On 26 February 2020, the Secretary of State for Education asked the Institute to undertake a formal review of the L7 Senior Leader apprenticeship in order to ensure that it meets the current policy intent and rules, including the mandatory qualifications policy, and provides value for money.

To meet this request, we have invoked the Institute’s published “Revisions and Adjustments” process and are supporting the Leadership and Management Trailblazer in developing revised versions of the Occupational Standard and End-Point Assessment (EPA) plan that are policy compliant. The Trailblazer Group is working with relevant Training Providers, End Point Assessment Organisations and Professional Bodies to revise content and this consultation covers the Trailblazer’s draft revised occupational standard.

To ensure that the standard meets the intent of Institute’s policy criteria, the Trailblazer Group has made the following key changes to the occupational standard:

  • Expansion of the occupational profile detailing where the role is found, what the purpose of the role is and the key responsibilities.
  • Addition of key duties of the occupation.
  • Separation of some of the knowledge, skills and behaviours into more easily assessible elements.

In addition, unlike the currently live version of the Senior Leader occupational standard, the revised draft does not include a reference to achieving a “Master’s degree in management [either MA, MSc or MBA]” as part of the apprenticeship. This is because the Institute has advised the Trailblazer that requiring the inclusion of such a qualification in the apprenticeship would not meet the intent of our policy on mandated qualifications which was extended to cover Level 6 and Level 7 standards in 2018.

Full details of this policy are available but, in brief, as a Senior Leader, there is no regulatory requirement to hold such a qualification, there is no requirement to be a member of a professional body and an individual would not be significantly disadvantaged in the Senior Leader job market without such a qualification.

In addition, the inclusion of such a qualification would not meet the requirements of our “Type 2” category which is intended to cover off-the job technical qualifications and short awards (for example food safety and manual handling certificates) which do not accredit full occupational competence, do not duplicate EPA and add very little to the cost of the apprenticeship standard.

The Trailblazer has agreed to revise the occupational standard on this basis, focusing on ensuring that passing the revised end-point assessment (still to be drafted) will provide all the necessary assurance that full competence will have been achieve

The consultation was open until Wednesday 29 April. We will share all responses with the Trailblazer Group so they can produce a final version of the occupational standard currently intended for submission to the Institute’s approvals process by 20 May.

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The Trailblazer has analysed the responses from the consultation and have attended a workshop to consider what revisions are appropriate to make to the draft occupational standard.

With support from the Institute, they are now revising the occupational standard with a view to finalising a draft for submission into the Institute’s next approvals cycle.

The currently envisaged timeline for the revision of the standard and related end-point assessment plan is as follows:

  Action Date Status
1 IFATE/Trailblazer evidence gathering from training providers and employers delivering the standard 16-27 March Completed
2 Remote Intensive workshop with the trailblazer to develop a first draft of a policy compliant revised occupational standard 18 March Completed
3 Finalise redrafting of the occupational standard 23 March - 3 April Completed
4 Trailblazer consultation on revised occupational standard 8-29 April Completed
5 Trailblazer to analyse consultation responses with Institute support 30 April – 4 May Completed
6 Consult IFATE Peer Reviewer and Worldskills on the draft occupational standard 11-15 May  
7 Remote intensive workshop to review the consultation feedback and revise the occupational standard 5 May Completed
8 Finalise occupational standard 6-19 May  
9 Final checks of standard and submission 19-20 May  
10 Remote intensive workshop to revise the End-Point Assessment plan so that it is policy compliant and aligns with the revised standard 1-5 June  
11 Trailblazer to request costings from training providers and an end-point assessment organisation to inform IFATE’s funding band recommendation 10 June  
12 Outcome of occupational standard approval process 6 – 10 July  
13 Finalise EPA plan and revisit standard to check for any knock-on effects on KSBs to enable grading descriptors 6-17 July  
14 Draft EPA reviewed by Education Advisor 20-24 July  
15 Finalisation of EPA plan and costings 27 July – 23 August  
16 Final checks of EPA plan and costings 26 August – 16 September  
17 Outcome of EPA plan approval process 2 – 6 October  
18 Addressing of any EPA plan conditions and ministerial approval of funding band October - November  
19 Apprenticeship standard approved for delivery November - December*  

*Consideration will need to be given as to whether a notice period needs to be given between its approval and final implementation.

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