Selby College matrix Reaccreditation

After successfully holding the matrix Standard since 2004, Selby College have once again been successful in their reaccreditation. They have maintained their high standards of information, advice and guidance through continual improvement and monitoring focussing on leadership and management.

Key comments from Assessment Services assessor, Susan Smith were, ‘Key strengths in leadership of an effective and supportive IAG service throughout the college – a sense of mission and purpose is evident across the whole of Selby College such that students are offered a consistent service that meets their needs. Staff comment that despite the challenging agenda, the leadership and management in the College helps them to retain their focus on providing impartial support that achieves agreed student outcomes.’


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Third of UK employees disappointed with their career progression

New CIPD report finds poor quality careers advice at school and poor line management at work to blame, particularly among those from poorer backgrounds

A third (33%) of UK employees say their career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations, with poor careers advice one of the reasons cited as stopping them from getting into the right jobs and bad line management preventing them from getting on once in work.

This is according the latest Employee Outlook Survey: Focus on Skills and Careers from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. The survey of over 2,000 employees considered the key factors relating to employees’ upbringing, education and workplace that affect whether or not their career progression had met their expectations.

It found that over a quarter (26%) of those whose career has failed to live up to their expectations identified poor-quality career advice and guidance at school as a key factor to blame, with three in ten (29%) saying they are in the wrong career so cannot show their strengths or potential. The most common workplace factor behind career disappointment is poor line management, cited by four in ten (39%) employees whose career has failed to meet expectations, followed by a lack of effective training programmes (34%) and negative office politics (34%).

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, commented: “Poor careers advice and guidance is holding back too many people at the start of their working lives and contributing to the increasing gap between the jobs that people end up in versus the skills that they have. This skills mismatch undermines job satisfaction, employee engagement and ultimately productivity.

“For many, this problem is then compounded when they do enter the labour market by poor line management and a lack of effective training, meaning their skills are often left unidentified and under-developed. Good line managers coach and develop people and identify and help build on their strengths so they can reach their potential.”

The survey also found a number of factors that disproportionately hold back people that are from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. The highest proportion of respondents whose career had failed to meet their expectations were from poor or very poor backgrounds (39%). Four in ten of these respondents identified inadequate line management (42%) and a lack of training programmes (42%) at work as key reasons, compared to 32% and 30% respectively of those from well-off backgrounds. Similarly, a third (33%) of respondents who are from poor backgrounds and disappointed with their career progression identified not being able to afford to invest in their own personal development outside of work as a key factor, compared to just 8% from well-off backgrounds.

Willmott continues: “The survey shows the high proportion of people from poor backgrounds that are being held back because they cannot afford to invest in their own personal development by studying for a qualification or developing new skills. This highlights the importance of providing life-long learning opportunities for people of all ages. We need government to ensure that publicly-funded further education and adult skills are protected in the future and not treated as a poor relation to higher education. It’s also flags how important training and development opportunities in the workplace are, to enable people from more disadvantaged backgrounds to progress.”

The CIPD recommends that employers should:

  • Prioritise line management development – good quality line management is at the heart of effective progression in the workplace and poor line management holds people back
  • Review their approach to flexible working practices – employees that work flexibly or on part-time basis should have the same opportunities to learn, develop and progress at work as full-time employees
  • Improve access to training – development opportunities in the workplace are crucial to progression and with the world of work constantly changing, it’s in employers’ interest to invest in the skills of their workforce and keep their workers engaged

    If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source.

    Download the full report


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Katharine Horler, Chair of Careers England, was among those giving evidence to the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy on 7 March looking at Careers Guidance. Much of her evidence focused on the quality of provision that is patchy throughout the system. She said “what you are looking at, at the moment is a completely unregulated market so anybody can give careers advice. It does not matter whether they have any background whatsoever. There is nothing that guides the parent or a young person about how good the quality is for a provider. If they have got matrix you know that they have passed a certain benchmark”

Careers England, she reminded the  Sub-Committee  “promotes a three-pronged approach to quality, which is that schools are encouraged to do a quality in careers standard award, that providers get the matrix award and that individuals have a level 6. If you have those three bits right then that would mean that you had a high standard of service across the board. There are three things: QiCS for schools, matrix for providers and level 6 for individuals.”

The Committee Chair Neil Carmichael asked how overall  the system could be simplified.

Horler listed six organisations currently involved in aspects of  career guidance – DfE, BIS, DWP, Ministry of Justice, the Cabinet Office and DCLG.

She continued “ First, strategically, what we have said in Careers England in the position paper that we produced after the election was that we do not think you need any new money for careers. What you need to do is to put it all together because it is scattering off in six different directions. If you pooled all that money together and you had a coherent strategy that went across the piece and covered all those agendas, that would make a huge difference. If you like, that is at the strategic level.

I think what you have at the user level is what Adam (Warner) described, a trail of people turning up on schools’ front doorsteps, banging on the door and offering them practically the same service. For example, in the National Careers Service contract we have to do the inspiration agenda, which is about working with schools to help inspire and motivate young people. That is exactly the same agenda as the Careers and Enterprise Company, careers co-ordinators, enterprise co-ordinators and enterprise advisers. Then you have the DWP and the work they are doing in schools, so that is three lots doing exactly the same thing. That has to be a waste of money, so if we could pull it together and spread it out so that each school had one person to deal with, you are more likely to make an impact on schools, you are less likely to waste money, and what a fantastic message to give to Government to say, “We do not need any new money, we just need to spend what is already there more sensibly”.

