Post-Apprenticeship Recognition Scheme (PARS)
PARS is brought to you by AoA and CIFE. It recognises the unique educational route offered by apprenticeships and the core skills and attributes they promote.
Successful applicants will gain an award that reflects the skills, knowledge and behaviours that make apprentices such an asset to their organisations. For the first time, completed apprentices will be able to gain post-nominal letters to use after their name, so raising the societal and industrial cachet of apprenticeships.
The scheme was announced at the House of Lords in November 2023 and a group of 16 trail-blazing past apprentices took part in a pilot, concluding at an event at Mansion House in London on 7 February 2024. This pilot group are the first in the UK to receive the PARS awards and the associated post-nominals.
After a period of further development, PARS will be open for applications this summer.
- be UK-based qualified apprentices who have started and completed their apprenticeship within the last 5 years (since 2019)
- have passed their EPA
- have the support of their employer or an industry-linked sponsor
- be registered with the Association of Apprentices
The straightforward application process will seek evidence of the applicant’s organisational and societal contributions resulting from their successful apprenticeship completion and the associated impact. Evidence will be considered across a range of areas such as personal reflection and development, communication, adaptability and teamwork.
The Importance of Professional Recognition
Research conducted with apprentices and employers suggested strong support for a professional recognition scheme. Award of post nominal designations may elevate the cachet of both the recipient and the apprenticeship route and maintains a continual link to the apprenticeship. Apprentices and employers alike believe that a scheme will:
- support increased retention, normalise full completion and help to improve achievement rates
- contribute to raising parity of esteem
- build awareness of the skills, behaviours and impact that qualified apprentices offer to businesses
What this scheme is, and what it is not
- a one-off recognition of an apprentice’s achievement at a specific point in time
- recognition of the unique mode of learning and working that is an apprenticeship
- recognition for a qualified apprentice, their summative achievement and the impact that they have made as a result on their organisation and/or community.
- complementary to industry specific or occupational professional recognition
PARS is not:
- an accreditation with membership of a professional body
- an accreditation ladder where one level leads to another
- a qualification in its own right
- an assessment of competence
- a further validation of technical or occupational competency,
Our Next Steps
We will place apprentices front and centre of the scheme’s development spending the next few months establishing criteria and working directly with a pilot group of apprentices to design, shape and test the application process to ensure it is simple, straight forward and accessible.
The full scheme will be launched in summer 2024.