Higher technical qualifications will receive a new quality mark from the Institute from September 2022, as part of government reforms.

The mark will help to set out those qualifications which fit in with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need.

This is part of wider government changes to higher technical education at Level 4 and 5 in England, aiming to increase take-up. In England, currently only 1 in 10 people have a level 4 or 5 as their highest qualification.


The Institute is pleased to be playing a central part in the reforms and as with our existing processes for apprenticeships and T Levels, employers will be placed at the heart of decision-making.

In the first year, the focus will be exclusively on digital qualifications, leading to occupations like network engineer, cyber-security technologist and software developer.

Qualifications will be compared to the new digital standards at level 4 and 5 which have been subject to our recent route review of quality.

These will be available shortly on our website. During the first wave of approval on digital qualifications, we will work collaboratively with awarding bodies and our partners to learn lessons for future waves.

The first qualifications will be available from September 2022, providing opportunities for students starting the first digital T Level, recently approved by the Institute, later this year.

Attention will then turn to qualifications on the Construction and Health and Science routes which will be available from 2023.

The Institute will provide full details of the approval process to interested awarding organisations and universities when the window for submission of qualifications opens in September.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said:

COVID-19 has really focused public attention on the quality of training at all levels, and the role it can play in economic recovery.

The Institute has a track record of working closely with employers to deliver high-quality qualifications that make a real difference to people’s lives.

We are looking forward to starting our work on higher technical qualifications to help provide the skills our economy needs.