Trailblazer policy

The Government’s aim is to replace all current Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE apprenticeships) with new apprenticeships, known as Trailblazer Standards, by the end of 2020.

We know this is of interest to many of our stakeholders, especially for the purpose of issuing of a card.

We have developed the following process for gaining recognition by CSCS of a Trailblazer Apprenticeship. A summary is available here.

Recognising Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in England are changing. The Government has chosen to create an employer-led model for developing and funding apprenticeship standards. This will replace the current system and focus on employers driving the development and delivery of apprenticeships. The Government’s aim is to replace all current Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE apprenticeships) with new apprenticeships, known as Trailblazer Standards, by the end of 2020.

The emerging Trailblazer Apprenticeships have different delivery and assessment arrangements and some do not include the use of N/SVQs as is the case with the current SASE Apprenticeships.

Government will only allow the Inclusion of mandatory qualifications in Trailblazer Apprenticeships under certain circumstances and each individual Trailblazer Employer Group will have to determine with the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) whether its proposal will meet their criteria if they decide to include a N/SVQ as a compulsory part of the Apprenticeship.

If a Trailblazer Apprenticeship does not include a NVQ then the Employer Group should, at the commencement of its development work, discuss with CSCS its recognition of the successful completion of the Apprenticeship for the purpose of issuing a card. The Group will then have to demonstrate that its Apprenticeship can be considered as being equivalent to a relevant construction National Occupational Standard (NOS) and its associated N/SVQ Recommended Qualification Structure (RQS). Details of NOS can be found at; http://www.ukstandards.co.uk/Pages/index.aspx

The process for gaining recognition by CSCS of a Trailblazer Apprenticeship being equivalent to a relevant NOS/RQS will involve the Trailblazer Employer Group mapping the Trailblazer Standard and Assessment Plan requirements to a relevant Construction National Occupational Standard (NOS) and its associated N/SVQ Recommended Qualification Structure (RQS) in order to demonstrate the link with scope and assessment outcomes. It will then have to provide a letter from the relevant recognised standard setting body confirming equivalency. If a Trailblazer Group considers the NOS or RQS to be inappropriate, either fully or in part, then it will need to explain its reasoning to the standard setting body and gain its agreement to any gaps in its mapping. For mainstream construction the standard setting body is CITB.