Bristol PLUS Awards
The Bristol PLUS Award recognises and rewards University of Bristol students who have gained significant professional and life skills through work experience, volunteering and other activities outside of their studies.
A degree is no longer enough and the reality is that students need to have a variety of skills and experience on top of their degree in order to remain competitive. The Bristol PLUS Award
As part of the award process you will be required to reflect on your experiences through reports and, in some cases, presentations in order to help you identify the transferable skills you have gained and articulate these to graduate recruiters.
How to achieve the Bristol PLUS Award
The Bristol PLUS Awards are closed for the summer and will re-open at the end of September.
If you would like to complete the Bristol PLUS Award in the new academic year you need to attend a compulsory introductory talk. Once you have attended the introductory talk you will be able to register for the award. The introductory talk dates are listed below:
- 25th September, 10:15-11:00 Sign up
- 2nd October, 12:00-12:45 Sign up
- 8th October, 12:15-13:00 Sign up
- 3rd November, 17:15-18:00 Sign up
- 5th November, 13:15-14:00 Sign up
The 2014-15 deadline will be 15th May 2015. If you register for the award this year you must complete the award by this date.
Requirements - Bristol PLUS Award
|To complete the Bristol PLUS Award you must complete these four steps:|
50 hours of work or voluntary experience
The term 'work experience' applies to:
You can count any paid or unpaid work in any country towards your Award.
The 50 hours can be split over various periods of experience at different places.
The work experience that you use must have taken place while you were a registered student at the University of Bristol.
Society involvement, university representative roles and credited placements cannot be used as work experience.
You will need to provide the contact details of a referee who can confirm that you carried out the work. Referees will be contacted once you have submitted your online application form.
You must attend 4 workshops, 1 of which must be related to interview skills.
Once you have registered for the award you can search for Careers Service events that count towards the Award and book yourself onto them.
In addition to workshops at the Careers Service, other employability workshops available throughout the University and externally can also be counted towards this section of the Bristol PLUS Award.
Intensive skills activity
The Intensive Skills Activity is about going beyond the basics and really showing that you've made an effort to develop your skills whilst at university.
During an intensive skills activity you will have:
An intensive skills activity is something that you feel has allowed you to gain and develop skills that will help you in the workplace. For example, you may have been involved with a society committee, completed a Sports Leadership Award or taken on the role of Student Rep. These activities are demanding,'intensive' activities that require commitment from the students undertaking them. This is what we're looking for. This type of activity is what will provide you with valuable skills and is exactly what will employers will want to hear about.
Unlike the workshops section of the PLUS Award which involves learning about employability skills, an intensive skills activity requires putting these skills into practice. The intensive skills activity is all about 'doing'. Whatever activity you use must have been interactive.
The activity that you choose must have lasted at least 6 hours. This is quite straight forward if using a course or conference, however if you are using a position such as President or Treasurer then things are a little different. For example, you could have completed 6 hours in this role but those 6 hours may not have involved doing very much. You must have been doing the role long enough to have experienced all parts of the job and have gained valuable skills.
Perhaps the most important part of the intensive skills activity is that you must have learnt from the experience. You may have noticed that the words 'review' and 'reflect' are used a lot throughout the Bristol PLUS Award. By this we mean looking back on what you have done and learning from it. What would you do differently? How has this experience helped you? What can you now do better? What do you need to get work on? How will these skills help you in the work place? There are many ways to review what you have done including meetings, conversations, reports, diaries or presentations.
Activities that count towards this section of the award:
We ask you to look back on and review the experiences you are giving as evidence for the Bristol PLUS Award.
Reflection is a transferable skill required by employers and it is vital to be able to recognise the skills you have developed through your experiences. Completing this process will help you to be more prepared when applying for internships and graduate jobs.
What are we looking for?
The final element of the award is a 1-2-1 appointment with a careers adviser.
The appointment provides an opportunity to:
Once you have completed the Bristol PLUS Award you may then complete the Outstanding Award
Requirements - Outstanding Award
Once you have completed the Bristol PLUS Award you might like to consider applying for the Outstanding Award.
In order to be eligible for the Outstanding Award you must have been involved with an activity that has allowed you to demonstrate the following skills:
- Leadership & teamwork
- Management of resources
- Problem solving
- Commercial awareness
- Knowledge of sustainability and corporate social responsibility
You can view full details of the Outstanding Award assessment criteria here.
