Data Officer at Acorns Children's Hospice

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5/6/7)
Review Date:
May 2019

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My role is to oversee and manage the use of data from our supporter database. I am responsible for training all new users in the correct useage and for ensuring that data is used in such a way that we are compliant with both GDPR and other regulatory bodies such as the Fundraising regulator.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Yes, Understanding of data composition and the factors that need to be considered for analysis. I have learnt analysis techniques. Different data models have also been considered which is a considerations depending on whether the data to be extracted is quantitative or qualitative. These are new skills I did not have previously.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have enjoyed meeting other apprentices from up and down the country who I would not have had the chance to meet were it not for the apprenticeship.

It has been a valuable experience to learn first hand how much I already knew about data and this has bolstered my low confidence.

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The program is fairly well structured with 3 x residential stays. Having done 2 of the 3 I can say that one stay was well structured with regular breaks and time to consolidate learning. The other wasnt. It was poorly organised in respect of time and not conducive to learning.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


Limited - the employer is very keen for me to do and pass the apprenticeship however it is very difficult to have the time to get projects and the like done. My employer has also been too busy to attend my reviews with my learning mentor so is not engaged from that point.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


Moderate - Plural sight is provided as a learning resource and for the second course a text book was sent. There was not enough emphasis put on the text book prior to the second course given the intensity of the learning delivered at the break neck speed by the assigned trainer.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


Limited - Whilst I have learnt some new skills I have not had time within my role to put them into play. Unfortunately due to a reduced amount of staff at work following people leaving and redundancies the day to day is spent 'fire fighting' not giving time for an expansion of the insight or analysis of our data.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


Once in a while we go out for a social evening. That is mainly organised by my colleagues and not by the management team. It would be good to have sports teams though given that so many staff travel quite a distance to work it would not be practical for them.

9a. Would you recommend Acorns Children's Hospice to a friend?


9b. Why?

Inconsistent management with limited strategy and direction. Too much turnover of staff and very poor learning and support for its employees. Because we are working with a reduced workforce following redundancies and staff leaving the day to day is spent fire fighting and not building a data model looking to the future.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Acorns Children's Hospice?

Do some research about the realistic expectation of your role - it most probably will not reflect that which was advertised in the job description. Also, be aware of and conscious of what actually happens at a children's hospice It can be daunting but also incredibly rewarding with the right mindset.

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