Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Press release – 04 January 2017


The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), representing providers who deliver over three-quarters of England’s apprenticeships, has given its initial response to the government’s consultation on the draft strategic guidance to the new Institute of Apprenticeships.

The draft guidance, published today by the DfE, sets out the IFA’s role as follows:

1. setting quality criteria for the development of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans
2. reviewing, approving or rejecting these
3. ensuring all end-point assessments are quality assured, including quality assuring some itself
4. advising on the maximum level of government funding available for standards.


Commenting on the proposals, AELP CEO Mark Dawe said:

‘The consultation offers some welcome clarity and an ambitious remit for the IFA, so the government must ensure that the Institute has the expertise to deliver on the proposed core functions. We also pleased to see the recognition that apprenticeships will be a major component of the Industrial Strategy.

‘However, big questions remain on standards and assessment which is why AELP is calling for a complete pause on the whole process. In our view, there would be less cause for confusion if Ofqual was given the overarching role on assessment on behalf of the IFA.

‘Nor is it clear about ensuring that only quality training providers are delivering the programme with the IFA and the SFA both having roles in respect of the new register and who is on it. Too many organisations now have the role of quality judge – it’s Ofsted which has the expertise and experience to be the principal arbitrator of whether a provider deserves a delivery contract and we don’t want to see other organisations getting involved in making random judgements on individual providers.

‘We are delighted that the government has in its sights some sector bodies asking organisations to pay to be on the bodies’ own ‘approved lists’ of apprenticeship assessment organisations. We’ve had numerous complaints from AELP members about being required to make multiple payments and as the government says, no added value is generated. Therefore the practice should cease immediately before the Institute feels the need to take action.’


AELP will be making a formal response to the consultation and the deadline for responses is 31 January 2017.




Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 30182


Relevant links for the consultation

DfE press release:

Draft strategic guidance to the Institute for Apprenticeships:

Online survey for giving your views:

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