The Print Trailblazer Consortium has submitted the assessment plan for the print trailblazer employer-defined standard for apprenticeship programmes to the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA), part of the Department for Education - the final stage in securing approval from Government to start the delivery of the new programmes.
The long journey to this point started in March 2015 when a consortium of employers led by James Buffoni of Ryedale Group secured trailblazer for the industry. The standards are employer owned, relate to specific occupations, and feature a graded end point assessment. The trailblazer secured is to develop a Level 3 standard that covers pre-press, press and post-press (finishing). The government awarded the trailblazer as a core with options, with print as the core and the options as pre-press, press and post press (finishing).
Through many meetings, the consortium produced a standard which was approved by the Government Trailblazer Panel but it was approved subject to certain conditions being met. The condition applied by the panel was that the options were combined, so that there would be a single standard and an apprentice would need to master all three areas i.e. pre-press, press and post-press before they would be able to pass their apprenticeship. Thanks to support from across the industry the Government’s decision was overturned and approval for the full core with options standard was achieved in March 2018.
The consortium has been working over the last year to define the assessment plan, which will support the standard. This has now been given the stamp of approval from the relationship manager at the IfA, and feedback from Ofqual (External Quality Assurance Company) is that the assessment plan now being considered for approval is a good one.