New Not-For-Profit Consultancy Will Help Companies Develop Their Own Externally Verified Qualifications

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A new not-for-profit consultancy is launching next month to assist employers wanting to develop their own higher-level qualifications.

A new not-for-profit consultancy is launching next month to assist employers wanting to develop their own higher-level qualifications.

HE@Work will help organisations develop their in-house training programmes to meet the standards required by higher education institutions. Instead of being restricted to a company-specific qualification, employees will be awarded recognised and transferable higher education credit within an externally kite-marked company scheme.

Supported by the Edge Foundation and the University Vocational Awards Council -- and headed up by John Mumford, ex VP (UK) at BP, and Simon Roodhouse, Professor of Creative Industries at the University of the Arts and an expert in higher vocational learning - HE@Work will provide the specialist advice required by employers looking to take their in-house training programmes to the highest levels.

John Mumford, executive chair of HE@Work said: "By allowing McDonald's and others to award qualifications, the Government is reinforcing its current focus on developing employees at GCSE and A level. However, there is an additional workplace need to develop people to degree level and beyond."

Simon Roodhouse, the organisation's technical director added:
"Employees themselves are keen to develop their professional skills. Companies that offer recognised, accredited programmes at higher levels will find themselves becoming employers of choice as skills gaps and shortages become greater and the inevitable war for talent ensues."

HE@Work's claims are backed up by independent research the company commissioned to test the market for its consultancy services. Nearly 5,000 individuals working for organisations with more than 2,000 employees took part in the survey during January 2008.

Almost 80 per cent of this sample said they would like to have more opportunities to develop professionally -- and a staggering 85 per cent want to learn more about studying for an employer-specific accredited degree or postgraduate qualification.

Andy Powell, chief executive of the Edge Foundation concluded:
"More than 70 per cent of the people who will make up the country's 2020 workforce have already completed their compulsory education, which means that a significant proportion are already in employment. We need to find ways to inspire these individuals and encourage them to achieve their full potential by helping them develop their professional skills in the workplace.

"The benefits will be evident for individuals themselves; the companies they work for; the industries they operate within; and the UK economy as a whole."

Notes to editors:
The full survey results will be released to coincide with the formal launch of HE@Work in a few weeks' time. Anyone wanting to receive a copy of the management summary of the findings on release can register on the HE@Work website ( or email their details to

About HE@Work -
HE@Work is an independent not-for-profit organisation supported by the Edge Foundation and the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC). Its remit is to support UK businesses in their drive for improved performance by helping them develop their workforces. HE@Work consultants work closely with organisations to understand business need and recommend strategies for the design and delivery of higher-level training programmes.

Services include:
1.    Health Check
A diagnostic service providing a health check for in-company programmes compared with higher education (HE) standards
2.    Programme Enhancement
A diagnostic and support service to enhance or augment existing in-company programmes
3.    Credit recognition of an existing in-company programme
A 'kite-marking' scheme for in-company programmes against HE benchmarks to establish general credit
4.    Accreditation of an in-company programme
The facilitation of the award of HE general credit to individuals successfully completing a programme
5.    Development and validation of an higher education award
The development of company schemes to enable employees to easily access and complete an HE qualification. This can also incorporate Awarding Body accreditation against National Occupational Standards (NOS) or other occupational or professional standards
6.    Programme Management
A service to assist companies in managing the assessment requirements of their in-company programmes where HE accreditation is required
7.    Access to existing HE expertise and qualifications; including negotiated use of existing HEI work-based learning programme frameworks

The provision of specialist expertise as required.


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