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April Digital Route Review Update

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Relationship Manager Overview

Despite the recent difficult circumstances generated by the Coronavirus pandemic progress from the Digital Route Review Trailblazer Groups continues to move through the final stages of delivering the revised standards and in most cases the End Point Assessment (EPA) documentation.

The Trailblazer Groups (TBG) have reported that they will all continue as far as possible to meet and deliver on this critical work whilst accepting that this has required a move to different ways of engaging and for some groups a need to scale back progress against the anticipated timelines.

As always, 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 below.

The TBG Chairs are very keen to discuss approaches to transition to the new standards and would like to hear the views of the key stakeholders in using and delivering them in how best to mitigate against any unnecessary upheaval whilst acknowledging that what is being launched is an improved product and so a timely launch is key.


TBG Chair Contacts:

Rebecca Plant at

  • Infrastructure Technician Level 3
  • Software Developer Technician L3
  • Data Analyst Level 4
  • Software Developer Level 4
  • Software Tester Level 4

Jonathan Goodall at

  • Network Engineer Level 4

Simon Keyland at

  • Unified Communications Trouble-shooter Level 4
  • Unified Communications Technician Level 3

Paul Thorlby at

  • Cyber Security Technologist Level 4
  • Cyber Intrusion Analyst L4 .

Christina Lovelock at

  • IS Business Analyst Level 4

Jenny Taylor at

  • Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Level 6


Summary of activity and timeline for standards review up to 9 April 2020

  • Data Analyst Level 4 –The standard has been approved and the EPA submitted to the Institute in April for approval. Route Panel will consider the EPA on 27 April.
  •  Network Engineer Level 4 –The draft standard has been approved with conditions and the TBG are working on addressing those conditions currently. The EPA has been submitted to the Institute in April for approval.
  • Unified Communications Trouble-shooter Level 4 – this standard has been proposed for decommissioning in the coming weeks.
  •  Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 –The standard was approved with conditions and the EPA is currently being drafted with a planned submission date of 20 May.
  • Cyber Intrusion Analyst L4 - The standard has been proposed for decommissioning in the coming weeks.
  •  Software Developer Technician L3 – The standard has been drafted and is with the wider TBG for consultation and the EPA has been drafted. Both are planned to submit by 20 May
  • Software Developer Level 4 – The standard was submitted to the Institute in February and has been approved with conditions. The TBG are working to address those conditions currently. The EPA was submitted to the Institute in April for approval.
  •  Unified Communications Technician Level 3 – a new TBG is being formed to consider reformulating an option within the Infrastructure Technician rewritten standard or as a standalone standard. This is felt to fulfil a need for this occupation by the TBG members. The TBG will meet for a virtual workshop on 23 April and are keen for anyone interested in this standard to join the meeting. Please contact Simon Keyland as the TBG Chair or myself to discuss joining the call.
  •  Infrastructure Technician Level 3 – The TBG are considering a core and options model to accommodate UCT. The TBG has also considered the link to T-levels and pre-existing standards in this occupational route. The TBG propose to submit revised standard to Route Panel by 20 May 2020 with the EPA.
  •  Software Tester Level 4 – The TBG has submitted the revised standard and it was approved with conditions. The retention of the standard at Level 4 has been agreed. The TBG are now working to address those conditions currently. The EPA is in draft and will be submitted by 20 May.
  •  IS Business Analyst Level 4 – The standard has been submitted in April and the content has been widely consulted upon through a variety of approaches. The Route panel will consider the standard on 27 April and the EPA will  be submitted by 20 May.
  • Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Level 6 – TBG continues to expand to welcome and include further employers. The TBG have encountered problems in maintaining their pace of delivery because of the coronavirus pandemic and have scaled back their activities accordingly. The tasks for the group are to clarify the duties and KSBs for the specialisms/options currently available. Research is ongoing concerning the mandatory inclusion of a degree so that an evidence-based decision may be reached.  The group plan to submit the final standard and EPA document by 20 May if circumstances permit.

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in the review and rewriting of the digital standards and acknowledge the tremendous efforts that have gone into getting the Route Review work completed to the current state. Both I and the wider Institute are fully aware of the demands this makes on everyone at the best of times and now we are in such difficult circumstances it is truly overwhelming to see the commitment from all of you to continuing the good work with such energy.

Best wishes and stay safe


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