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Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which cross-sector standards-setting bodies are to be invited to draw up their own qualification strategies and take the lead in approving qualifications in their sector. (154188)

To date, the SSDA has approved four (4) standard-setting bodies to develop pan-sector qualifications strategies. These four are Management and Leadership (MSC), Administration (GIA), Marketing and Sales (MSSSB) and Customer Services (IGS). The only other pan-sector for which a qualifications strategy is currently being considered is health and safety. If any other standard-setting body wanted to develop its own qualifications strategies it would need to demonstrate that the occupational area they want to cover is not already covered by an existing Sector Skills Council’s Sector Qualifications Strategy.

In developing their pan-sector qualifications strategies, each standard-setting body is working closely with a lead Sector Skills Council which will ensure employer needs across the board are represented and that there is no duplication with other qualifications strategies. No standard-setting bodies will be responsible for approving qualifications, this is the role of the Sector Skills Councils. All cross-sector standard-setting bodies are being ‘buddied’ with a lead Sector Skills Council which will approve qualifications, drawing on the expertise of the standard-setting body and liaising with other Sector Skills Councils as appropriate.