This consultation is now closed, we will review your feedback and publish a response by mid-2024.  


Establishing a gateway for technical qualifications as part of the Lifelong learning entitlement. 

Please read the Strengthening technical qualifications at levels 4 to 6 consultation documentPlease submit your answers in this form by 23:59 on Monday 8 April 2024. 


What’s the ask?  

Help us to deliver high quality technical qualifications. By sharing your views you will help us create a skills system which:

  • is flexible
  • is accessible 
  • meets the needs of employers. 

The consultation should be read alongside the Department for Education’s LLE overview including details of the gateway launch.

How long will the consultation run for?  

Send us your responses by 23:59 on Monday 8 April 2024. 

Why are we consulting?   

As announced by the Government in September 2020, the Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE) will help people to take up opportunities by making funding available to pay for college or university courses. This will support them to train, retrain and upskill over the course of their working lives.   

As the Department for Education (DfE) set out in its LLE consultation response, for an Ofqual regulated technical qualification to receive LLE funding it will need to go through an Approval Gateway run by IfATE. The IfATE approval process will make sure only high-quality qualifications that give people the skills employers need receive LLE funding. 

The Department for Education has now announced the LLE Gateway will open in September 2025. 

We want to hear your views on how we approve qualifications through the new gateway.  

This will help us create a simpler skills system and join up with the way we already approve Higher Technical Qualifications, T Levels, and level 2 and 3 technical qualifications

Who do we want to hear from?  

We want to hear from anyone with an interest in the levels 4 to 6 technical qualifications system. We expect employers and organisations that develop or deliver qualifications will be particularly keen to respond and help shape IfATE’s role in the LLE approvals gateway. 

What’s in the consultation? 

The consultation is in three main parts: 

Part one:

We explain what we think the new categories should be. By this we mean:

  • the types of qualifications we will consider for approval 
  • how we will test the qualifications to make sure they deliver good outcomes for students, employers and the economy

Part two:

We explain the Government’s move towards modules (a shorter unit of learning as part of a full qualification). We ask for your view on what needs to be in place to make sure employers benefit from the flexibility and targeted approach which funding modular learning offers. 

Part three:

We explain the importance of making these qualifications as accessible as possible. We ask how IfATE could do more to strengthen Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as part of its approval checks. We ask how we can improve accessibility and uptake across the skills system.  

What happens next?  

We will review your feedback and publish a response by mid-2024.  

Further questions or queries? 

Please email: 


Published 16 January 2024
Last updated 9 April 2024
(DO, NS)