The Chartered Institution for Further Education has admitted its first new members since before the pandemic and has proffered fellowships to several sector leaders.
Six new members – including four colleges and two independent providers – will join the institution and receive chartered status today during a ceremony at Apothecaries’ Hall in London.
Institution chair Lord Lingfield said they are “delighted to be welcoming new members… Technical and professional education is paramount to the UK and world economies, so we are exceptionally pleased to be granting chartered status to those in the sector coming forward to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in this field,” he explained.
The new member providers are Bolton College, East Coast College, Kaplan Financial, Solihull College & University Centre, South Staffordshire College and The Skills Network.
Twenty providers now make up the membership of the institution, who pay an annual subscription fee of £5,000.
Skills minister Alex Burghart will be attending the event, as will Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Garden, business leader Jacqueline Shopland-Reed and the institution’s former chief executive, Daniel Wright.
The latter three will be made honorary fellows, alongside seven new fellows, including WCG (Warwickshire College Group) chief executive Angela Joyce, Hull College interim principal and chief executive Lowell Williams, and Bedford College Group chief executive and institution council member Ian Pryce.
Burton and South Derbyshire College chair Everton Burke, London South East Colleges group chair Stephen Howlett, and consultant Allan Schofield are among the other people being made fellows.
The institution was awarded chartered status, with the help of former skills minister John Hayes, in 2013.
Chartered bodies are concerned with technical excellence in their area of focus and chartered status demonstrates that person or organisation has achieved a certain degree of technical competence.
Lingfield has previously said he wanted the institution to become the “Russell group of FE”.
To be eligible for chartered status, institutions must have a direct contract with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and submit evidence in support of the institution’s nine mandatory declarations (see below).
It had been financially supported by the Department for Education, to the tune of £1.7 million. However, this support ended in 2019, when Wright quit as chief executive.
After a period adrift, the institution undertook a strategic review led by former college principal and council member for the institution Lesley Davies so it could continue on a self-sustaining basis.
It relaunched in April 2021 with a report on the importance of future skills for the construction industry, funded by building company St Modwen Homes.
The institution has previously mooted awarding associate fellowships and at Friday’s event, it will be launching a recognition and awards programme for sector individuals who demonstrate their ongoing commitment to maintain dual professionalism,” starting in the new year.
This, the institution says, will include awarding fellowships and licences.
CIFE’s nine mandatory declarations
- “My organisation is regarded by its peer
organisations as a role model in the way
it delivers quality teaching and learning
and good outcomes for learners.”
- “The learners in my organisation
believe the management listens to
and is responsive to their needs and
are satisfied or highly satisfied with
the degree of engagement by the
management of the organisation, the
relevance and quality of the service they
receive, and the support they offer to
learners in their career paths beyond
- “My organisation has worked with
other organisations in the sector for the
collective benefit of the sector”
- “My organisation has a public and
published commitment to continuous
- “My organisation can demonstrate
an exemplary record of corporate
- “My organisation can demonstrate
satisfactory financial health and is well
placed to respond to future challenges.”
- “My organisation can show a track
record of community-oriented
engagement in the FE sector which
goes wider than just the simple
satisfaction, by delivery through
a commercial transaction, of
contractually-stipulated training needs”
- “Employers who employ learners from
my organisation see us as a model
training provider and an exemplar for
others in the area.“
- “My organisation has a reputation
within the further education sector for
honesty, openness and transparency”