Apprenticeships and IfATE approved technical qualifications are based on occupations recognised by employers. Our maps bring these together to show where technical education can lead. 

They help employers and individuals to understand routes for progression and how occupations at different levels link together.


1. What do the occupational maps show?

Apprenticeships and Institute approved technical qualifications are based on occupations. Our maps bring all these together to show where technical education can lead. An occupational standard, explaining what someone in the occupation does, their role, duties, knowledge, skills and behaviours has been written or is in development for most of these occupations, although some await interest from employers.

The maps group occupations with related knowledge, skills and behaviours into pathways, making it easier to see the opportunities for career progression within that particular route. Within each pathway, occupations at the same level are grouped into clusters, to show how skills learnt can be applied to other related occupations.


2. Why use occupational maps?

Occupational maps provide a useful guide to show the technical education options available for employers as well as individuals and training providers who are interested in offering it.

To ensure the occupational maps remain up-to-date, each map is owned by a route panel, made up of industry experts.

Route panels use the maps to support decision making on apprenticeships and technical qualifications. Route reviews are used to help them identify additional occupations that need to be developed.


3. What is an occupation?

An occupation is a set of jobs whose main tasks and duties have a high degree of similarity across a relevant sector or sectors, rather than being associated with a single employer.

An occupation proposal must meet our occupation requirements for us to agree to its development as an occupational standard. Our occupation requirements can be found here.

Route panels make recommendations on whether occupational proposals developed by employers meet these requirements as part of the approvals process.

Once an occupation is agreed upon, it is placed on the relevant occupational map.


4. Can occupations be on multiple routes?

An occupation will only appear on one route or occupational map. It will be placed on the map which has the best alignment with its knowledge, skills and behaviours.


5. How are the maps updated?

The UK economy is dynamic, and to reflect this the occupational maps are updated as occupations evolve, and new ones emerge. Occupations are added to the maps when the occupation proposal has been approved by the Institute’s route panels.

In addition to day-to-day changes to the maps, the Institute also carries out route reviews.

During a route review, we consider the map as a whole, identifying any gaps or occupations that duplicate each other, and amend the map accordingly. This is to ensure the maps are current and reflective of employer needs.

As part of our route reviews, we carry out consultations to capture employer and industry feedback on the maps. 


6. Are other technical qualifications included?

We are planning to represent all Institute-approved qualifications, and the occupations they cover, on the maps when the maps are redeveloped to show all technical education.


7. Are standards mapped to SOC codes?

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a common classification of occupational information for the UK and is published by the Office for National Statistics ( 

SOC codes classify jobs in terms of their skill level and skill content. It is used for career information to labour market entrants, job matching by employment agencies and the development of government labour market policies. 

For more information about Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes for the UK please visit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) - Office for National Statistics ( 

We provide two mappings of Standards to SOC codes. 
Firstly, IfATE has mapped occupations mapped to SOC 2010 codes. IfATE works with employers to design, develop and approve occupational standards. During the development process, each occupation is mapped to the SOC code which is considered to be the closest match. You can download the mapping to SOC 2010 codes spreadsheet (CSV file) below. 
Secondly, Gatsby ( has provided a mapping of occupations to SOC extension sub-unit groups. Please find more information about SOC extension sub-unit groups at Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) extension project - Office for National Statistics ( There can be multiple SOC sub-unit groups matched to an Occupational Standard. Below you can download the mapping to SOC extension sub-unit groups spreadsheet (CSV file) and accompanying appendix which contains further explanation and a description of the mapping process (xlsx file). 

We do not give any guarantees, conditions or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of this mapping. We are not liable for any loss or damage that may come from your use of this information. 

Occupational Standards mapped to SOC 2010 codes provided by IfATE, closest match, 14th December 2022

Occupational Standards mapped to SOC Extension Project Sub-Unit Group Codes provided by Gatsby, closest matches, 27 February 2023

Appendix for Occupational Standards mapped to SOC Extension Project Sub-Unit Group Codes provided by Gatsby, closest matches, 27 February 2023


Last updated 9 March 2023