UCAS aims for September 2024 rollout of apprenticeship tariff points

Apprenticeships will finally qualify for UCAS tariff points from the next academic year, the admissions service has revealed.

UCAS’s apprenticeship lead Lindsay Conroy told today’s tenth annual apprenticeship conference (AAC) in Birmingham to expect a public consultation on adding UCAS points to apprenticeships by May.

Conroy said UCAS has “a view” for the plans to be ready for September of this year.

This time last year at AAC, then-UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant announced that the organisation was working on greenlighting tariff points for apprenticeships by the end of 2023.

The delay appears to be due to the “challenging” education environment across the UK and UCAS having to consult with regulators and stakeholders.

“As you can imagine, it’s challenging because we cross all four nations and education is devolved so what we don’t want to do is disadvantage any learners,” explained Conroy.

“We’re in a position where we have a model that we think works. We’re going through some engagement at the moment and regulators and stakeholders.”

A public document is expected to come out for consultation this April or May, Conroy said, adding that students should be able to rollout the scheme by September 2024.

Post-16 level 3 qualifications have attributed UCAS points to determine entry criteria for university courses, such as levels, T Levels, BTECs and Cambridge Technicals.

Apprenticeships will be the latest qualification to carry UCAS points, but it is not yet clear how many points apprenticeships may be eligible for.

When asked if the points system will bring parity of esteem to apprenticeships compared with other post-16 routes, Conroy admitted it is not “the whole answer”.

“I think that requires a lot of work from all across the sector to bring true parity, but it’s part of it because it provides a signal to people that this pathway has routes and avenues,” she told AAC.

The move forms part of the government’s ambitions to make UCAS a “one-stop shop” for education and training.

Earlier in October last year, UCAS launched an apprenticeships service, showing students apprenticeship vacancies listed alongside higher education courses. It plans to allow students to apply for apprenticeships through its website from 2024/25.

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