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AQA Reviews

Updated 21 April 2018
58 reviews

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3.7
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Andrew Hall
26 Ratings

58 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "to senior management when judging staff for lacking skills" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Due to a large temporary staff during summer, it can take some time for everyone to learn everything to do with their role" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Guildford, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Guildford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQA full-time

    Pros

    - The people
    - Great work/life balance

    Cons

    Non that I can think of currently.


  2. "Good company with fantastic staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQA full-time

    Pros

    The staff is very helpful and friendly. They want to provide the best service for the schools and strive for this. The training plan is really amazing, and you got a lot of opportunities to improve knowledge and expertise.

    Cons

    Senior management transparency is difficult, making difficult to understand their strategy. A lot of internal politics may sometimes delay progress and delivery. Too many managers with less and less doers.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more to your staff, communicate better to them. Continue offering more training to your staff which is really rewarding.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Avoid working here - based on experience/observations - life threatening situations, disability hostile"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Catering Assistant in Guildford, England
    Former Employee - Catering Assistant in Guildford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AQA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good holidays
    No others I can think of

    Cons

    Reviews
    1. Consultations on colleagues performance irregular - affecting conclusions. Positive service feedback unreported.
    2. Review process done wrong - wrong issues included, ie health, others not, long term goals. No mutually agreed reports
    3. Vague goals/ negative ‘constructive’ feedback– consistently insufficient detail on performance related to goals, affecting ability to improve. Management told, just said improve, little training. Comments - negatives written, positives turned negative/ ignored. Positive corrections (wrong actions, no positive feedback) considered good review approach.
    4. Actively used to replace existing staff, knowledge/abilities ignored.
    5. Review meetings irregular/rare – no time to correct behaviours. Management view final, implication read and sign forms, input unwanted, answering back. No real discussion.
    6. Management failure to resolve issues – unable to recognise, seek solutions for months, despite told. Stated unwillingness to train. Some issues resolved by others, others never.
    7. Email comments by staff – management happy to say situation different if gives their desired impression/ fail to act on them. No clarification sought.
    8. Judged negatively for failing to do jobs not done at all/ or hardly due to lack of opportunity.

    Training - Multiple requests for external training.
    1. Only in-house - If external desired, own time/self pay. Research from TV/ online.
    2. Automatic training requirements following reviews - fail to inform staff
    3. Staff training – not recorded or discussed after, any issues wrote refer to training.
    4. No one departmental approach to jobs – all doing differently, one way, one person fine, another wrong. Seen in multiple tasks.
    5. Admitted inability to teach essential skills – to senior management when judging staff for lacking skills. Some training only provided by colleagues.
    6. Training – hands on avoided, verbal short, then go, no written departmental targets.
    7. Reluctant to invest in training/MBTI/Learning style assessments – time away from work

    Unsupportive management
    1. Outgoing management kept quiet – officially following viewpoint required by those staying, quietly saying they were helping, they and others say staff doing well, substantially improving, rarely officially raised or recorded.
    2. Job description changes, staff unaware - Management unconcerned, despite having judged staff on unknown changes. No investigations/apologies.

    DISABILITY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT/ MANAGEMENT
    Even supported management made little effort to communicate with staff different from them.
    1. Rigid Official Review performance targets - naturally biased against many disabilities, don’t recognise strengths due to communication styles.
    2. Disabilities - unable to understand effects of Autism/similar conditions. Judgement on ability to do work based on assumptions.

    Attitude changes - no safety issue, no preventative action
    1. Sharp, ANGRY management corrections – apology given, say will positively correct if see others doing same thing, in same way as just been corrected. Suddenly no issue.
    2. Correction for actions - displaying flexibility due to others action’s. Manager enters, no questions, one person blamed, another takes blame. Suddenly no issue, manager sharply says do properly, leaves.
    3. Wrong correction by official trainer – they apologised, issue not raised in recent training.

    Good relations management relations not encouraged – unapproachable, untrustworthy
    1. Negative service comments from customers – not acted on
    2. Negative comments when systems introduced – at times avoiding potentially life threatening/ unpleasant reactions, following training. Told to stop, time wasting.
    3. Angry/sharp/aggressive management style - if not get desired responses, or when help sought. Reasons not sought. Experienced by many.
    4. Consistency sought by Managers – managers routinely inconsistent - opposing approaches. Desired approach changes, staff not told in timely manner.
    5. Incorrect/negative information given by management - to staff concerning others, affecting departmental relations, corrected by team members. No comment on improvements.
    6. Unknown issues - Staff considered failing for not providing solutions, these not sought once told, negative written comments.

    Poor Management – Higher management aware of issues. No attempts to clarify.
    1. Unable to calculate increasing workload - reduced staff, at full stretch, told to cope.
    2. Output more important than health – health issues causing time off/affecting work considered valid negative review issues. Management concern - staff stressed, not reasons.
    3. In-house medicals, flu jabs etc – managers don’t tell you, attend in own time.
    4. Approved holidays not recorded - multiple overlaps, short staffing, stress. Consultation avoided further clashes. Staff falsely blamed for not following procedures.
    5. Rarely recorded contributions – not pass on changes in contribution requirements in timely manner, contributions not recognised.
    6. Communication poor/non-existent - targets, meetings, procedures etc. Negative feedback, different systems, inability to prepare for meetings, stakeholders not told of changes.
    7. Communication flexibility not required – If initial approach fails, other person blamed.
    8. ‘Discussions’/ Mentoring’ one way - from manager. Only very precise phrases acceptable.
    9. Poor Staffing/ work/ life balance – Staffing levels insufficient, temporary staff avoided. Stressed staff told to cope. Overtime essential (pressured to) in quiet times.
    10. Solutions – Only management ways wanted, others discouraged, including previous good systems. Ideas led to accusations of inability to cope, and blaming staff for failing.
    11. Management felt unable to listen by staff due to confidence loss – therefore did not raise issues/give explanations, denied it was their problem.

