Quality Assurance in schools, colleges and work-based training

The quality standards for schools and colleges vary across the UK. The CDI supports a range of quality standards, awards and approaches. 

QA in England

The Quality in Careers Standard is the national quality award for CEIAG in schools and colleges. It sets out national criteria for assessment of schools, colleges and work-based learning providers and is fully aligned with the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Whilst Quality in Careers accreditation is voluntary, it is strongly recommended for schools in England by the Department for Education in its Statutory Guidance. In addition, Ofsted has placed increased emphasis on the inspection of CEIAG in schools and colleges.

careers quality assurance in england
careers quality assurance in scotland


The Career Education Standard (3-18) sets out what children and young people will learn and what parents and carers, teachers, employers and Skills Development Scotland will do to support their learning. 

Along with the Work Placements Standard and the Guidance on School/Employer Partnerships, the Standard clarifies expectations and provides support and guidance. 

All the standards were co-created with a range of different partners, including employers and 300 children and young people. 


Delivery of the Careers Wales Mark concluded in December 2021From September 2023 the pilot of a new Careers and Work-Related Experiences (CWRE) Award for Wales for primary, secondary and special schools will be rolled out 

The Careers Development Award has been created to support CWRE provision and improvement for FE colleges and Training providers. 

The CDI supported the development of the CWRE Award and wrote and CWRE Toolkit and Toolbox. 

career quality assurance in wales
careers quality assurance in northern ireland

Northern Ireland

Skills for a 10x Economy was published by the Department for the Economy in 2022, setting a strategic framework for the development of the skills system to 2030.  Careers guidance is a key aspect of the strategy, playing a key role in enhancing individuals’ lives and the contribution they make to Northern Ireland’s long-term economic prosperity.

The Careers Service is collaborating with departments and representatives in the Careers system to develop common quality standards, to ensure greater consistency in career guidance delivery in all settings and to all users. The CDI has an advisory role in this process.  

Schools and colleges can choose to seek accreditation via the Quality in Careers Standard.

Channel Islands

Schools and colleges can choose to seek accreditation via the Quality in Careers Standard.

career quality assurance in the channel islands
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