UK VET Stakeholders and Resources

The UK vocational education and training landscape comprises a large number of stakeholders operating across the UK and specifically within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This list presents an introduction and links to some of them.


  • Association of Employers and Learning Providers (AELP)
    The AELP is a trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain.
  • Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS)
    Involved in development of professional standards, quality assurance of Apprenticeships and an alliance of Sector Skills Councils who work with employers to define skills needs and industry standards.
  • Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB)
    FAB is the trade association for vocational awarding bodies in the UK. It represents the interests of awarding bodies by liaising with key stakeholders, including the regulators, government departments and funding agencies.
  • Erasmus+
    Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, with organisations invited to apply for funding each year to undertake creative and worthwhile activities. Erasmus+ is managed jointly by the British Council and Ecorys in the UK as the UK National Agency.
  • Learning and Work Institute
    An independent policy and research organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. The Institute is a membership organisation for individual and corporate members including colleges, local authorities, third sector organisations, universities, businesses and organisations in civil society.
  • Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
    The QAA works to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education. It offers advice, guidance and support to help UK universities, colleges and other institutions provide the best possible student experience of higher education as well as conducting reviews of institutions.
  • Register of Regulated Qualifications
    The Register contains details of the qualifications and awarding organisations regulated by Ofqual (England) and CCEA (Northern Ireland). Information about qualifications offered in Wales is up to date until 17 March 2016. Visit Qualifications in Wales for information about qualifications that are currently eligible for funding in Wales.


  • Association of Colleges (AoC)
    The AoC exists to represent and promote the interests of Colleges and provide professional support to General and Tertiary Further Education Colleges, Sixth Form Colleges and Specialist Colleges in England in addition to Colleges in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland through affiliation and partnership agreements.
  • Department for Education (DfE)
    The Department for Education is responsible for education, children’s services, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England, and equalities.
  • Education and Training Foundation (ETF)
    The ETF sets professional standards in the further education and skills sectors and provides support to ensure learners benefit from a well-qualified, effective and up-to-date professional workforce supported by good leadership, management and governance.
  • Education Funding Agency (EFA)
    The EFA is the DfE’s delivery agency for funding and compliance. The Agency provides revenue and capital funding for education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, in addition to supporting the delivery of building and maintenance programmes for schools, academies, Free Schools and sixth-form colleges.
  • National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
    The NAS supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of Apprenticeships throughout England and holds responsibility for increasing the number of Apprenticeship opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.
  • National Careers Service
    The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help individuals make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice which is supported by qualified careers advisers.
  • Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
    Ofsted inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
  • Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)
    Ofqual is the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, which include to maintain standards and confidence in GCSEs, A levels, AS levels and vocational qualifications.
  • Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)
    The RQF provides a single, simple system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual. Qualifications are described by ‘level’ and ‘size’. The RQF replaced the Qualifications and Credit Framework, and National Qualifications Framework in October 2015.
  • Skills Funding Agency (SFA)
    SFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education and it exists to fund and promote adult further education (FE) and skills training in England.


  • Accredited Qualification Search
    Database maintained by the SQA containing accredited, non-university qualifications registered within the SCQF.
  • College Development Network
    The Network supports the sector to deliver best practice, share innovations and develop colleges and their staff by delivering CPD, providing advice, guidance and support on curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment and facilitating development networks.
  • Colleges Scotland
    Colleges Scotland supports the sector by ensuring that its views are heard and interests represented through campaigns, building governance and leadership capacity and providing analysis, information and professional advice.
  • Education Scotland
    The Agency brings together a number of organisations and teams whose work contributes to key areas, such as quality inspection, support and resources for learning and teaching and CPD.
  • Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
    The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership promotes lifelong learning in Scotland. Through the Framework individuals, learning providers and employers can gain a better understanding of qualifications in Scotland and plan future learning. The SCQF is a modularised framework including learning outcomes and credit values.
  • Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
    The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) is the national, strategic body that is responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland's colleges and higher education institutions.
  • Scottish Government
    The devolved Scottish Government’s Education and Training Department is responsible for all levels of education in Scotland.
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
    SQA is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland. It accredits vocational qualifications and approves awarding bodies that wish to award them. It awards qualifications at school, further education and non-degree higher education level.
  • Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
    SDS is the national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills. SDS works with partners to support individuals to reach their potential, help make skills work for employers as well as improve the skills and learning system.


  • Careers Wales
    Careers Wales provides information about careers, jobs, education and training to young people and adults in Wales. It furthermore supports the delivery of the Careers and World of Work Curriculum through the Careers Wales Mark in addition to facilitation of Education Business links and other work related education developments.
  • ColegauCymru / CollegesWales
    ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is the national organisation representing further education (FE) colleges and FE institutions in Wales.
  • Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW)
    The CQFW enables recognition and comparison of achievements from all types of education and training activity. The CQFW supports all recognised, credit-based learning within Higher Education, Regulated General and Vocational Qualifications.
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales (Estyn)
    Estyn inspects quality and standards in education and training providers at schools and further education college level in Wales.
  • Qualifications in Wales (QiW)
    QiW contains details of all qualifications that are approved or designated for teaching in Wales for learners aged under the age of 19, excluding higher education.
  • Qualifications Wales
    Qualifications Wales is the regulator of non-degree qualifications, awarding organisations and the qualifications system in Wales.
  • Welsh Government
    The devolved Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Public Services is responsible for school level education and the Department for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure is responsible for further and higher education in Wales.

Northern Ireland

  • Careers Service Northern Ireland
    CV tips, find a course, job profiles and much more from the Careers Service Northern Ireland.
  • Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA)
    The CCEA is an awarding body in addition to monitoring standards of qualifications and examinations and advising the Government on curriculum matters.
  • Department for the Economy (DfE)
    Responsibility for higher education, further education and employment and skills programmes, including apprenticeships, sit within the DfE in Northern Ireland.
  • Department of Education (DENI)
    The Department’s main statutory areas of responsibility are 0-4 provision, primary, post-primary and special education and the youth service. The Department’s primary statutory duty is to promote the education of the people of the north of Ireland and to ensure the effective implementation of education policy.
  • Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI)
    The ETI provides inspection services for a number of organisations, including schools, further education colleges and other providers delivering publicly-funded training programmes in Northern Ireland.