From education to employment

Long term assurance of technical qualifications

The Institue (@IFATEched) are working with @EducationGovUK, @Ofqual, @Ofstednews and the @OfficeStudents (OfS) to develop a Long-Term Assurance Model: 

Introducing long-term assurance

We understand the importance of effective, streamlined regulation and quality assurance of technical education qualifications as highlighted in the Skills for Jobs White Paper. We are working with the Department for Education, Ofqual, Ofsted and the Office for Students (OfS) to develop a Long-Term Assurance Model (LTAM).

The model will bring coherence, consolidating a partnership approach for monitoring and improving the quality of technical education qualifications. This focus on quality is also reflected within the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill which includes provisions that, if passed, will give the Institute responsibility for overseeing all technical education and training within its remit.

Our overarching objectives are to ensure that:

  • technical education qualifications meet quality expectations, have occupational relevance and deliver the knowledge, skills and behaviours employers need
  • technical education qualifications provide learners with a clear route into employment and a secure basis for progression once in employment
  • we build on existing assurance arrangements, ensuring they are coherent, streamlined and effective.
  • technical qualifications within T Levels
  • Higher Technical Qualifications
  • other technical qualifications at level 3.

Assurance arrangements are already in place for apprenticeships through the External Quality Assurance Framework.

1. What is assurance?

Assurance covers the full range of activities and processes that give stakeholders confidence in the quality of technical education qualifications. Assurance activities are undertaken by the Institute, Ofqual and other relevant bodies to make sure that qualifications meet all required criteria, deliver the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need and help learners progress into or within work. Assurance will also evaluate the impact of qualifications to ensure they have met their intended purpose.

2. Components of long-term assurance

We have identified three components that form an end-to-end model of long-term assurance for technical education qualifications. The components are:

  1. Approval including pre-approval – activities and processes to assure the qualification content and design is high quality, meets the needs of employers and learners and any other requirements, and that any organisation offering the qualification has proved it has sufficient capability and capacity to deliver it.
  2. Fulfilment – activities and processes to assure that qualification delivery (training and assessment) is effective, in line with its approval and any conditions so that it meets the needs of employers and learners.
  3. Appraisal – activities and processes to review how successfully qualifications have met the needs of employers and learners, to secure continuous quality improvement and ensure qualifications remain up to date and relevant. This will assist with consideration of whether the qualification should continue to be approved.

3. Next steps

In the first phase of the development of the LTAM, the Institute is working closely with the Department for Education, Ofqual, OfS and Ofsted.

We have now started to engage with employers, awarding organisations and other stakeholders to ensure the model will deliver the right outcomes. This will help us refine and further develop the LTAM ahead of its publication later in 2021.

We want to hear from anyone who has any questions for us or has an interest in long-term assurance. Please contact us at: [email protected] .We will aim to respond within three working days.

Related Articles