The Royal Society of Chemistry has been awarding accredited status to degree level programmes for many years, but this is the first time we have extended accreditation beyond degrees. The new initiative reflects the growing importance of vocational routes into the chemical sciences. Accrediting apprenticeship programmes not only helps prospective apprentices to choose a high quality programme, but it also helps employers to secure the best quality training for their apprentices.
As a supporter of the Technician Commitment, the Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to recognising the professional status of the technical workforce. Opening up accreditation of the Laboratory Technician apprenticeship programmes is an important step towards this aim.
In order to attain accredited status, West Suffolk College had to complete a detailed application – showing how the programme met the key requirements for accreditation – and then go through a rigorous peer review process. A team of assessors conducted a site visit and met with apprentices on the programme and representatives of their employers.
The assessors noted: "West Suffolk College staff go that extra mile to ensure that the apprentices receive a good learning/training experience, to equip them to succeed and to create a nurturing environment. Apprentices value the support that they receive from the college and the staff here."
Catriona Bacon, Head of Health, Science and Social Care said: "I am immensely proud of leading the team in our science apprenticeship delivery and to receive this accolade. We are continually working very hard with our learners and employers to ensure our learners receive the outstanding learning, supporting and enhancing their professional development and growth in such fast moving and specialist vocation."
Laraine Moody, Vice Principal for Employer Engagement said: "I am absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication of the team has led to West Suffolk College becoming the first college to receive this amazing accolade. We are delighted to work with such an incredible organisation as The Royal Society for Chemistry and look forward to our learners and employers benefitting from this wonderful partnership."
Katie Dryden-Holt, Interim Vocational Skills Programme Manager at the RSC said: "The quality of provision at West Suffolk College really shone through- the nurturing environment created by the team at the college, coupled with excellent teaching and employer engagement will put West Suffolk College’s apprentices in a great position as they embark on their careers."