We recently consulted on several proposed policy changes. These changes were to how non-degree qualifications are used and operate within apprenticeships. 

Our consultation launched on 15 December 2022 and closed on 17 February 2023. It generated nearly 330 written responses through the survey platform and via the consultation inbox. We also gathered the views of:

  • employers
  • apprentices
  • trailblazers
  • awarding organisations
  • education and training providers and 
  • end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) 

who attended engagement sessions during this period. 

We are grateful to all the individuals and organisations that took the time to respond. You can view respondent feedback in our analysis document.  We have used feedback from:

  • consultation responses and 
  • direct engagement 

when reaching our decisions.

Responses to the consultation were incredibly positive. There was strong support for the majority of our proposals.



In response to consultation feedback, we have:

  • expanded what we mean by ‘labour market requirement’. This now includes qualifications which support progression through an established career path. Therefore filling skills gaps at a later stage in an apprentice’s career
  • expanded ‘regulatory requirement’ to ‘regulatory and legal requirement’. This will make sure that essential qualifications required by central regulators, as well as qualifications which fulfil other legal requirements but are not viewed as ‘regulations’, continue to be mandated
  • included a provision to allow, in exceptional circumstances, qualifications to deliver content with goes beyond that which is set out in the occupational standard
  • developed our position on coherence with other approvals processes. This will make sure comparable qualifications are considered for inclusion as mandated qualifications

We have adopted our other proposals unchanged.

Our detailed response and rationale for the decisions we have reached can be found in our consultation decisions document. 

The updated criteria can be found in our criteria document. To support the implementation of the changes, further guidance will be available in July 2023.

For any questions or to get in touch please email us.


Published 6 June 2023
Last updated 6 June 2023
(SP, NS)