You must submit Higher Technical Qualifications applications for approval via the online application form, and you must submit one application form per qualification. The key task will be to evidence that qualifications meet the approvals criteria. We have provided additional guidance which has been embedded within the form.

Below is a summary of the evidence you will be expected to provide. It is possible to save your progress and return to the form later by selecting the save option and providing an email address.

1. Section 1: Terms and conditions and data security

This section requires you to:

  1. agree to the Institute’s terms and conditions for approval
  2. list any materials submitted that you consider to be confidential and/or commercially sensitive (as we may need to discuss these documents with you in connection with the prospect of public consultation) and
  3. note the Institute’s rights and responsibilities in relation to freedom of information and data protection

The Institute’s privacy notice for awarding bodies is included below.

 

2. Section 2: Awarding body information

The purpose of this section is to capture contact details and ensure that you meet the relevant regulatory requirements of either Ofqual or The Office for Students. You must include additional registration/regulation information if the occupational standard aligns to a qualification or occupation that is regulated by a statutory regulator.

Evidence required:

  • Ofqual and The Office for Students recognition/registration numbers
  • (Where applicable) Statutory regulator recognition/registration numbers.

3. Section 3: Qualification information

This section of the form requires basic information about the qualification including title and level.

Evidence required:

  • qualification or institutional reference numbers

4. Section 4: Employer engagement

In this section you must demonstrate that you have worked with employers in the planning, design and development of the submitted qualification and have received employer support and validation.

There are five questions, relating to:

  1. employer demand for employees with the qualification
  2. descriptions of employer engagement activities
  3. how you have positively used employer engagement to improve the qualification and assessment methods
  4. how you keep the qualification current, continuing to meet the needs of employers
  5. employer support for assessment methods (if you propose using any assessment methods not in the most recent Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment Plan)

If your qualification maps to multiple occupations, we expect credible employer engagement evidence for each occupation.

Evidence to support answers to these questions should be uploaded to the Contextual Information and Evidence Upload Page of the application form.

Evidence required may include:

  • reports or documentation from development and testing of the qualifications (e.g. produced by awarding bodies as part of their existing internal processes)
  • letters of support from employers indicating demand for employees and endorsement of this specific qualification
  • detail relating to the work of employer groups/panels that contributed to, or collaborated in, the development of the qualification

More recent employer engagement evidence is likely to be more credible. Generally, we expect evidence to be no more than 12 months old and to be clearly attributed to specific employers or relevant bodies. The Institute may directly contact employers cited in the application. 

5. Section 5: Route and Occupational Standards

In this section, you must identify the digital, construction or health & science occupational standard(s) the qualification aligns to.

Evidence required:

  • identification of occupational standards qualification aligns to
  • a document detailing the purpose and content of the qualification, for example a specification of content or syllabus
  • (Where applicable) Statutory Regulator recognition/registration numbers.

6. Section 6: Knowledge, skills, and behaviours coverage within qualification

In this section, you must demonstrate that all of the knowledge, skill and behaviour statements are covered.

Evidence required:

  • mapping of qualification content to knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the KSB mapping spreadsheet.
  • justification and rationale for the exclusion of any KSBs from the qualification on the basis that these cannot be delivered in an education setting and are contingent on being in work in the occupation.

7. Section 7: Additional occupationally relevant content

This section allows you to justify the inclusion of any additional occupationally relevant content.

Higher Technical Qualifications may also include additional content relevant to the occupation that is valuable to employers. Any content that does not align to the relevant occupational standard should be included in the additional content section of the application form.  We expect the vast majority (substantive element) of the qualification to cover the occupational standard.  Any unit, module, and/or components that do not cover any of the KSBs in the specified standard(s) are classed as additional content.

You must provide a rationale for the occupational relevance of any content that does not directly align with the occupational standard. We may request employer engagement evidence if required and make suggestions to awarding bodies on the occupational relevance of submitted additional content. 

Evidence required:

  • identification and rationale for the inclusion of additional content

8. Section 8: Assessment

You will be asked to outline the methods used to assess the content of the qualification and provide a rationale for why these methods are valid for the qualification. Please ensure that the assessment packages you submit directly assess the KSBs that you have mapped to the qualification.

Evidence required:

  • Example briefs, sample assessment materials, assessment strategy
  • Rationale setting out:
    • why your chosen assessment methods are the most appropriate way of assessing the knowledge, skills, and behaviours in the occupational standard
    • how you ensure the assessment achieves and balances validity, manageability, reliability, comparability, and minimising bias

9. Section 9: Contextual information and evidence upload

In this section we collect information to understand the delivery and geographical spread of Higher Technical Qualifications, and when your next planned qualification revalidation is. This information is not part of the approvals process.

Evidence upload

Please add your attachments in this section. Where possible, submit a zip folder if there are multiple items under the same category. Please avoid uploading scanned documents. Please label your attachments clearly.

There are four categories of requirement attachments:

  • Qualification documents and KSB Mapping attachments 
  • Employer engagement attachments
  • Assessment attachments
  • Other attachments

Public consultation

Please provide details and an explanation of any materials submitted that you consider to be confidential and/or commercially sensitive as we may need to discuss these documents with you in connection with the prospect of public consultation.

Checklist

We have provided a checklist to help you check your evidence submission.

10. Section 10: Higher Technical Qualification approval privacy notice

Our contact details

Name: Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Address:

Sanctuary Buildings,
20 Great Smith Street,
London
SW1P 3BT

Email: htq.approvals@education.gov.uk

The type of personal information we collect

We currently collect and process the following information:

  • name of the primary contact
  • telephone number
  • email address

How we get personal information and why we have it

All of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you through the online application form for one of the following reasons:

  • maintaining contact with the applicant throughout the Higher Technical Qualification approvals process
  • maintaining contact with the applicant post Higher Technical Qualification approval

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the lawful bases we rely on for processing this information are:

  • we need it to perform a public task (under our governing legislation, the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009)
  • we need it for the performance of a contract

What we do with the information we have

We use the information that you have given us in order to:

  • call or email the primary contact to address questions/queries related to the submission for Higher Technical Qualification approval
  • call or email the primary contact to provide additional information on the submission for Higher Technical Qualification approval
  • call or email the primary contact post review for the purposes of feedback on the submission for Higher Technical Qualification approval
  • call or email the primary contact for the purposes of renewal of the approved status for Higher Technical Qualifications
  • call or email the primary contact to discuss adherence to quality mark usage guidance and terms and conditions of approval

We may share this information with the Department for Education, Ofqual, and the Office for Students for the purpose of evaluation of the programme and/or evaluation of the submitted qualifications. They may wish to contact you during the approvals process. Each of these public bodies has a broad statutory power to disclose information to and receive information from the other where this relates to its functions. We will ensure that any personal data disclosed is kept safe and in line with these functions.

How we store your information

Your information is securely stored on internal Institute file storage and information management systems.

We keep the name, email address and telephone number information for the applicant’s primary contact for seven years [from the date of application?]. We will then dispose of your information by securely deleting all electronic copies of the data.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

Your right of access - You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.

Your right to rectification - You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.

Your right to erasure - You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing - You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing - You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances.

Your right to data portability - You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

Please contact us at htq.approvals@education.gov.uk if you wish to make a request.

How to complain

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:            

Information Commissioner’s OfficeWycliffe HouseWater LaneWilmslow CheshireSK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113