New early years level 3 qualification development

We need your help behind the scenes for a new early years level 3 qualification we’re developing for those working or hoping to work in the early years’ sector.

The qualification will be developed to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, to count in the EYFS child:staff ratios. It will meet the Department for Education’s ‘full and relevant’ criteria.

If you’re a Highfield centre and are interested in receiving further information on the development of the early years level 3 qualification, or would like to be involved in the user group, please contact your account manager. Or email us at 

For more on our current range of early years and childcare qualifications go to our website. 

Also, if you’re interested in our full review of early years, children and young people’s sector qualifications, check the article below

Review of early years, children and young people’s sector qualifications

Review of early years, children and young people’s sector qualifications

We’re currently reviewing our suite of qualifications for the early years, children and young people’s sector and would appreciate your input!

From 1 September 2019, the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce will no longer be included in the ratios for working in the early years’ sector.

Therefore we are seeking centre feedback on what sort of qualifications would most appropriately meet centres’ and learners’ needs, so that we can steer our development work towards our customers’ needs.

If you’ve got a moment, please take a look at the following questions and let us have feedback on the comments below.

Which of the following qualifications would you like to see us offer and what would be the likely take-up of these qualifications within your organisation?

1. Early Years Practitioner
2. Early Years Educator
3. Children and Young People’s Social Care
4. Any other qualifications not mentioned

You can check out our current qualification offer for the sector here. 

Why trust Highfield with your security EPA?

In the security sector, trust is everything.

From trust in your employees to your customers’ trust in you, it’s the security sector’s most valuable asset.  

So, when it comes to end-point assessment, you need an organisation you can rely on.

Highfield Assessment is now approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for the Security First Line Manager apprenticeship standard.

Why use Highfield Assessment?
We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. We can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your security apprentices achieve your goals.

In fact, we’re one of the leading authorities on EPA in the country and have already worked with some of the biggest and best-known organisations in the UK, delivering thousands of successful assessments across over 30 different apprenticeship standards.

That all stems from our unbeatable offer and complete assessment service, which includes:

  • assessment resources and guidance
  • engagement with external quality assurance organisations
  • training and standardisation for assessors to ensure fair, consistent and reliable assessments
  • our own dedicated employer engagement team
  • a simple scheduling process, with a scheduling team on hand to support you
  • a digital dashboard that tracks every point of a learner’s journey, allowing you to gather data, generate reports and action tasks
  • and most importantly, our understanding of both apprentice AND employer requirements

All of which adds up to thousands of happy apprentices, providers and employers!

So, whether you’re considering taking on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have your existing in-house training recognised, or you’re searching for services to ensure you claim your full share of levy funding, you can trust us to deliver.

Find out more by dropping us a line at or by calling 01302 363277/0845 2260350.

Or go to

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. Our EPA services are delivered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

Review of Scottish Personal Licence Holder qualifications

The Scottish Personal Licence Holder qualifications, required by anyone holding a personal licence in Scotland to authorise the sale of alcohol, or manage or supervise in premises where alcohol is sold, are currently undergoing an independent review to ensure the qualifications are fit for purpose and add value to businesses.

Scottish Government has contracted skills and quality assurance expert, People 1st International, to undertake the review, which is currently underway.

Operators, training providers, awarding organisations and other stakeholders right the way across the licensed retail industry are being engaged to ensure the views of the industry are heard and incorporated into the revised standards. Ultimately, the aim is to transform them into simple, fit for purpose qualifications that provide individuals with a professional development standard – as well as meeting licensing legislation. 

Having already conducted phase one of the review process working with an industry steering group and gaining initial views via an online consultation, People 1st International then conducted a series of focus groups to discuss the detail of the qualification content with experienced operators.  People 1st International will also continue to work with trade bodies to gather the views of their members over the next couple of months.

A further online consultation will be launched in this August to gather the views of the wider industry. Your views are critical. Please get involved and have your say on the proposed content of the revised standard. Highfield will notify relevant centres when the consultation is live. 

