Articles from The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (previously IfA)

IT solutions technician

Reference Number: ST0505 Details of standard Role Profile IT Solutions Technicians develop, implement and maintain complete IT solutions, including their hardware infrastructure (such as servers and networks) and software (such as operating systems, middleware and applications). They work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Many such teams will be modern “DevOps” style teams, which carry out the full set of stages across the whole solution lifecycle: requirements gathering, solution development, testing, implementation and ongoing support. In more traditional organisations the team is likely to be focused more at one or other end of this broad set of activities. Such teams may well be in transition to a modern “DevOps” style team.

Water treatment technician

Reference Number: ST0453 Details of standard Occupational Profile: Water Treatment Technicians are responsible for the development, installation and maintenance of water treatment programmes for water systems in industrial and commercial buildings, hotels and institutional premises including colleges, schools, hospitals and care homes. Water use may be for drinking and washing, space heating and cooling, process/manufacturing heating and cooling, energy transport, power generation, industrial washing/cleaning processes, food production, healthcare and direct product input. Water treatment programmes are required to minimise health risks e.g. legionnaires disease, reduce system corrosion, scale formation and prevent microbiological contamination.

IT solution technician

Reference Number: ST0505 Details of standard Role Profile IT Solutions Technicians develop, implement and maintain complete IT solutions, including their hardware infrastructure (such as servers and networks) and software (such as operating systems, middleware and applications). They work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Many such teams will be modern “DevOps” style teams, which carry out the full set of stages across the whole solution lifecycle: requirements gathering, solution development, testing, implementation and ongoing support. In more traditional organisations the team is likely to be focused more at one or other end of this broad set of activities. Such teams may well be in transition to a modern “DevOps” style team.

First officer pilot

Reference Number: ST0523 Details of standard Occupation summary The first officer, also known as co-pilot, works in a variety of aircraft e.g. commercial, military, passenger or freight. The role of the first officer is to support the aircraft Commander and to assist her/him in the safe and efficient conduct of the flight. In the event of the incapacitation of the Commander, the First Officer will assume the authority and responsibility for the aircraft and its crew, passengers and load. During normal operations, the Commander and the First Officer will alternate in performing the roles of ‘pilot handling’ and ‘pilot monitoring’. In these situations, the ‘pilot monitoring’ will conduct radio communications and monitor the duties of the ‘pilot handling’. At all times they are to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and crew.

Funeral Director

Reference Number: ST0584 Details of standard A funeral director has overall responsibility for the client and the deceased by arranging, conducting and managing the funeral. The funeral director will act as a role model, mentor and coach to the team. They will liaise with a wide range of other organisations and services on behalf of the client to deliver the funeral. On the day of the funeral, a funeral director briefs and leads the team and is the central point of contact, coordination and escalation of feedback. Creating and developing sensitive working relationships with clients and stakeholders such as suppliers, the police, coroners and medical personnel is a key part of the role.  Funeral directors are the first point of contact for colleagues regarding specialist funeral services such as exhumation, bequeathal, repatriation, military funerals, burial at sea and multiple funerals. Day to day operations include planning and coordinating arrangements and resources for funerals; overseeing pre-funeral checks; ensuring the funeral meets the needs of the client; assisting in the preparation and presentation of coffins and the deceased; delivering third party products and services; pre-need and aftercare services. Funeral directors must act as an ambassador by upholding the reputation and professional image of the business and actively develop relationships within the local community. They will converse with local customs and practices (all denominations and faiths) and utilise market data to become the funeral director of choice in the area. Funeral directors will work out-of-hours on a rota basis and cover a variety of roles within the funeral sector both on and off site.

Funeral team member

Reference Number: ST0594 Details of standard Funeral team members are the first point of contact for the business so must create a good first impression, put clients at ease, take information, answer questions or find answers, building good client relationships and confidence while upholding the image of the business. Funeral team members make a positive difference to their clients at a challenging, emotional time and contact with the deceased is a key aspect of any role within this industry. Working with people, feeling passionate about supporting and assisting clients is a rewarding and worthwhile job that provides excellent career opportunities. Funeral team members will specialise in one of two roles. A FuneralArranger – Supports the funeral director by arranging funerals and pre-payment plans, handling customer enquiries, sales and after care either on or off site. Administration and payment reconciliation is a part of this job role. A Funeral Operative – Plays an active role in assisting the funeral director on funerals, cleaning and driving a variety of vehicles, bringing the deceased into care, preparing the deceased and coffins and supporting client visits. Operatives will participate in an out-of-hours service.

Employability practitioner

Reference Number: ST0663 Details of standard Occupation summary This occupation is found in small, medium or large organisations which sit within any of the public, private or charitable sectors. These organisations will deliver employability support through local and national contracts across different public services such as back to work programmes, careers advice and guidance, housing, probation, health, social care, apprenticeships and skills development.

Leisure team member

Reference Number: ST0390 Details of standard Leisure Team Member The leisure industry employs over 300,000 people in leisure facilities across the country and plays a vital role in improving public health. The role of the leisure team member is to support, enhance and deliver the day to day operations and services of a leisure / fitness facility. Working as part of a team, it is the responsibility of the leisure team member to undertake a range of operational duties such as assisting with the opening and closing of the facility, undertaking routine maintenance of equipment and maintaining the cleanliness and safety of the environment. Alongside these operational functions they ensure programmed activities and services are available for customers. They act as a Lifeguard, Swimming Teacher, Gym Instructor and Group Activity Leader. In a typical working day they may perform all of these roles in one shift, for example: Open or close the facility, welcome customers, deliver a gym induction, run a group exercise session, teach a swimming lesson, clean the facility, walk the gym floor, prepare the sports hall for a sports activity (for example badminton) and deliver the session. At all times they offer excellent customer service as they are the first point of contact for customers, responsible for answering queries and dealing with straightforward complaints. They have excellent product knowledge and signpost customers to appropriate activities, achieving additional sales. They maintain accurate records and promote activities using the facilities IT systems. Customers can be wide ranging, for example a four year old learning to swim, the teacher or parent supporting them, a gym user training to complete their next half marathon or an elderly person using the facility for their over 50’s social club. This means they need a sound understanding of individual and group needs, including an understanding of how to maintain a safe and inclusive working environment in keeping with health and safety, safeguarding and equalities legislation. The role requires empathy, professionalism and an ability to work flexibly. The leisure team member reports to the duty manager and will typically cover a seven-day week on a rota basis resulting in shifts that may include weekends, early mornings, evenings and public holidays. Job titles include, recreation assistant, recreation supervisor, leisure attendant, leisure assistant, leisure professional.

Fashion studio assistant

Reference Number: ST0173 Details of standard OCCUPATION: FASHION STUDIO ASSISTANT Britain is world renowned for our creativity and design talent. British designers capture the mood of the moment, cascading it into the high street, creating a multi-billion pound industry. The direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy is £26 billion. Fashion’s total contribution to the economy is estimated to have risen to over £46 billion in 2014.

Registered nurse - degree (NMC 2018)

Reference Number: ST0781 Details of standard Occupation summary This occupation is found in every sector. Registered nurses work in the public, independent and voluntary sector. Registered nurses are a statutorily regulated profession and the standards for proficiency are set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and successful completion of this apprenticeship will meet the education requirements to see registration with the NMC. This standard covers the NMC Standards for Proficiency and Annexes A & B for registered nurses (May 2018) and covers the four fields of practice that are Adult, Mental Health, Learning Disability and Child.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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