February 2014


Skills CFA project bids – have your say

We are currently preparing to submit bids to UKCES to develop and update a range of qualifications and apprenticeship frameworks in Scotland and Wales in 2014/15.

Please provide your feedback by completing our online consultation.


New qualification suites – have your say

Skills CFA and 22 Awarding Organisations have recently developed new suites of qualifications for:

  • Business and Administration (Levels 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Customer Service (Levels 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Management and Leadership (Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, 7).

These qualifications will replace existing qualifications in September 2014, and have been developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders. They will be used as stand-alone qualifications as well as to underpin apprenticeships.

We are currently seeking stakeholder views on the structure of each new qualification.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to provide your feedback! Complete our online consultation now.


HR Management Technical Apprenticeship – support the framework

Skills CFA and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are seeking further employer support for the development and delivery of the SCQF Level 9 Human Resource Management Technical Apprenticeship in Scotland. 

If you feel that a Human Resource Management Technical Apprenticeship would be beneficial for organisations in Scotland, please respond to our online consultation. It won’t take more than a minute to complete (we promise!).


Changes to the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards England (SASE)

As many of you will be aware, the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards England (SASE) was revised in March 2013 and introduced changes to Higher Apprenticeship frameworks in England. These changes must be implemented by April 2014.

Skills CFA higher apprenticeship frameworks have been updated in the following ways:

  • Qualifications have been amended to meet new minimum credit values of 90 credits for level four and level five apprenticeships, and 120 credits for level six and seven apprenticeships are met
  • ERR has been retained, as feedback from consultations highlighted it as a productive and beneficial apprenticeship component, despite it no longer being a mandatory component of higher apprenticeship frameworks
  • PLTS is also no longer a mandatory framework component but, where PLTS are embedded within apprenticeship qualifications, information relating to PLTS has been retained to ensure that learners are aware of the skills development taking place
  • functional skills are no longer a mandatory component of higher apprenticeship frameworks, but have instead been listed as a recommended entry requirement
  • GLH has been removed as a mandatory framework component.

The following higher apprenticeship frameworks have been recently updated and re-issued in line with the SASE:

  • Higher Apprenticeship in Business & Professional Administration (Level 4)
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Contact Centre Operations Management (Level 4)
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management (Levels 5 and 7)
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Business, Innovation and Growth (Level 5).

The following intermediate and advanced apprenticeship frameworks have also been recently updated and re-issued:

  • Business & Administration (Levels 2 and 3 – England)
  • Management (Levels 2 and 3 – England)
  • Contact Centre Operations (Levels 2 and 3 – England)

The following intermediate and advanced apprenticeship frameworks have also been recently updated and re-issued in line with the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW):

  • Business & Administration (Levels 2, 3 and 4)
  • Management (Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  • Human Resource Management (Levels 5 and 7).

All apprenticeship frameworks are available on Apprenticeship Frameworks Online.


Changes to Welsh Higher Apprenticeship frameworks

The recently updated NVQS for Management & Leadership and Business & Administration have now been included in the associated Welsh Higher Apprenticeship frameworks to ensure consistency across the nations.


Provider Finder – Be noticed in our Provider Finder Directory

Keen to be seen by employers and learners? Our new Provider Finder allows training providers to put themselves on the map and be listed on our searchable provider directory. The directory will help employers and learners find business apprenticeship providers across the UK.

We are offering a free trial for centres wishing to register on our new directory.  Register now and your centre will be listed on the directory at no cost until 10 May 2014.

To register please visit our website: http://www.skillscfa.org/training-providers-form

For further information please call 020 7091 9620 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


National Apprenticeship Week 2014 - it’s time to celebrate!

National Apprenticeship Week 2014 is just around the corner, and there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate. The week-long event, now in its seventh year, is beginning on 3 March 2014 and focuses on acknowledging great achievements and rewarding apprenticeship success.

The overarching theme of this year’s event is Great Apprenticeships – Great Business are made by apprentices and Apprenticeships lead to Great Prospects.

There are many events scheduled to take place up and down the country, and you can find out if any events are taking place in your area by using the NAS Events Map.

We hope you all have a wonderful Apprenticeship Week!


Translation of NOS into Welsh

We are currently considering whether National Occupational Standards (NOS) should be translated into the Welsh language. Pan-sector NOS are developed in English, but may be translated into Welsh should there be sufficient demand.

To provide your views and opinions on this proposition, please complete our consultation.


