300 standards and counting…

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) has approved its 300th apprenticeship standard for delivery – the Clinical Trials Specialist Degree Apprenticeship. Since implementing a new, streamlined approach, the Institute has seen a marked improvement in approval rates for standards delivery. In the last 6 months, the IFA has successfully supported trailblazers to develop and deliver 90 new standards alone. To date, this is the highest number of standards approved in any 6 month period since the reforms began, and twice the previous highest rate.

Sir Gerry Berragan, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, said: “With the faster and better programme, we’ve been working closely with trailblazers to get their proposals, standards and end-point assessment plans right first time, which has led to better outcomes for all involved. He continued:  “Trailblazers are moving through the process quicker than before. However, quality is still very much at the centre of what we do.”

Commissioned and delivered in just 10 months, the Clinical Trials Specialist Degree Apprenticeship, is proof that the Institute is committed to the faster and better reforms.

Hannah Barry, of GSK and chair of the Clinical Trials Specialist Trailblazer group, said:  “In recent years, finding qualified and competent clinical trials specialists has become increasingly difficult. It isn’t something you hear about at careers fairs, and the opportunities for an amazing career in this area is not widely known." She also said:  “The Clinical Trials Specialist Apprenticeship will open up another route to attract the best and most talented young students into the pharma industry."

The Level 6 qualification will be delivered over 4-5 years. Apprentices will receive a thorough background in the process of clinical research throughout the programme while also experiencing it first-hand. They will develop an understanding of the core science that underpins clinical trials. Through academic study, apprentices will gain the skills necessary to understand the scientific, regulatory, ethical and methodological issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of clinical trials. While training, apprentices will work in operational roles where, under appropriate supervision, they will deliver the monitoring, oversight or project management aspects of clinical trials.  On successful completion of their training, apprentices will be awarded full Bachelor of Science degrees where the education component is paid for by the apprenticeship levy.
John Cope, CBI Head of Education and Skills, said:  “Reaching 300 new apprenticeship standards is a great achievement. The Institute for Apprenticeships’ commitment to speed up their approval and quality, as well as improve support for trailblazer groups is welcome.  Businesses want to see these standards in place as soon as possible and the CBI will continue to support the Institute to do this.”

The Institute is on target to reach 400 standards approved for delivery by the end of this financial year. The strategic plan details the Board’s three guiding principles which should focus the way the Institute delivers, develops and works with others over the next five years. The business plan, aligned with the strategic principles, sets out our priorities and corporate objectives for the next financial year.

More detail on the 300th standard can be found on the IFAs website and you can view the apprenticeship's strategic plan and business plan here.