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UKIPGThe UK Inter-Professional Group

October and November 216 Newsletter

General Overview

Next CPD Forum at CIPD in Wimbledon on 26th January 2017

Education Forum at CIPD Victoria Office on Friday 16th December - New Start

HE Work  -  TEF,  PSRB Forum, Employability, KIS

Apprenticeships  -  Standards  - All levels up to Degree  -  latest Funding and Levy Details

International, European and Brexit Issues and Report on Forum of 25th November

BIES Survey on Services in the Single Market

New Contacts Form

UKIPG Newsletter October and November 2016

Welcome to the UKIPG Newsletter for October and November 2016.  During this time, great things have been happening.  Nationally, the outcome of the Referendum is now taking effect, with the new Departments operational and Ministers making their presence felt, both at home and overseas. Business, industry and the professions have been working both to develop a coherent response to the BREXIT decision, and to communicate this to the ministers and officials through a variety of channels.

UKIPG, itself, has been moving towards its restructure and renaming as 'Professions Together' (PT), although for some business purposes (eg bank account names), it will still be UKIPG for some time.  The most obvious change, in about a month's time, will be the new PT web-site, to replace the current one.  This may well be the penultimate Newsletter in the current form.  We thank those member-body representatives who have found themselves at the forefront of this change, as members of our Professions Together Leadership Team, and having to fit this extra work into their lives.

Whilst some of the team have been busy with these 'front page' activities, others have been busy breathing new life into old bodies, especially the Special Interest Groups (formerly known variously as Working Groups, Task Groups, Forums etc).  Whether by formal meeting, 'chat groups', inter-personal contact or newsletter, these are central to our role of facilitating networking, mutual support, sharing ideas, and mutual support. More about these in the text - and some were highlighted in the special events announcement early in November.

The world in which the professions operate has been making itself busy in areas other than Brexit, especially in HE, FE, Skills and, of course, with Apprenticeships which now cut across all of these traditional distinctions.  The universality of the Levy, applicable to each and every organisation, public or private, industrial or service provider, with a more than £3 million payroll, has made people sit up and think about how they might get their money back - and how they might use the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

Finally, whilst many people have given of their time and talent 'pro bono', some things really do have to be paid for in real money!  For this we need your support, not just to pay-up sometime, but as soon as you receive the invoice.  If the invoice needs a Purchase Order Number, please let Peter Swindlehurst know (he is still UKIPG Secretary until after the 'change') and it can be added and resent.  We will also send out a new 'blank' of the Contacts Sheet, so that PT can start off with a clean and accurate record of who is who among the membership. Please help the new organisation to get off to a good start - it would be the best 'Thank You' to our Chairman (Ali Orr) and his team who have led the change.  If you can, DO IT NOW, save it with you Organisation's short name added, and send it to the Secretary.  Thanks!

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Inter Professional CPD Forum

The CPD Forum is the most consistent and well established of our special interest groups, and is something of an exemplar to the others.  Its next Meeting will be on Thursday 26th January 2017 at tthe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The timings are slightly different from the usual, with lunch at 1230 and the seminar running from 1315 until 1600.  The CIPD main building is at 151 Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1JQ.  This is about 10 mins walk from Wimbledon Station (frequent trains from Waterloo, and also a destination on LUL District Line).    NB: This is not the CIPD Victoria venue sometimes used for smaller meetings.

The Programme for this event will include presentations from CIPD, The CFA Society of the UK, the Open Badge Network, and the Engineering Council, as well as the usual opportunities for short inputs by arrangement. Please advise the CPD Forum Administrator, Chris Senior, of your intention to attend.  Attendance is normally one nominee from a Forum member organisation, but requests for additional places or from potential new members will always be considered by Chris.

The previous seminar on 17th October was hosted by  the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) at 20 Aldermanbury.   The Programme for that Seminar,  is attached.  Chris has produced a compehensive Report on the Event.

Education and Training

Professions Together Education Forum

Fiona Hellowell, formerly a professional education specialist at ICSA and at the Higher Education Academy, has been assisting UKIPG/PT with educational matters, mainly concerning the QAA PSRB Forum and the development of a PT Education Forum, to complement the current CPD Forum.  The latter focusses mainly on the maintenance of competence and personal career development for already qualified professionals, whereas the Education Forum will focus on the educational base for professional work, mainly but not exclusively through FE and HE, but also professional examinations and assessments, and related issues of course acreditation and recognition, examination and assessment, development of higher and degree apprenticeshsips etc.

