Why should my organisation consider Investor in Careers?

Through Investor in Careers, we support learning providers to develop their careers policy, meet Ofsted and national government requirements, and become recognised for excellence in careers education.

The Investor in Careers approach is designed to raise the standard of careers advice and guidance provision delivered by schools and colleges. We place high value on work related learning and employability skills as well as continual improvement.

Investor in Careers is an accredited National Licensed Awarding Body for The Quality in Careers Standard.

The Statutory Guidance (October 2018) from the Department for Education to schools on fulfilling their statutory duty builds heavily upon the Gatsby Benchmarks for “Good Careers Guidance”.

The Statutory Guidance also “strongly recommends all secondary schools to work towards and achieve the national Quality in Careers Standard.

The Statutory Guidance states:

“Schools can gain formal accreditation of their careers programme through the Quality in Careers Standard – the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance. The Standard offers an opportunity for schools to undergo an external evaluation of their careers programme and so is distinct from the Compass self-assessment. The Standard has been aligned to the Gatsby Benchmarks and incorporates Compass into its processes, so those schools achieving the Standard meet all eight Benchmarks. We strongly recommend that all schools work towards the updated Quality in Careers Standard, incorporating Compass, to support the development of their careers programme.”

At Investor in Careers, we are often asked; What is the difference between Investor in Careers and the Quality in Careers Standard?

Investor in Careers became a Licensed Awarding Body for the Quality in Careers Standard in 2017.

The Quality in Careers Standard is the sole national CEIAG Standard delivered by Licensed Awarding Bodies across England & Wales. All 11 bodies assess to the National Standard, but each body will have different ways of supporting educational institutions to meet the Quality in Careers Standard.

We support this through the CODE Investor in Careers approach.

We understand the DofE “strongly recommends” working towards this, but why should we undertake the Quality in Careers Standard?

The Quality in Careers Standard has been structured, and will be updated as required, to ensure educational institutions meet the requirements of legislation, careers strategy and Government guidelines relating to CEIAG as well as the Gatsby Benchmarks.

It provides a framework for both the delivery and for the evaluation of CEIAG and the process can help to provide independent, objective evidence for inspections (e.g., Ofsted). In most cases the acquisition of the Standard will exceed the expectations of inspectors and the public who sit on awarding panels.

A key aspect of the Standard is the integration of CEIAG within the curriculum and the whole school approach to quality CEIAG.

What is the benefit to students and learners?

A quality CEIAG programme ensures that students and learners have both self and opportunity awareness. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that broadening horizons and demonstrating what is open to young people will act as a significant motivator. Higher levels of motivation will increase aspiration and help to pave the way for higher achievement. With well-planned CEIAG students are much more likely to make the right choices; this in turn will have a positive effect on discontinuation rates/drop out.

It is a requirement of achieving the Standard through Investor in Careers that young people are involved in both the design and the evaluation of CEIAG programmes.

This will ensure that the programmes are perceived as more relevant and that they are tuned into young people’s thinking. Good CEIAG will also assist in creating relevance in the curriculum to life beyond school and on into the world of work and further study or training.

Still unsure? Here is some feedback from a Learning Provider who recently gained their Award and met the Quality in Careers Standard

“I felt that the challenge of Investor in Careers was one which meant that good practice could be measured effectively. If there wasn’t a process in place, or our careers programme needed amending then there was scope to look at this. Investor in Careers (IiC) doesn’t really leave a stone unturned and completion of the 4 stages has subsequently meant that CEIAG within our institution is a competent model which has been robustly evaluated.  

Truro and Penwith College are extremely proud of this achievement, especially because the Quality in Careers standard includes the Gatsby benchmarks. Knowing that we meet all the accreditation criteria incorporating the Gatsby benchmarks gives us confidence and knowledge that we are providing an outstanding service.

The contact through the stages of IIC has been exemplary. From the initial commitment stage to working through the organisation, delivery, and evaluation we have found CSW’s support to be professional, encouraging, and succinct. Building the portfolio of evidence has been a huge task but knowing that advice was on hand for any aspect of IIC was reassuring and motivational. I can safely say that playing my part in this collective approach has been a personal highlight of my career. 

I look forward to progressing our service further, building on the competencies already achieved and making our institutions careers programme a beacon of excellence. I look forward to working through this award again with CSW Group, when we are due for reaccreditation.”


If you would like to achieve the highest standard in careers guidance with your organisation, please do get in touch.

Please contact the Investor in Careers (IiC) department through our e-mail address shown below, and we will contact you.