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Electrotechnical Trailblazer Apprenticeship - Assessme...

Electrotechnical Trailblazer Apprenticeship - Assessment Plan Consultation

28 April 2015

The revised apprenticeship standard for the occupations of Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician was submitted by the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship working group, and approved in 2014. This overarching standard defines the apprenticeship at Level 3, delivered over the duration of a four year advanced apprenticeship. That revised draft standard reflects and builds upon the advanced craft and comparable NVQ/QCF Level 3 requirements expected of an industry recognised, JIB graded, ECS gold cardholder, qualified electrician.

Many of you contributed to the consultation on the Electrotechnical Trailblazer Standard in February 2014. The Electrotechnical Apprenticeship working group thank you for that.  Following amendments as a result of the consultation the Standard was submitted and approved by the Minister.

The Development Group, consisting of the original employers and now also involving Awarding Organisations and Training Providers, would now like you to consider the intended approach toward assessment – the Assessment Plan.

The Assessment Plan and related consultation documents can be downloaded from the IET website.  Please read through before starting the survey.

Related documents
http://www.theiet.org/policy/collaboration/trailblazers/index.cfm

Next Steps
Following responses and possible resulting amendments the Assessment Plan will be submitted to BIS for final approval and then the Apprenticeship will be available for use. Please note this consultation is about the Assessment Plan, it is not about funding of apprenticeships or revising the Standard.

Please go to http://www.theiet.org/policy/collaboration/trailblazers/index.cfm where you will find the survey and related documents.

The survey should take around 5-10 minutes to complete.

The survey will be open until May 10th 2015 and your opinion matters. Please have your say!

Unite position on the consultation

Unite the Union believe that all units should be assessed in the same way regardless of which Awarding Organisation is offering the award (e.g. City & Guilds, EAL), and believe a standardised approach must be adopted in an industry and occupation based upon high standards. Furthermore, allowing different approaches by Awarding Organisations may create scenarios, real or imagined, where achieving the apprenticeship through one Awarding Organisation was perceived as ‘better’ or conversely ‘easier’ than another. That cannot be allowed and would be a disservice to the apprentice, employer and industry as a whole.

As relayed in Unite the Union’s response to the February 2014 consultation, the awarding of the grades of ‘pass’, ‘merit’ and ‘distinction’ are well known in the electrical industry in relation to technical certificates achieved for demonstrating knowledge of electrical principles, theory, regulations and technical underpinning knowledge.

When considering the above, this should in no way demean those candidates who pass below the distinction. If the values have been set to appropriate gold standards in the first place, the most important factor is that possession of the apprenticeship completion diploma itself should be widely respected, demonstrating that the requirements have been met. The distinction should simply act as an additional prestigious recognition to those who have excelled above and beyond what the already rigorous requirements had demanded.

Unite the Union welcome the incorporation of AM2 as the final end test within the apprenticeship, which is the established and respected industry recognised end test in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and furthermore aligned with FICA in Scotland.

However, in regard to the practical, vocational competence element of the apprenticeship and end test, there must be a clear divide in the approach to the grading of the apprenticeship. The testing and assessment of the practical side should demonstrate that an individual is either competent or not competent, meaning a simple pass or fail should be recorded. Therefore Unite the Union believe that the grades of ‘pass’, ‘merit’ and ‘distinction’ are inappropriate for measuring actual hands on competency and adherence to procedures in the safety critical field of electricity.