Continuing to shape the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship qualification

05 July 2018

The Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship qualification is live and approved for delivery on the Institute for Apprenticeships’ Website. This is an employer-driven qualification, written by members of the profession specifically for the profession.  The Trailblazer group, chaired by Ian Holloway, see this as an important move for the UK payroll profession.

The apprenticeship is at level three and this is important.  It is meant as an entry to the payroll profession, recognising and detailing the knowledge, skills and behaviours for progression within it.  Having said that, the apprenticeship can be used for upskilling existing employees within the organisation.  Therefore, employers can use their Levy funds on this apprenticeship knowing that successful completion of the qualification may lead to roles at a higher level whilst providing the assurance that they have the attributes to make a competent administrator.
It is also important the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship is aligned with the professional bodies that will offer membership/recognition at this level and who offer the opportunity for progression within the industry.  The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals was pleased to be asked to align its professional membership with the apprenticeship, just as the Global Payroll Association has.  Yet, recognising the depth and breadth of the profession, the Trailblazer is seeking to expand on professional body recognition.  Ian Holloway commented: “The Trailblazer and I are delighted to have the CIPP and GPA aligning their membership with the apprenticeship.  However, the profession is so wide that the Trailblazer and I believe there are other professional bodies that should be given the opportunity to align with the apprenticeship.  That is why we are seeking the wider payroll industry’s opinions on which other professional bodies should also be included in the Standard.  Once I have looked at the opinions of the profession, the Trailblazer and I will the approach these organisations to see if they are willing to align the level three apprenticeship with a level of their individual membership.   

We need to be very careful about the definition of ‘professional body’ which we have defined as follows:

  • Offers individual professional registration or membership at competency levels
  • Recognised by employers in the payroll profession
  • Representative of the whole or parts of the profession (for example, sector-specific or employer size) and

Therefore, this will exclude organisations that offer membership packages / subscriptions for things like a training portfolio, newsletters and industry magazines.”

Given the nature of approval, the Institute of Apprenticeships has requested support to make sure a change to the standard, they confirmed: “The change you are proposing is not minor in nature; meaning you would need to formally resubmit the Standard. Factors IFA would wish to see as part of that re-submission includes:

  • Factors that led the Trailblazer to align certain professional body membership within the Standard
  • Any professional bodies that offer alignment with the apprenticeship but which you discounted, and your reasons for this.
  • Evidence of support from trailblazer members backing the changes
  • Evidence you consulted more widely, and that the wider payroll industry is supportive.

The reasons this is all required is to ensure the Apprenticeship reflects employer needs. As mentioned, if IFA is asked in future by a professional body why they are not including, we need a good evidence-based decision-making audit.”

Therefore, the Trailblazer group has compiled this short survey and would appreciate your time to complete to gather views to support the addition of further professional bodies to the apprenticeship.