News Blog

Skills CFA

Instructus Conference Cancellation and the Skills Agenda

Tuesday, 27 October 2015
By: Skills CFA

Instructus is disappointed to announce the cancellation of its proposed conference ‘Revolution in Business and Skills’ due to take place on November 25th due to a lack of employer interest. Instructus has for many years successfully held conferences for training providers, but on this occasion, due to the prevailing policy of a demand, i.e. employer- led skills agenda the focus changed. A number of role model employers representing the spectrum of industry were preparing to demonstrate in practical terms how investment in employee skills development had been good for their award winning businesses, both large and small. This was intended to provide a tool-kit for addressing respective skills gaps. Ironically a key element of the conference was to have been the unveiling of a survey of UK CEOs attitudes to skills shortages and employee development. The results were concerning with an overarching view expressed that skills development was somebody else’s problem, (over 80%) that is in those cases where a skills issue was even recognised as significant. This surely represents a disengagement from the prevailing skills agenda that needs to be addressed and it will be interesting to see the reaction of these same companies to the forthcoming training levy, or ‘apprenticeship tax’ as some have dubbed it, which is designed to ‘drive up quality by putting employers in the driving seat’.

At the same time that this conflict was being displayed the Ofsted Chief Inspector was targeting FE colleges as failing youngsters by equipping them with dubious qualifications of little economic relevance whilst further stating that the apprenticeship system is wasting public money. This seems to miss the point that current frameworks are being designed by employers and the new Standard system is based upon having more employer demand built into it than hitherto. Government funding policy is supporting this process and in terms of economic value those Apprenticeships with higher economic value will receive more funding. Clearly this is a further evidence of a disconnect being evidenced as employers’ attitudes again seem to be polarised.

Instructus also take issue with all vocational educational providers being tarred with the same brush although we recognise deficiencies and support the need for continuous improvement in all areas. We can clearly demonstrate significant employer engagement and success as a direct result of our own interventions which through delivering skills, develop people and drive business performance improvement. We have many case study examples of this with accompanying employer testimonials which don’t sound like failure to us!

Instructus is both a UK standard setting and QA authority with a significant training provision in its armoury. It has the largest footprint of occupations and range of industries through its specialisation in generic, (i.e. pan sector) skills. We currently have over 70,000 apprenticeships in progress all of which have been developed with significant employer support and we regularly update these along with associated qualifications in accordance with best practice. There is little evidence to the contrary within this portfolio although it is clear from recent public pronouncement that a wider spirit of co-operation is required for the benefits of skills policy aspiration to be more widely implanted in the vocational value chain.

David Holland
CEO Instructus Group

Skills CFA

Instructus Skills E-Learning Portal Launched

Thursday, 11 June 2015
By: Skills CFA

From 1 May the Instructus Skills online ERR workbook was launched via the new Instructus Skills e-learning portal –

The new e-learning portal hosts resources such as PLTS mapping, standards and qualification documents. It is also the home of new online Instructus Skills Employee Rights & Responsibilities workbook, and Instructus Skills ERR Model Answerbook for Providers and Assessors.

How it works

For use of the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook both the provider and learner will need to register for the e-learning portal. We advise the provider registers and sets up their account first.

Providers can purchase access to the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook via the ‘Workbooks’ page, here you can purchase learner access to the workbook by any quantity you require, at £5 per learner or workbook.

Once the learner has been approved by the provider they may access and download resources paid for by the provider. The learner can then complete the Instructus Skills ERR workbook from their own computer. Once the learner has completed the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook they can upload this onto the ‘Upload Workbook’ page, the provider will receive a notification when this action has taken place.

The provider who receives the notification email can now review and assess learner’s Instructus Skills ERR workbook and approve or fail the Instructus Skills ERR workbook submission. The learner will receive notification of the outcome of their submission. The learner can resubmit the workbook as many times as required until they pass at no additional cost.

The ‘Student Workbooks’ page will document all learner submissions and status changes will be time stamped on the e-learning portal.

Please download the User guide

Dual Running

As of 1 May the Skills CFA ERR workbook was removed from the Skills CFA website. If you have any saved copies of the Skills CFA ERR workbook these will still be valid to use. Learners who were registered on their apprenticeship before 1 May will still be able to complete the Skills CFA ERR workbook. After 1 May the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook will be available on the new e-learning portal, learners commencing their apprenticeship on or after 1 May should complete the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook; however there will be a dual running period whereby learners commencing their apprenticeships on or after 1 May can also complete the Skills CFA workbook up until 30 June 2015.

