Background to the Standard

The Training Quality Standard began with a mandate from the 2006 FE Reform White Paper, ‘Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances’. The White Paper recognised a need for improved quality assurance for employers when looking for training.

It called for a new standard that would accredit:

  •  Responsiveness to business needs
  •  Excellence in delivering training
  •  Commitment to continuous improvement

This standard would promote flexible and relevant training that has an impact on business performance, and recognise those organisations offering training tailored to employers in specific industry sectors.  

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), now the Skills Funding Agency, led and invested in the development of this standard, to address the need for a mark that would provide a clear signpost to quality training for employers.  The mark would also recognise and celebrate the best organisations providing training to employers.

How was the Standard developed?
The Training Quality Standard was developed through a year of research and testing, starting in 2006. It involved over 600 employers, 200 providers and extensive consultation with stakeholders, and focused on what employers want from training.

The first version of the Standard, known then as the New Standard, was tested from November 2006 to March 2007 by 68 training providers of varying size and type. The test cohort covered all regions, and included FE colleges, work based learning providers, commercial providers, group training associations and universities. All the participants tested out Part A of the Standard, as well as testing Part Bs in the Engineering, Construction, and IT and Telecoms sectors.

With the testing stage complete, a new name was agreed upon and the Training Quality Standard was officially launched at a dedicated event in London in May 2008.