Ahead of the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy later this year, the government has published draft strategic guidance on the new Institute for Apprenticeships and how it will operate.

It comes as part of a programme of reform to raise the quality and quantity of apprenticeships to ensure that they deliver the skills that employers need.

The Institute for Apprenticeships will function as an independent body to act as guarantor of the integrity of the apprenticeships system, and will have a mandate to assure quality and provide objective advice to the government on future funding for apprenticeship training.

Employers will play a central role at the institute. The majority of the Institute for Apprenticeships’ Board are employers or representatives of employers, and the Institute will also consult employers during the development of its functions.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:

“We know apprenticeships work - 90% of apprentices go on to secure a job and nobody understands the skills employers need better than employers themselves. That is why we are introducing the Institute for Apprenticeships.

With employers at its heart, it will be charged with approving standards to ensure they are the highest quality.”

The Role of the Institute:

  • to set the quality criteria for the development of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
  • to review, approve or reject apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
  • to advise on the maximum level of government funding available for standards
  • to ensure arrangements are in place to quality assure all end point assessments.

In a broader context, the Institute for Apprenticeships will play an important role in helping the government to achieve its aim of delivering 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Its remit will include technical education by April 2018 and it will support employers to develop ambitious plans for good quality standards in sectors where there are skills gaps and priorities, particularly with regard to industrial strategy.

Other responsibilities of the Institute for Apprenticeships include funding, engaging apprentices and overseeing a fair and open system.

You can read the draft strategic guidance in full here.


The government recognises that transitioning functions from the existing system to the Institute for Apprenticeships will be challenging, but they believe that an independent organisation led by employers will deliver the best results.

Organisations or individuals with an interest in apprenticeships, specifically the quality of apprenticeships, are encouraged to comment on this draft strategic guidance. Feedback must be emailed to IFA@bis.gsi.gov.uk by 31st January 2017.