The Chartered Banker published their Apprenticeship Insights Report at their 3rd ‘Professional Education in Banking’ Conference, on 15th November.
The report* details the current Apprenticeship landscape within the Financial Services and banking sector. It features contributions from over 30 employers, professional bodies, End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAO’s)and providers (such as Kaplan).
A need for standards to align
The recommendations in the report were praised by Sir Gerry Berragan, CEO Institute for Apprenticeships, who stated at the conference that he agreed with everything put forward.
The report stated the need for Apprenticeship standards to align with professional standards, and that there should be consistency across the whole of the UK for delivery and Levy spend.
Apprenticeships in this sector have been a relatively new undertaking. This contrasts with Accountancy, reference in both the report and Sir Gerry, where Apprenticeships have long been a popular form of training and where numbers of starts are significantly higher.
As the largest provider of Accountancy and Tax Apprenticeships, we find this an interesting comparison. In our experience, the success of Apprenticeships in Accountancy and Tax - which continues under the switch from frameworks to standards - has been driven by:
- Professional Qualifications - which remain at the heart of the programmes
- Skills and Behaviours - which are listed in the standard and are closely aligned to Professional Development requirements
- Close sector collaboration in the development of End Point Assessment - which minimise a duplication of work and give a clear understanding of what’s required.
Moving towards an intuitive Apprenticeship
For a number of reasons it may not be entirely possible to replicate the model embraced by Accountancy. However, there are some features, referenced in the report, that could be adopted.
We agree with the Chartered Banker’s call for the standards, across the sector, to closely link to professional requirements. This would allow the Apprenticeship to feel more intuitive and less standalone, something Accountancy has done very well.
Most importantly, however, we believe that End Point Assessment methods should be reviewed and streamlined. Current ambiguous and contrasting assessment plans across the different Financial Services standards on offer is leading to conflicting advice and confusion.
A more consistent approach with clear, unambiguous guidance is vital to ensuring Apprenticeships in this space continue to build on what has already been achieved.
An excellent starting point
The report is an excellent starting point, especially when we consider what needs to be done as part of the upcoming review into standards in this space (which was confirmed to happen in early 2019).
At Kaplan we’re looking forward to continuing the discussion at our upcoming breakfast events, starting today (November 22nd) and continuing in Manchester on 4th December.
*Written by Independent Consultant and Financial Services Apprenticeship expert, Tammie Harwin.