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APSCos Compliance+ launch hailed a resounding success

The much anticipated inauguration featured three recruitment consultancies which piloted the scheme in 2013, as well as an acknowledgment of its huge potential to increase the quality of education professionals by a former Schools Commissioner.

Leading educational consultant and former Schools Commissioner for England, Dr Elizabeth Sidwell CBE described Compliance as going above and beyond the crucial issue of pupil safeguarding.

She said, “This is a great standard as it takes a holistic approach looking at both safeguarding and competency in the classroom. Safeguarding is crucial but the pupils still need to be taught well. It is a rigorous process and the fact it is annual means that it is a standard that can be relied on."

The consensus from the companies which piloted Compliance – Celsian Education, Key Stage Supply, and The Education Network – was that it is a meaningful accreditation which will not only raise standards within education, but also the profile of the recruitment sector. 

Jane Scott, managing director of Key Stage Supply, commented that whilst the safeguarding aspect is crucial, what she particularly likes is the heavy focus on the competency of professionals.

“I really like the competency section -that's a real differentiator. A good example of this is a recent conversation I had with a Head Teacher  talking about recent bad experiences she had had with recruitment agencies - where the teachers had not matched up to the standards of her school. She asked me how we ensure we have the best teachers and how that was monitored.....I was straight in with Section two of Compliance which focuses on competency and the evaluation passport”.

Lorna Harvey, managing director of The Education Network, was keen to highlight the differentiators as well as the rigorous audit process. She commented, “Compliance is different, it concentrates on robust processes, excellent customer care and, of course, safeguarding. The audit was refreshing as it took a really holistic approach. As well as all the checks of our own processes and interviewing, the auditor also spoke to our clients - the schools themselves."

Lee Brammer, managing director of Celsian Education, expressed the importance of an accreditation that is not only independently audited, but one which is audited by a true expert in the field of education recruitment: “What really stood out for me from the beginning of the audit was that Martin Kent really got what the accreditation was trying to achieve. Coming from a health background, as well as being a Chair of Governors at a Primary School, it was clear that he has a very good grasp on what high standards look like as well as the work of education.  What was also refreshing was that because Martin is an external auditor, it wasn’t about & lsquo;APSCo’ – it was about the accreditation in its entirety”.

This is a sentiment that APSCo’s chief executive, Ann Swain, echoed in her speech, “Let’s be very clear, Compliance is not a & lsquo;cash cow’ for APSCo, it is about ensuring the very best outcomes for pupils. Compliance has taken almost a year to finalise and we are delighted that we can now not only roll it out on a much larger scale, but that all three companies also passed the rigorous audit with flying colours. This is a standard for the future – one that will add a level of competency to the superb work education recruitment firms already carry out and which schools will be demanding of their recruitment partners”.

The launch of Compliance was kindly sponsored by giant and was attended by all stakeholder groups – including current and prospective APSCo members, heads and business managers of schools, local authorities, teaching associations and unions.


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