The University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1999 by the higher and further education sector. We provide an independent voice for our members on matters relating to technical and professional higher level learning including higher and degree apprenticeship. Our mission is to champion higher level vocational learning.

UVAC has a membership of approximately 90, including universities, higher education institutions, awarding bodies, service providers and individuals.

We believe in:

  • The importance of meeting the higher vocational learning needs of individuals and employers
  • The validity of work-based routes into practical, work-applied higher education – with no artificial barriers
  • The value of experiential and reflective learning
  • The value of work-based and work-related higher education learning

Our activities:

  • We work with our members and others to influence the quality and value of higher vocational learning
  • We research, provide information and organise events to support our aims
  • We support the recognition of prior learning and the national application of credit and transfer between educational institutions
  • We work with educational institutions, employers, governments and national agencies to enhance graduate employability and progression

In 2020 UVAC delivered and celebrated the following events and activities:

  • UVAC’s 21st anniversary 1999-2020
  • Regular meetings with Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, IfATE Chief Executive, DfE, ESFA and OfS
  • Membership of ESFA Provider Reference Panel and HE Apprenticeship Provider Reference Group



Increasing support for UVAC positions from policy makers on 5 key areas:

–           Inclusion of degrees in Apprenticeships

–           Appropriate funding of Higher and Degree Apprenticeship as an all age and all level Apprenticeship programme

–           Value of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the public sector

–           The role of universities in skills and technical education provision

–           Vocational and work-based progression to higher education

~ 50 webinar sessions

  • 1500 registrants
  • 1000+ participants/attendees
  • 437 Standalone views
  • 5 ‘State of the Nation’ Addresses to 250+ attendees
  • 21 Coronavirus Sessions
  • 9 Coronavirus Impact FAQs including 2 on Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship
  • 4 Degree Apprenticeship Knowledge Network (DAKN) Sessions:
  • 2 PCDA
  • 2 Social Worker
  • 3 more planned on:
    • HE Academic
    • Integrated Degree Apprenticeships
    • Nursing


  • 1 Nursing Web Forum
  • 1 Workshop on Funding Band Consultation


  • 2 programmes of support programme spring/summer and autumn/winter that covered 7 themes:
  • Delivery, quality and programme improvement
  • Integrated EPA delivery
  • Ofsted
  • Operational delivery
  • Operations
  • Policy and implementation
  • SAR, QIP and the EIF


  • Revised 3 contract templates for:
  • EPA Organisations
  • Subcontractor
  • Apprenticeship Services


  • Development and launch of Centre for Degree Apprenticeships (cda.uvac.ac.uk)


  • HESWBL’s 10th year of publication 2011-2020


  • Launch of the 1st Ruth Helyer Awards at Emerald Publishing Literati 2020 Awards in remembrance of the journal’s former editor-in-chief and Professor of Work-based Learning at Leeds Trinity University





  • Produced 8 Case Studies for Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship delivery on the themes of:
  • Perspectives on the Apprenticeship Journey
  • Productivity/Business Benefits and Gains
  • Public Sector Perspectives and New Delivery Experience
  • Public Service Improvements, Benefits and Gains
  • Social Mobility and Progression
  • Working with an Employer – NHS



  • Lobbied on the following 6 issues of policy:
  • DfE Review of Post 16 Qualifications at Level 3 in England – Second Stage
  • External Quality Assurance of Apprenticeship End Point Assessment
  • Integrated Degree Apprenticeships
  • Regulation of the quality in apprenticeship training
  • Student Number Controls and Higher and Degree Apprenticeship
  • T levels and Higher Technical Qualifications




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