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New science industry assessment service (SIAS) launched

Today sees the launch of SIAS, a brand new organisation offering an independent assessment service for science industry Apprenticeships.

SIAS is responsible for ensuring the assessments and testing for a number of the new style Apprenticeships are to the high standards required by the Government and industry. It designs and delivers the end point assessment tests which will lead to the national Apprenticeship award.

SIAS will be working in partnership with science industry employers and training providers in the Sector to deliver assessments for the following approved Apprenticeship Standards:

  • Laboratory Technician Science
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Science Industry MaintenanceTechnician
  • Laboratory Scientist

Under this new approach, an apprentice must attain full competency in an occupation, demonstrated by achievement of an Apprenticeship Standard. Importantly, it is employers who develop the assessment specifications that describe the tests that must be passed to meet the standard.

Christine Sakhardande, Head of Science Industry Assessment Service said: “SIAS is committed to delivering a high quality, robust and accurate assessment service, while at the same time being responsive to the needs of employers, learning providers and apprentices.

“As an independent assessment organisation, we have internal quality assurance and verification processes to ensure the quality, consistency and validity of assessments. Independence and impartiality are also critical to ensuring a standard is maintained over time.”

The SIAS award that is conferred following successful assessment will be recognised and valued by employers as a currency that demonstrates the individual has met the industry standard.

The all-important end point assessment comprises several methods, including, for example, completing mandatory knowledge qualifications, a portfolio of evidence, a professional discussion and a final assessment of on the job performance.

SIAS was established at the request of the Science Industry Partnership (SIP) a partnership organisation of over 100 science employers including SMEs.

To ensure that employers play a genuine leadership role in standards, assessment and quality assurance, the SIP employers through the Trailblazer group will continue to provide independent scrutiny and challenge of SIAS.

Christine added: “SIAS is here to help, and so employers and providers looking for advice on any of this, or more understanding of Apprenticeship reform, should not hesitate to get in touch with us.

“The new Standards will replace the existing frameworks from 2017 – so it’s vital to get on board with the countdown to change.”

The Science Industry Assessment Service (SIAS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cogent Skills.

For an informal chat about the SIAS service contact Christine Sakhardande on 01925 515207 or email Christine.

For further information on SIAS go to www.siasuk.com.