In our last Newsletter we looked at the roles of the regulators - Ofsted and Ofqual, and the Sector Skills Council - SkillsActive, in the training and qualification of safety personnel at sports grounds.
In this article we consider the other stakeholders involved in the training and education process, the awarding organisations and training providers.
Awarding organisations, sometimes known as awarding bodies, are authorised and regulated by Ofqual to provide academic and vocational qualifications. Not all awarding organisations provide qualifications in every sector or subject matter. Awarding organisations do not provide training themselves but they do work with educators and training providers who are considered by the awarding organisations to be “centres”. It is the awarding organisation that issues the qualification and certificate to the learner.
Within our sector, the Spectator Safety suite of national occupational standards developed by SkillsActive is used by the awarding organisations to develop appropriate qualifications that are approved by the statutory regulator Ofqual. When the awarding organisations develop qualifications they are required to specify the relevant assessment criteria required.
There are a number of awarding organisations providing qualifications in the spectator safety sector, not all of the awarding organisations provide qualifications at each level.
Organisations providing training and the assessment of candidates (learners) are considered to be “approved centres” or “centres” by the awarding organisations. It is possible for a training provider to be a centre for a number of awarding organisations if the trainer provides qualifications across sectors.
In many cases centres or training providers are actually Further Education colleges that are well used to working with a range of awarding organisations and have all of the appropriate quality assurance systems in place. Commercial training providers are required, as part of the application process they undergo to be considered as a centre for an awarding organisation, to demonstrate their own quality assurance systems. These processes may be examined by the regulators.
Currently it is through the Further Education colleges that funding for candidates or learners who meet the appropriate criteria for funded learning can be provided. As previously outlined in our Newsletter, these arrangements are under review.
Commercial training providers may charge the employer or employee for the training and assessment of learners. Many training providers have relationships with Further Education colleges as funding partners that enables the college to access funding for training, so the commercial training provider may provide training and assessment at a reduced rate to the employer or employee.
The drawing below demonstrates the relationships between key stakeholders.