YMCA Training

Here’s how the YMCA improved identification and scaled learner support with Cognassist.



Learners assessed


Learner engagement


Happy Tutors

The context

One of the biggest challenges we see education providers facing is how to accurately identify, evidence and support learners with additional learning needs. Many organisations are acting on gut instinct, relying on learners self-disclosing to identify needs and spending countless hours and days supporting learners to attain their qualifications.

We all know and love YMCA. They’re the largest and oldest youth charity in the world. Each year globally they help 68,000 people engage with education and learning, from basic life skills to apprenticeships and further education.

Central YMCA had a question. “We’ve got a significant national apprenticeship provision and a desire to provide outstanding support for our learners. How do we best scale learner support?”


The challenge

What Central YMCA found, was a desire to identify a better way to accurately evidence additional learning need support.

If a learner didn’t disclose a need upfront in their onboarding process. Tutors were rolling up their sleeves and investing many extra hours to support them by customising learning materials.

Learning plans were being created manually, with tutors using their knowledge to break down course material and make them accessible to the learner. Central YMCA’s tutors were pouring their time and energy into supporting learners to achieve their goals.

Cognassist provided a more suitable and qualitative platform to support these learners


The solution

Using Cognassist, the  Central YMCA team can identify and evidence additional learning needs across their apprenticeship provision

By embedding the assessment into their onboarding process, they’re able to identify individual needs as early as possible.

Using our personalised learning journeys, they can provide expert and tailored support to their learners from start point all the way through to end-point assessment.

Not only that, they’re able to access unused learner support revenue to drive their success.


The outcomes

Empowered tutors, accurate identification and evidencing of ALN and improved support for their learners.

Cognassist gives Central YMCA a better way to identify learners with additional needs, delivered digitally in under 30 minutes. We’ve assessed almost 1,000 learners in the last two years, and every learner now completes a digital cognitive assessment when they start a course.

Personalised learning strategies provide more accessible and intuitive resources for learners, tailored to their individual needs and programme level. Helping them to understand how they think and learn and improve their engagement and overall attainment.

By using Cognassist, Central YMCA has been able to evidence learning needs and the support they offer their learners. Allowing them to draw down additional funding to ensure learners receive full support across their educational journey.

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