@IFATEched consultation open on digital Higher Technical Qualifications in running new quality mark 

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is seeking views on the first wave of Higher Technical Qualifications in the running for a game changing new quality mark.

The government set out its plans to reform level 4 and 5 higher technical education in July 2019. The Institute has implemented a new approval process to ensure these qualifications meet the needs of employers and learners. This will involve the Institute awarding a quality mark to signal to employers and learners which qualifications offer genuine quality.

In this first year, the focus has been exclusively on digital qualifications, leading to a range of occupations including network engineercyber-security technologist and software developer. Qualifications will be aligned to the revised digital apprenticeships at level 4 & 5 which have been subject to our recent route review of quality.

Now participants have been invited to provide feedback on each of the qualifications that have been submitted by awarding bodies for this special recognition. Participants can submit feedback on all 22 submissions, or choose which qualifications to feedback on, through the consultation.

Feedback will be used by the Institute and its route panels of employers, alongside other supporting evidence, to make approvals decisions. The consultation will close on February 10 2021.

Carmel Grant, deputy director for technical education – implementation and delivery at the Institute, said:

“This consultation is a really important step forward for what will be game changing improvements to higher technical education.

“We need the input of as many people who care about the digital sector as possible.

“This quality mark will be significant in achieving our goal of instilling confidence among employers and learners, who are considering a Higher Technical Qualification, that the options they are choosing between are all high quality.”

The Institute announced applications were open to submit qualifications for the new quality mark in September 2020.

This is part of wider government changes to higher technical education at Level 4 and 5 in England, aiming to increase take-up. In England, currently only 1 in 10 people have a level 4 or 5 as their highest qualification.

The first qualifications will be available from September 2022, providing opportunities for higher level technical training including for those who would have completed the first digital T Levels which were launched in September 2020.

What you need to do

Please review the qualification submissions listed below and answer five questions on whether they meet employer needs.

This consultation closes on 10 February 2021

The higher technical qualifications team at the Institute are happy to answer any questions you have, please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Please complete a separate survey for each qualification and/or occupational standard you want to feedback on. You will find the Awarding Bodies’ application form and supporting evidence on our website. When completing the survey, please look at the application form and the supporting evidence to reach a judgment and provide us with answers on our short survey. 

To provide feedback on the submissions please select the qualification from the list below and read the application and supporting documents. You can then follow the link in each qualification to the consultation to provide your feedback.

Please check your responses as you will not be able to edit them once submitted.

List of Awarding Bodies and submitted qualifications for public consultation.


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