From education to employment

Business plan 2018-2019

How will the Institute continue to make a positive impact on the design and delivery of quality apprenticeships and T levels?

Applying our values, our strategic principles are:

Efficient, quality solutions

Run efficient and effective systems which deliver quality decisions and solutions for employers through the approval of standards and assessment plans, ensuring that new apprenticeship standards are published, accessible and reviewed in a timely fashion. Also to start to establish the role of the Institute in delivering technical education.

Collaborative relationships

Enhance relationships and embed better understanding – boost engagement and collaborative working through our work with route panel members, trailblazers and our engagement with stakeholders, enabling them to be ambassadors for high quality apprenticeships.

Building credibility and transforming the landscape

Build our authority and grow our reputation – by making a lasting and sustained impact through the evidence we provide, the support we give and the thoughts and ideas we generate.

These three principles are explained further in our strategic plan. For the year 2018/19 we have identified ten key objectives which will help us move towards those strategic aspirations. These objectives, and the way we will monitor progress, are described in the following section.

1. Introduction from Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief executive

I am delighted with the progress we have made establishing the Institute. From the blue-print set out in the Richard Review and the subsequent legislative changes, we have swiftly developed the capability to undertake all of the core operational functions required to deliver quality apprenticeship standards – developing our processes and recruiting panels of industry experts to advise and decide upon the apprenticeship standards being developed. We have worked with expert partners to publish the Quality Statement, giving a clear definition to what we mean by quality in relation to the delivery of apprenticeships. We have also started the process of taking responsibility for technical education – starting with the design and publication of a set of occupational maps which will be the foundation for the development of both the new T level qualifications and a guide for addressing gaps in the current set of published apprenticeship standards.

The work we are doing to support employer groups to develop apprenticeship standards has already helped build the foundation for an apprenticeship programme aimed at addressing the economy’s skills gaps. Equally, the move to standards and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy has made a tangible difference to the level and quality of apprenticeships being undertaken; over 75% of apprenticeships currently being started are now at level 3 or above. There is, however, much more to do.

As an organisation we need to implement all the actions we set out in our recently published ‘faster and better’ plan, ensuring our processes provide support to employers in a more efficient and digital way. Whilst getting faster, we will maintain our core focus on quality, fully embedding the Quality Statement we published in November 2017. We will work with the Department for Education (DfE) to agree and deliver a workable transition for all aspects of the technical education agenda coming to the Institute. We also need to develop our work with stakeholders and the collaborative relationships we establish – listening and reacting to feedback when received. We need to continue to be a great place to work with an engaged and skilled workforce and we need to maximise the opportunities we have to use our knowledge and insight to positively affect thinking and strategy about apprenticeships and technical education across government and the wider skills landscape.

This publication provides further details on our objectives and activities planned for the 2018/19 operational year to meet these aims. It should be considered in tandem with the Institute’s strategic plan for the period 2018/23 which sets out in greater detail the three strategic principles through which the Institute’s annual objectives will be derived.

Although I have only been responsible for delivery as the organisation’s Chief Executive since late November 2017, as a previous Board member, I have been part of developing the strategy and vision for the organisation from its inception in April 2017. I am proud of the start we have made but we now need to build on those foundations to deliver our mission of improving access to high quality apprenticeships and technical education in order to transform the skills landscape.

2. Strategic principles – efficient, quality solutions

Change programme


Objective description


To develop and implement the programme for the introduction of T level qualifications including content design, procurement and delivery of classroom based study.

By March 2019 we will have: Published a full set of Occupational Maps covering all routes. The maps will be used to inform the design of T levels and apprenticeship standards and ensure they are developed consistently and driven by industry need

Agreed a full implementation timetable with the DfE for the transfer of responsibility for the T level qualification aspect of technical reform

Recruited, trained and embedded people within the Institute with project delivery and commercial expertise

Approved the content of three pathways under Wave 1 for the Education & Childcare, Construction & Digital Routes (i.e. Education, Design Surveying & Planning, and Digital Design Production & Development)

Developed the procurement and delivery plan for the Wave 2 pathways incorporating lessons from Wave 1

Performance measure


90% of change programme projects on track for delivery

Apprenticeships & T level quality




Through the Quality Strategy, ensure that the Quality Statement is fully implemented and understood across the apprenticeship landscape


Ensure that effective external quality assurance is undertaken for all apprenticeship standards and timely and insightful feedback loops are in place and acted on.