Review of Apprenticeships is Northern Ireland – have your say

The Department for Employment and Learning is consulting on the findings of a review which aims to shape the future of apprenticeships in Northern Ireland.

This review seeks to ensure that apprenticeships in Northern Ireland play a major role, supplying the skills to reflect the changing needs of the economy and offer a highly regarded educational pathway.

The deadline for responses is Monday 7 April 2014. Click here for more information.


Updated Employee Rights and Responsibilities workbook

The Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) workbook has been refreshed and is now available on our website. We hope this will improve the learner experience when undertaking the ERR component of their apprenticeship.

You can download the new workbook here: http://www.skillscfa.org/images/pdfs/apprenticeships/resources/ERR-Workbook.pdf.


Skills CFA trip to South Korea

Standards and Qualifications Manager, Anthea Hollist, has recently returned from a trip to South Korea where plans to begin an international student exchange programme were agreed as part of the Korea Smiles programme.

Led by partner organisations Westminster Kingsway College, Yeungjin College, Keimyung College University, Vantaa Vocational College, University of Zilina, the programme will provide learners from Korea, Finland, Slovakia and the UK with knowledge and experience of intercultural working.


Meet us at the FISSS ACE User Events

Training Providers will be given the opportunity to ensure that they are up to date with the latest certification process and quality assurance requirements at a series of Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) User Events, at which several of our Certification and Registration team members will be attending. The events, which are being run by the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS), gather ACE Users and Certificating Bodies, and allow for the sharing of knowledge and guidance.

The events consist of workshops and networking opportunities and allow ACE Users to initiate discussions and direct queries to representatives from Certificating Bodies. The first of three scheduled events took place on 20 February 2014, and the remaining events are scheduled to take place on the following dates in the following locations:

  • 4 March 2014 – Birmingham Edgbaston Stadium
  • 20 March 2014 – London Emirates Stadium.

Due to anticipated demand FISSS have limited attendance to two delegate places per organisation and it is recommended that those who wish to attend book their spot as soon as possible. Those who wish to register to attend the ACE User events are asked to complete the online booking form. For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If you would like to make sure you have a chance to discuss any issues with the Skills CFA team, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Version 3: Apprentice Declaration & Authorisation Form

A new universal Apprentice Declaration & Authorisation Form (version 3) has been designed by the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS) for use by all providers when requesting apprenticeship certificates on Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE).

All providers are encouraged to start using the version 3 form from now on, and it is mandatory from 1 March 2014. Please note that the date of signing must be on or after the date of satisfactory completion of all components of the apprenticeship framework for which the apprenticeship completion certificate is being claimed.

Earlier versions of the Declaration Form will be accepted for claims submitted post 1 March 2014, where the date of signing the form is prior to 1 March 2014.

If a learner is signing a Declaration & Authorisation form on or after 1 March 2014, a version 3 form must be completed. If a different form has been signed, the certification claim will be rejected.

Please click here for the Declaration & Authorisation form and here for the guidance notes.


Changes to ERR, PLTS & RPL evidence requirements on ACE

Due to recent changes to the Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) system, it is no longer necessary to upload evidence of Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) achievement to the evidence tab on ACE. Instead, users are now required to simply tick an ERR and PLTS (where required) declaration on the framework tab to confirm that the requirements have been achieved by the apprentice and that robust evidence of this has been retained in the learner’s records.

This new requirement applies irrespective of which Apprentice Declaration Form is being used. The ERR and PLTS declarations are mandatory and need to be completed before a claim can be submitted on ACE.

Where Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is used as part of an apprenticeship claim, there is a new RPL declaration on ACE that needs to be read and confirmed by the person submitting the claim. All evidence of RPL (and confirmation of its approval/appropriateness for use) needs to be retained by the provider.


Changes to Completion Date field on ACE

The completion date field on Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) has been replaced by a tab called submission date. This is a non-editable field and is auto-populated by ACE when an apprentice’s status is changed from entered to pending certification. This field records the date when an ACE claim is first submitted for each apprentice.



SFEDI is running an exciting new Apprenticemakers initiative, which fundamentally aims to bring together employers and encourage the sharing of apprenticeship experiences and knowledge. The peer to peer mentoring project is funded by the National Apprenticeship Service and largely focuses on increasing the awareness of, and utilisation of, apprenticeship programmes amongst SMEs. The Apprenticemaker community is for those who are already involved in apprenticeships and with those who are interested in recruiting and supporting apprentices.

To find out how you can benefit from the Apprenticemakers project please visit the dedicated website: http://apprenticemakers.org.uk/



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