IoC Qualifications

Qualifications in the Logistics sector

IOC Chair, Carl Lomas,

Qualifications are key to our sector, both for compliance and future workforce, from driver front line to management. The IOC have been working closely with FE colleges, Universities, LEPs and BIS


IOC has two key qualification routes, management & delivery. For management, IOC is working with Derby University & London Met University to develop the first ever undergraduate degree dedicated to our sector. For delivery teams IOC are looking at the apprenticeship replacement qualifications with work on an apprenticeship trailblazer for same day and home delivery couriers. The ‘Courier Trailblazer’  was a phase three application and evolved into ‘Trailblazer Express Delivery’, the standard submitted to BIS for Nov 26th 2015, a framework for delivery is in development. Employer support came from APC to Yodel, nationals from UK Mail to SMEs such as Swift in Liverpool and Rush in London. Awarding bodies supporting are Pearson Edexcell and City & Guilds. IOC attends the AELP (association of education and learning provider) sector meetings.

The sector is unique with extensive compliance training and testing, from hazardous goods handling to licence. Driver shortage issues are log jammed around test centres with 12 week diaries for tests (2015). The LEP 2016 European funding may be the next solution to needs around support for the next generation of workforce. The schools message for the next generation is key, taking the message of our sector as a career path. IOC have worked very closely with FE, from West Thames College GTA at Heathrow to Buxton & Leek with their Skillbase driver training centre in the homeland of Sec of State for transport Patrick Mcloughlin.


Copies of sector-relevant standards and qualification documents, including those authored by IoC and other external bodies can be found in the IoC Standards Archive.

IoC is also active in the Education & Training Foundation's Two-Way Street leadership exchange programme - for more details go here

IoC Degree

IoC Degree

IOC have input into the foundation degree work that has taken place with Hull College. Universities including Derby & London Met have worked closely with IOC and the sector to develop undergraduate programmes for the sector that will train the next generation of management.

IOC fellows voted unanimously that management CPC should set a foundation corner stone in the undergraduate route, giving candidates every opportunity to participate in management at the earliest opportunity from sandwich work placements.

Private sector training providers such as System and Ingeus offer national entry into the sector, many large logistics companies such as TNT & GIST have their own internal programmes. The sector had a Government skills council, Skill for logistics responsible for qualification development, also a  former National Skills Academy for Logistics.


View items...
IoC Trailblazer

IoC Trailblazer

Where do Express Trailblazers fit in Road Based Logistics - Professional Development Stairway (PDS)  ?

Occupations in road transport logistics. Three clear streams, respected and mapped by the former skills council into Heavy transport, Warehouse and Express, mail.

The Professional Development Stairway (PDS) was developed by the sector skills council, Skills for Logistics and later adopted by the Logistics Guild and the National Logistics Academy. It is an excellent signpost to occupations in the sector. It was a job done by and for employers and has gained great respect over the years. Based on the functional and occupational mapping that underpinned National Occupational Standards, it set the framework for the logistics sector’s NVQ/SVQ and QCF qualifications.

PDS provided a comprehensive view of the range of job roles in the transport logistics sector open to employees at all levels. The  levels of PDS and the transfer and progression routes it illustrates provide a route map for any career in logistics from LGV driver to warehouse worker or sortation hub operative, from postal delivery to international logistics director.

Hover over or Touch the stairway below to see the qualifications for each Level

Professional Development Stairway V3

Level 8

PhD or research papers in the sector

Level 7

Degree apprenticeship Express executive manager

Level 6

Degree Apprenticeship Supply chain manager (ST0305)

Degree Apprenticeship Supply Chain Leadership Professional (ST0548)

Level 6 - Express

Degree apprenticeship Express Manager (ST0471)

