industry settles after a fundamental reshaping which has resulted in a considerable increase in competition from smaller firms and individuals, law firms across the country are adapting their approach by improving the soft skill abilities of their employees and partners. Modernisation has helped them recognise the importance of technology in the learning environment to overcome geographical, language barriers and time constraint when up-skilling their entire business, so as to become more customer and user friendly.

The current range of ‘soft skill’ development packages for the legal profession have been specifically tailored to meet the needs and requirements of clients working in legal niches. Skills such as HR, Marketing with Social Media, Information management, Leadership & Management skills, Business development, Negotiations and customer services to name but a few from the list of 300 which can now count towards their annual CPD requirements.

Diane Shawe, CEO of AVPT commented “in 2013 the Legal Services Policy Institute estimate as many as 3,000 high street law firms (or 35% of the total) will have to disappear in the subsequent upheaval, law firms with good local reputations will be able to withstand competition if they can successfully reach the demands of clients for greater convenience and ease of access to services by generating greater efficiencies within their practices.”

AVPT is the only UK globally accredited online and workshop based provider of over 300 Soft Skills courses, which uses a cutting edge proprietary online learning management system. Workshop courses are professionally executed in 1-3 days which are delivered as foundation to expert levels.

AVPTLTD LOGO  6As a provider of Soft Skill training courses which are accredited by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and globally by the IAO, AVPT are now offering CPD applicable courses to the legal profession. For further information please visit the official website at get in touch using the details shown with this release.

Can traditional law firms innovate on-time to save their practices?

Can legal services face up to the 21st Century challenges?

Can legal services face up to the 21st Century challenges? it’s clear that the web is now an important channel for law firms and this trend will only continue.

By now the severe challenges facing the legal profession will be familiar to all but the most complacent of high street firms. The UK’s regulatory environment which once protected solicitors from competition has just undergone the most radical shakeup in its history, a moment akin to the big bang in financial services of the mid-eighties.

article by Richard Cohen Chairman of Epoq Group

Is it time to herald the death of the high street? When accessing legal services consumers prize expertise, trust and local knowledge; all the key values of a smaller firm. This suggests that law firms with good local reputations with be able to withstand competition if they can successfully reach out to and meet the needs of this potential client base. To do so will require these firms to overcome two major obstacles; the demands of clients for greater convenience and ease of access to services and the now pressing need to generate greater efficiencies within the practice. With advances in technology both are now within the capabilities of small firms.

the scales adjust for the legal services

Legal Services Policy Institute estimate as many as 3,000 high street law firms (or 35% of the total) will have to disappear in the subsequent upheaval

The small size of most firms and a set of engrained cultural problems have prevented many from investing sufficiently in customer service. The result has been a very high number of complaints and a poor public reputation.

It’s clear that innovation is required but many firms still operate only during traditional office hours and require clients to visit the office; a practice which is more and more out of step with the modern lifestyle. A large segment of today’s consumers of legal services are part of an ‘internet generation’ which is highly receptive to new methods of online delivery. Our own research, conducted by YouGov, revealed that 56% of consumers expect good law firms to give customers the ability to use their services online in the next couple of years.

Far from being peripheral, it’s clear that the web is now an important channel for law firms and this trend will only continue. The question is can law firms offer more than just brochureware for their online presence? Technology platforms have come to market which operate on a ‘software as a service’  (SaaS) model,  which allow a law firm’s clients to collaborate with their solicitor and perform legal tasks over the internet.

The impact of these web-based, interactive applications is to save lawyer time and often increase lawyer productivity and profit margins, while providing a more convenient and satisfying experience for the client. Small law firms can now adapt their business model without prohibitive capital investment, service their clients in a very different way to the traditional high street firm and overcome many of the barriers described above.

An example of this new model is DirectLaw, an online legal document drafting solution  which uses pre-programmed logic to ask the user the same questions a lawyer would ask in a client interview. As the user answers these, the system determines the right language and clauses to be inserted into the document to reflect the client’s circumstances. The end product is a highly detailed first draft of the legal  document which has been individually tailored for the client. Once completed, the draft can be securely sent through to the solicitor for review and further changes. The client is also able to log into a secure client extranet, communicate electronically with the firm, pay fees and check the progress of their matter.

