IfATE promises review of occupational standards

Standards set for review include those where updates are "needed" to support emerging skills

Standards set for review include those where updates are "needed" to support emerging skills

16 Jun 2023, 11:00

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The government’s apprenticeship and technical education quango has committed to reviewing “high priority” occupational standards this year.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) this week published plans to simplify the skills system, in the form of its “A Simpler Skills System” report.

While the proposals were light on tangible new actions to simplify the system, the highlight was the launch of a new occupational maps “service”, which aims to make it easier for people to check out options to “train for a job then progress to senior skills levels on tablets and mobile phones”.

Alongside this, the institute said it would use “big data to rapidly identify where change is needed to support the economy, streamline the way we work with employers to develop occupational standards, and prioritise reviews of those standards where change is most needed”.

An occupational standard is a description of an occupation. It contains an occupational profile, and describes the “knowledge, skills and behaviours” needed for someone to be competent in the occupation’s duties. They are used to design apprenticeships, T Levels and, increasingly, new technical qualifications.

IfATE’s report pledged to review standards in occupations “identified as high priority where updates are needed to support emerging skills, so that more people secure the skills they need to be successful in a future economy” this year.

Chief executive Jennifer Coupland said the institute was working through exactly how many standards to review with the Department for Education.

She told FE Week: “We have a matching tool which takes into consideration all sorts of criteria such as regulatory changes, and whether there have been any technological changes. And the combination of those features pushes the standards to the top of the list for review.”

Read the IfATE’s simpler skills system report in full here.

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