Fiona has been canvassing support for this concept (something like the UKIPG FE&HE Working Group of old) and to set the ball rolling she has organised a Forum meeting for Friday 16th December, from 1330 to 1600 at the CIPD Victoria Office at Fourth Floor, 46 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0EB, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7259 8030.

This meeting will be both a 'working' Forum meeting with a presentation entitled ‘Reflecting on student support for professional exams – student support and rescue’ by Martyn Jones, Senior Qualifications Manager, ICSA: The Governance Institute, and an opportunity to discuss the future of the Forum, to suggest topics of particular interest and to plan in outline the next meeting. Please contact Fiona Hellowell if you, or a colleague, have any interest in this group now or in the future.

QAA / PT PSRB Forum

For several years, the UKIPG has collaborated with QAA in running a Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) Forum.  The origins of the Forum were in response to the HE Regulatory Review Group (HERRG) which aimed to minimise the perceived burdens on HE placed by the various oversight bodies, whether mandatory (eg as a result of statutory duties) or for other good reasons. Eventually, the PSRB Forum gathered a life of its own, dealing with a range of interface issues between HE providers, the Quality Assurance system, and the related professions.  More recently, there has been a hiatus resulting from the Review of Quality Assessment in HE, and consquential changes at QAA. We are glad to see that this is now history; the QAA has a new team working on collaboration with Stakeholders led by Mychelle Pride, and a PSRB Forum was held at the University of the South Bank on 7th November.  Inevitably, part of the focus was on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with an input from Harriet Smith of DfE, but also on the 'employability' agenda with reference to the Shadbolt and Wakeham Reports led by Nicola Turner of HEFCE and Greg Wade of UUK, and with Key Information Sets (KIS) and the reliability of Accreditation-related data led by Catherine Cameron of HEFCE.  On the employability agenda, the discussion emphasised the importance of not confusing HE with specific skills training; the aim of HE was to provide a basis on which graduates could come to an understanding of the principles of their subject and gain an ability to learn and adapt. The KIS, as marketing information provided by HEIs, had come sharply into focus as a result of the CMA's insistence that consumer law applied equally to an 'educational product' as it did to other goods and services.  This impacted on PSRB, who were the source of Accreditation and recognition information - and how to keep their listing and input up-to-date.

TEF

Many people were concerend about the initial rather vague proposals and a worrying lack of detail following the first mention of TEF. Many initial concerns had been been ameliorated to a significant extent by the views expressed and listened to in  'TEF Year 2 Technical Consultation Response'; which was published at the very end of September.  There was recognition of the extreme diversity of the HE sector, and even of quality and achievement within the same institution. Because of their history and location, some otherwise modest institutions had specialist centres of excellence within them. Some sort of mean score across a whole range of provision would be meaningless.  Moreover, as students were generally drawn to a subject, or at least a subject area, some form of subject-level TEF would be required; the questions related to grouping and levels of detail - and would require a revision of the JACS codes.      

Apprenticeships

The April Newsletter gave a fairly comprehensive summary of Apprenticeship policiies, and their Funding and Levy, largely based on a presentation from the SFA on 20th April. It was noted that there also were issues about assessment, particularly focussed on the 'External End Test' requirement, and about assessment of 'behaviours'. Both Apprenticeship systems - 'Frameworks' and 'Standards (Trailblazers)' will run in parallel for the time being, and both would continue to be funded from a single funding model.  On 12th August, we were given many more details with an announcement by the Minister, Robert Halfron MP,  and the SFA with 'Proposals for Apprenticeship Funding in England from May 2017'.  This covered both the New Funding Model and Details on Apprenticeship Levy.  Although the papers were described as 'proposals' they were fairly firm policy.  

Part of the new system will be a requirement on employers (now that it is an employer-led system) to use apprenticeship funding to purchase services from Apprenticeship Providers who are on an SFA Approved Register. Note that this is a new, different and additional requiremnent to being registered with SFA as a Training Provider. On 12th August, the SFA published proposals on how this system will work from May 2017.  Registered Apprenticeship Providers may be Employers' own E&T Departments, Universities with Degree Apprenticeship programmes, FE Colleges and Private Trainng Providers, and what are described as 'other types of providers'.  There can be no 'middlemen' - such as managing agents - in the new system.

