A new code of governance will be unveiled today at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ annual conference.

The code, which is still in draft and out for consultation, sets out the principles the AELP believes any independent learning provider should adopt in order to conduct its business in the best interest of its trainees, employers, key stakeholders and funders.

It has been developed by Dr Sue Pember (pictured), director of policy at HoLEX, and former Ofsted inspector Karen Adriaanse, in partnership with AELP, which is encouraging all its members to adopt the code.

“The governance of many independent training providers has much to commend and it is been a major factor in their growth,” said Mark Dawe, AELP’s boss.

“However the sector recognises that there is always room for improvement and this is why it has come together to produce this code.”

With independent providers delivering government-funded training worth £1.8 billion every year, good governance “helps ensure that funds are well spent, are focused on government priorities and are delivering high-quality teaching and learning for the benefit of employers and learners”.

“Adoption of the code should not limit innovation in guidance or stifle the dynamic nature of ITPs for which they are renowned,” he continued.

Dr Pember, who is also an FE Week contributor on governance, will present on the code during her speech at today’s conference.

“Effective governance is a major contributor to the success of a business and the sector’s reputation as a whole,” she said.

By adopting the code, providers are “signalling a willingness to enter into a new era of governance with an energy and commitment to ensure the very highest standards for their stakeholders”.

The code is based on the seven Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.

These principles provide an ethical framework for the personal behaviour of a provider’s board members and leadership.

It incorporates a number of expectations of good governance, including putting the trainee, apprentice and employer first, and providing strong strategic leadership and challenge to the senior team.

The code is designed to apply to all independent training providers which deliver publicly funded skills programmes on behalf of the government.

Its development was supported by the Further Education Trust for Leadership.

Dame Ruth Silver, FETL’s founding president, said the new code “should have a direct impact on the quality of skills training because it can make a real difference for providers of all sizes”.

The code touches on the following principles:

  • Putting the trainee, apprentice and employer first
  • Promoting high expectations and ambitions for trainees, apprentice and staff
  • Listening to trainees, apprentice employers and staff
  • Promoting inspirational training, teaching and learning and assessment
  • Creating a safe environment for trainees and apprentices to train, learn and develop
  • Providing strong strategic leadership and challenge to the senior team
  • Demonstrating accountability to all stakeholders, including publishing accurate and timely information on performance
  • Ensuring the achievement of equality of opportunity and diversity throughout the organisation

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  1. Paul Brinklow

    As usual there is very little about how the stated objectives are to be achieved, planned for, or managed.

    There was no mention of the need for a Quality Assurance structure (as it is public money being spent ISO 9001 should be implemented); no procedures for the activities of course design, development, delivery and validation; no mention of the provision and management of the resources needed to support these activities.

    Without the above there would be insufficient management, resource support or quality improvements.