Legal seal of approval granted for FE chartered status body

Chartered status for colleges and training providers in the FE sector has moved an important step closer after the body set up to launch the quality mark was given legal approval.

The Queen approved the grant of a Royal Charter to the Institution for Further Education (IfE) in June, as reported in FE Week.

The body announced today that it has now been given the Great Seal of the Realm.

A spokesperson said that this meant it had been granted legal status and would now be known as the Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIfE).

Lord Lingfield, chair of the new CIfE, said the development was “a significant milestone” in the chartered status project for FE.

He added: “I am grateful to everyone in government and in the sector who have helped us to get this far.

“We shall now be moving to fill in the remaining details of the Institution’s internal governance framework and to set up the new chartered organisation to accept qualifying colleges and training providers into membership.”

Plans were originally drawn up, by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, for the Royal seal of approval to be granted to high-achieving FE institutions in July 2012.

It was almost another year before the appointment of Tory peer Lord Lingfield (pictured main, above) as chair of the IfE.

In March 2014, he told FE Week that he expected “negotiations to be completed within months” that would allow for the quality mark to be launched.

But an FE Week survey on the mark, carried out in May last year, unveiled concern that it could simply “sink without trace, before further worries earlier this year that it had “stalled” after no sign of movement.

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  1. LRoding

    A complete and utter waste of time and money. What do we need when the FE sector is teetering on the edge of a precipice? Of course, a charted status body and another kite mark. You really couldn’t make this nonsense up.

  2. FE Lecturer

    The Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIfE) is clearly the solution to all our problems. A faultless quality manual with outstanding procedures must determine suitability to gain this status. Minor issues like serious financial problems, low staff morale, massively increased staff stress and shortages of key staff should not prevent chartered membership providing all the paperwork is in place. It is of course this paperwork that governs the success of an FE college or training provider.
    If a college achieves chartered status it must be a centre of excellence because the quality mark says so. Once every college has chartered status all previous FE issues encountered will simply melt away and the whole British FE sector will have achieved an excellence that will be the envy of the world.
    This is a great plan. What could possibly go wrong?

  3. So we have had ISO, Chartermark (know renamed), Skills for Business, TQS (sunk without trace), PICKUP (are you old enough to remember this one) and dozens of other solutions to various aspects of FE quality. Plus we have professional body status for many practitioners … oh and teaching and training qualifications that have come and gone.

    So clearly this must be totally different and the answer to all the skills shortages the nation is suffering from. And of course it will be focused on the needs of our CUSTOMERS (what is a learner anyway), if so why is the customer not mentioned in the title of this wonderful new body. It might of course because it is NOT focusing on the customer at all but is introspective and only thinking about itself.

    Any bets on its longevity?