The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, which seeks to ensure that apprenticeships and T Level qualifications are high quality and meet the needs of employers are looking for additional independent peer reviewers to assist with reviewing apprenticeship standards, assessment plans and technical qualification materials, and hope you will be able to help.
We are particularly looking for new reviewers in Healthcare and Science occupations to assist with reviews from August this year through the Autumn. Contracted reviewers receive a fee.
Specifically, the Institute, in its new role for Higher Technical Qualifications (Levels 4&5), is expecting a large number of qualifications to be submitted for review later this summer in the following areas:
Auditory Impairment – including hearing aid dispenser
Visual impairments – including dispensing optician
The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education works to improve access to high-quality apprenticeships and technical education in order to transform the skills landscape. We work with employers across England to develop apprenticeships and technical qualifications which meet their needs and those of apprentices and the economy as a whole.
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)
In its July 2020 consultation response “Reforming Higher Technical Education” the Department for Education announced a new role for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in ensuring higher level technical qualifications (HTQs) are similarly high quality and meet the needs of employers.
Our delivery of this function will see the introduction of a new national approval scheme that recognises and clearly signals which level 4-5 qualifications provide the knowledge, skills and behaviours employers want. We have begun this work with a range of Digital HTQs (Levels 4&5) and will continue with health & science and construction later this year.
The Institute’s core role is to be the guardian of quality for apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. An apprenticeship standard describes an occupation and the knowledge, skills and behaviours that need to be developed to demonstrate full competence in that occupation and meets set criteria. Employers lead the development and the Institute manages the approval of apprenticeships, which includes peer review. Apprenticeships are evaluated through an End point Assessment which is also peer reviewed and is externally quality assured.
In 2019 the Institute took on responsibility for developing and approving T Level qualifications, new two-year courses of study which will follow GCSEs and be the equivalent to three A Levels. The first T Levels have been introduced in from September 2020 and will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or an apprenticeship. Information is here.
T Levels are being developed with the collaboration of employers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work. T Level Panels of experts set out the knowledge and skills required for each T Level, based on the same occupational standards as apprenticeships. This “outline content” is then taken by an Awarding Organisation to develop the technical qualification. Both the outline content and the technical qualifications are approved by the Institute, and reviewed by peer reviewers, with our Route Panels of employers having a central role in ensuring that the qualifications will meet the needs of businesses and learners. This reflects the role they also have in the approval of apprenticeship standards.
A core, statutory responsibility of the Institute is to regularly review the 15 occupational routes, and the individual standards within them, to ensure apprenticeship and technical education provision is high quality and that employer demand is being met. We are currently conducting reviews in several routes to make sure they are high quality and fit for purpose. Further route reviews will follow.
The role of the Peer Reviewer
A Peer Review register has been created by the Institute in accordance with section A2G of the Enterprise Act 2016 which states that it must, “make arrangements for the carrying out of an examination of the standard or plan by an independent third party”. Independent Peer Reviewers play a vital role within the Institute by forming a register of experts who review and comment on apprenticeship standards, assessment plans and on T Level content as part of the approvals process and during route reviews.
Peer reviewers use their experience and expertise to provide high quality comments on the submissions described above which is fed into the analysis and recommendations that Institute officials make within the approvals process to the 15 Route Panels. They focus on key quality criteria set by the Institute and provide feedback on whether the learner would reach full occupational competence by completing the apprenticeship standard/ qualification, and whether an end point assessment validly determines occupational competence. The Peer Reviewer’s comments are anonymised prior to distribution and the Institute protects the identity of its reviewers.
The Peer Review Register
Reviewers must not have been (or work closely with anyone who has been) a member of a Trailblazer group or involved in the development of any materials they review to preserve the independence and integrity of the reviews.
The workload for a peer reviewer who has a contract with the Institute would typically be to review one or two submissions up to several times a year, each review taking typically up to 4 hours (for which our contracted reviewers receive a fee). A review takes the form of answers to questions about the submission and seeks your views based on your experience. You are asked to give examples wherever possible.
If you are interested in joining our pool of a permanent Peer Reviewers to review standards across a Route please contact the peer review team for more information: IFA.PeerReview@education.gov.uk.
If your application is approved, we will send you a contract for completion together with further briefing materials.