New quality measures for higher and degree-level apprenticeships in England

The framework, written by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, will be used to ensure consistent standards for qualifications across different subjects and institutions.

New arrangements for the quality assurance of higher- and degree-level apprenticeships in England have been agreed upon today between three non-governmental public bodies.

On behalf of the Office for Students, the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB) – an arms-length part of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) – has confirmed with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) arrangements for external equality assurance of integrated higher- and degree-level apprenticeships.

The IfATE will write a new framework, which the DQB will use to monitor the end-point assessments. The OfS is the regulator for higher education in England, including all apprenticeships covered by this new framework.

The framework will ensure training and assessments are “fair, consistent and robust across different apprenticeship standards and between different assessment organisations including universities”.

Rob Stroud, EQB director, said: “The new EQA method will give assurance to apprentices that the assessments they undertake at the end of their programme have been quality assured by our independent experts. We will check they are delivering high-quality outcomes for apprentices, employers and all those involved in their delivery.”

Rob Nitsch, delivery director of the IfATE, said the new approach would “match up to the rigour associated with higher level learning but also fully respect that this is an apprenticeship, so the focus must be on ensuring the apprentices are properly challenged to prove they can do the job they’ve trained for”.

Speaking on behalf of the OfS, Jean Arnold, director of quality, said: “The OfS expects all students to be assessed effectively… The outcomes from this work will inform our judgements about whether providers are delivering effective and reliable assessments for apprentices.”

Read more: IfATE consultation seeks ‘clear brand’ for degree apprenticeships

Related news: Financial incentives to expand degree apprenticeships under consideration, minister confirms

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