There is no time limit for completion or cut-off date for learners signing their declaration form for those completing the Skills CFA ERR workbook.


The e-learning portal is free to register for, however the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook will be priced at £5 per learner. As the provider you may purchase as many copies as you require for your learners. When purchasing a copy it will be in the form of a credit, therefore 1 credit = £5, when a learner downloads the ERR workbook through their own login a single credit will be deducted from your account. You can therefore choose to purchase on a pay as you go basis or multi-buy. We have also developed an Instructus Skills ERR Model Answerbook to accompany the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook, this is priced at £30 and can be purchased just once.

Payment will be made through the portal by card.

If contact us about a license agreement if you have over 200 apprentice learners per annum using the ERR workbook.


The achievement of ERR component is a mandatory requirement of the Business Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management frameworks. The ERR component can be achieved in one of three ways:

  • Instructus Skills ERR workbook
  • Optional ERR unit – L/506/1905 within the Diploma qualification
  • Level 2 Award in Employee Rights & Responsibilities (QCF)

Contact us

For e-learning portal queries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Skills CFA

Korea Smiles Launch Event

Thursday, 21 May 2015
By: Skills CFA

The delivery  partners for  the  EU-KOREA SMILES Joint Mobility Programme are Westminster Kingsway College (EU Lead partner based in the UK), Skills CFA, Vantaa  Vocational  College  (Finland),  Zilina  University  (Slovakia),  and  from  Korea,  Keimyung  College University, Daegu, (Lead Korean partner) and Yeungjin College, Daegu.  

For further information about the EU KOREA SMILES Project please contact:

Skills CFA
Dan Forbes
Senior Project Manager
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Vocational College Varia
Laila Brocker
Development Manager
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Westminster Kingsway College
Kirsty McLaren,
International Partnerships Manager
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Yeungjin College
Jihoon Lee
International Affairs
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Keimyung College University
Dr Sang Seong Lee
Department of Mechanical Engineering
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University of Zilina
Professor Peter Fabian, PhD
Vice-rector International and Public Relations
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The project

The EU-Korea SMILES Joint Mobility Programme was designed by partners from the EU (UK, Finland and Slovakia) to work collaboratively with two South Korean VET college providers.  This multidiscipline project is funded by the EU and Korean government commenced, in October 2013 and will go on till September 2016. 

After the end of the project a sustainability plan will be delivered to provide  a  long-term  opportunity  for  mobilities  incorporating  recognition  of  assessments  and  future collaboration between partners. 

The language of the project will be English and focus on EQF Level 5 for the Engineering and Business Studies sectors and Fields -  04.9 Other Business Studies, Management Science: Intercultural  Working,  05.4  Vocational  and  Technical  Education,  06.1  Mechanical  Engineering,  06.5 Electronic Engineering – Telecommuniations

The project objectives include:

  • to increase the value of student and  staff transnational mobilities through the development of a curriculum structure leading to recognition of learning outcomes, assessed by partner institutions and recognised/added to individual student’s home qualifications.  This curriculum structure will be linked to the ECVET model for recognition of learning across Europe and aims to support the EU and Korean curriculum staff involved in the project to develop knowledge and understanding of this approach to maximising long-term impact from transnational mobilities. 
  • to develop knowledge, understanding and skills for intercultural mobilities to support opportunities for  global  employment.  A  module  for  Intercultural  knowledge  and  skills  will  be  designed  and delivered by partners using the UK’s Sector Skill Council, Skills CfA standards. 
  • the  delivery  of  a  customized  Korean  Language  programme  for  EU  students  and  for  Korean students, an English Language programme so as to maximize participation and outcomes during mobilities.

A total of 36 EU students over the duration of the project will have an 8-week mobility to Korea - 4 students each year from England, Finland and Slovakia (12 total per year).  The two Korean partner colleges will each have 6 student mobilities to the EU each year (12 total per year). Mobilities will include a 4-week language and cultural programme followed by a 4-week work placement each year.   

