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Investing in Quality with NCFE

How many of you deliver bespoke in house training to clients which isn’t accredited?  And how many clients leave welfare to work programmes without any recognition of their achievement, even though they have attended a variety of training?  Our experience suggests that these are long standing problems within the welfare to work sector. 

However, NCFE have an answer, which could encourage providers to develop higher quality bespoke courses that meets the clients’, employers’ and/or local needs. 

NCFE’s Investing in Quality licence can be used to certificate learning programmes that sit outside of the QCF.  The licence is made up of two parts:

Part A - covers short training for which there is no formal assessment of an individual’s achievement and, therefore, no requirement for external accreditation.  This type of course usually results in an attendance certificate. 

Part B - covers longer training which results in achievement of pre-determined learning outcomes at a particular level, resulting in the award of certificates of achievement. These courses go through a registration process with NCFE so the courses are officially recognized.

Organisations can apply for either Part A of the licence or Parts A and B, which covers staff training as well as that for learners.  From their perspective as an awarding body, NCFE would ideally like provider’s in house courses to lead to accredited qualifications, but this isn’t a requirement.

The IIQ licence itself is evidence that a provider’s programme development, delivery, and evaluation has met stringent quality standards as outlined in NCFE’s Quality Statements where centres need to show evidence of:


  • working towards and/or maintaining high levels of retention; high levels of completion; high levels of achievement, and providing learners with appropriate progression opportunities.
  • equality of access to learning opportunities, are responsive to the needs of individuals, businesses and communities and are responsive to the diverse needs of learners.
  • programmes being delivered and, as appropriate, assessed by competent and appropriately qualified staff .
  • providing learners with a safe, healthy and supportive environment.
  • effective leadership and management of quality and curriculum or training development.

As these are the standards that providers should have in place to meet their contractual requirements, Ofsted standards, Matrix, ISO9001 etc, you can see that you really shouldn’t need to do too much to meet the standards required for the IIQ licence.

The training covered by the licence could be short bespoke courses or longer more formal courses, but in either case, this gives providers an opportunity to develop bespoke courses that better meet their local needs.  Just consider how this could support your work towards the Training Quality Standard to show how you are meeting employers’ needs.  While this may not be THE answer, it is certainly AN answer that we feel many providers could benefit from.

So visit the NCFE website for more details on the licence, how you apply, and what the performance criteria are for the Quality Statements outlined above.
You could also contact Rob Kindness, NCFE, Accreditation Leader on 0191 239 8083 or email robkindness@ncfe.org.uk.


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