Our advice for secondary schools, colleges and other learning providers
At the end of February 2020, there were over 1100 secondary schools, colleges and other learning providers across England who either held or were working towards achieving the Standard:
- 686 Award Holders (including 166 schools & colleges accredited in 2019-20 against the revised national criteria fully incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks = 24% of current Award Holders).
- 482 Working Towards the Standard (to be assessed in 2020/21 against the revised national criteria fully incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks).
This includes 32% of England’s state secondary schools & academies as well as 30% of England’s FE & Sixth Form Colleges. A growing number are also now showing interest in and some have begun working towards the Standard in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Despite the impact of COVID19, the latest headline figures of engagement with the Standard (collated at the end of November 2020) show that over 1200 secondary schools and colleges have either acquired or are working towards acquiring the Standard. This is a net increase of 100 compared with February 2020. These figures will be fully updated further once the pandemic is (hopefully) contained with a return to more ‘normal’ circumstances.
Getting started: we recommend that you begin by looking carefully at the national accreditation criteria set out in the Guide to the national Quality in Careers Standard – this link takes you to the Guide (October 2021 revised edition). The criteria describe precisely what is required of learning providers, and therefore what our Licensed Awarding Bodies will assess in terms of overall careers provision in secondary schools, colleges and other learning providers. You may also want to look in more detail at what our Assessors require you to evidence in assessments – this link takes you to our published Assessment Guide (October 2021 revised edition).
Next, just as you’re used to choosing between different awarding bodies for examinations, we recommend that you review the Awarding Bodies we’ve licensed. Our strong advice is that you get in touch with one or more directly. This link provides the contact details for our Awarding Bodies and shows where they operate.
We recommend that you ask the Awarding Bodies you contact directly to outline their distinctive approach to the delivery of the Standard (their ‘offer’) as well as the prices they charge.
In respect of prices, it’s important to say that whilst the fees each Awarding Body charges are broadly similar (although there may also be a few Local Authority/LEP areas where fees are subsidised – so, please, check with the Awarding Body), each Awarding Body is authorised to set its own fee structure in the context of the ‘offer’ it makes, so it’s essential to talk this through with them.
This link takes you to our Award Holders – secondary schools, colleges, and other learning providers who currently hold the national Standard. You may also find it helpful to contact some holders in your area to hear their experiences of the value of the process as well as the benefits for students and the impact of the Standard.
We cannot stress too strongly that it’s important that you approach Awarding Bodies operating in your area. That way, you’ll find the approach which you feel best suits your school or college to start the ‘Quality in Careers journey’ towards national accreditation. After reviewing your options, you’re free to choose the Awarding Body you wish to work with for the Quality in Careers Standard.