Undergraduate degree Logistics Transport Manager West London University

Level 5 - Transport

Apprenticeship logistics operations manager

Level 5 - Warehouse

Apprenticeship logistics operations manager

Level 5 - Express

No qualifications are defined

Level 4 - Transport

No qualifications are defined

Level 4 - Warehouse

No qualifications are defined

Level 4 - Express

Apprenticeship Express sortation hub supervisor

Level 3 - Transport

Transport Manager CPC (certificate of professional competence)

Apprenticeship Logistics operations supervisor

Apprenticeship Transport planning technician (ST0336)

Apprenticeship Supply chain practitioner (ST0201) (FMCG)

Level 3 - Warehouse

Apprenticeship Logistics operations supervisor

Apprenticeship Transport planning technician (ST0336)

Apprenticeship Supply chain practitioner (ST0201) (FMCG)

Level 3 - Express

Apprenticeship Express delivery mentor

Level 2 - Transport

Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence)

Apprenticeship LGV Driver (ST0257)

Apprenticeship LGV Traffic Office (ST 0258 pathway)

Apprenticeship LGV Removals (ST0258 pathway)

Level 2 - Warehouse

Apprenticeship Warehouse operative (ST0259)

Level 2 - Express

Apprenticeship Express Sortation hub operative

Level 2 - Express

Apprenticeship Express delivery operative (ST0103)

IoC Chairman Carl Lomas

The sector numbers are exploding and we need a workforce to sustain the quality of our delivery.

Trailblazers apprenticeships look set to form an excellent solution under levy for our sector which is already rich in compliance focused training delivery. Employers want a one stop shop for a full stairway of express qualifications across the UK

IOC has acted as secretary to the express employer group chaired by Justin Moore, CitySprint for the Dept for Education (formerly BIS). Employers across the alphabet have been involved from APC to UK Mail. Originally a phase two submission, the Express delivery Standard was born from courier & re-edited to include walking post for the Royal Mail,  the level two standard was granted in the last days of 2016. An end point assessment developed with Edexcel and the IOC is outlining a framework for delivery. Levy banding funded at six thousand pounds for level two.

Justin Moore CitySprint chaired the strong employer group meetings, Jan 2017 -

We have outstanding contributions from so many employers, nationals, networks and local SMEs. The standard that will set the future qualification for the front line of our sector. It’s a big thank-you all round for everyone who has made this possible.’ ‘This will be a vocational qualification for our front-line teams delivering at the client face.

Broad input for the Express Standards came in from TfL & the LEP teams D2N2, LLEP, SEMLEP, NLEP and more, with education advice and support from AELP & Universities including Derby, SHU and LMU. Employer group vision launched from UCL Institute of Education's Two Way Street projects.

Next step. ( A full stairway of qualifications in Express. )


Express delivery Level 2

Operative in express delivery, from walking post to cycle, motorcycle, light & heavy van, or truck. The standard passed in July 2016 and the end point went to final edit July 2017. Originally focused on same day courier the express delivery standard developed through employer group meetings, CitySprint to UK Mail, same day courier to network & overnight. Royal Mail and Whistl focused on post and with further retail input from the likes of Asda and Specsavers the Trailblazer represents all forms of final mile delivery to client, from white goods to food, typically home delivery and with strong customer focus. The Institute of Couriers has mapped the standard for delivery & recognises best practice providers who deliver the training. Links below will take you to the standard, end point and delivery mapping.

Express manager, degree Apprenticeship Level 6

Standard agreed July 2017

The Express employer group has a level six degree apprentice Express manager standard that will be published August 2017 following an EOI with BIS in 2016. Close partners are West London University and Derby, LMU, SHU & MMU are involved, giving wide UK coverage for the qualification for next-generation managers.

Express delivery / sortation hub operator Level 2

Operative in an express sortation , load and unload skills to conveyor belt, packages in cages, sortation routes, automation systems to silos for re loading. (Nothing is stored in Express delivery, a happy warehouse/ hub is empty after the shift, every shift.)