Using this approach, legal documents can be produced at a fraction of the internal cost thus increasing a law firm’s recoverable hourly rates. The time that solicitors have to spend on the interview process is massively reduced, yet from the clients perspective, the firm is providing a more convenient and accessible way of delivering law.

Furthermore, by shifting a proportion of the legal work onto the client fee-earner time can be freed up to concentrate on more complex matters and consultative elements of the solicitor-client relationship. And, as the service can be paid for online, further cost savings can be achieved by negating the need to issue and chase up invoices.

cpd soft skills training for legal firmsFor law firms implementing this model the website is increasingly becoming the primary way to relate to clients and manage the flow of legal work. Firms can add information to their home page about their interactive capabilities, which save clients time and money. These will set firms apart from others and increasingly attract a client base that prefers to do business over the Internet.

Another area of opportunity is that of pricing. With an online strategy that reduces internal costs, law firms could use their improved margins to address client demand for clarity of price as they will be able to provide certain document services at a fixed fee.

The market in which we have been used to operating is changing beyond all recognition. The entrance of retailers, banks and insurers into the market will introduce consumers to new models of legal service delivery; multiple service levels, legal packages, efficient customer service and greater accessibility. However this can serve as a catalyst for change amongst traditional law firms, offering scope for some real innovation, and affording firms the opportunity to build better relationships with clients, generate new revenue streams, and tap into latent markets.

What key areas should Diversity courses cover?


Empowering your Workforce

Is there cause for Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace?

When looking for a course that covers some of the  Grey shaded areas, what is it that we should strive to help participants explore and learn?

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed AVPT

I would like to present  the  10 pointers that I believe need clarification in a Diversity training course.

  1. What diversity and its related terms mean
  2. To be aware of how aware they are of diversity and where they can improve
  3. Understand how changes in the world can affect them and their view
  4. To identify their stereotypes
  5. What terms are politically correct and which are not, and why
  6. The four cornerstones of diversity
  7. What the pitfalls are relating to diversity and how to avoid them
  8. A technique for dealing with inappropriate behavior
  9. A management style to encourage diversity
  10. What to do if they or one of their employees feels discriminated against

Defining Diversity

Participants will begin by defining diversity and related terms, including affirmative action, bias, stereotype, and Equal Employment Opportunity.

How Does Diversity Affect Me?

Help participants identify how a changing world has affected them. Participants will also complete a self-awareness inventory to identify possible areas for improvement.


Leadership: Becoming management material

Identifying Stereotypes

Identifying Stereotypes

Identifying Stereotypes

Help participants to explore stereotypes from different angles through a lecture and group exercises.

Wise Words

In this era of political correctness, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with words that have become inappropriate. It is important to take a look at some phrases that are considered universally incorrect and some basic guidelines. It is also important to take a humorous look at some phrases that have gone too far.

The Cornerstones of Diversity

Diversity experts Armida Russell, Amy Tolbert, and Frank Wilderman have identified four cornerstones of diversity development. They are knowledge, acceptance, understanding, and behavior. These need to be examined in more detail.

How to Discourage Diversity

There are some practices that discourage diversity more than they encourage it. We need to  look at four common mistakes and how to avoid them.

The STOP Technique

Diversity expert Lenora Billings-Harris has developed a four-step technique that you can use when someone is behaving in an inappropriate manner. It’s called STOP. Participants will learn about this technique.

Managing for Diversity

We need to look at some simple things managers and employees can do to encourage diversity in their workplace.

Dealing with Discrimination

Gather ideas on how to deal with discrimination as a manager and an employee.

1 day course: Diversity in the workplace

In the past ten years, the workforce has changed dramatically. More than ever, a workplace is a diverse collection of individuals proud of who they are: their gender, their sexual orientation, their religion, their ethnic background and all the other components that make an individual unique. In order for your workplace to succeed, your employees must be able to appreciate and celebrate those differences.  Click here to read more about our online or workshop course


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