The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

Vocational Qualifications Reform

Vocational qualifications:
right skills, right for your business

In driving growth for the economy, employers need employees with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. In order to achieve this, work-related qualifications have been reformed to better meet the needs of employers, employees and people entering work.

Qualifications are now based on what employers need and what learners can easily access whilst including the best parts of existing vocational qualifications. Fundamentally, they bring choice, clarity and confidence to vocational qualifications.

What does this mean for building services engineering?


Choice, clarity and confidence for employers


  • Having more say on what qualifications are developed
    Vocational qualifications are developed in response to employers' demands. Sector Skills Councils are independent, employer-led organisations that support employers in this development process through Sector Qualifications Strategies, based on detailed labour market intelligence about skills needs in the sector - driving the approval of qualifications.
  • A more flexible qualifications system
    Under the new structure, learners can build up qualifications on a unit-by-unit basis, making training more accessible to a wider range of learners. The new qualifications on the QCF offer greater flexibility allowing them to include sector- and employer-specific units.

Employers benefit from improved retention rates and profitability


  • Understanding and comparing qualifications more easily
    All vocational qualifications under the new structure have straightforward titles that tell you about its size, its level of difficulty and the skills area it covers, so you'll have a better idea of the skills an employee has as a result of completing the qualification.

Employers benefit from easier and effective succession planning


  • A better skilled workforce
    All vocational qualifications must be approved by sector skills councils as being robust and fit-for-purpose. Having staff with nationally recognised qualifications means employers can be confident that they have the right knowledge and skills to do the job.

Employers benefit from mapping their training to nationally recognised qualifications and motivated staff who reach their potential

What does this mean for building services engineering?

There is now a new process for developing and recognising vocational qualifications that directly involves employers to ensure that the skills needed to improve productivity, generate employment and drive our economy are developed. Employers can now:

  1. Influence  sector strategies for skills by voicing views on for example, training gaps and priority skills areas.
  2. Map their in-house training to nationally recognised qualifications.
  3. Work with training providers to develop relevant units that can be taken as part of a nationally recognised qualification.
  4. Join forces with other employers in their sector to create relevant skills and training.
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