Degree apprenticeships to be regulated by Hefce, not Ofsted

Ofsted will inspect providers delivering apprenticeships up to level 5, while level 6 and 7 degree apprenticeships will be monitored by Hefce

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The quality of degree apprenticeships will be regulated by Hefce instead of Ofsted, the Department for Education has confirmed.

Following discussions between the two bodies, a statement on accountability published this morning confirmed that Ofsted will inspect the quality of apprenticeship training provision from level 2 to level 5. Hefce will regulate the quality of degree apprenticeships at level 6 and 7.

However, Hefce will “work with Ofsted to reach a judgement for apprenticeship providers at level 4 and/or 5 where the apprenticeship standard contains a prescribed HE qualification”, the statement adds.

Conversely, apprenticeship training provision at level 6 and 7 "where this involves teacher and trainer training" will be monitored by Ofsted. The statement stipulates that the two bodies must work together to "inform ongoing provider risk-assessment".

Future policy changes

The statement explains that this arrangement has been agreed by the Department for Education, the Institute for Apprenticeships, the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Ofsted, Ofqual, Hefce and QAA.

It adds: "It will be amended in future to reflect policy changes, for example the introduction of technical education qualifications, the change to the Institute for Apprenticeships’ remit from 2018, and the creation of the Office for Students in 2018. We expect to publish the first revision in autumn 2018.

"This document provides assurance that an agreed framework is in place within which these bodies are clear about their respective accountabilities in relation to the apprenticeships programme, so that the government’s objectives to raise apprenticeship quality are met and to secure value for money."

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen is TES' Further Education Editor. He has worked at TES since 2010, and was previously the education correspondent at the Cambridge News. He was the winner of the award for Outstanding National Education Journalism at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards in 2015 and 2013.

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