Although, until now, approval for Standards (Trailblazer) Apprenticships has been granted directly by BIS, the intention has always been to set up a body specifically to do this; subject to legislation, the body will be launched as the Institute for Apprenticeships.  While HEFCE has been given responsibility for the management of the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund, the SFA is thr primary funding body, irrespective of sector of delivery. In practice, there is intended to be a 'financial merry-go-round', with monies being transferred electronically through a Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). It was announced on 1st September that a number of Employers and Training Providers were being invited to 'road test' this service, and on 27th October that the 'Find an Apprenticeship Tool' was now 'live' on the DAS.  At a National Forum for Engineering Centres (NFEC) event on 8th December, the UKIPG Secretary was present for a very detailed update of the SFA Funding Model, which did show that minor but signiifcant amemdments had been made to the August proposals. The full presentation is available from the link, but will require a UKIPG / Professions Together password. 
[NB: Passwords are issued by the UKIPG Secretary to all listed representatives of the UKIPG (soon to be Professions Together); lost or forgotten passwords can be reissued by the Secretary to representatives of paid-up member bodies.]

QAA Forum on 'Degree and Higher Apprenticeships.   QAA organised a Forum in Gloucester on 'Degree and Higher Apprenticeships: a guide to getting the quality right' on 15th September.  The event attracted about 50 attendees, mainly from the university sector, but with a sprinkling of employers (usually associated with a university-led presentation) but some private providers, and some from related organisations (eg HEFCE, OCR, JISC, AELP and UKIPG (Secretary - not PSRBs)). The event was primarily for HEIs to share experiences and illustrate the range of HE & Degree Apprenticeships, in terms of industry and business areas, relationships with other organisations etc, and particularly dealing with SFA and the OFSTED Common Inspection Framework, pricing and contracting, and dealing with an employer rather than a student as the 'customer'.  The usual things were stressed; know and understand the Standards and Assessment Plans, get to grips with End-Point Assessments and 'Behaviours', get on the Register of Apprenticeship Providers etc.  The Universities Vocational Awards Copuncil (UVAC) has found itself a niche in this area. The UVAC presentaion was made again at the NFEC event referred to in the previous paragraph, and can be accessed with theappropriate passwords.

Apprenticeships and PSRBs. In the early days of Trailblazers, BIS specified that the employer-led design groups for the Standards should involve the relevant professional bodies. If this has been the case, then those PSRBs will have had both input to the Standards and Assessment Plans etc, and the opportunity to ensure some congruence with evolving criteria for accreditation. What became evident at the NFEC event on 8/9th December was a certain vagueness about the Independent End Test.  This is a requirement for Apprenticeships at all levels.  Moreover, the Approved Apprenticeship Provider is required to provide this service, albeit via an independent sub-contractor.  When asked about who these assessment contracors might be, many thought that it was (or should be) a role for the relevant professional bodies (eg Eng Tech registration linked to an engineering apprenticeship, or a CMI qualifcation assemen linked to a  degree apprenticeship in management). But like everything else in the new apprenticeship world, it cannot be an informal arrangement; everything has to be 'contracted' before the DAS can show that the apprenticship is available for use by employers.     Are all PSRBs ready for this? Is this something to be addressed by the UKIPG/ PT Education Forum or the reconvened QAA PSRB Forum, as well as the Technical and Vocational Eduacation (TVE) Forum? [The TVE Forum arose from the Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education chaired by David Sainsbury.] 

Nursing Degree Apprenticeships

We mentioned in earlier Newsletters that DH wished to increase the numbers undertaking Nurse Education and Training in the UK. Its initial plan was to withdraw Bursaries and treat Nursing studenta as any other undergraduates (ie with student loans).  Howevver, on 30th November it announced plans for New Nursing Degree Apprenticeships. [As the NHS will pay Levy on all its employees, it will seek to get it back by funding degree apprenticeships!]

Post-Doctoral and PT Undergraduate Loans.

DfE has been consulting on Post-Doctoral and Part-Time Undergraduate Loans. 

