NOCN Group Chief Executive, Graham Hasting-Evans

The Government’s Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education (@IFATEched) is in the midst of a consultation, due to end on the 16th of this month (September), on the future shape of degree and post-graduate apprenticeships.

The consultation sets out proposals for changes in five key aspects of degree and post-graduate apprenticeships, namely:

5 Key Proposals

1. The currency of degrees

Firstly, they propose to amend mandatory qualifications policy to recognise the currency of degrees, including where there are no specific subject discipline requirements for entry to an occupation.

As part of this they will mandate degrees in apprenticeship standards that will be occupationally specific, only in the case of graduate-entry occupations at level 6 and level 7.

2. Full on-the-job integration

Secondly, degrees within a degree apprenticeship will fully integrate with the on-the-job training and development that apprentices experience.

3. Aligning degrees to apprenticeship standards

Thirdly, in support of proposed second change the Institute will require that the learning outcomes of any degree mandated in an apprenticeship standard will reflect the requirements of the occupation through alignment with the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) in the employer-specified occupational standard. 

This will necessitate Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop and validate degrees specifically aligned to the apprenticeship standard, noting that this may already be the case for some regulated occupations.

4. End-point assessment as final degree assessment

Fourthly, the Institute will only approve degree apprenticeships where the end-point assessment (EPA) of occupational competence in a degree apprenticeship will integrate with the final assessment of the degree.

The objective is to ensure that neither the degree nor the apprenticeship can be awarded in isolation from the other, with the EPA serving both.

5. Occupational specific assessment

Finally, the Institute will require the integrated EPA of all degree apprenticeships to include assessment by trained individuals with appropriate occupational and industry expertise.

In line with existing good practice in many HEIs, this will assist with securing the occupational specificity of assessment by addressing the conflicts inherent in integrated degree apprenticeship assessment and drawing in an occupational perspective.

The Institute’s degree apprenticeship proposals put the opportunity to improve the training of professionals in the bin!

The first and second of these are not particularly controversial; in fact, subject to seeing the detail they appear sensible.

However, the third, fourth and fifth, taken together will result in universities signing off, without independent scrutiny, professional occupations critical to the economy.  

This without the full engagement of the employers in the sector or the relevant professional bodies.

Whilst this may work in the NHS where there are University Hospitals it does not work in sectors that do not have these types of facilities available to them. We do not for example have University Contractors who build power stations or University Banks that run retail or investment banking.

In all professions there are well trodden decades old paths to full chartered membership of a professional body. The EPA process, even before the proposed changes, does not fit well with professional body accreditation. The latest Institute proposals make them completely unworkable.

To become a full competent qualified person in all the various professional sectors an individual must have achieved the appropriate academic level of knowledge, that is a level 6 degree or post-graduate degree at level 7.  In addition, they must have completed a substantial period, typically 3 to 4 years, in employment as in effect a ‘trainee’ professional.

The Institute’s proposals relegate this crucial on-the-job component to something more like the work placement they have embedded in the level 3 T-Levels.  Their proposals for degree and post-graduate degree apprenticeships completely misunderstand the importance and scope of on-the-learning necessary in the 3 to 4 years of training and skill development in the workplace. 

When the degree apprenticeship policy came about, I felt it was a real opportunity to improve the training of professionals; having been through the process myself to become both a chartered civil engineer and certified management consultant.

It looked as if there could be a more dynamic delivery which would enhance the experience for the apprentice and their employer; with the possibility of shortening the duration. 

The Institute’s proposals in effect put that hope and opportunity in the bin!

So, if someone is wanting to enter the professions, these people will need to consider the alternatives as the degree apprenticeship route may not open the door to a professional career. 

What a lost opportunity!

Graham Hasting-Evans, NOCN Group Chief Executive

spokesperson for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said:

“We are committed to working with everyone to improve degree apprenticeships, and welcome different perspectives.

"That is precisely why we are running a consultation on the topic.

"No decisions have been made and we would encourage everyone with an interest to respond before 16 September.”

Degree Appreniceship Consultation


You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

The Environmental Impacts of Remote Work: Stats and Benefits: Working from home is a necessity rather than a luxury…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

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.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

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.

FE Voices

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.

Sector News

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.

FE Newsrooms

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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page