The Quality Awards in detail

The Quality Awards in detail

There are two Quality Awards:

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Award for courses and learning programmes

This Quality Award is given to providers whose learning programmes and courses meet our good practice criteria, including working successfully and flexibly with unions. A diverse range of providers have successfully met this Quality Award standard. These include: colleges, independent adult learning organisations and learning centres within workplaces offering courses in, for example, literacy, numeracy, ICT skills, specialist work skills, and leadership and management, either in a classroom setting or online. Colleges and independent training providers that are seeking the Award for their Apprenticeships delivery should apply for the courses and programmes award.

Trade Union Education Centres and Union Learning Centres, by virtue of their mission and the work they do, meet much of the good practice criteria for many of their courses and programmes, and a fast track assessment process can be accessed.

This Quality Award will mean that providers that achieve the standard have shown that:

  • The course(s) and any additional support, advice and guidance is accessible to work-focused and work-based learners, including those who work shifts.
  • All staff are trained to nationally recognised standards, are experienced in teaching in workplace settings and have an understanding of trade unions and ULRs
  • Learner attendance and retention data is robust
  • There are appropriate systems in place to consult with learners and ULRs
  • Learners have the opportunity for routine skills for life/functional skills assessment and appropriate individual learner plans and support are in place with regular reviews
  • Learners have access to nationally recognised accreditation, and achieve success comparable to national benchmarks.

If you are a provider and would like to apply, please complete the online application form. For further information or any queries please contact the unoinlearn Service team on [email protected].


Award for Apprenticeship programmes

This Award is employer focused only for their apprenticeships programmes. As a minimum, employers need to demonstrate high quality delivery that complies with the “SFA quality statement” which sets out the government minimum standards on apprenticeships. Trade unions will negotiate high quality apprenticeships which go above and beyond these minimum standards.  The TUC Charter on Apprenticeships sets out the components of a high quality apprenticeship. Employers will also be working successfully and flexibly with unions.

Colleges and independent training providers who are seeking the Award for their Apprenticeships delivery should apply for the courses and programmes Award.

This Quality Award will mean that employers achieving the standard have shown that:

  • Unions are involved in programme design
  • Learning agreements include the apprentice and is regularly reviewed
  • Unions are involved in any induction programme
  • Health and safety provision is made through induction and training programmes, and Committee terms of reference and minutes
  • Sufficient time is allocated for off the job study
  • Apprentice attendance and retention data is robust and shared with ULF projects where appropriate
  • Equality and diversity policy and training can be evidenced
  • The adequate provision of mentors/buddies
  • Progression information advice is offered, including opportunities to support apprentices secure permanent employment
  • Union learning achievements and successes are celebrated

If you are an employer and would like to apply, please complete the online application form. 

Award for careers information and advice

The unionlearn Quality Award for Careers Information and Advice is currently held by some services and providers. Providers of careers information and advice have to show that their service is:

  • Accessible to working people
  • Flexible and adaptable to the needs of union members
  • Delivered by trained and experienced staff who have an understanding of workplaces and unions
  • Based on consultation with unions and in line with their aims and values
  • Impartial and confidential with strong equality and diversity policies
  • Part of a network for signposting and referral
  • Representative of best practice and endorsed by appropriate assessors and inspectors

From September 2016 this Award is no longer avaialble as a stand-alone award. Both the unionlearn course/programmes and Apprenticeships Awards have careers advice and/or progression support as essential criteria for assessment success.

For further information or any queries, please contact the unionlearn Service team on [email protected].