First apprentices awarded ‘professional status’ post-nominals

Sixteen former apprentices first to be awarded professional status through new recognition scheme

Sixteen former apprentices first to be awarded professional status through new recognition scheme

Sixteen apprentices are among the first to receive post-nominals through a new “game-changing” professional recognition scheme.

The Association of Apprentices (AoA) and the Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE) launched the post-apprenticeship recognition scheme (PARS) in November to “elevate the societal and industrial cachet” of apprenticeships and help to increase retention and achievements.

Successful apprentices are awarded a “professional status” and post-nominal designations through the scheme depending on their apprenticeship level.

Post-nominal designations are typically awarded for graduate-level qualifications, honours or professional body memberships, but have today been awarded to apprentices for the first time. 

Jason Holt, co-founder and vice-chair of AoA, said at the scheme’s launch last year it “will be game-changing for apprenticeships, elevating the recognition and value of vocational education and raising parity of esteem with other learning routes”.

CIFE and AoA have run a pilot of the scheme and said all 16 applicants were successful. The 16 apprentices range from level 2 to level 7, are the first in the country to be awarded the new professional status. 

The apprentices were announced this afternoon at a joint AoA and UCAS event at Mansion House in London during National Apprenticeship Week (full list below).

Speaking at the event, Dawn Ward, vice chair of CIFE and chief executive of Burton and South Derbyshire College, said: “I want to pay special thanks to a group of 16 amazing former apprentices who have taken part in the PARS pilot programme. I’m excited to announce that as of today, they are able to use their post-nominals.

“They are the trailblazers – first in the country – for many more qualified apprentices to follow this route. Congratulations.”

Apprentices recognised through the scheme can use post-nominals that correspond to the level of their apprenticeship:

  • CSA (Certificate of Standard Apprenticeship) – level 2
  • CAA (Certificate of Advanced Apprenticeship) – level 3
  • CHA (Certificate of Higher Apprenticeship) – level 4/5
  • CGA (Certificate of Graduate Apprenticeship) – level 6+

Employers signed up to the scheme to date include the BBC, Royal Mail, Amazon and training providers Umbrella Training and Lifetime Training.

The AoA and CIFE are now evaluating the PARS pilot and said the programme will be open for applications in “early summer”. There will be a fee to apply.

To be eligible, apprentices need to have passed their end-point assessment and have their application supported by their employer or an industry sponsor. 

Applicants also need to provide examples of how their apprenticeship has “helped them to make a positive impact”.

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