Apprenticeship framework certification boss steps down with immediate effect

The managing director of the Federation of Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS) has stepped down with immediate effect, FE Week can reveal.

Mark Froud has left the federation, which represents the 21 sector skills councils across England, after six years at the helm.

In an email seen by FE Week, the FISSS independent chair Dame Julie Mellor said: “Mark Froud will be leaving the Federation at the end of March 2019 and will be on leave until then. 

“The chair and board wish him well in his next endeavour and thank him for his time and undertakings on behalf of the business across the last six years.”

FE Week asked FISSS why Froud was leaving immediately, but it would not provide any further comment.

Mellor added that the board has already started looking for his replacement.

Sector skills councils are employer-led organisations who work with over 550,000 employers to define skills needs and skills standards in their industry, according to FISSS’ website.

FISSS verifies whether apprenticeships have been completed successfully before handing out certificates, but lost responsibility for issuing certificates for completed apprenticeship standards in 2017.

This was due to the Deregulation Act of 2015, which introduced apprenticeship standards and made the business secretary responsible for issuing certificates, a responsibility which could be delegated.

For apprentices on frameworks, providers still need to apply to FISSS for certificates, although the last of these are expected to be handed out in 2021/22.

Froud was previously chief executive of Sussex Enterprise and Lancashire Enterprise, as well as principal policy consultant for the Policy Research Institute.