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Government to tighten up Apprenticeship recognition, says Habia

Habia has been undertaking one of the biggest reviews of Apprenticeships since it launched in 1990’s. A recent report released by the group reveals that the government is to tighten up the way Apprenticeships in England and Wales are accredited and certificated.

The move comes with the onset of the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act (ASCL), implemented from 6 April 2011.

According to Habia, the changes would see the minimum standards for Apprenticeship frameworks set down in law to meet the new Specification for Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) and the Specification for Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW).

Alan Goldsbro, Habia’s chief executive, said: “Whilst the government requirements make sense in terms of tightening up the quality assurance and integrity of apprenticeships to meet the new legislation, there is clearly going to be a knock on cost to training providers in particular.”

The major changes that will affect learners, educators and training providers in the hair and beauty industry include:

– How Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) is accredited. From 6 April only the Habia workbook or online system, approved Awarding Organisation qualifications or learning provider ERR systems which have been endorsed by Habia and meet nine national outcomes for ERR in the SASE and SASW will be accepted.

– Changes to what Apprenticeships are called. In England, Level 2 will be called the Intermediate Apprenticeship and Level 3 the Advanced Level Apprenticeship. In Wales, Level 2 has been confirmed as the Foundation Apprenticeship and Level 3 as the Apprenticeship.

– An apprentice taking any level of the Apprenticeship in England or Wales would have to complete a minimum of 280 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the first and each subsequent 12 months and a minimum of 100 GLH must be delivered off the job over the length of the Apprenticeship programme.

As a result of these changes, “Habia is looking at a range of online procedures and subsidies that will greatly reduce the bureaucracy and cost per learner”, added Mr Goldsbro.

“The changes are good news for the industry and to minimize the burden of apprentices, employers and providers whilst ensuring the government requirements are met, the framework has been kept similar as possible to the current versions.”

Habia has also been able to secure some changes that employers and providers had been requesting.

Evidence of delivery and assessment of ERR is a mandatory requirement for awarding an Apprenticeship framework completion certificate, set down in the SASE and SASW.

Previously in the Hair and Beauty Sector, training providers could submit their own evidence of assessment. However, from 6 April there will be four ways in which evidence of achievement can be generated:

– Achievement of Habia paper based ERR system with visit to verify delivery.

– Achievement of Habia online ERR system with visit to verify delivery.

– Achievement of a training provider developed ERR system, endorsed by Habia based on a review of the system and materials, and visit to verify delivery.

– Achievement of an ERR qualification on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) provided by an Ofqual approved awarding organisation and approved by Habia as covering the nine national ERR outcomes required for the Hair and Beauty sector frameworks.

Also, no separate accreditation for Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) would be required. Habia has worked with Awarding Organisations to map the PLTS within each of the qualifications that make up an Apprenticeship Framework.

There will be separate frameworks for each nation. England and Wales covered by the SASE and SASW respectively and frameworks for Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to register learners onto the current framework.

The learners and employers will now have more options as there will be ten new sector frameworks, covering Level 2 and 3 Hairdressing, Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Nail Services and Level 3 Spa Therapy.

Aastha Gill

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