Express delivery / express courier supervisor Level 3

(A driver role where responsibility for package sortation and route allocation takes place, a master/elite driver who spends time in the hub to over see routes and package allocation, but is still likely to hold a delivery allocation, operating in a dual role of delivery and supervision.)

Express delivery / express courier hub manager Level 4

(Supervisor / manager, responsible for route allocations of vehicles, both delivery and collection, working from the hub, managing incoming express delivery packages to volume and delivery timescales in a geographic area. Supervising collection routes into the network and allocating returns loads to the wider network. )

Express strategic manager Level 7

Strategic manager, responsible for multiple sortation and vehicle routing sites. Working toward a masters degree level.

A variety of extra links below take you to standards and end point assessment plans and the delivery frameworks.

Document Links

The Express Delivery Trailblazer standard at Level two is available here

The Express Delivery Operative apprenticeship standard endpoint assessment plan is available here (updated Feb 2018 - updates include simulation detail and mapping to grade descriptors for skills and behaviour.)

Draft Delivery Framework for Level two is available here (1 Express Delivery module(s) mapped)

Level six degree apprenticeship Express Manager is available here (v2.8 updated 30 Jun 2017)

Level six degree apprenticeship Express Manager endpoint assessment  is available here (v6.1 updated Feb 2018)

Levels two, three and four draft  EOI is available here (v3.5 updated 23 Feb 2017)

Level two Express Delivery Sortation Hub Operator draft EOI is available here ( v1.5 updated Feb 2018)

Level seven draft Express Strategic Manager EOI is available here (v3.5 updated 23 Feb 2017)


Relevant DfE Skills Funding Agency documents are placed in the Standards Archive here, including...

DfE Skills Funding Agency 1-page checklist: A step-by-step guide to the apprenticeship service

DfE Skills Funding Agency: Finding The right training provider


BIS Taylor Report: Employment Status Review Dec 2015


View items...

IOC were in West London for the AELP National Conference, talking education and funding for trailblazer, levy and employer.

Martin Dunford, chair of AELP had a mouth-watering line-up of ministers and shadow ministers to give the opposite opinion. 800 AELP members, wall-to-wall training providers, 640 attending from every sector stacked to the rafters in the Hammersmith West London Novotel. Talk of rivers of money and a cold vote for the new Chartered Institute of Further Education.

Positive words from Minister Nick Boles,

I understand change is going on and it generates uncertainty. It is absolutely clear there is a fruitful river for you to fish in. There is a great deal more money going into apprenticeships, an expanding river of opportunity. You are in a growth business, every area of the country will need to thrive in their environment.


Warehouse news headline June 2016 – ‘A legacy change for the express courier sector’ – IOC chair Carl Lomas with East Midlands hot spot LLEP Corin Crane and Sec of State for Education Nicky Morgan. Heads of Industry IOC Heathrow conference highlighted the sector win as BIS gave the green light for the road ahead for the next generation of express courier drivers, funding up to 4,900 pounds a candidate. A team effort from APC to UK Mail.

Standing room only at Heathrow as BIS talked trailblazers, there was hydrogen power in the car park for an IOC heads of Industry briefing that followed a proven track record of fifteen minute slots across a varied agenda. Glen Davies TfL,  LoCity was first keynote address, ‘ 59% of white vans are in private registration!’ watching the thunderstorm cell, Heathrow Emma Gilthorpe talked air, focused on freight, 1.5 million tonnes a year through Heathrow projected to 3 million tonnes by 2030. FORS BIS & Hydrogen followed, Inpost talked collect, Nicholas Dunhill Parcel Space had collaboration at heart, Alex Farkas DWP was on hand as national logistics, Andrew Hartley, System training de-mystified levy for employers. Sarah Bell University of Derby had level 6 degrees in preparation. It was logistics employers parked wall to wall, City sprint, TNT, UK Mail FedEx and more in a briefing focused express speed.