The Award process involves of an online application form and presentation. The presentation is designed to prepare you for the type of presentation you may be required to give as part of the selection and recruitment process, and the feedback given is intended to help you improve in this area. The outstanding award is designed to recognise the achievements of students who have taken their employability skills to a high level this is reflected in the challenging nature of the assessment so be prepared to provide detailed and specific evidence of your skills development.
You can use any activity towards the Outstanding Award as long as you can provide clear examples of how the activity has allowed you to demonstrate the skills listed above. There is not a list of eligible activities for the Outstanding Award; the activity you use could be volunteering, work experience or an extracurricular activity. You must use the online application form to convince us that your activity is suitable and that you have gained valuable employability skills.
Please note: The activity you use must be different from any used towards your Bristol PLUS Award. Therefore if you are hoping to do the Outstanding Award it is important to think carefully when deciding which of your experiences you are going to use towards the PLUS Award.
How to register for the Outstanding Award:
- In order to apply for the Outstanding Award you must have completed the Bristol PLUS Award.
- Before you can register for the Outstanding Award you must attend a compulsory introductory talk. Once you have attended the introductory talk you will be able to register for the award. The introductory talk dates are listed below:
- You can complete Bristol PLUS Award and Outstanding Award in the same year OR you can complete the Outstanding Award the year after.
- Outstanding Award presentations panels take place in December, March, May & June.
I have a question about my application for the award, what should I do?
Your first step should be to come to an introductory talk as these talks will cover everything you need to know in order to get started with the award. There will also be PLUS Award drop in clinics held at the Careers Service every two weeks throughout term time (dates TBC) so you can pop along to one of these and speak to the Bristol PLUS Award Coordinator.
If still have questions then please pop in to speak to someone on the Career Service welcome desk or you can e-mail us at email@example.com and we will reply to your query as soon as possible.
I have no-one I can use as a referee for my work experience, what should I do?
You can use a pay slip or letter to prove your work experience hours. Please drop this in to the Careers Service welcome desk with a covering letter including your name and student ID. We will then add a note to your record that your work experience has been verified.
Can my year abroad or year in industry count towards the work experience element of the award?
The Bristol PLUS Awards recognise and reward any extra curricular activities that you have completed outside of your degree where you have developed employability skills. Therefore any activity that is credit bearing or required for your degree cannot be used. For this reason work experience completed during your year abroad/year in industry cannot be used. The only exception to this is if you have done additional work above and beyond what is required for your degree. E.g. work in the evening at a local restaurant during your year abroad. If you have any queries about this please e-mail us with full details of the evidence you wish to count at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does playing sport count towards the Bristol PLuS Award?
You cannot use playing or training in sport towards the awards, we are looking for commitment 'off the pitch' where you have demonstrated employability skills. For example roles such a Captain, Coach or Sporting Event Organiser.
How can I use the SPAIS Professional Skills Development Unit towards the Bristol PLuS Awards?
The SPAIS unit can be used as 4 workshops and intensive skills activity. Once you have register for the Award please enter the 4 workshops by using the 'submit details of workshop you have attended' link in section 2.1 & 2.2. You can select SPAIS Professional Skills Development Unit from the intensive skills activity drop down list under the heading 'departmental activity'.
How do I add the Bristol PLuS Award to my CVs and applications?
There are a variety of ways you can add the Bristol PLuS Award to CVs and applications. As with anything on a CV, employers are keen to know what you have got from your experiences so think carefully about what skills you have developed by completing the Bristol PLuS Award.
If you are applying for jobs and you have not yet received confirmation that your evidence has been approved, please use 'Bristol PLuS Award pending' on applications and CVs.
Please take a look at the CV section of the Careers Service website for further information. http://www.bris.ac.uk/careers/advice/cvs.asp
Further help and information
Please email us at email@example.com with any questions or queries.
Alternatively you can come along to a Bristol PLUS Award drop in clinic at the Careers Service.
Careers Service, University of Bristol, 5 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1UD
Students, graduates & staff: Tel: +44 (0)117 928 8221 Employers: Tel: +44 (0)117 928 8121 / 8234