The Institute is responsible for ensuring that high-quality apprenticeships and technical education are available to learners.

Route reviews help us to do this. They are an opportunity for the Institute to take a strategic look across the route and the occupations within it as well as reviewing whether technical education programmes such as apprenticeships, T levels and higher technical qualification, are relevant and up to date, and deliver for employers and learners.

All route reviews were postponed in March due to COVID-19 but as more employers are returning to work the Institute feels that this is the right time to restart these route reviews and the Institute is looking forward to engaging and consulting with hundreds of employers on the future of apprenticeships and wider technical education.

We know that employers, providers, awarding organisations, and the Institute have developed more resilient ways of doing business, so despite future uncertainties, we feel we can restart this important work and see it through to completion for the benefit of employers and learners. The first reviews to resume will cover the hair and beauty; creative and design; agriculture, environmental and animal care; and engineering and manufacturing occupational routes.

Review of the hair and beauty route

The review of the occupational map and apprenticeship standard for the hair and beauty route commenced on 29 July 2019.  

The standard in scope for the review is: 


The consultation for this route closed on 22 September 2019. We have reviewed the occupational map and assessed the Level 2 hair professional apprenticeship against the Institute’s current approval criteria, taking into consideration feedback from the consultation and wider engagement. We have also engaged with the trailblazer for this apprenticeship.

We will be publishing the recommendations for the hair and beauty route review in November 2020 at a virtual event where stakeholders from across the further education sector, employers, trailblazers and apprentices can attend to discuss how we have reached our recommendations and the next steps.  We will be announcing dates and further information on the website shortly


If you have any questions about this  route review or the apprenticeships in scope please contact us


Our route reviews are:

  1. Focussed – our review will focus strategically on the route, the occupational map and apprenticeships in scope. The outcomes of the review may highlight changes which are required to the apprenticeships and the aligned assessment plans.
  2. Employer-led – responses from our consultation and engagement with employers will inform our recommendations. The recommendations will be reviewed by the Institute’s route panel.
  3. Open and transparent – we will engage with stakeholders throughout the review process and following the review recommendations will agree on a suitable timetable for trailblazers to update apprenticeships
  4. Joined up – our review will ensure the recommendations support the different technical education products, such as T Levels and higher technical qualifications

The following criteria are used to determine which apprenticeships are in scope for the review:

  • apprenticeships which were approved for delivery prior to the establishment of the Institute in April 2017 and have not been significantly updated since
  • apprenticeships where concerns have been raised over the content
  • apprenticeships that did not comply with the Institute’s occupational requirements