Ensure a quality assurance framework is agreed for T levels

By March 2019 we will have: Worked with the Quality Alliance to fully develop and publish the quality strategy to embed the quality statement across the apprenticeship and technical education landscape

Developed the approach to data and information sharing across Quality Alliance members to insure that insight and understanding is appropriately shared to increase knowledge and improve quality

Ensured EQA delivery is consistent across all approved providers, that their process fits within the IfA’s framework, they have the organisational capacity and capability to fulfil this role and have no substantive conflicts of interest

Ensured a high quality, efficient and effective EQA service is available to those who have selected the IfA option

To learn from the EQA process and the quality assurance approach used for apprenticeship assessment plans and design an effective process for the assurance of T level qualifications to deliver robust, high quality qualifications for employers, learners and the economy

Performance measures


By April 2019, an initial pilot will be completed, approach agreed and full timeline developed.


80% of apprenticeship standards have candidate starts within 6 months of being published for delivery.

EQA – coverage

100% of standards (with active apprentices) have an EQA organisation assigned and implementation plans agreed.

Apprenticeship standards


Objective description

To have implemented the improvements in the ‘faster and better’ initiative by April 2019


To have reached 400 published apprenticeship standards by April 2019, giving due regard to appropriate coverage of the occupational maps and the priorities and diversity of the modern economy

 By March 2019 we will have:

Changed and simplified some of the policy criteria for approval of apprenticeship
occupations and standards

Given due regard to prioritisation of standards in development to meet industry priorities

Aligned the process for recommending funding bands to the timelines for approving proposals
and end-point assessment plans, shortening the overall time taken

Cleared those outstanding funding band recommendations made before recent changes
in approach and closed the previously used approach and process

Reviewed a sample of the funding bands assigned to apprenticeships published for delivery, and
used the new process to provide advice to DfE on where they should sit within any new band

Performance measures

Total standards

400 apprenticeship standards to be published for delivery by April 2019

Development timescales

80% of apprenticeship standards developed, are published for delivery within 8 months of a proposal being accepted


75% of occupations in the occupational maps are adequately covered by apprenticeship standards which are published and ready for delivery


3. Strategic principles – collaborative relationships



Objective Description


To have clearly defined and developed the Institute’s relationships with employer partners, trailblazers, route panel members and stakeholders to ensure mutual benefit and satisfaction


To have implemented a fully interactive and digital solution for the management of stakeholder and trailblazer interaction as a tool for collaboration

By March 2019 we will have:

Fully introduced an interactive digital approach to interactions between the Institute and those accessing its services

Continued to develop the support provided to route panel members, developing the Institute’s offer and harnessing their voice in the sectors they represent in promoting the benefit of quality apprenticeships

Built on the ‘better and faster’ concept to better evolve the partnership between trailblazers and the Institute in designing apprenticeship standards. Recognising and celebrating the successes and listening to feedback to refine the support provided

Undertaken a range of periodic surveys with different groups to better understand the views of those who work with us

Evolved the approach to sharing insight, views and knowledge with stakeholders, understanding the impact our work has on their interests, using the feedback they provide to develop our approach, building knowledge and undertaking effective partnership working

Performance management


80% of respondents to employer surveys rate their relationship with the Institute as positive or very positive



Objective description


To have built on the feedback provided through the Institute’s People Survey, developing and implementing a people plan with activities which promote effective engagement, development and retention

By March 2019 we will have:

Delivered a range of core activities which were identified following the Institute’s staff survey aimed at maintaining (and improving) levels of engagement across the organisation

Embedded a detailed approach to workforce planning across the organisation to ensure we have both sufficient and appropriate resource and created a diverse and high-performing workforce

Developed capability and skills through a people and learning and development plan to support delivery of the business plan, promote talent management and maintain high-levels of staff retention

Performance management

People engagement

70% or higher in annual people survey



4. Strategic principles – Building credibility and transforming the landscape



Objective description


The Institute will continue to deliver its core narrative and messaging to improve understanding of the apprenticeship landscape

By March 2019 we will have:

More effectively articulated the role of the Institute through a broad range of communication activities

Established the Institute’s role in leading and driving opinion on quality in apprenticeships and technical education through the provision of well-evidenced and clear advice, communications and input

Identified those opportunities to deliver the views of the Institute and delivered those views in a professional and well-evidenced way

Increased our visibility, reach and impact through the Institute’s communication activity

Performance management

Standing and influence

To create a baseline view through a media survey and stakeholder feedback



5. Chief operating officer – Key aims

Rob Nitsch 

Rob Nitsch – Chief operating officer

What we do

The Chief Operating Officer is directly accountable to the Chief Executive for the outputs of the Institute’s operational teams. The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for developing the capacity of the Institute’s operational teams, ensuring their efficient operation and managing their performance. When required, the Chief Operating Officer deputises for the Chief Executive.

chief operating officer structure

Key aims for 2018/19

To accelerate the apprenticeship approvals process whilst sustaining the improvement in the quality of apprenticeships.

