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Sector Skills Councils and standard setting organisations

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Details of who designs and awards vocational qualifications.
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Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer led UK wide organisations.

They aim to develop high quality skills standards with employers which support productivity and profitability, growth and enhance competitiveness in UK and overseas markets.

SSCs are licensed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Working with employers they:

  • define occupational standards and job competencies.
  • define the qualifications which go together to make up an apprenticeship framework. This framework is then used by employers to enable them to select the qualification structure most appropriate for each individual apprentice.
  • are Issuing Authorities (as are Standard Setting Bodies), i.e. they work with employers to help develop and maintain new and existing Apprenticeship Frameworks, Sector Skills Councils and Bodes are responsible for ensuring that the correct evidence for each qualification is verified in order to enable the issue of a valid apprenticeship certificate.
  • manage the process of quality assuring the system (also a role for SSBs).

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the license, each SSC operates separately and delivers commercial services to its own industry.

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS)

The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils reformed in 2013 and has been renamed as the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards. FISSS operates the system for certifying apprenticeships on behalf of the Certification Bodies and the training provider network.

The Sector Priorities Fund (SPF) Programme

Our SPF Programme provided the strategic evidence base on which to frame the onward development of the 2011 Sector Priorities Fund, described and actioned in “Skills that Work for Wales”. The suite of programmes was completed in December 2014 and  involved a range of projects to pilot innovative skills delivery and identify gaps in provision in Wales. There are no plans to have a further set of programmes.

Contact Information

Nigel Arnold, Head of Programme Delivery
01792 765822 Nigel.Arnold@wales.gsi.gov.uk