The matrix Standard is the national [UK] quality standard for information, advice and/or guidance on learning and work. It provides a straightforward quality framework that is made up of eight elements, each of which has a set of criteria that clearly describe what is required.
Here’s an update, from the Skills Funding Agency, published on 7 December 2010.
Progress on the procurement of a new organisation to manage and develop the Matrix Standard
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is in the process of procuring the services of an organisation to manage and develop the Matrix Standard.
BIS is on track to have a new provider in place by January 2011. The new provider will start to deliver the assessment and accreditation service from January but will need to address the backlog of accreditations as well as dealing with new requests for assessment. The new provider will also be responsible for trialling the revised Matrix standard. Following the trials they will agree a transition plan for implementing the revised standard with both BIS and the Skills Funding Agency.
The Skills Funding Agency has a contractual requirement that Information Advice and Guidance must be delivered to the Matrix Standard and it is incumbent on contractors to either hold the Matrix Standard, be working towards achieving it or at the very least commit to start the accreditation process within six months of any contract being signed.
Therefore whilst BIS’s procurement process is ongoing and until the new provider is operational the Skills Funding Agency has made the following decisions:
- Any organisation whose Matrix Standard accreditation is due for renewal will have this timeline extended until 1 June 2011.
- Any organisation which was in the process of undergoing assessment for accreditation will have this timeline extended until 1 June 2011.
- Any organisation which had committed to start the accreditation process within six months of contracts being signed will have this timeline extended until 1 June 2011.
- Any organisation which had not committed to start but was due to commit will have this timeline extended until 1 June 2011.
This allows time for BIS to appoint a new service provider and for them then to be in a position to be fully operational.