In  total 17 EU partners/faculty members  will  have  mobilities  to  South  Korea  over  the  duration of the 3-year  project.  Mobilities will provide continuous professional development opportunities in the form of curriculum mapping, industry visits, attending two customised conferences – one for the launch of the partnership project and the second for the dissemination event.  Furthermore, these mobilities will strengthen project outcomes through on-going relationship building for all partners and providing partners with hands-on experience of designing and delivering student mobilities within the ECVET framework for excellence

In addition to customised mobilities embracing the ECVET approach and principles, added value will be derived from this project through its focus on developing intercultural knowledge and skills and language development.  The intercultural knowledge will be cascaded by partners through their own institutions and networks, piloting the training modules developed as a result of the project. Once the modules have been piloted, revised and finalised, the finished training modules will be available for sharing with other institutions and stakeholders as part of the dissemination and sustainability strands of the project.  


Korea Smiles Launch Event

Consortium partners of EU-Korea SMILES launched the project at a networking event attended by key stake holders, including Dr Gulwoo Lee, Secretary General of National Research Foundation Korea and Mr Changbin Yim of Ministry of Education, at The Plaza Hotel, Seoul, Korea. The EU-Korea SMILES project launch was undertaken as part the Korea-EU VET Dialogue: Skills, Qualifications and Roles for Vocational Education Institutions event. The event which was jointly organised by British Council Korea in partnership with Keimyung College University and Yeunjin College and supported by Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) shared information on the National VET frameworks of Korea, UK, Slovakia and Finland as well as the ECVET framework which supports student mobility within Europe. The EU-Korea SMILES consortium will utilise the ECVET framework through the project and pilot use of it for mobilities outside of Europe.

The launch event marked the end of the first staff mobility for the EU-Korea SMILES project which saw a delegation from European institutions visit Keimyung University College and Yeungjin College in Korea. European delegates visited partner Keimyung University College where they received with an official welcome ceremony by President Kim, Nam-Seuk. During the visit the delegation undertook a tour of the Faculty of Engineering where they had an opportunity to meet some of the students who will take part in the projects first student mobility phase from April 2014. Later in the day they visited the traditional Korean village, Keimyung Hanhakchon, situated within the grounds of Keimyung University.

The delegation received another warm welcome the following day on their visit to Yeunjin College. European partners were greeted by Vice President Ryu, Yong-Hee and following an introduction to the college embarked on a tour of the college’s impressive campus including the Yeunjin English Village and Global Campus.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Skills CFA

Instructus Conference ‘The Changing Landscape of Work and Skills’ - Deferred

Wednesday, 13 May 2015
By: Skills CFA


Seismic events happened in the UK last week with the unforeseen result to the general election; this outcome will change many expectations including the background to, if not the context of, our conference. The suddenly changed landscape includes newbies in political leadership roles in both Business and Skills arenas thereby impacting on our key audience, and us. There are significant macro policy promises but as yet there is no tactical detail as to how apprenticeship numbers will be grown very significantly at a time when many registrations have in fact been falling and the direction of adult skills policy is also uncertain. We need a clearer agenda to emerge as we struggle to come to terms with what the next 5 years might mean. Inevitably it will take a little time for new incumbents to get to grips with their new roles and very steep learning curves. We would also expect to see at least one of these new major political players in attendance at our conference. Due to the time required to develop this new agenda I have decided to take the unusual step of deferring our event until the autumn when more clarity should be available to employers on policy direction and therefore practical steps of more relevance can be reviewed.

Ticket holders can either retain their tickets until the new date is announced or receive a full refund pending the announcement of our revised timing.

We look forward to seeing you in the autumn.

David Holland
CEO Instructus Group

Skills CFA

CBI marks 50th anniversary with Instructus Group

Friday, 27 March 2015
By: Skills CFA

I am pleased announce Instructus Groups partnership is to celebrate 50 years of the CBI and our contribution to the commemorative book CBI: 50 Years of Business Innovation. The book was launched on the 6th of March and the event was attended by more than 300 prominent industry figures, politicians and VIP guests, including former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine, and previous CBI director-generals Lord Digby Jones and Sir Richard Lambert.

To celebrate our sponsorship of this great milestone I am pleased of offer you a copy of the eBook version to download and share with your employees, apprentices and partners. The website can be accessed at, where you will also be able to download this interactive eBook and navigate through the publication.

Instructus is featured on pages 158 -160 and I really do hope you find our contribution not only interesting, but though provoking. The contribution will also form part of our annual conference on the 8th of June, where we have lined up some truly inspiration speakers. If you would like more information please download our event brochure or contact my team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Regards and happy reading.

David Holland
Chief Executive