The first T-levels are planned for 2020 and the government has begun the process of awarding organisations to deliver the new qualifications. But AOs are very concerned that their ownership of the content that they will have developed will be limited.
The concern is over five paragraphs in the draft key commercial principles for the T-levels that state that the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) will own the intellectual property in any materials, which will be licenced back to the AO for the duration of their contract. They also ban AOs from reusing any of the content without ‘prior written approval’ and from using any of their own branding.
Chief executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, Tom Bewick, said, “The terms as they stand are flawed and suggest a wholescale nationalisation of the technical qualifications industry in this country.” He added, “Federation lawyers are currently checking the terms, and they are considering launching legal action to try to get them changed.”
He has requested an urgent meeting with IfA’ boss Sir Gerry Berragan to discuss his concerns. Meanwhile, skills minister Anne Milton appears untroubled, saying, “If something could go wrong, then my aim is to put in place adequate mitigation to make sure it doesn’t go wrong, and so I don’t worry.”