To read the full oral transcript which includes more discussion about the benefits of assessment against the matrix Standard visit:

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ESRC-funded Collaborative PhD Studentship

The ESRC Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Warwick, one of 21 such centres in the UK, embodies the university’s commitment to producing the next generation of leaders in social science research. Internationally renowned for its research excellence, Warwick is now inviting applications for an ESRC-funded Collaborative PhD Studentship, in association with our collaborative partner Adviza, to commence in October 2016.

PhD Content

The plan for the research is to investigate the use of information communications technology (ICT) and labour market intelligence (LMI) in careers education and guidance. It will explore methodological findings in a rich literature surrounding the use of ICT and LMI in supporting school-to-work transitions. The research plan will focus on how practices can be successfully transferred and adapted to support pedagogy and andragogy in differing education and employment contexts.


The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE (IER) and Professor Chris Warhurst (IER). Part of the PhD will also be co-supervised by Sue Gale (Adviza).


The successful candidate will have a strong academic background, ideally with a Master’s degree in a relevant subject. ESRC studentships, which cover fees and maintenance stipend and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants, can only be awarded to applicants who fulfil ESRC eligibility criteria. To check your eligibility, visit:

Application Process

To be considered for this PhD studentship, please email the IER Administrative Officer, attaching a single pdf document that includes the following:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages) indicating your interest in the PhD and how your experience to date prepares you for this PhD study;
  • a full academic CV;
  • The postal address, email and telephone number details for two academic referees who can comment on your suitability for PhD study (and who can be contacted in advance of the interviews).

The subject line of your email should be Collaborative Studentship

Application deadline: Friday 22 April 2016, 12 noon

Interviews: Thursday 26 May 2016

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The matrix Standard recognised by the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service (MAS) provide funding to organisations to provide their services, over the last year they have developed a framework for individuals and a framework for organisations to meet in order to continue to draw down their funding.  Training programmes have been mapped to the individuals’ framework which uses National Occupational Standards.  For the organisational framework, quality standards can apply to be recognised as meeting the MAS requirements.  The following communication was sent from MAS to their network of providers today:

The Money Advice Service is pleased to announce that the “matrix standard for information, advice and guidance services (incorporating the MAS Quality Framework)” has now been fully accredited against the Money Advice Service Quality Framework for Organisations for a three year period.

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Careers And Enterprise Company website

The Careers & Enterprise Company has been set up with £20 million of initial government funding to address these gaps. They will be working as an umbrella organisation, supporting programmes that work, filling gaps in provision and ensuring coverage across the country.

The approach is to be evidence-based, build on ‘what works’, and take a pragmatic view of regional variations in the careers, enterprise and employment landscape, adapting our approach as required.

They are a community interest company and independent of government.
The Careers & Enterprise Company was incorporated in February 2015.

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Webinar for sole trading careers advisers

As a Careers Adviser providing independent and impartial careers guidance, you will know the importance of providing a high quality service that provides good outcomes for the people you provide your service to. This is also recognised by the Department for Education in their guidance issued to schools earlier this year. Careers guidance and inspiration in schools – Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff (March 2015) states:

In developing careers provision for pupils, there are currently three aspects of quality assurance that schools should take into consideration:

  • The quality of the school careers programme. The Government recommends that all schools should work towards a quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance as an effective means of carrying out a self-review and evaluation of the school’s programme. The national validation, the Quality in Careers Standard, will assist schools to determine an appropriate quality award to pursue.
  • The quality of independent careers providers. The recognised national quality standard for information, advice and guidance (IAG) services is the matrix To achieve the Standard, organisations will need to demonstrate that they provide a high quality and impartial service. Schools can access an online register of organisations accredited to the matrix Standard.
  • The quality of careers professionals working with the school. The Career Development Institute has developed a set of professional standards for careers advisers, a register of advisers holding postgraduate qualifications and guidelines on how advisers can develop their own skills and gain higher qualifications. The main qualifications for careers professionals are the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG) (which replaced the earlier Diploma in Careers Guidance) and the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development. Schools can view a register of careers professionals or search for a career development professional who can deliver a particular service or activity.

To support you in meeting the requirements for schools, we are holding a webinar on Thursday 17th September 3pm – 4pm, to explore the matrix Standard for sole trading careers advisers. This webinar is part of series that are being delivered to support the introduction of the matrix Standard, and this webinar will be particularly tailored to independent Careers Advisers delivering careers guidance in schools.

Here are just a few comments from other Careers Advisers who have worked with the matrix Standard:

“becoming a self-employed careers adviser for the first time, I felt it was vital for me to ensure that the service I provide is of the highest quality. With no organisation to support me the matrix Standard has allowed me to work towards this goal. “


“as a small organisation, if we are up against the bigger players, matrix puts us on an even playing field as we will have achieved the same benchmark.”


“it helps you look at and reflect on what you are doing, which as a sole trader you don’t have a wider network to have those conversations.”


“it is making me look at the business planning side in more detail and actually think about where I want to go in the future.”


“The leadership and management criteria are helping me to build a strong foundation for my business by making me think what are my aims and objectives and how am I going to achieve these.”


You can book your place on the webinar here:

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