The Association of Apprentices and The Chartered Institution for Further Education Announce Groundbreaking Collaboration to Unveil Post-Apprenticeship Recognition Scheme (PARS)

The Association of Apprentices (AoA) and the Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE) are pleased to announce their collaboration, launched at a prestigious event at the House of Lords on Thursday, November 23rd, 2023.

The purpose of this partnership is to introduce a professional recognition scheme for apprentices who complete their programme recognising the unique educational route offered by apprenticeships and the core skills and attributes they promote.

The scheme will:

  • support increased retention and engagement for apprentices and improve achievement rates
  • support the employability of apprentices
  • contribute to raising parity of esteem
  • build awareness of the skills, behaviours and impact that apprentices offer to businesses

The scheme will be complementary to industry specific or occupational professional recognition.

This groundbreaking collaboration represents a significant step forward in recognising and promoting the value of apprenticeships in the workforce. By highlighting the skills and behaviours that apprentices hold, the PARS will play a pivotal role in reshaping the perception of apprenticeships and enhancing their overall impact. Apprentices see a range of benefits. When asked, 85% believe it would show competence and 71% believe it would be a mark of quality.

The scheme will be piloted before a wider launch next year. Apprentices will be front and centre of the scheme’s development with the pilot group ensuring the process is simple, straightforward, and accessible for future cohorts.

Emily Austin, CEO of AoA said: ‘AoA’s mission is to help apprentices to achieve the best outcomes in their apprenticeship and beyond. Our partnership with CIFE enables us to make a significant difference to thousands of apprentices as they achieve a level of recognition that will support their progression in work and in life’.

Lord Lingfield Kt DL, Chairman of the CIFE said: “I am delighted to announce the collaboration between the Chartered Institution for Further Education and the Association of Apprentices to create a professional recognition scheme for qualified apprentices.

Professional recognition, through award of post nominal designations, will support those who have completed apprenticeships to highlight their employability, transferable skills, and commitment to continued professional development. In particular, the scheme will recognise the unique educational route that apprenticeship completion represents, resulting in individuals who are assets to organisations and who possess the necessary resilience, tenacity, organisational skills, and adaptability successfully to manage integrated employment and study.

Through this collaboration we intend to elevate the societal and industrial cachet of both the recipient and the apprenticeship route, and, in so doing, support national efforts to increase retention, full completion and overall achievement. “

Jason Holt CBE, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair AoA said: ‘Our collaboration with CIFE will be game-changing for apprenticeships, elevating the recognition and value of vocational education and raising parity of esteem with other learning routes. It’s truly exciting to be part of it.’

For further information, please visit the Association of Apprentices website or CIFE website. Or contact the following:

About the Association of Apprentices

At the Association of Apprentices (AoA), we are committed to empowering and supporting the UK’s immensely talented community of almost one million apprentices. We are a social enterprise dedicated to apprentices, whilst being driven by their voices and led by their experiences.

With the support of our Founding Partners, AoA goes beyond the traditional boundaries of apprenticeship programmes, enhancing the apprentice experience by providing a comprehensive platform that combines the social and professional elements often missing from apprenticeships. We offer a wealth of resources, advice, and guidance to foster lifelong career development, while also cultivating a lifetime of professional networks.

About the Chartered Institution for Further Education

The Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE) is the only Royal Chartered body for technical and professional further education. The CIFE was established to highlight and promote the excellence of further education and skills training providers and celebrate individual contribution to the advancement of vocational, technical and professional education in England.

Membership is corporate and encompasses organisations across the whole Further Education sector including colleges, higher education institutions (HEIs) and independent training providers (ITPs). Members have strong track records and a commitment to high standards in the delivery of skills needed in modern Britain, a firm ethos of collaboration for the benefit of their key stakeholders and excellence in leadership and governance.

The CIFE works alongside industry to influence and shape the national skills system in order to ensure that technical and professional education is understood as a critical driver of economic development and growth within local communities and the country at large. This work enables the CIFE increasingly to engage at the highest levels of government and to collaborate and share best practise.

Jan Richardson-Wilde

CEO, Occupational Awards Limited

Jan is the CEO of Occupational Awards Limited, a Director of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and an FE College Governor. She has over 35 years’ experience in the education sector in strategic and operational management of training programmes with colleges, private training providers, local authorities the voluntary sector and not for profit organisations. Jan has previously been a board member of the Learning and Skills Council, chair of the North Yorkshire Training Provider network and Vice-Chair of Yorkshire Coast College and a Governor of the Grimsby Institute for Further and Higher Education. She has extensive experience of education policy, apprenticeships, qualification, and curriculum development as well as business improvement.

Jan joined OAL in 2019, a leading non-profit industry-focused Awarding and End-Point Assessment Organisation, supporting a wide range of employers and of key stakeholders to succeed and surpass expectations. Jan is committed to continuous improvement and enthusiastic about improving the effectiveness, impact and quality of apprenticeships, education, and training in the UK and internationally. She has a wide range of experience of working in a collaborative context with employers and training providers to develop End Point Assessment, apprenticeships, and a wide range of vocational programmes.

We use cookies on our website. You are free to manage this via your browser setting at any time.