Programmes explained

In the UK there are several different types of programmes of study which individuals can undertake to help them build their skills and knowledge to progress into the workplace.

Below you will find brief information about:

Endorsed programmes...

...programmes of learning which are professionally reviewed, monitored and endorsed by FDQ.

Learners and businesses can engage with these programmes with confidence; knowing they are of high quality and that they will deliver the benefits and learning they set out to achieve. These products are not qualifications, however the programmes are subject to FDQ monitoring arrangements.

All endorsed programmes are fully certificated, meaning learners successfully meeting the requirements of the programmes will receive a formal FDQ certificate in recognition of programme achievement.

We provide an endorsement service to our centres, so if you have a training course which you would like endorsed by FDQ, please contact us today.


...are packages of work related learning, which can include a number of qualifications enabling learners to build workplace skills, knowledge and behaviours.

Taking an apprenticeship is an excellent way for an individual to earn as they learn and to gain qualifications at the same time.

From a business’s point of view, apprenticeships help to ensure employees are thoroughly trained. Enabling them to become the highly skilled and motivated specialists  needed to be successful in the competitive marketplace. Businesses of all types and sizes are getting involved with apprenticeships and reaping the benefits.

Generally an apprenticeship includes 6 elements:

All FDQ's certificate and diploma sized competence qualifications are approved to sit within industry relevant apprenticeship frameworks. To find out more about using FDQ qualifications within an apprenticeship, please call the FDQ team on 0113 3970 395.

Apprenticeships in England

Apprenticeship SASE requirements 

Centres are reminded that rules of combination (RoC) and the selection of knowledge and skills units that are required for learners registered on proficiency qualifications may be different from the specified minimum expectations of learners on a government funding apprenticeship programme.

Centres delivering apprenticeships should always refer to the latest version of the apprenticeship framework to ensure the correct balance of skills and knowledge units (OS and OK/UK units) are selected to align with the SASE requirements. Combined skills and knowledge units (e.g. imported management units) do not count as a valid contribution to the minimum requirement for skills and knowledge.

Trailblazing apprenticeships 

In late 2015 a raft of new apprenticeships were released in England. These apprenticeship standards were launched as a result of consultative trailblazer projects undertaken by specifically selected groups of sector businesses. These new apprenticeships have been designed - for certain occupations only - to ensure that apprentices emerge with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to more closely meet the needs of today's employers and today's industry. To find our more click here.

Please note that, apprenticeship SASE requirements will remain in place in England until 2017/18 for all sectors and occupations, which have not been part of a trailblazer project.

Apprenticeships in Wales and Northern Ireland

SASW and current arrangements will continue to apply in Wales, as will AppNI in Northern Ireland. FDQ qualifications listed in these frameworks will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.

Traineeships for 16 - 24 year olds...

...are short programmes of study enabling learners to build skills and knowledge. They are designed to provide a pathway into work or an apprenticeship.

The target group for traineeships includes 16 to 24 year olds who are not in a job and with little work experience, but who are keen to move into employment or an apprenticeship.

Traineeships include:

Traineeships will last a maximum of six months and offer a guaranteed interview with the work placement host at the end of the placement. Traineeships can be managed and delivered by learning providers.

At FDQ we have a broad traineeship offer available to our centres. This contains an exciting and accessible mix of work relevant units from which employers and providers can make a selection based on individual needs.

To view the FDQ Traineeship options, please click this link. If you would like to speak to someone in our team, please call us on 0113 3970 395.

Study programmes for 16 - 19 year olds...

...are a new approach to full time learning for 16 to 19 year olds, developed to prepare individuals to successfully move into employment.

A study programme must be personalised to the needs and aspirations of each individual. They should also have an emphasis on vocational learning, employability skills and preparation for the world of work.

Study programmes may include:

At FDQ we have a great selection of vocational qualifications which are ideal as the basis for study programmes. Our professional qualifications such as professional bakery, professional butchery and our many short courses will be just right to assist in preparing learners for a move into the world of work.

To view our professional qualifications and training please click here, or to speak to someone in our team, please call us on 0113 3970 395.


The majority of FDQ qualifications are eligible for public funding support, from a number of government funding agencies.

It is these agencies that decide on the level of funding to be made available to learning providers, employers and/or learners. 

Examples of funded programmes and the FDQ qualifications they include are:

Please call us if you require more information about the eligibility or funding of any of our qualifications.

24+ Advanced learning loans

The 24+ advanced learning loan is available to anyone over the age of 24 wishing to study a level 3 or 4 qualification in England. The Government backed loan can be used to pay for part or your entire course and doesn’t depend on learner’s income. Learners only have to pay back the loan when they finish their course and earn more than £21,000 a year.

Learners may also be eligible for money from the Bursary Fund to help with additional study costs including childcare, travel or trips related to their course.

More information is available on the Government website or watch the following video:

I have no hesitation in choosing FDQ for our compliance qualifications. Their expertise and service are second to none.

Mark Otley

Arko Training Limited

James Awarded Highest Butchery Honour at London Awards


We’re delighted to announce that our Butchery End-point Assessment Manager, James Richardson, has been awarded the title of Institute of Meat accredited Master Butcher (MB.Inst.M) at the IoM’s Annual Awards. He joins an elite club of accredited Master Butchers, of which there are only 50 in the UK. At FDQ we are now lucky to have two of the most experienced and highly regarded butchers in the country managing our end-point assessment service. Kevin Meades (MB.Inst.M), our EPA Accounts Manager, was also awarded Master Butcher status in 2017.

James was selected to receive his award for his wide-ranging knowledge, not only of butchery, but of the meat industry as a whole. James has a lifetime of experience in the  industry, having started out in his Father’s butchers shop and in his Mother’s wholesale meat and abattoir business. As well as earning his stripes as a butcher in several businesses James also holds Institute of Meat qualifications and an HND in Meat Technology and Management.

After a stint working as a Meat Hygiene Inspector and for the Food Standards Agency James decided to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of Butchers, by becoming a Butchery Course Leader at Leeds City College. Here he ran the Butchery Standard Apprenticeship, so he’s now well placed to give FDQ butchery apprentices top tips for their butchery end-point assessment.

James was presented with his award by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat, and himself a fourth generation Master Butcher. Commenting on the award, Fisher said,

‘Being granted Institute of Meat accredited Master Butcher status is one of the highest accolades a butcher can achieve. We do not make such awards lightly and in fact only consider applications from the most experienced and skilful butchers.’

On being awarded this title, James said,

‘This is something I’ve worked towards for a long time and I’m very grateful to the Institute of Meat for awarding it to me and I’m incredibly proud to have been considered in the first place.’

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