Engineering Council to provide external quality assurance for apprenticeships


The Engineering Council actively supports the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships that meet the needs of employers and apprentices, support individuals on their journey towards professional registration and assure the public about the competence of those who are successful.

Employers are now able to nominate the Engineering Council as the provider of quality assurance (known as external quality assurance or EQA) for engineering-related Trailblazer apprenticeships. This has been agreed by the Engineering Council’s Board following a successful trial in autumn 2017. The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website sets out the quality assurance requirements for apprenticeships and how these will ensure quality, consistency and credibility.

The Engineering Council supports the alignment of Trailblazer apprenticeships with professional registration and welcomes the IfA’s guidance that “Apprenticeship standards must link to professional registration where this exists at that level in the occupation”. The engineering profession has embraced the opportunity afforded by this new approach to apprenticeships to raise standards and to encourage professional registration. At a time when engineering skills have never been more valued and sought after – as being crucial to the UK’s future economic success – it is critical that not only the value of engineering is reinforced but also the trust that society has in the knowledge, skills and commitment of professional registered engineers and technicians.

The Engineering Council believes that it is the most appropriate body to carry out this quality assurance for engineering-related apprenticeships because it currently licenses 35 professional engineering institutions to carry out the assessment of individuals seeking registration, in accordance with required Engineering Council standards and prescribed processes. These standards apply across the profession, regardless of sector or discipline, making the Engineering Council the sole UK body that can assure consistency and quality of assessment of professional standards across the professional engineering institutions.

In line with the Engineering Council’s role and remit, its quality assurance activity will be limited to professional competence. It will work in partnership so that other elements of the assessment, such as occupational competence, are quality assured by bodies with this expertise.

Employers interested in nominating the Engineering Council as their quality assurance provider for apprenticeships can find more details on its website, including how to make a request and what information is required.

The Engineering Council will review this quality assurance activity after 12 months and may choose to modify its approach.

The Engineering Council is the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession and holds the national registers of 222,000 Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communications Technology Technicians (ICTTech).