‘Professional status’ scheme for apprenticeships launched 

Apprentices will be awarded post nominal designations through the scheme

Apprentices will be awarded post nominal designations through the scheme

23 Nov 2023, 17:10

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Apprentices that successfully complete their training could soon apply for letters after their name – similar to degree graduates – in a new drive for “professional recognition” led by two sector organisations.

The Association of Apprentices (AoA) and the Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE) are working on a new scheme which they say will “elevate the societal and industrial cachet” of apprenticeships and help to increase retention and achievements

The post-apprenticeship recognition scheme (PARS) was unveiled this afternoon at a reception in the House of Lords. 

Under the plans, individuals who fully complete an apprenticeship at level 3 and above would be eligible to apply for “professional status” and post-nominal designations through the scheme. Details of what the post-nominals will be are to be published “in due course,” CIFE told FE Week.

L R Jason Hold Lord Lingfield

The scheme will be piloted with the view to launch nationally next year. 

Emily Austin, chief executive of the Association of Apprentices, said the partnership with CIFE will “make a significant difference to thousands of apprentices as they achieve a level of recognition that will support their progression in work and life”.

Lord Lingfield, chairman of CIFE, said the scheme will “recognise the unique educational route that apprenticeship completion represents, resulting in individuals who are assets to organisations and who possess the necessary resilience, tenacity, organisational skills and adaptability successfully to manage integrated employment and study”.

“Through this collaboration, we intend to elevate the societal and industrial cachet of both the recipient and the apprenticeship route, and, in so doing, support national efforts to increase retention, full completion and overall achievement,” he added.

Typically, only degree graduates, professional body members and those with honours are awarded the right to use post-nominal designations. 

CIFE said both organisations have had “positive and encouraging” discussions with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and the Department for Education. 

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

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