UVAC members will be aware that the IfATE opened the FIRST application window for new Higher Technical Qualification (HTQs) on 23 September. This first phase application window closes on 16 December. Approved HTQs will be available for delivery from September 2022.
The application window relates to the DIGITAL ROUTE and qualifications that can be mapped to the following standards (qualifications can be at level 4 or 5, so Foundation Degrees would be in scope – but bachelor’s degrees i.e. level 6 qualifications are not):
Business Analyst (level 4)
Cyber Security Technologist (level 4)
Data Analyst (level 4)
Dev Ops Engineer (level 4)
Digital Accessibility Specialist (level 4)
Digital Community Manager (level 4)
Network Engineer (level 4)
Software Developer (level 4)
Software Tester (level 4)
The IfATE defines the key test for approval as:
“That by obtaining the qualification a person can demonstrate that they have attained as many of the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the standard as may be reasonably expected by undertaking a course of education.”Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
If an existing qualification does not have a standard (needed in the employment market) IfATE wants to know and will work with an awarding organisation, HEIs and employers to develop a standard.
DfE/IfATE has outlined a timetable for the approval of HTQs in other route panel areas. Awarding Organisations/HEIs are being asked to consider and prepare for the approval of HTQs in CONSTRUCTION, HEALTH & SCIENCE.
Approval of a qualification as a Higher Technical Qualification will lead to the award of an IfATE quality mark or BADGE. OfS and Ofqual will provide advice on the approval process. Government has also proposed funding incentives. HTQs will also be important to the social mobility/widening access agenda and will be particularly valuable in supporting progression from T levels. For example, it is intended the first digital T Level students will be able to progress to these HTQs in the digital route when they finish their courses in September 2022. As colleagues will be aware Government is emphasising the importance of HEIs offering new types of provision other than and beyond bachelor’s and master’s degree provision.
Several Awarding Organisation colleagues have asked UVAC how HEIs are finding the application process. There is also some interest in understanding how HTQs will allow access and provide credit for entry to the second year of a bachelor’s degree programme. UVAC would also welcome the opportunity to feed back to the IfATE, HEI experiences of the application process. Further information on HTQs and the application process is available on the IfATE website.