August 2013


Skills CFA Conference: Making change work for business apprenticeships

Save the date: 28 November 2013
Venue: Birmingham, Hilton Birmingham Metropole

The apprenticeships arena is changing. With the ‘year of the review’ over, employers are being put in the driving seat of apprenticeships. But what will this mean for training providers delivering business apprenticeships?

The conference will support training providers and colleges in adapting to key government reforms in apprenticeships as the ‘year of implementation’ begins.

As the leading body for business apprenticeships in the UK, we work with a large number of employers to develop apprenticeships, and are well placed to direct discussions.

Join us to hear from experienced speakers from the political, vocational education and business sectors. You can also take part in exclusive workshops to get practical tools and advice on how to make change work for your organisation.

You can have the opportunity to network with providers, assessors, internal verifiers, awarding organisation representatives and decision makers over refreshments and lunch.

Book with early bird discount


Apprenticeship Certification Wales system now live

Welsh providers can now claim certificates using a new and improved online system that completely revises how Welsh apprenticeships are certificated.

If you want to request a Welsh apprenticeship certificate, you must register on ACW. After 2 September 2013, using ACW will be the only way to claim Welsh Apprenticeship certificates.

Please register your centre, and select Skills CFA from the drop down in the Related Body section.

Once you have done this, we will contact you to find out what apprenticeship frameworks you deliver. You will then be invited to apply for your certificates on ACW.

This service is operated by us, on behalf of the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS), for the following apprenticeships:

  • Business and Administration
  • Contact Centre Operations
  • Customer Service
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Public Relations
  • Recruitment
  • Sales and Telesales
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing
  • Team Leading and Management

Changes to Welsh Apprenticeships

In light of changes to Welsh apprenticeship certification, you must use this new Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) form when using our ERR workbook. After 2 September, this is the only form we will accept.

ERR Universal Achievement Declaration Form

The ERR workbook is currently used to meet the ERR requirements for the following apprenticeships:

  • Business and Administration (Legal and Medical Pathways only)
  • Customer Service
  • Recruitment
  • Social Media
  • Digital Marketing
  • Team Leading and Management.

New Certificate Claim Form

If you are claiming certificates on ACW, it must be accompanied by the ACW Universal Certificate Claim Form.

ACW Universal Certificate Claim Form

You must upload the form as part of your request. Unfortunately, if this isn't uploaded, we will be unable to authorise the apprenticeship certificate.

If you have any queries, please call us on 020 7091 9620.


Government calls for tech level or applied qualifications in England

The Government has announced plans to change qualification requirements which will lead to their re-categorisation as either technical level, or applied general qualifications from 2016.
Qualifications that will be taught from September 2014, but do not meet these categories, will be redeveloped by September 2015.

What are the requirements?

Technical level qualifications
These are vocational qualifications which lead to recognised occupations. They are equivalent to A-Levels and are intended for 16-19 year olds.
Technical level qualifications will be required to be endorsed by professional bodies or employers.
When they are fully reformed, technical level qualifications will need external assessment, grading processes and good-take-up. They will also need evidence of getting students into work or university and involve local employers.
Technical level qualifications that meet these requirements will count towards the new technical baccalaureate measure which is being introduced at the same time.

Applied general qualifications
These are vocational qualifications which are not directly linked to an occupation but provide broader study of a vocational area. They will need to be endorsed by universities, and be at least the size of an AS level.

Learn more


Funding cuts for ‘low value’ qualifications

Funding is being cut for qualifications the Government thinks are unresponsive to learner and employer needs.

Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Skills Funding Agency, identified more than 1,800 courses that have little or no demand from students, and will no longer be publicly funded.

Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, will be setting out a plan to review qualifications on an annual basis to ensure that only rigorous and valuable vocational qualifications are funded.

The plan will include a new set of approval rules which qualifications have to meet to get government funding. These rules will look for a minimum cohort size, a clear rationale, appropriate content and a clear need from employers for the qualification.

However, qualifications that are unlikely to attract large numbers of candidates, but do provide high value to companies and individuals in specialised areas will not lose funding.

Learn more


New Customer Service Modern Apprenticeships

If you deliver Customer Service Modern Apprenticeships, you can now register your centre, or be automatically transferred, to offer the new frameworks to learners. The revised Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships for Scotland were approved on 20 June.

What will this mean for you?

  • The frameworks now cover Customer Service and Contact Centre Operations, which appear as a separate pathway with different requirements.
  • They include higher level Core Skills.
  • SQCF Level 4 Core Skills are included in the Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship.
  • SQCF Level 5 Core Skills are included in the Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship.
  • Registration and certification requests should now be sent to us via MA Online.

Please note that learners who registered before 20 June should continue to work towards the previous Customer Service Modern Apprenticeship requirements.
Any centres that were registered to deliver the Customer Service framework with us before 20 June will be transferred automatically.

Register your centre on MA online

Modern Apprenticeship Training Agreement

As part of the Modern Apprenticeship certification process for Scottish apprentices, you must complete and upload the Modern Apprenticeship Training Agreement.

The agreement outlines the responsibilities of the apprentice, the employer and the provider. It can be found in the Modern Apprenticeship frameworks, or downloaded below.

Modern Apprenticeship Training Agreement

Please remember it is not necessary to upload the SDS Training Agreement as part of the certification process.


Have your say on the Digital Marketing Higher Apprenticeship

As a provider, or employer, your thoughts on Higher Apprenticeships and their content are very important.
IT and business process services provider, Agilisys Arch, are developing a Higher Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing in England.

Take part in the survey



We are delighted to announce that the HR Management Higher Apprenticeship, developed in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), is now available for delivery in Wales.

The HR Management Higher Apprenticeship enables apprentices to develop knowledge and skills in HR management, while being employed and earning a salary. Employers have the opportunity to expand their HR function and better support their most valuable asset: their people.

HR management is considered one of the most critical occupational roles in all businesses in the UK. The Higher Apprenticeship in HR Management enables you to increase your capability in HR, get access to a wider pool of talent, and help you invest in your best asset: your people.

The Higher Apprenticeship in HR Management is underpinned by a Level 5 qualification, which is equivalent to the second year of a university degree. This apprenticeship programme takes between one and two years to complete with apprentices dividing their time between: undertaking their role, being taught 'on-the-job' (e.g. being trained by a manager), and being taught 'off-the-job' (e.g. attending a college).

Find out more about the HR Higher Apprenticeship



We are delighted to announce that the Public Relations (PR) Higher Apprenticeship, developed in partnership with the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) is now available for delivery in Wales.

The apprenticeship provides PR agencies and in-house PR teams of all sizes operating within any sector in Wales with a high-quality, nationally-recognised PR programme.  This will attract new talent into PR and up-skill the existing workforce to make businesses more productive, effective, and profitable.

The PR Higher Apprenticeship provides a foundation in PR for new entrants and existing workers in the  profession. Successful apprentices will be able to advance to further education should they wish to do so, as well as progress towards membership of a PR professional body.

This higher apprenticeship is underpinned by a Level 4 qualification, which is equivalent to the first year of a university degree. It takes between 12 and 18 months to complete with apprentices dividing their time between: undertaking their role, being taught 'on-the-job' (e.g. being trained by a manager), and being taught 'off-the-job' (e.g. attending a college).

Find out more about the PR Higher Apprenticeship


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