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UK – APSCo criticises REC over education recruiter scheme

10 May 2013

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said yesterday that it was disappointed at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) for not collaborating on a new ‘British Standard’ for education recruiters.

This comes after the Department for Education (DfE) decided to close the REC administered Quality Mark scheme at the end of March. The scheme was set up to award recruiters with a certification mark when supplying teachers to schools in the UK.

APSCo invited the REC to join a steering group of key stakeholders to produce a nationally recognised, industry-wide standard for education recruitment.  The trade bodies met last month.

“The DfE has made it clear, following the demise of the Quality Mark that they would like to see a greater focus within the industry on self-regulation,” said Nick Bowles, Head of Education Membership for APSCo.

“And we are therefore very disappointed that the REC has decided not to work alongside us to help create a specification of best practice, which will differentiate those professional education recruiters who choose to be held to the highest standards. We feel that the safeguarding issue is critical within the education sector and that the industry should be presenting a united front. It feels like the right thing to do and I am amazed that the REC is taking this stance to revamp its own scheme. It should not be about which membership organisation you join and should not focus on commercial gain.”

APSCo confirmed that it recently met with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to discuss the creation of a national standard for education recruiters – a mark that is internationally recognised and which would lend a great deal of weight to the professionalism of recruitment firms operating within the sector.

“We have discussed our concept with the BSI and leading education stakeholders, and already have confirmation from a number to join the steering group, because truly to succeed any future audit based scheme must have the backing of the end user customer base” said Mr Bowles. 

“Specifically we have commitment from the National Association of Head Teachers; the National Association of School Business Management, the Association of School and College Leaders; the Independent Academies Association and SGOSS (a national charity for school governors supported by the DfE) - we feel this is a fantastic first step towards creating an up to date robust solution that will work for all stakeholders.”

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