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APSCo responds to the closure of Quality Mark Scheme

APSCo responds to the closure of Quality Mark Scheme

Responding to the news that the Department for Education is to discontinue the Quality Mark scheme, Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo says:

“The timing of this announcement is quite apposite as only last week, at the launch of APSCo Education, the Quality Mark and its relevance in today’s market was hotly debated by our audience of education recruiters.  We felt very strongly that the mark, having had little updating since 2002, was no longer fit for purpose. While it did an excellent job when it was first developed, it has not kept pace with the enormous changes in the education sector over the last decade. 

We said at that launch that APSCo was fully committed to developing an alternative.  However, it would be wholly inappropriate to respond with a kneejerk reaction and commit to developing a replacement in a time frame that could not allow end users – as well as education recruiters - to be part of setting the parameters for any such replacement. This must not be a copy and paste exercise.”

Consequently, Eddie Austin, Chair of the newly formed APSCo education sector group and COO of CoreECS which includes education recruiters ITN Mark and NP Teachers, along with the founder members of the group, will be consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a robust and fit for purpose quality audit.

"It is disappointing, but not a complete surprise, that the DfE have chosen to disengage from the Quality Mark. It is important for education recruiters to fully understand the key drivers behind the decision to no longer support the accreditation, so that the value of any future initiative can be defined for recruiters, clients and candidates. Education recruiters have long felt that the effort and cost in attaining and retaining the Quality Mark has been outweighed by the lack of support from the DfE. Any new accreditation must be fully supported and adopted by all stakeholders within the education sector if it is to be a bench mark that creates a true barrier to entry for non-compliant education recruiters."

“APSCo already has audit standards in place for social work recruitment through its ASWEB membership, “adds Ann Swain, “and consequently already has the experience to draw on in setting the highest standards for those who recruit professionals who then go on to engage with vulnerable people.”

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