The Institute for Apprenticeships has today published details of reforms to streamline the way it works with employers in developing new apprenticeship standards.

The Institute’s Faster and Better programme aims to simplify aspects of the standards development process by:

  • changing and simplifying some of the policy criteria for approval of apprenticeship occupations and standards
  • introducing improved trailblazer guidance, and intensive trailblazer workshops
  • aligning the process for recommending funding bands to the timelines for approving proposals and end-point assessment plans, to shorten the time a standard spends waiting for approval for delivery
  • simplifying the Institute’s position on the inclusion of qualifications within apprenticeship standards.


Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships said:

“We have listened and responded to what trailblazer groups have been telling us since the Institute’s launch last April: that the apprenticeships standards development process needs to be faster and better.  These improvements should address these concerns.”


Anthony Jenkins, Chairman of the Institute for Apprenticeships said:

“We share the view of the government and many employers of the challenge ahead: the pressing need for more highly skilled people, trained effectively, to grow the economy, raise productivity, and ensure prosperity and security for individuals.
“To achieve this we need to make sure that all of our interactions with employers and the processes we use, are fit for purpose in the new age of apprenticeships.”


Emma Horne, co-Chair of the Human Resources and Learning and Development trailblazer group, said:

“We very much look forward to simpler guidance, clear templates, best practice examples, the use of videos and webinars - we think the idea of intensive workshops will really help speed things along too.”


Neil Carberry, Director for People and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry, said:

“The Institute’s plans to put the customer front and centre will be heralded by those businesses who are developing quality training for our next generation of apprentices. Speeding up the standards process and improving support to trailblazer groups are vital steps to delivering a system that is responsive to needs on the ground.
“As the key body for skills in England, the Institute should be given the space to become an independent market regulator, setting a foundation for future investment in skills as part of our industrial strategy.’’


More than 200 standards have been approved to date, with many more in development.

The new guidance for trailblazer groups can be found in our developing an apprenticeship standard section.

Further information 

  1. The Institute is holding briefing events for stakeholders and other bodies involved in the delivery of apprenticeships on 6 and 8 February
  2. More detailed information about changes across different policies 


For further information please contact Ed Hickey, Press Manager, Institute for Apprenticeships: or 07469 412924.