DfE Launches Technical and Further Education Bill

The progress of this Bill can be followed on the parliament/uk eb-site.

The Education and Training Foundation

A Government Announcement related to Funding on 9th December drew attention to the relatively new Education and Training Foundation, which is intended to ensure high quality Further and Vocational Education.  A look at its composition and current tasks would suggest is is something with which both the Technical and Vocational Education Forum and Professions Together Education Forum needs to engage to avoid duplication of efffort and working at cross purposes. For example, on Apprenticeship End Point Assessments (in which some PSRBs might wish to be involved), we read 'A large-scale programme, funded by the Department for Education and commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation, is today being launched to improve capacity to deliver independent end-point assessment in apprenticeships. The programme, co-managed by AELP and SDN, will substantially increase the number of Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations (AAOs) and begin to create and prepare a critical mass of end-point assessors'.

UKNARIC

The UKIPG has worked collaboratively with UKNARIC over many years and has a place on the external Quality and Standards Group (often in addition to a place for one of the PSRB).  The UKIPG/PT will be represented at the next QSG on 26th January.  If you have any issues with UK NARIC related to qualifications for your profession, please let UKIPG Secretary know as soon as you can.

International, European and BREXIT Matters

Inevitably, the BREXIT issues overshadow much of this area of work, and quite reasonably the International and European Forum has adapted to suit.  The UKIPG / Professions Together membership is diverse, both in the range or professional and business areas involved, but equally if not more significantly, in the nature of the organisations.  Some are national statutory regulators and have to work within any UK regulatory framework which emerges; others are anyway world-wide professional 'brands' with a traditional overseas membership and have many non-EU contacts already, others are primarily member support organisations and will be concerned about their members personal and professional wellbeing and future access to work and business opportunities.  For many years it has been the norm for professionals to come to the UK for education, training, experiential learning which is internationally recognised and valued.  Similarly, UK nationals have qualifications end experience which enables them to live and work elsewhere. Whilst it may be possible in time to recruit, education and train more home-based professionals, the lead time in many fields is of the order of 10 -15 years. Any shortfall is compounded by the need to take more people from the current workforce to expand the education and training system. So for the professions, there are many general issues to address, as well as those specific to sectors.

Some recent publications and statements

As we showed in the previous Newsletter, much preparation had been done in the Balance of Competences Review, and early warning of the process of 'leaving' given by the FCO.  Now that the new administration has been established with additional Departments, we have seen an attempt to clarify 'who does what' with a FAQ Document from DExEU

Whilst the general transposition of Directive 2013/55/EU was completed more or less on time by BIS, there has been a long delay in its transposition in the Healthcare Area, with additional consultation being undertaken by DH. This inevitably meant that it got caught up in the post-referendum uncertainty.  The DH has now finally reported on the outcome in 'MRPQ in Healthcare' and published its draft regulations.  It recognises that we are still committed to the revised MRPQ Directive for more than 2-years, and that gives us a chance to see the strengths and weaknesses of some of the new provisions, such as Partial Access, Common Training Principles, European Professional Card, Alert Mechanism etc.  This will help the UK Government to know what it wants to retain, and what it really does not find useful, for future Brexit negotiations. We have committed both taxpayers and the professions' time and money to some of these projects. In the same way, HMT has got on with the transposition of the 4th Money Laundering Directive and is currently analysing feedback from its consultation of a few months ago.

We tend to hear less of the Services Directive (2006/123/EC), although it is a focus of interest of both the European Commission and the UK Government, through BIES.  The Commission is still trying to rid the system of unnecessary regulation. It has a project to compare the reasons why in different member states the range of regulated professions is so different.  We understand that the professions first to be used for comparison are Accountancy, Architecture, Engineering, Law, Tax Advisors and Tourist Guides.  Some of the perceptions of 'unnecessary' may be based anyway on false data, as the formal listing suffers from the fact that many MS do not notify changes.

In the UK, a team a BIES is focussed on the potential consequences of leaving the Single Market for Services.  As a consequence, the BIES Europe Directorate is looking for information from those who provide professional services accross the EU, whether through establishment or 'temporary and occasional'.  In addition, they would like to hear from those who provide services to 3rd Countries (EU-speak for non-Member States), to find out how things differ.  Isabel Stevens of the BIES Europe Unit would be delighted to hear from any business with experience to share. (020 7215 1847).  Her letter of invitation is bundled with the notes of the recent IET Forum meeting (qv) and the Questinnaire is provided separately in Word.

