From education to employment

MOD amongst four employers to get their training accredited

QCA names latest organisations to get awarding body status and says it is cutting red tape to make the process quicker for other employers.

Four new organisations have achieved awarding body status enabling them to have their training accredited nationally. However, the way they will each operate their accreditation systems is slightly different.
Meanwhile, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) have announced that in order to encourage more employers to bid for national accreditation, they are cutting bureaucracy so that the process will be cut from an average of ten months to around eight to twelve weeks.
John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said:
“To drive up the nation’s skills, this Government is determined to recognise and promote excellence in training, wherever it is delivered.
“The reductions in bureaucracy we’ve announced will allow even more companies to achieve awarding body status, will enable more employees to improve their life chances and will promote innovation whilst maintaining high standards.”
The MoD, which is the first public sector organisation to be recognised as an awarding body, will deliver its own qualifications directly to its employees in the forces. This recognition will give the MoD the ability to facilitate accreditation for its vital language training which is currently not formally recognised outside of the serving forces. The initial course to be trialled is ‘Survival French’ with other languages to follow from the autumn.
Meanwhile, The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) are trade associations who will be able to offer their members a range of recognised accredited qualifications across their sectors.
Nicky Greet, Professional Development Manager at PLASA said: “The real benefit of us becoming an awarding body is that we can offer industry led qualifications that have been developed for people who work in a specific sector by the employers of that sector.”
City College Norwich is the first further education provider to become an awarding body. It is working with the National Skills Academy for the financial services and major insurance companies such as Marsh and Norwich Union to accredit bespoke financial sector courses, showing an exciting new approach to partnership working between employers and providers.
Dick Palmer, Principal at City College Norwich, said that the awarding body status would help the College in developing an employer led curriculum.
Backed by £1 million of funding from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, QCA is working with the CBI and the National Employer Service to invite more employers to become involved in an expanded accreditation programme.
Ken Boston, QCA’s Chief Executive said: “Employers, whether in the private or public sectors, are demanding a more flexible and focused system of qualifications. By becoming awarding bodies themselves, these employers are in a position to offer their staff high quality training that is specifically work-based, but provides the long-needed recognition of employee learning that can be valued throughout their working lives.
“We invite all employers and providers interested in participating in this programme to contact us."

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