Approved qualification scheme

We support officers who want to study for a professional qualification though the Approved Qualification Scheme (AQS).

Review of the approved qualification scheme (AQS) scheme 2017

The scheme helps employees to obtain qualifications in order to help them carry out their job or to support their career development. The scheme equips people with the skills, knowledge and understanding to help us meet our service and strategic objectives.

Feedback tells us that people appreciate the scheme and the commitment the Council makes to their development and are able to describe many benefits of studying under AQS

The scheme has been in place for several years and one of the actions arising from the learning needs analysis was to review the support offered to make it clearer, reflect the national qualifications framework and modern learning techniques. The following changes have been made

Changes to AQS 2017
 Old schemeProposed changesReason
AQS matrix 7 levels of support 2 levels of support Simplify and clarify support. 
Distance learning No time off allowed Up to 1 day per week to complete distance learning at managers discretion The way people study has changed and support needs to reflect this
Book allowance Book allowance of up to £150 Students meet the cost of books Most people now use on line study materials.
Application date Applications invited in May Applications invited in April (from 2018) To fit better with PDP process
Paperwork 7 different documents Amalgamated into 1 document One document for all information
Examination award Linked to old qualification structure.  Exam success award linked to new National Qualifications Framework Update according to new National Qualifications Framework
Travel Travel paid for defined first level qualifications only No travel paid Small numbers of people benefit (3) at a cost of £1500 Money spent can be reallocated to support others.

* Note: support arrangements for those funded under the old scheme will continue for the duration of the course.

Approved qualification scheme guidance notes [PDF | 384KB]