The Quality in Careers Standard is the single national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in secondary and special schools, colleges and work-based learning.
In England, all state-funded secondary and special schools, academies, sixth form colleges and further education colleges are “strongly recommended” by the Department for Education in its January 2023 updated Statutory Guidance to work towards, achieve, and maintain this national Standard as part of its careers strategy.
The Standard is fully aligned with the Gatsby Benchmarks for “Good Career Guidance” and complies with the DfE’s Statutory Guidance.
As the country’s dedicated national quality award, the Quality in Careers Standard – through external assessment – uniquely accredits the four components of the CEIAG:
- Careers Education
- Careers Information
- Careers Advice
- Careers Guidance
The copyright for the Standard is owned by the Quality in Careers Consortium.
The Consortium has appointed a range of Licensed Awarding Bodies to act on its behalf – providing national coverage throughout England. Some Awarding Bodies also offer services in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and to overseas British Schools.
Our Awarding Bodies are authorised under licence to assess, accredit and award the national Standard. Some operate nationally, others are more regionally/locally based. They may award the Standard for a set period of up to 3 years – to be determined by each Awarding Body.
Schools, colleges and other learning providers are free to choose which Awarding Body to work with. Here’s our advice on Getting Started with the Standard.
To hold our licence, Awarding Bodies must demonstrate to the Consortium how they meet our national requirements covering:
- How they assess our national accreditation criteria* addressing the content and coverage of careers provision in secondary schools, colleges and other learning providers
- The competence of their assessors, the detailed assessment processes they apply and, critically, how they secure consistency in the judgements their assessors make
- How their own management systems ensure that they fulfil all the requirements we set.
*The national accreditation criteria for the Standard are set out in full in the Guide to the Quality in Careers Standard: they fully incorporate the Gatsby Benchmarks, and require evidence concerning reports from the Compass self-assessment tool. Our Assessment Guide shows what our assessors require as additional evidence from secondary schools, colleges and other learning providers of impact upon students’ career-related learning outcomes.
To gain the national Standard – secondary schools, academies, colleges and other learning providers must supply sufficient current evidence to demonstrate that they meet all of our national accreditation criteria in their overall careers provision.
Accreditation assessments are carried out by external specialists who are occupationally competent Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) professional assessors. Nationally, our Awarding Bodies have over 100 CEG assessors – no other assessment force exists of its kind, dedicated to the accreditation of the highest quality careers provision in our country.
The DfE’s January 2023 revised Statutory Guidance to secondary and special schools and colleges on their careers guidance duty “strongly recommends” all schools and colleges in England to achieve the Quality in Careers Standard.