The Quality in Careers Standard

For schools, academies, colleges, special schools and smaller units

Quality in Careers Standard

Ixion are a licenced awarding body to deliver the national Quality in Careers Education Standard.

The Standard is designed to accredit good practice and encourage development in Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in schools, academies, colleges, special schools, and smaller units.

Find out more about the Quality in Careers Standard.

Quality in Careers Standard logo

About the Quality in Careers Standard

The national Quality in Careers Standard awarded by Ixion is designed to accredit good practice and encourage development in Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in schools, academies, colleges, special schools, and smaller units.

Up until the 4 February 2021 this award was known as the National Quality in Careers Standard under licence to Prospects, however Prospects is now owned by the Shaw Trust group and the licence is now part of Ixion which is also owned by the Shaw trust Group.

Ixion (part of the Shaw Trust group) is a Licensed Awarding Body, it is authorised to act on behalf of the Quality in Careers Standard Consortium to assess and accredit schools, colleges, and work-based learning organisations against the national ©Quality in Careers Standard.

  • The Government strongly recommends that all schools and colleges work towards the updated Quality in Careers Standard … to support the development of a world-class careers programme for all their young people.
  • Quality standards lead to better careers and guidance programmes because they help institutions continuously improve their careers work.
  • Working towards the Quality in Careers Standard gives CEIAG a higher profile and increases the involvement of senior managers and, especially governors.
  • Holding a nationally recognised quality mark demonstrates to those outside the institution (for example OFSTED) that a high standard has been reached.

Ten units cover all eight Gatsby Benchmarks and the accreditation criteria required by the national Quality in Careers Consortium. Ixion units are:

  1. Policy and Management.
  2. Review and Evaluation.
  3. Planned Programme of Careers Education.
  4. Information.
  5. Experience of the World of Work and Encounters with Employers and Employees.
  6. Individual Guidance, Personal Planning and Transition Support.
  7. Work with Parents and Carers.
  8. Encounters with Further and Higher Education.
  9. Equality and Diversity.
  10. Learner Voice.

The Quality in Careers Standard has been mapped against the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance and the Career Development Institute (CDI) Framework for Careers, Employability and Enterprise Education.

Registering for the standard

Institutions will be expected to confirm that they:

  • Are committed to work towards the Standard and will make a public commitment on their website that says that they are “Committed to working towards the Standard.”
  • Have completed an up-to-date copy of the Careers Enterprise Company Compass tool.
  • Will complete their portfolio ready for assessment.

(At the latest 2 years after the date of registration). After this date, the registration for the Standard will lapse.

  • Allow all students registered at their institution to have access to impartial, independent advice and guidance from a qualified Careers Adviser. (QCF level 6). Guidance professionals must be on the CDI register.

Following registration, the institution will complete an audit tool and self-evaluation against the award standards. Institutions will benefit from consultancy support at this stage of the process. Completion of each of the 10 units involves:

  • An evaluative commentary which provides a route map through the self-evaluation and accompanying evidence.
  • The self-assessment.
  • Examples of accompanying evidence, with some items being mandatory for example, policy, programme and development plan, plus a list of other evidence available on request.
  • Evidence and commentaries may be submitted in electronic or hard copy.

The assessors will make qualitative professional judgements on the impact and outcomes from career related encounters and activities measured by Compass in respect of young people’s learning and their career transitions.

Quality in Careers Assessors will review evidence of the impact of CEIAG programmes including career-related outcomes for learners, the ‘learner voice’, parental engagement and professional learning for those leading, managing and delivering the careers programme.

Central to the Quality in Careers assessment process will be considering evidence not only from a learning provider’s staff but also from young people themselves. ‘Learner voice’ evidence will be of paramount importance in reaching judgements about meeting the overall national criteria for the Standard.

Assessors will visit your institution twice over two years, the first time will be one year after initial registration to see if you are making good progress towards the standards and the second visit will be to verify that you have completed the portfolio of evidence for the standards which will be verified by an internal assessor at Prospects.  Both visits will take around 2-3 hours and will be your opportunity to showcase that the standard has been achieved.

There will be three forms of public recognition through certification.

(i) COMMITMENT: “Committed to work towards the Standard”

  • Schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers which make a public commitment to begin to work towards achieving the revised Quality in Careers Standard from September 2018 will receive a “certificate of commitment” from Prospects.
  • You will also be authorised to use the words “Committed to work towards meeting the Quality in Careers Standard incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks” on your materials (in accordance with the Consortium’s ‘brand guidelines’) until your external assessment takes place.

(ii) EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT: “Making good progress towards meeting the Standard”

  • Schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers which are assessed from September 2018 as “making good progress” towards meeting all the national assessment criteria for the Quality in Careers Standard (incorporating the Benchmarks) will receive an “assessment certificate” from Prospects.
  • You will also be authorised to use the Quality in Careers logo and the words “Nationally assessed by the Quality in Careers Standard as making good progress towards meeting all the accreditation criteria incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks” on your materials (in accordance with the Consortium’s ‘brand guidelines’) until your full external accreditation against the revised Standard takes place.

(iii) EXTERNAL ACCREDITATION: “Fully meets the Standard”

  • Schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers which are assessed and accredited from September 2018 as “fully meeting” all the national assessment criteria for the Quality in Careers Standard (incorporating meeting the Benchmarks) will receive an “accreditation certificate” from Prospects.
  • You will also be authorised to use the Quality in Careers logo and the words “Nationally accredited by the Quality in Careers Standard as fully meeting all the accreditation criteria incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks” on your materials (in accordance with the Consortium’s ‘brand guidelines’) until your full accreditation is due for reassessment by an Awarding Body.

 Successful institutions will be accredited for 3 years, will receive certificates for the school, and will be entitled to use the national Quality in Careers Standard logo on websites and stationery. Institutions are expected to sustain the quality of provision for the three years, after which they will need to submit again for assessment against the standards that are current at the time.

The Gold Standard awarded by Ixion is determined solely by us and is not part of the national arrangements. It is for exceptional recognition of an institutions commitment to CEIAG. This may be demonstrated by consistently high grades across all 10 units of the standard in addition to evidenced examples of outstanding and innovative practice.

BMet achieves Gold for its outstanding career work.

Like most organisations, Ixion encourages you to use electronic portfolios where possible.

Submission can be either:

The cost to the institution for achieving the national Quality in Careers Standard from February 1st, 2021 is £1,495.

About the Quality in Careers Standard

View more about the Quality in Careers Standard in our video, or join one of our upcoming information sessions held every quarter where Michele Squire, Careers Education Strategic Manager will take you through everything you need to know and answer any questions you might have.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our engagement team will get in touch with you to discuss further.

Alternatively please contact:

Michele Squire, Careers Education Strategic Manager on 07342 062779 or michele.squire@ixionholdings.com.

Natasha Church, Head of Service, natasha.church@ixionholdings.com.

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