On-Boarding Technical Education, including supporting the delivery of Wave 1, whilst preparing for the delivery of Waves 2 and 3 and enacting the associated commercial strategy.

Strengthen the capacity of the Institute through the promotion of the Institute’s Values and effective performance management.

Driving continuous improvement and efficiencies, based on digitised processes, the exploitation of data and a learning culture.


6. Chief of staff – Key aims

James Matthews – Chief of staff

What we do

The Chief of Staff’s office delivers the internal co-ordination that ensures the Institute runs efficiently and effectively, managing the flow of information across the Board, Committee and Route Panel network. We also provide strategic communications to Institute officials and members, ensure effective engagement with our partners and stakeholders, and are responsible for the profile of the Institute.

Chief operating officer structure

Key aims for 2018/19

To provide an effective central co-ordination point for the Board, Committees and Route Panels.

To ensure the internal information flow across the Institute is compliant, effective and efficient.

To develop and implement a communications strategy that is aligned to the Institute vision, builds credibility and reflects the aims of the apprenticeship programme.

Promote and enhance the reputation of the Institute through our digital channels,  our customer service and to develop mutually beneficial relationships through effective partner and stakeholder engagement.

Institute Focus For:

  • Stakeholder Reference Panel
  • Remuneration Committee

7. Corporate services – Key aims

Peter Schild

Peter Schild – Chief finance officer

What we do

Corporate Services provides the central functions, structures and governance to enable the Institute to meet statutory, financial, and assurance obligations, including programme and risk management, estates, procurement and contract management.  The team also provides administrative support to our Route Panel members and people support to the Institute as a whole.

corporate services structure

Key aims for 2018/19

To support the Institute through an effective programme and risk management approach, managing the Institute’s finances in a robust and responsive manner in line with “managing public money” guidance.

To embed workforce planning and deliver an effective people strategy which responds to the outcome of the annual staff survey.

Ensure the Institute meets its statutory, compliance and legal obligations and to provide robust, timely and insightful legal advice to the Institute and its Board.

To create, sustain and nurture Route Panel Members, developing and refining the offer to meet the requirements of the Institute and the Members.

Institute Focus For:

  • Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
  • People Forum
  • Apprentice Panel

8. Standards Development – Key aims

Jonathan Mitchell – Deputy Director – Standards development

What we do

The Standards development team is the principal point of contact with trailblazers, supporting them to develop proposals, standards and assessment plans that comply with Institute policy and meet the needs of employers, apprentices and the wider economy.

standards development structureKey aims for 2018/19

To guide and support trailblazers to meet the jointly agreed submission timelines and to drive the development of each standard from proposal through to approval for delivery.

To work effectively with employers via the standards review process to ensure published standards remain policy compliant and reflective of employer needs.

 To refine standards policy, including the use of qualifications, to ensure it best meets the needs of employers and apprentices.

To fully embed the “faster and better” reforms and measure the impact of these via regular trailblazer survey activity.

Institute Focus For:

  • Trailblazers

9. Technical Education – Implementation & Delivery – Key aims

Carmel Grant – Deputy Director Technical Education implementation and delivery


The Technical Education Team formed up in June 2018.

It will continue to recruit resources throughout 2018/19 and build capability to ensure it is ready to deliver the full spectrum of the programme requirements for Waves 1-3 from 2018 onwards.

Key aims for 2018/19

Build the capabilities of the team as responsibilities are transferred from DfE, through recruitment of project management and delivery personnel.

Support DfE in completing the Wave 1 procurement activity, leading to contract award for the first 3 pathways.

Building on the lessons of Wave 1, develop and implement the project and procurement plans for delivery of Wave 2 pathways.

Support T levels panels in the timely development and submission of high quality content proposals.

10. Apprenticeship and Technical Education Approvals – Key aims

Ana Osbourne – Deputy Director  Approvals

What we do

The Apprenticeship & Technical Education Approvals team manages the 15 employer-led Route Panels that review and approve new apprenticeship proposals, standards and assessment plans and provide recommendations on funding bands.  We ensure that decisions made by the Route Panels meet the Institute’s criteria and quality statement to result in the highest quality outcomes for the benefit of employers, learners and the economy.

Approvals structure

Key aims for 2018/19

Refine the approval process for apprenticeship standards, assessment plans and funding band recommendations to achieve 400 apprenticeships standards published and ready for delivery by April 2019.

To continue to develop Route Panel capability, enabling them to effectively apply their occupational expertise to the approval of apprenticeship standards, assessment plans and funding bands.

To design and implement an effective approach for the approval of T levels outline content and qualification so that it aligns with the Institute’s Quality statement.

To design and implement a long term plan for standards review, including occupational maps.

