CEIAG & Careers Leaders

Quality Assurance of school based careers learning

Quality Assurance of school based careers learning

Tuesday 12th May 2015

You'll be relieved to hear that this is a short(ish) blog, bought on by a query that popped up on the Outstanding Careers Facebook page. The query from a school asked which was the better award to go for, Careers Mark or Matrix. It just made me realise, just how few schools realise that there is a need to build in quality assurance for both content and outcome of the many careers interactions that are now required during secondary schooling.


Statutory duty requires it. Paragraph 67

In developing careers provision for pupils, there are currently three aspects of quality assurance that schools should take into consideration:

The quality of the school careers programme

The quality of independent careers providers.

The quality of careers professionals working with the school.

Ofsted will be commenting on it, the Ofsted handbook states that they will expect to see:-Ofsted wants

  • The extent to which the school has developed and implemented a strategy for ensuring that all pupils in Years 8 to 13 receive effective careers guidance
  • The impact of this guidance in helping young people to make informed choices about their next steps
  • How well the school meets the needs of all vulnerable groups of pupils, including reducing the numbers who do not continue to education, employment or training.
  • How well the school works with families to support them in overcoming the cultural obstacles that often stand in the way of the most able pupils from deprived backgrounds attending university.

If you believe, as many do, and with good cause until recently that careers is never inspected by Ofsted. I'd like to draw your attention to 2 things.

Good CEIAG is a prerequisite for a good or outstanding grade for KS5 judgement

So, how do you evidence your quality control?

Quality in Careers Standard

It is recommended in the statutory duty that all schools undertake a QICS award,

The Government recommends that all schools should work towards a quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance as an effective means of carrying out a self-review and evaluation of the school's programme. The national validation, the Quality in Careers Standard, will assist schools to determine an appropriate quality award to pursue. There are currently twelve quality awards that are recognised as meeting the Quality in Careers Standard

Details of the various Quality in Careers Awards can be found here

Matrix Standard

The matrix Standard is the unique quality framework for organisations to assess and measure their information, advice and/or guidance services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

Whilst Matrix standard can be achieved by schools or colleges, it is primarily a quality assurance mark to look for when commissioning external providers. It acts as an assurance that the company operates to a high level. Please note that many small companies find it a huge challenge to achieve the mark both in terms of finance and time pressure. Thus, small non Matrix accredited providers should not necessarily be excluded purely due to the absence of the mark until further checks have been made

Details of Matrix Standard can be found here

The CDI professional register

Launched in May 2012, the UK Register of Career Development Professionals is the single national point of reference for ensuring and promoting the professional status of career practitioners across the whole sector to other members of the profession, their customers and employers, as well as policy makers, funders and all other stakeholders.

Both careers advisers and very recently careers educators can apply to be listed on this register which can be accessed via The CDI website Schools and indeed anyone, can consult the register to find practitioners by going to the CDI website here and clicking on the search the register tab.

Finally Who is assessing the effect of the employers, mentors, talks and visits that you have taken so long to arrange? Are you sure their input is as engaging as this video?

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