The Quality in Careers Standard through Investor in Careers

“The Quality in Careers Standard is thorough, demanding and one that takes planning to achieve but with the support of experts it will ensure that all Learning Provider staff, the SLT, governors, parents and, most importantly students, will succeed in seeing the connections between learning, external activities in employment and future success” – Rosemary, Assessor.

What is the Quality in Careers Standard through Investor in Careers?

This is the national quality award for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in both Primary and Secondary Schools and Colleges. It is designed to place high value on work-related learning, employability skills, and seeks to support the delivery and management of this. Students who have access to CEIAG provisions will have a greater opportunity to broaden their horizons and help them make the right choices at key transition points. The Standard provides a clear framework for the requirements of:

  • The Quality in Careers Standard accreditation criteria
  • The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance
  • DfE statutory Duty and Ofsted preparation

Learning Providers

To raise awareness of the Quality in Careers Standard through Investor in Careers, we decided to ask a handful of Learning Providers who recently achieved the result of ‘Fully Meeting’ the Standard about their experience. It was important for us to get their valued opinions, especially at a time where COVID-19 has had an impact on the Education sector.

How do you feel the process went?

“I found the whole process went really well. The online portal was easy to use and the support I received from CSW and my assessor was second to none” – Jackie, Catcote Academy.

“The process was smooth, organised and easy to administer. The online portfolio is easy to navigate and upload evidence to” – Clare, Crookhorn College.

How did you feel about the fact you were assessed virtually, due to COVID-19?

“It was a shame not to be able to show someone in person the work that is done and how proud we are of the programme. However, with the online portfolio and the full day of interviewing, I know the assessor was able to get the feel of our programme” – Clare, Crookhorn College.

What advice would you give to other Learning Providers?

“Evidence is key and always think about why you are doing a task – what is the impact?” – Clare, Crookhorn College.

“Really consider going for the award! You are nationally recognised as providing an excellent careers programme, enabling the students to reach their full potential” – Jackie, Catcote Academy.

How did you advertise your success and where have you put your Plaque?

“We communicated in the school newsletter and on social media. The plaque is in our main reception and we also purchased a second, which is in the 6th form reception” – Jackie, Catcote Academy.


Our appointed Assessors have been working alongside Learning Providers to help them achieve the Quality in Careers Standard for years and have expert knowledge in the process and requirements. Here is what they had to say:

Why do you believe the Standard is so important?

“It ensures that Learning Providers are doing everything necessary to provide the absolute best CEIAG programme and it helps to develop a whole-school approach to career work. Schools and colleges are very proud when they have achieved this” – Sue W.

“All students benefit from the guidance, information and contribution from employers; therefore, the Standard must remain at the forefront of all our thinking” – Rosemary.

“The process is as valuable as the accreditation as it ensures thorough self-review for the Learning Provider. A strong and structured Careers Curriculum also allows students to develop their skills, knowledge, and resilience contributing to positive mental health and self-esteem” – Sue O.

What advice would you give Learning Providers who are thinking about pursuing the Standard?

“Go for it – it drives up standards, improves cross curricular collaboration and celebrates careers good practice” – Julia.

“Gather your evidence asap and make sure you give explanations for each piece. Inform SLT, staff, students and parents of the assessment date and involve them where possible” – Sue W.

“When developing evidence, ensure you offer range and breadth supported by thorough and clear story telling of what it demonstrates. See your evidence through the eyes of the assessor” – Sue O.

What is your opinion on virtual delivery/remote assessments, due to COVID-19?

“The remote assessments I have completed have worked very well, particularly when detailed evidence is presented. A drawback is that it is not always easy to talk to students” – Sue W.

“It works but does require more pre-assessment support. Virtual meetings need to be set up for each interviewee and needs to take into consideration Assessor comfort breaks” – Rosemary.

“Working remotely is good as everyone is now used to it, although, Learning Providers are still in the early days of trying out new things with their students” – Julia.

Do you think COVID-19 will impact on the Standard in the long term?

“Schools will need time but once some normality returns, they will want to bounce back so CEIAG and the learning of resilience in the classroom will be even more essential for all students” – Rosemary.

“Learning Providers have found very creative ways to deliver a quality CEIAG programme (virtual work experience and mock interviews) so I do not think there will be a long-term impact” – Sue W.

For more information about Investor in Careers please contact Services to Education Manager Karen Crosby at