A government-backed agency is preparing to launch a quality register and kitemark to help sell British vocational training abroad, writes Tony Tysome.
British Training International, which receives funding from the Department for Education and Employment, the Department of Trade and Industry, the British Council, higher education institutions and national training organisations, has commissioned research from the University of Huddersfield to help develop the register to be launched next spring.
Chief executive Ruth Gee said institutions delivering vocational training would be expected to adhere to a strict code if they wanted to be on the register.
She said there were too many institutions running the risk of damaging the reputation of British vocational training by operating courses to "raise a quick buck", rather than investing for long-term benefits. Existing quality codes concentrate on the educational outcome, not quality of service.
BTI commissioned a study from the National Foundation for Educational Research into what makes vocational courses for overseas students successful. It found that institutions that ignore socio-economic and cultural factors, do so "at their peril".