Skills sector development agency

Standards and Qualifications

The Skills for Business network is making an essential contribution to standards and qualifications – working with partners across the four UK nations and into the European Union to make sure they meet employment and learners’ needs.

The Sector Skills Development Agency’s Standards and Qualifications team is working with Sector Skills Councils (SSCs), Sector and Cross Sector Bodies and other key partners on the following priorities:

14-19 curriculum

To ensure provision for 14-19 year olds across the UK respond to employer needs. For England this will be taken forward through the development of Specialist Diplomas in14 broad sectoral areas and the incorporation of functional and employability skills.

Apprenticeships/Modern Apprenticeships

To develop apprenticeships for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland that meet employment needs, and to quality assure apprenticeships/modern apprenticeships for England and Wales.

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

To develop high quality, national occupational standards available through a central directory and to work with key partners on the transfer of the management arrangements for NOS to the SSDA.

Sector Qualification Strategies (SQS)

To support every Sector Skills Council and Sector/Occupational bodies in timely and appropriate development of SQSs that align with Sector Skills Agreements or labour market information.

Credit and Qualifications Frameworks

To work with relevant bodies in each UK nation to support the development of a simple, coherent framework of units, credit and qualifications across three home nations, building on the CQFW. The framework must articulate with the SCQF and the FHEQ.

Influencing education and training

To influence the delivery of education and training appropriately, so that the skills needs of employment are met for higher level skills, this includes work with FDF on foundation degrees and with QAA on learning networks to shape content and assessment