People 1st International will be submitting the revised standard to the Regulator, SQA Accreditation for approval in October 2019 and the new qualifications are planned to be available in May 2020.

Why social care training is the key to future success

Elderly lady with her carer.

As the sector faces greater challenges, social care training may prove to be the key to success. 

With an ageing population, dwindling budgets and increased demands, we look at why social care training may be the key to future success. 

Social care is one of the UK’s biggest sectors for employment, with over 1.6 million workers. And it’s expected to increase further as the number of people living longer – as well as those with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and long-term health issues – also grows.

In fact, it’s estimated that by 2025 the number of people working in the social care sector could be as high as 3.1 million.

With that increase is likely to come ever more scrutiny from the government, the media, regulatory bodies and end-users, particularly in terms of the quality of care provided and value for money.

Therefore, it’s likely there will be rising expectations of what the sector can provide and how it provides it. And one of the biggest expectations will be in the quality of staff, especially in terms of their knowledge and skills.

So how do you prepare for this, particularly if you are in the independent sector and do not have access to same resources that the NHS has?

The benefits of training in social care
Perhaps the best way to prepare to the forthcoming changes to the social care sector is through training.

With Highfield, there are several ways you can do this, from our large range of qualifications to our resources and e-learning to support those taking the Care Certificate.

But what are the benefits to your organisation? And how can training ensure you offer a service that end-users and their families trust.

Quality and range of care
Perhaps the most obvious but fundamental benefit is improving the quality of care your organisation can provide. Training improves overall knowledge and skills, and with it the standard – and safety – of care that can be offered. Training can also give staff the confidence that they are carrying out their duties competently and responsibly, improving their overall development and experience.

What’s more, with training you’ll be able to broaden the provision you offer in order to meet the changing demands from end-users.

There is already a raft of legislation around social care provision, and growing demand for services is likely to increase the demand for more oversight by the government and its agencies. Indeed, we have seen in recently years that the response to failings in the social care sector has been to change the regulatory and oversight framework. Beyond that, there are things like CQC ratings for care homes, which determine the standard of care provided and carry out inspections. Training can make sure that you and your team are compliant with the rules as they currently exist, and are prepared for any future changes.

Staff retention and recruitment
Staff turnover in the social care sector is high – in fact, it’s over 30 percent. And yet over two thirds of recruitment is from within the sector. Do you know what means? It means that most social care employees are leaving their employers for other organisations and businesses in the sector.

Numerous studies over the years have shown how employees who are provided with training and development opportunities are more likely to feel valued by their employer and thus less likely to leave. Of course, some employers worry that training their staff could prompt them to leave, but this is rarely the case, and most employees who are given the chance to develop their career tend to stay with their current employer. All of which reduces your recruitment costs in terms of time and money, and makes your business and organisation a more attractive proposition to talented individuals looking to join you, especially younger workers.

Staff performance
As well as improving retention rates, training can improve overall performance – not just in specific role related areas. Countless studies have shown that staff training reduces the number of accidents and incidents and lowers the rate of absenteeism and sick leave while improving overall performance, willingness to take on new challenges and roles and team productivity.

Why choose Highfield?
Highfield is one the leaders in the health and social care sector for learning and development. Our exam board, Highfield Qualifications, is one of the top three in the UK, while we also provide a range of supporting resources through Highfield Products and Highfield e-learning. Our experience in the health and social care sector has led us to be the first choice for many of the biggest names in the industry, as well as a number of NHS trusts, and we were chosen to develop the Care Certificate handbook on behalf of the Partnership of Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health.

And in terms of customer service, we promise to answer all calls within three rings and respond to emails within one working day!

Next steps
It’s possible that you know you need to take your organisation and your team to the next level, but are not quite sure what’s right for you. That’s perfectly fine, and one of our experienced team members who would be happy to talk with you to understand your organisation’s needs and aspirations without the ‘hard sell’ or any obligation on your part. We prefer to get to know the businesses we work with well, and pride ourselves on listening and responding to them.