Institute Focus For:

  • Route Panel
  • Approvals and Funding Committee

11. Assessment and Quality – Key aims

Nikki Christie

Nikki Christie – Deputy Director Assessments and quality assurance

What we do

The Assessment & Quality team develops and delivers the operational processes to receive and review assessment plans submitted to the Institute.

We are also responsible for the oversight of the EQA process and for delivering EQA where employers have chosen the Institute’s  EQA option.  Going forward we will ensure an effective process for the assurance of T level qualifications.

quality and approval structure

Key aims for 2018/19

Continue to review and make recommendations to ensure fit for purpose assessment plans that achieve 400 high quality standards ready for delivery by April 2019.

Continue to support the work of the Quality Alliance in driving up quality across the apprenticeship system.

Ensure a quality EQA framework that will be consistent, robust, valid and effective and ensure the direct delivery of a high quality EQA service.

Develop a high quality, effective assurance framework for the T level programme.

Institute Focus For:

  • Quality Assurance Committee

  • Quality Alliance

12. Funding – Policy and Operations – Key aims

Jayne McCann Deputy Director – Funding – Policy and Operations

What we do

The Funding Team recommends an appropriate funding band for each apprenticeship to DFE, to support employers to purchase the high quality apprenticeship training they need.

We also review existing funding bands to make sure they support high quality delivery, and maximise value for money for employers and the taxpayer. We are also working with DFE to develop the best approach for pricing apprenticeships in the long term.

funding structure

Key aims for 2018/19

Continue to make funding band recommendations for new standards, in line with published timelines. Working towards 400 high quality standards ready for delivery by April 2019.

Conclude all funding band recommendations for standards submitted before the recent change in approach.

Complete the review of 31 existing funding band allocations. Providing advice to DFE.

Develop initial proposals for an improved long-term pricing approach to funding band allocations.

* Funding review is a temporary team created to conduct a specific, time bound project.

13. Technical Education – Commercial – Key aims

What we do

The Technical Education Commercial team will be responsible for delivering the procurement requirements for Wave 2 & 3 pathways and for managing the contracts and single licence arrangements with Awarding Organisations for all pathways.  The team will work closely with the Technical Education implementation team in developing clear service requirements and building an intelligent customer capability to ensure effective contract performance.


The Commercial Team will be established from August 2018 and will develop its capability and resources throughout 2018/19.

The aim is to put in place a full commercial capability by the end of the calendar year.

Key aims for 2018/19

Develop the Technical Education commercial strategy and procurement policy for contracting with the T level awarding organisations for all pathways.

Evaluate lessons from the Wave 1 procurement to inform the tender process for subsequent waves.

Design and operate the invitation to tender process through which awarding organisations will be invited to tender for the delivery of qualifications for Waves 2 and 3.

Manage the contracts and performance management arrangements of the AO contracts.


14. Digital Services and Data Science – Key aims

Alex Wilson

Dr Alex Wilson- Deputy Director Digital Services and Data Science

What we do

The Digital Services and Data Science Unit is an interdisciplinary team which makes use of cutting edge analytical methods and large data sets to support decision making by the Institute. We are also responsible for the development of the Institute’s website and internal management information systems.

data science structure

Key aims for 2018/19

To take forward the development of the Institute’s website to provide an improved, digital, service to stakeholders and the wider community.

Refine the Institute’s management information system in order to support faster and better decision making by the Institute.

To continue to provide insightful and robust analysis of the apprenticeships programme and the training provider market in order to support policy development by the Institute and the Department for Education.

15. Our resources








The Institute is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored and fully-funded by the Department for Education. The terms of sponsorship and funding are agreed annually to reflect any changes to the remit of the Institute. The agreements, whilst giving the organisation the framework within which it must operate, are designed to provide sufficient scope to be independent from government and drive forward the quality agenda.

The Institute relies on the Department for Education for a number of the systems it needs to manage its HR, IT and digital and financial services. Where these services are provided to the Department for Education by shared service providers, the delivery arrangements are provided to the Institute on the same terms. The Institute ensures it manages its finances in line with ‘managing public money’ requirements.

16. Staffing

The Institute has recruited and developed a committed, knowledgeable and engaged group of staff since its inception. It has steadily grown in size as capability has been built and the scope of the organisation widened. At the start of April 2018, the Institute had 92 staff with the vast majority based in one of two main locations; London and Coventry

Through 2018/19 the staffing of the Institute will continue to change. To support the transition of responsibility for technical education, the Institute will need to continually review its resources and structure to develop the capacity to deliver its remit.

In doing this, the key aim for the Institute will remain to recruit quality and retain skill, experience and talent.

Below are some basic details of how the Institute’s staffing is currently comprised.

April 2018














April 2018










17. Download business plan

Business plan 2018 – 2019

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