    New management lacking essential knowledge
    1. Failed to know staff - assumed abilities/learning styles - wasted time ‘teaching’ unnecessarily. Staff (perm & Temp) leaving, with useful information.
    1. Tried to hide mistakes - even when made aware. Resolved by speaking to higher management. Multiple mistakes.
    2. Management told something possibly not know – regular, sharp responses.
    3. Claimed issues not raised with them when they had – they had dismissed issue.
    4. Removed systems preventing issues - commented when re-occurred, solutions not sought.

    Favouritism
    1. Staff made official first aiders, receiving full external training before probationary interview.
    2. Some temporary staff retained once not needed, most go immediately.
    3. Some if they hate a task, removed from it. Others must do as allocated.
    4. 3 month probationary reviews – Most done after 4 months, favourites promptly, noted.
    5. Manager away, very new staff put in charge of team, despite lacking knowledge.
    6. Some staff offered chance to attend events, others not. Some on weekdays, some weekends. Others not even asked.

    Advice to Management

    1. Improve Communication – targets, desired behaviours, adapt to individuals
    2. Take responsibility for the results of your actions – and apologise- you will receive more respect, than by trying to be seen as perfect.
    3. Skills - Don’t correct staff for not having skills you admit you cannot teach.
    4. Manage staff - Take active role in dealing with misunderstanding between your staff in a timely manner. Recognise when staff have resolved issues themselves.
    5. Reveiw – look for positives as well as negatives. Learn how to do, to learn your staffs strengths
    6. Reconsider Staffing -Don’t assume overworked staff will continue to cope as work is added. Stress can be seen outside the department
    7. Coaching/monitoring - Learn the difference and what 2 way communication is. This improves information sharing.
    8. Listen to feedback from stakeholders - to improve it, ignoring it may result in loss of service/custom.
    9. People with disabilities – be willing to deal with them, some have great strengths if you look
    10. Tell staff of job role changes – when they happen, not months later. If told staff not told of changes they are later judged on, apologise. HR not always informed staff of changes.
    11. One approach for all staff – jobs approaches, correcting behaviours. Different approaches seen by staff. Avoid favouritism.


  4. "Absolutely loved working here - totally recommend!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator in Manchester, England
    Former Employee - Administrator in Manchester, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - The people here are amazing
    - The pay is excellent, a real opportunity to build up some cash over summer
    - Management and team leaders constantly recognize your contribution and are very appreciative of your hard work
    - Challenging at times, but always fun
    - Best summer of my life. I've recommended it to close family and friends.

    Cons

    - There are none!

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up! You're doing terrific.


  5. "Great Place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Advisor in Manchester City Centre, England
    Current Employee - Customer Service Advisor in Manchester City Centre, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great summer job and seems permanent staff love it there to
    Usually have overtime hours available if you wish

    Cons

    There aren't really any cons


  6. "Case Adminstrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQA part-time

    Pros

    Challenging office environment, good pay and friendly staff

    Cons

    Sometimes work can become tedious.


  7. "Great fun working environment, work a bit repetitive great student job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Temporary Employee in Guildford, England
    Current Employee - Temporary Employee in Guildford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at AQA full-time

    Pros

    Good number of hours for summer holiday job for around 6 weeks perfect for planning and you get asked back if your performance is ok

    Cons

    Parking difficult / expensive and work can be tedious and repetitive

    Advice to Management

    Vary the work move people around constantly so they can maintain concentration by doing different aspects of the exam process

  8. "Great people, great place. Just needs that tiny bit extra..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Advisor in Guildford, England
    Former Employee - Recruitment Advisor in Guildford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Modern approach to work life balance
    Great location on a uni campus
    Approachable management
    Willing and open to change
    Competitive salaries
    L&D provide recognised courses which will grow your professional skills.
    For lower level/temporary roles, it's a great place to start your office career whilst for higher level/permanent roles it'll springboard your expertise and allow for growth.

    Cons

    When you start, parking can be a bit of a nightmare. Do some research into local areas for free parking. Otherwise the cost will eat into your salary.
    On some occasions, low to middle level employees can be left out of comms which directly affects their role.
    There needs to be more social events to drive employee engagement across the business, not just within operations.
    Lack of promotion of internal vacancies which can go missed
    Benefits and reward needed to be improved

    Advice to Management

    Remove the pay scales. It labels staff as more important than others. It would also allow for better financial progression with new responsibilities.


  9. "Great people and benefits. Mixed experience depending which part you work in."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working with people who really care about what they do. Supportive. Good holidays, pension, etc. They are becoming more people focused. New Chief Executive this year hopefully means change for the better.

    Cons

    Silos, so depending where you are it could be great or pretty bad. Because of silis it is difficult to move around the company to progress, or to be listened to beyond your immediate area. There is lots of rhetoric about people first, it's not yet reality. Cross site working gives variety but there is frequent travel which affects well being.

    Advice to Management

    Don't put people in boxes, they all have something to say even about things they don't directly work on. Rethink the sites - if you really care about well being, why all the travel?


  10. "Business planning partner CIMA qualified"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Planning Partner in Manchester, England
    Current Employee - Business Planning Partner in Manchester, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AQA part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It's a really friendly organisation and a nice palace to work . The organisation is split across multi sites and employees a lot of accadamecis and professionals.

    Cons

    The oragnastitaion still requires some change management . Also it's difficult to get in and out of now you cannot drive on oxford road. There is only one way in and one way out

    Advice to Management

    If you are enthusistatic and like to change things this is a good place to work.


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