The Steemies continue to embrace remote working

Esteem adopted remote and virtual working many years ago, and have been using our online e-portfolio for over a decade. Our ability to adapt means we’re one of a kind.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamic Steemies were very familiar with virtual tools. Skype and Microsoft Team meetings were more common than not. With our Managing Director Trudy living on Tiree, our Finance Director Ian living in Consett and Operations Director living in Dumfries, Esteem have become experts at virtual working.

As expected COVID-19 has brought us several challenges, especially given the fact that modern Apprenticeships rely heavily on in-person sign-ups, reviews and site visits. We were delighted that Skills Development Scotland (SDS) have been flexible in allowing us to the option to sign up candidates virtually – even if they don’t have access to a printer. Companies can therefore take advantage and use this time for learning and development- even if they are working remotely.

Esteem have been using the ‘Learning Assistant’ (LA) online portfolio for over 10 YEARS. LA is used to collate candidate’s SVQ evidence and is also a communication tool between candidates and their assessors. LA even has an App that gives candidates the ability to take pictures and upload evidence on the go.

We are also doing virtual workshop sessions. This involves candidates and assessors having a video call via either Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype. The candidate will talk the assessor through their day on site, involving them in tasks such as Daily Briefings and Toolbox Talks.

Many of our current candidates are utilising this time to Fast Track their SVQ. Time off site has allowed candidates to complete all knowledge and understanding in their toolkits which significantly reduces the completion time.


…Despite the many challenges Esteem have faced, we are overcoming them with the help of our partners and a great suite of online tools:

Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Microsoft Teams: Teams is a great tool for holding virtual meetings. Some of the features we are loving are the ‘chat’ function where you can type questions or updates and your colleagues receive them instantaneously. We also love that you can have all your files on Teams ready to use whilst still updating the files on the original server. There are so many other features we’re not using yet and we can’t wait to get stuck in!
  2. Whatsapp/Facetime: Whatsapp and Facetime will be very familiar with most people and we are loving using them with candidates. Assessors have been utilising the group chat feature allowing assessors to have 1 call to multiple candidates at the same time – just like it would have been at a workshop. We recommend that you keep the quantity of people on the call low as it can get very loud.
  3. Cam Scanner: Cam Scanner is an App we love here at Esteem. It is great for people working remotely who don’t have the means to scan documents. Our candidates use it heavily to upload evidence and their toolkit tasks.
  4. Learning Assistant: As mentioned, LA is a great portal for holding candidates SVQ portfolios. We love that candidates are able to send messages and communicate directly with their assessors. Can’t forget the LA App which allows candidates to complete their SVQ on the go!

We don’t want anyone missing out on the highly regarded workshop bacon roll… so here is our virtual version…

If you would like more information on how we can work with you on our online programmes or how to fast track your candidates, then please contact or 07766658083.