So get in touch with us know. Email us at or call us on 01302 363277/0845 2260350.

In the meantime, check out the range of qualifications we offer. 

You can also view our supporting resources and e-learning.  

Health and social care training: Words with Highfield

Words with Highfield: health and social careThis month we’re focusing on health and social care training, one of our most popular areas for qualifications. 

But what is health and social care exactly?

According to various definitions, health and social care is the treatment of ill health/medical conditions through hospitals, health facilities and in the community, as well as the support of vulnerable people.

For more on the qualifications we offer, go to our website here. 

You can also read about our recent qualification launches here


More success for counter-terrorism training

It’s over 18 months since we launched the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) Awareness online learning we developed in partnership with Marks & Spencer on behalf of NaCTSO.

In that time it’s gone on to notch up a number of successes as more and more businesses turn to it to keep their staff and customers safe.

Since its launch, over a quarter of a million individuals have completed ACT Awareness training, making it one of the most successful counter-terrorism courses ever launched.

And it took the Continuity and Resilience Innovation 2019 award at the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Awards in May, which recognise the outstanding contributions of business continuity, risk and resilience professionals and organisations living or operating within the European region.

The online learning was also the focus of a BBC News about two women who survived terror attacks in London. During the feature, Counter Terrorism Policing’s National Coordinate for Protect and Prepare, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth said, ‘It is so important that as many people as possible arm themselves with this crucial advice. It is 45 minutes that could potentially save your life’.

Finally, towards the end of 2018, we were hugely proud to see two of our team receive official commendations from the Metropolitan Police for their outstanding contribution to counter-terrorism training.

Ashley Reddy and Shelley Houlbrook received their commendations for their work on the ACT Awareness online learning at a ceremony at New Scotland Yard on 30 November.

That’s not the end of the story however, and we’re already looking at what’s next for ACT Awareness. Currently the ACT editorial board are exploring ways to develop an international version of the online learning, having received enquiries from the Netherlands, the USA and Australia.

And a rail specific version is being developed by Highfield e-Learning in partnership with the Department for Transport and British Transport Police, with a launch expected for later in 2019.
In the meantime, however, if you still haven’t tried the ACT Awareness online learning, which is completely free, go to

New developments for e-learning and e-assessment

Over the past few months we’ve been taking on board your comments about our e-learning. While our full courses remain popular, it’s clear that many of you would like a wider range of short courses to choose from.

To that end, our e-learning team have been working on short food safety and health and safety courses as the first part of this process. We’ve also had plenty of demand for our asbestos and environmental courses, so have adjusted our priorities and will be making these available from August 2019.

You can take a look at all our courses here:

We’ve also made significant updates to Highfield Works, our e-assessment system. We’ve added a mocks system and removed the mandatory tutorial, both in response to customer feedback. We’ve also added many new question types, and included an auto release option for faster certification.

You can find out more on our e-assessment system here

As always, if you have any feedback on any of the above or any suggestions, please contact your account manager.

Promote your courses to a wider audience

Want to promote your courses to a wider audience? Then don’t forget to register them on our CourseFinder Plus site.

Available free of charge to all Highfield-approved centres, CourseFinder Plus allows potential learners and businesses to find training courses near to them in the subjects they’re interested in.

Just make sure that whenever you book a course to tick the CourseFinder Plus box in the members’ area, and the site will do the rest. To find out more, go to

Are you using your approved logo?

Are you using your Highfield approved centre logo on your website? If not, then you should think about the value using our logo could add to your business.

We’d also recommend that you hyperlink the logo to the Highfield Qualifications website. This can then help make it easier for potential customers to find your website by improving your ‘searchability’ with search engines like Google (by enhancing the relevance, reputation and value of your site in the eyes of their search robots). And showing you work with one of the UK’s biggest awarding organisations doesn’t hurt either.

To do this, just add the code below to your site (or ask your web developer to do this) and you’ll have the link up and running in no time.

<a href=”“>

<img src=”” style=”height:150px; width:385.984px;”>