England's national CEIAG quality award and its Licensed Awarding Bodies

An Introduction for Schools, Colleges and Work-Based Learning Providers:

Schools, Colleges and Work-Based Learning Providers, looking to achieve a dedicated quality award for their overall CEIAG programme of activities, which is professionally-driven and content specific, are invited to look at the Quality in Careers Standard.

As England's dedicated national quality award, the Quality in Careers Standard uniquely accrdits the four components of the CEIAG:

  1. Careers Education
  2. Careers Information
  3. Careers Advice
  4. Careers Guidance

There are already over 1100 Schools, Colleges and WBL providers in England who either hold or are working toward the Quality in Careers Standard. This includes over 30% of England's state secondary schools & academies as well as 30% of England's Sixth Form Colleges.

(please also note: Learning providers outside of England - for example in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - may also access the Quality in Careers Standard).

Schools, Colleges & WBL providers seeking accreditation are exclusively assessed by external specialists who are occupationally competent CEG professional assessors. Across England we currently have over 100 CEG assessors - there is no other assessment force of its kind, dedicated to the accreditation of the highest quality CEIAG provision in our country.

Our advice to help you with your next steps:

  • Schools, Colleges and WBL providers can now, and are all recommended to, 'go for' the Quality in Careers Standard - the national CEIAG quality award.
  • We encourage Schools, Colleges and WBL providers to start the journey of improvement today by contacting one or more of the Licensed Awarding Bodies (whose contact details are listed below) which are authorised by the Quality in Careers Consortium to assess and accredit learning providers.
  • Then you can begin working towards the Quality in Careers Standard.

All Licensed Awarding Bodies have met our exacting national licensing criteria, and whilst some are often linked to a particular geographic area, you will see that many are available either regionally or nationally. Direct approaches to each will answer questions about availability and their approaches to the journey of quality assurance and development of outstanding CEIAG.

You might wish initially to contact the Quality in Careers Director, Paul Chubb via pac@qualityincareers.org.uk If you should encounter any problems, please do contact the Quality in Careers Director personally.

An introduction for parents to our Quality Assurance of Careers Education & Guidance:

We all want the very best futures for our sons and daughters, so parents need to be assured that schools and colleges provide top quality careers support.

So, if a school or a college holds our nationally recognised Quality in Careers Standard for its CEIAG, parents can be assured that it does provide its students with careers support of the quality of the best.

To achieve our national quality award, schools and colleges submit their CEIAG programme for rigorous assessment and accreditation by the Licensed Awarding Body. The assessment is made against national standards by an expert CEIAG assessor who is external to the school or college.

We have appointed a number of Licensed Awarding Bodies for the Quality in Careers Standard across England. All are accredited against the same national criteria by our Quality in Careers Consortium. You can read more about this below and via the Guide to the Standard.

The Quality in Careers Standard requires schools and colleges to demonstrate that their careers programme:

  • has strong leadership from the Head Teacher/Principal, the senior leadership team and the governing body
  • with effective training for staff involved in planning and delivering the careers programme

The school or college must have an effective programme of careers education, enterprise and employability including work-related learning opportunities for students.

Employers as well as further and higher education providers must be involved in the programme to open up and increase students' understanding of a wide range of options, routes and providers of apprenticeships, colleges and universities.

All students must be included in the careers programme.

We require schools to demonstrate that their careers programme will:

  • educate, prepare and inspire young people as they make decisions about their future learning and work choices
  • improve their motivation and aspiration
  • develop their career learning skills, knowledge and attributes, and
  • increase their understanding of work-based issues such as prejudice, stereo-typing, discrimination and equal-opportunities.

By achieving the Quality in Careers Standard parents can be confident that the careers support provided by the school or college will help every student to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to take control of their futures.

The pages on our website with case studies of best practice in schools and colleges will give parents more details of how the very best provide careers support for their students.

The Government (through the Department for Education) has issued STATUTORY GUIDANCE which recommends all

Schools to achieve the Quality in Careers Standard as the national CEIAG quality award: here is the link to the DfE document

The revised (April 2017) Statutory Guidance To Schools on their Careers Guidance duty includes in Paragraph 67 the following:

Evaluation and monitoring of advice and guidance
Quality assurance and feedback
Paragraph 67. In developing careers provision for pupils, there are currently three aspects of quality assurance that schools should take into consideration:

  • The quality of the school careers programme. The Government recommends that all schools should work towards the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance as an effective means of carrying out a self-review and external evaluation of the school’s programme - this is the Quality in Careers Standard.
  • The quality of independent careers providers. The recognised national quality standard for information, advice and guidance (IAG) services is the matrix Standard. To achieve the Standard, organisations will need to demonstrate that they provide a high quality and impartial service. Schools can access an online register of organisations accredited to the matrix Standard.
  • The quality of careers professionals working with the school. The Career Development Institute has developed a set of professional standards for careers advisers, a register of advisers holding postgraduate qualifications and guidelines on how advisers can develop their own skills and gain higher qualifications. The main qualifications for careers professionals are the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG) and the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development. Schools can view a register of careers professionals or search for a career development professional who can deliver a particular service or activity.”

The current Licensed Awarding Bodies for the Quality in Careers Standard are shown below in alphabetical order:


1. Cambridgeshire County Council - Investing in Quality : Cambridgeshire

2. Career Connect : Greater Merseyside and the North-West

3. Career Mark (Complete Careers LLP) : nationally available throughout England and the Channel Islands

4. C & K Careers: Calderdale, Kirklees and other areas within Yorkshire & Humber and the North East

5. Essex County Council - Recognition of Quality : Essex, Peterborough, Southend & Thurrock

6. Future Focus (Entrust Education) : Staffordshire

7. Inspiring IAG (Positive Steps on behalf of the Greater Manchester Local Authorities) available across Greater Manchester, West Cheshire, Chester, Cumbria, Lancashire and parts of the North-East

8. Investor in Careers (CSW Group) : nationally available in many parts of England, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

9. Prospects Services : nationally available in many parts of England and Northern Ireland

10. Sheffield City Region Careers (Sheffield Futures) : The Sheffield City Region

11. Stoke on Trent City Council : Stoke on Trent

In addition we are working with a potential 12th Licensed Awarding Body:

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