Our advice for secondary and special schools, colleges and other learning providers
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. 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 is set out in our Assessment Guide.
You may also find it helpful to contact some holders of the Standard 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 publish details here of our Award Holders.
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. Here are the contact details for our Awarding Bodies and 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 fee structure in the context of the ‘offer’ it makes, so it’s essential to talk this through with them.
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 Standard.
January 2023 headline figures of schools and colleges engaged with the Standard: almost three years after the Covid19 pandemic began and seriously disrupted many facets of education, including time to work towards the Standard – the level of active engagement of schools and colleges with the national Standard was:
- 558 English secondary schools and colleges held the award.
- As agreed with the Consortium Board and DfE- some 150 award holders have been offered a limited ‘period of grace’ if required to defer submissions for reassessment because of the impact of COVID-19. These are not included in the 558 figure. Awarding Bodies remain in contact with these schools and colleges seeking to maintain their engagement with the Standard.
- A further 447 schools and colleges were actively “working towards” assessment in 2023.
So, in January 2023, there were 1005 English schools and colleges actively engaged with the Standard. In addition, 6 secondary schools held the Standard in Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, as well as 2 middle schools in England.
This shows that some 30% of England’s state secondary schools & academies as well as 30% of England’s FE & Sixth Form Colleges were actively engaged with the Standard in January 2023.
Evidence of the added value and impact of achieving the Standard: This analysis by the Careers & Enterprise Company in January 2022 of the “Compass” scores for the schools and colleges holding the Standard showed:
- Education institutions accredited under the Quality in Careers Standard achieved an average of 4.6 Gatsby Benchmarks in 2020/21. This was higher than the national average for schools and colleges of 4.0 and similar to Careers Hubs.
- Schools and colleges with Quality in Careers Standard accreditation that were also in Careers Hubs achieved, on average, the highest number of Gatsby Benchmarks – 5.1.
- Those with accreditation that were not in a Careers Hub achieved, on average, one fewer benchmark – 4.1