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February Digital Route Review Update

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Relationship Manager overview

After a very busy time over the Christmas and New Year period the Digital Route Review Trailblazer Groups have moved into the final stages of delivering the revised standards and in some cases End Point Assessment (EPA) documentation.

The Trailblazer Groups continue to find engaging with employers in the Digital Sector outside of the “usual channels” challenging and all the TBG Chairs are keen to hear from any employers who have an interest in the standards under review whether as past, current or future employers of apprentices. You will find contact email addresses next to each standard update.

Every Trailblazer Group works hard to make its membership as relevant and inclusive as possible and they have reached out to the current End Point Assessment Organisations as well as the current External Quality Assurance body to ensure that decisions on content and wording take on board “real world” and “real-time” outcomes being experienced in the market place currently. All groups are very mindful that the Route Review provides an opportunity to resolve both policy and technical issues as well as head off delivery problems that become evident as standards move through their lifecycle. The Institute supports this approach by providing data in a number of ways so that decision making is supported by robust evidence as far as possible.

Summary of activity and timeline for standards review

Data Analyst Level 4 – Congratulations to the TBG on being the first standard approved following the route review process. An EPA workshop was held in mid-October to scope out what was required and a follow-up workshop in December was well attended by representatives from EPAOs and the EQA to give depth and a practical eye to the EPA drafting content. The EPA will be submitted to the Institute in April.

Network Engineer Level 4 – Following low engagement from interested employers the draft standard has been revisited with a wider TBG membership prior to wider consultation. The TBG will submit the standard to the Institute in February. An EPA workshop was held in November 2019 and a further workshop to finalise content will be held in February. EPAOs have been invited to these workshops to lend expert advice and their point of view.

Unified Communications Trouble-shooter Level 4 – following low engagement from interested employers, this standard may be decommissioned as content does not fit with Network Engineer. No decision has been reached on recommendations to be made yet and the TBG aims to submit recommendations to the Institute in February alongside the Network Engineer standard.

Cyber Intrusion Analyst L4 and Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 – employers met in regular workshops to redraft the standard and submitted the revised standard by 08 January 2020 as planned. The new standard includes 3 potential options. The standard was approved with conditions and the EPA is currently being drafted with a planned submission date of April.

Software Developer Technician L3 and Software Developer Level 4 – The TBG intend to retain as separate standards The Software Developer L4 standard was submitted to the Institute in February. The EPA is in draft and active consultation is ongoing with EPAOs to ensure that the end product is appropriate to the occupation and deliverable. It is planned that the Software Development Technician standard will be submitted in April with the EPA.

Unified Communications Technician Level 3 – a new TBG is being formed to consider reformulating a standard to fill a need for this occupation and make an approach to Route Panel to proceed. Discussions around the future of this standard cannot proceed any further without correlating discussions for Infrastructure Technician.

Infrastructure Technician Level 3 – The TBG continue to consider how best to accommodate UCT and whether it should sit inside this standard. The TBG has also considered the link to T-levels and pre-existing standards. The TBG propose to submit revised standard to Route Panel by April 2020 with a further EPA workshop scheduled for February.

Software Tester Level 3 – A TBG has now been formed for this standard and the revised standard has been submitted to the Institute in February. The EPA is in draft and being worked upon with the support of potential EPAOs .

IS Business Analyst Level 4 – The standard is in draft and plans to submit in April. The content has been widely consulted upon through a variety of approaches and an EPA workshop run in February created a draft for submission in April.

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Level 6 – TBG continues to expand to welcome and include further employers. The TBG are currently refining the core KSBs and clarifying the KSBs for the specialisms/options currently available. Research has commenced to test the necessity for the mandatory inclusion of a degree so that an evidence-based decision may be reached.  The DTSP survey can be accessed here.

The group plan to submit the final standard and EPA document in April.

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