Provider Access Legislation
The provider access legislation is new guidance that comes into force from January 2023. It is a key mechanism to further help learners understand and take-up, not just apprenticeships, but wider technical education options such as T-Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications.
The updated provider access legislation (PAL) specifies schools must provide at least six encounters for all their students:
- Two encounters for pupils during the ‘first key phase’ (year 8 or 9) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend
- Two encounters for pupils during the ‘second key phase’ (year 10 or 11) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend
- Two encounters for pupils during the ‘third key phase’ (year 12 or 13) that are mandatory for the school to put on but optional for pupils to attend.
In the context of the provider access legislation, a provider is an organisation that offers approved technical education qualifications or their representative, for example an FE college or training provider.
A provider, to whom access is given, must deliver an encounter that includes the following:
- Information about the provider and the approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships that the provider offers
- Information about the careers to which those technical education qualifications or apprenticeships might lead
- A description of what learning or training with the provider is like
- Responses to questions from the pupils about the provider or approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.
The full statutory guidance from DfE can be found here Careers guidance and access for education and training providers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Whilst the provider access legislation only applies to schools and those that have sixth forms, DfE strongly encourage colleges to follow the guidance as good practice.
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