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Awarding bodies can benefit from Proskills’ expertise

Awarding organisations no longer need formal approval from Sector Skills Councils for the qualifications they develop. Terry Watts, Chief Executive of Proskills, says awarding bodies can still benefit from his organisation's wealth of knowledge

PRLog - Aug. 4, 2011 - Recent changes in OFQUAL’s (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) approach to regulating the UK’s awarding organisations will have a real impact on Proskills’ ability to match skills supply to demand in the process and manufacturing sector.  As of 18 July, there is no longer any regulatory requirement for Proskills to formally approve qualifications relevant to the sector, meaning that awarding bodies will be free to develop qualifications in the ways that they choose.

This move is intended to remove unnecessary administrative burdens on awarding organisations. This is an aim Proskills fully supports, particularly given the complexity of the current skills system, but it is not going to radically reduce the time it takes to develop qualifications for the sector, as most of the awarding organisations in the sector are already close partners of Proskills. It is important that in making these changes, OFQUAL do not dilute the qualifications that exist for our sector or the buy-in employers have for them.  

The process and manufacturing sector is a major part of the British economy, employing approximately 800,000 people across the country, and supplying goods and services on which a wide range of other sectors depend. Many of the companies in the Proskills footprint require very specific and niche skills to maintain and grow their businesses; Proskills helps to ensure that the existing qualifications help to meet these needs through working with the specialist awarding organisations in the sector
Impartial employer engagement must still be a key part of the skills system, helping to drive the development of qualifications that truly develop the skills that industry needs.  

The removal of these regulatory requirements on commercially-driven bodies has already resulted in some awarding organisations prioritising the development of the most profitable qualifications ahead of those that meet the specific needs of employers. In a sector such as ours, with such diverse needs, this is a real concern.  

As the Sector Skills Council for the process and manufacturing sector, with a great depth and breadth of engagement with employers, Proskills will continue to offer vital insights into the demand for skills in the sector.  We would encourage awarding bodies to continue to work with us to ensure that the qualifications that are developed continue to meet the real needs of employers.

It is essential that qualifications and training for the sector continue to be relevant and targeted in order to help people to develop the skills they need to develop and build for the future.  
About Proskills (Sector Skills Council for the process and manufacturing sector):  www.proskills.co.uk
Proskills is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the Process and Manufacturing sector.  A major contributor to the UK economy, the Process and Manufacturing sector covers Building Products, Glazed Ceramics, Coatings, Extractive & Mineral Processing, Furniture, Furnishings & Interiors, Glass & related industries, Paper and Printed Packaging, Pulp and paper, Paper and Print industries.  
One of a network of employer-led SSC’s across the UK, Proskills is a not-for-profit organisation, whose role is to raise the skills levels and competitiveness in the 80,000 workplaces and 800,000 employees that make up the sector.  This is achieved through researching business skills needs, delivering occupational standards and qualifications, matching skills demand to supply, and securing funding to meet business skills priorities.

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Source:Patrick Truss
Location:United Kingdom
Tags:proskills, sector skills council, terry watts, Training, regulation, OFQUAL, Awarding bodies, exams, qualifications
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