International, European and BREXIT Forum

Katy Turff, who coordinates are Forum, hosted an extremely well received Forum at the Engineering Council on 25th November.  Besides representatives from UKIPG/PT member bodies, she had contributers from Parliament UK (Alasdair McKenzie), The Royal Academy of Engineering (Claire Donovan, and BIES (isabel Stevens).  Katy has produced a Summary of the IEFB Forum Meeting, which includes the latter from BIES on the Single Market in Services.  The BIES Questionnaire is separate.  The Summary Report itself contains many references and contacts, not least being to the Royal Academy of Engineering's most comprehensive report 'Engineering a Future Outside of the EU'.  There are also notes of suggestions for further study and work on this topic for PT in the future.  We also have been offered a short Item by Parlaiment UK (and a longer piece in support) for our next Newsletter, which made be the last in the UKIPG Series or the first of Professions Together!

CEPLIS

UKIPG / Professions Together remains an Observer Member of CEPLIS and was represented at the November 2016 General Assembly, Permanent Committee, and CTF Working Group meetings (all on the same day).  The UKIPG /PT Chairman had been invited as a speaker at the Permanent Committee.  At that meeting, among other things, we expressed our continuing interest in Horizon 2020 Projects, particularly the CEPLIS members' supported one on Professional Ethics and CPD. We said that UK agencies had been assured by Government of the 'started so we will finish' rule to be applied to R&D work, Education Exchanges, and other uses of EU Funding.  We continued to cement our good relations with the European Professions, assuring them that the UK Government may be intent on leaving the EU itself, but we had no intention of leaving the wider Europe and its many useful institutions which were not deried directly from the Treaties.

Examples of Non-EU Euopean Collaboration

On 28th November, the UK Government announced that it would ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.

On 2nd December, the UK Government committed to European Collaboration in science, exploration and satellite technology, through the Europen Space Agency (Not an EU body).

Professional Regulation and Corporate Governance

BIES Consultation on Corporate Governance Reform

On 27th November, BIES publihed a Green Paper 'Corporate Governance Reform'. The essence of the message from BIES introducing the consult ation is:

"The UK has long been regarded as a world-leader in corporate governance, combining high standards with low burdens and flexibility. It is an important part of what makes the UK such an attractive place for both business and investors. We want to build on these strengths and further enhance our competitiveness. The green paper asks for views on:

  • executive pay
  • employee and customer voice
  • corporate governance in large private businesses

We also welcome other suggestions to help address the corporate governance challenges facing us."

UKIPG Future

Much work has been going on behind the scenes to develop some new approaches and systems for UKIPG.  A group of volunteers form the Leadership Team has been beavering away quietly, and in between their own busy jobs and occasional holiday, to deliver a new and more slick and modern UKIPG, to be renamed as Professions Together.  During this same period, the UKIPG Secretary has been charged with keeping the old (and sometimes rather 'creaky') systems going, and providing business as usual, as far as possible.  Some decisions have recently been made; we have contracted to have a new 'visual identity' and web-site, which should be visible early in 2017. However, we do need the means to implement these developments! We should have, if everyone pulls their weight both financially and with some team effort.  The latest Leadership Team meeeting was on 14th November. The Minutes will shortly be circulated to all of the Leadership Team, and then made available to all UKIPG members on request to the Secretary. They have not been linked directly to this Newsletter because it is in the public domain - and the minutes deal with the private business of UKIPG.

The one plea is that if you are a member, please pay your Annual Subscription as soon as you can.  They will arrive in the next few weeks.  The invoices for 2016 have been with members for several months now, and despite being asked for copies etc, some remain unpaid. We do not want to chase you if you do not really want to belong - just tell us.  If you do want to remain in membership, you know what to do.  If you are sure you have paid by BACS or cheque, please tell the Secretary. (It is possible that a cheque may have gone to the old address.)

Finally, if you have not already done so, please complete the Contact Form, save it with your short name added (eg ICAEW, ARB) and send it to the Secretary.  If necessary, please just complete your bit - we can add several bits together.  But we really do need an accurate and current database for Professions Together and for the new web-site coming next month.