Viscount, Lord Falkland IOC president,  ‘A legacy change for the express courier sector’

With exploding delivery numbers in the express delivery, shift from high street retail to home delivery expected to be half of all retail value by 2020, light van registrations up 18% in a single year and three Q4 million foot sortation sheds in middle England 2015. The next challenge is a workforce with skills to deliver the booming numbers in an evolving platform. Minister Nick Boles has delivered news set to provide a legacy, a step change in the sector, a trailblazer apprenticeship for express delivered before the end of the year, ready for levy.

Proposal to develop apprenticeship standard degree apprenticeship logistics manager went into  BIS March 29 by IOC in collaboration with University of Derby and a strong employer group that first met over two years ago.

A strong employer group with a track record at level 2 and submissions of a career path to level four all in development; foundation degrees were first discussed by the group more than 18 months ago.

IOC has acted as secretary to  the express delivery group chaired by Justin Moore, CitySprint. IOC have ready completed work to develop the Level 2 standard for express delivery drivers/couriers & provided an expression of interest to develop levels 3 & 4 in express logistics.

Justin Moore,

I have written to BIS seeking approval for the development of a level 6 standard for such a degree apprenticeship.  I have asked Carl Lomas CBE, IOC to continue to provide secretariat services to the group and lead this work.

Pearson are developing new BTECs at level 2 to meet DFE 'Technical Certificate' criteria, to respond to the challenges of new funding priorities by the Government (reducing 19+ funding and increasing funding for apprenticeship and technical, work-preparation qualifications).  Warehouse Operative, Supply Chain Operative, Delivery Operative. Learners will typically be aged 16-19 without prior level 2 achievement at this level, but they could also be undertaken by 14-16 alongside more academic study.

The first document describes the design of the new qualifications, the proposed structures and information on the content of the units.

Lisa Smailes, Pearson,

I would very much appreciate IOC fellows input on the short survey (2nd document) and returning by email at your convenience.

Please click here to see the documents Open

Trailblazer apprenticeship - Express delivery courier.  The Next step is warehouse hub & level three and four

Last day of January 2016,  Gerry Swift at BIS confirmed approval of the Express Delivery Driver standard, subject to some final amendments. IOC Heads of industry meet Feb 26th to debate the assessment and look at the next levels.


Express delivery / courier trailblazer apprenticeship standard has been authorised by BIS at level 2, level 3 and 4 is on the starting grid and framework assessment design has begun.

IOC Tracey Worth met up with UPS at the recent RTITB train-the-trainer conference in the West Midlands to understand the system that leads to a high quality delivery in the express sector. Tracey had the discussion with Gary Swift and Andrew Louden who leads the UPS driver training for UPS UK, based in Tamworth, Midlands.

IOC Chair Carl Lomas was at the emfec 2016 Feb 08 conference to hear the headline ‘1/3rd of colleges gone by end of area review rugby scrum.

College principals, governors, teaching practitioners and students for a full house of 240 folk talking Further Education (FE) shop that focused on 'a third of colleges gone by the end of area reviews' and how important the student voice was. Paul Eeles talked 'rugby match on a muddy field', could college mergers include private training providers ? It was howling wind outside and howling inside for a frank and energetic exchange across area review, LEP and devolution.

Stewart Segal AELP, 'Our sector needs to be driven by learners and employers'. Stuart Cutforth Chesterfield College, ‘Area reviews. This is real, radical restructuring.’  Baroness Sharp, ‘Why have we cut cultural learning for adults?’ Gill Clipson AOC. ‘Our advice on area reviews is engage.’ Buxton & Leek College got a mention under the umbrella of the University of Derby.

An energetic exchange. Corridors of trade show from award body to AELP, lashings of tea and coffee, two workshop sessions, three headline panel events and a finish on the Skills Education Group formation news from Paul Eeles ABC awards and Maggie Walker ASDAN.


BIS Apprenticeship Trailblazer focus for Express Delivery courier in the Oxford Newbury area.

Talking shop with IOC Chair Carl Lomas about BIS recognition for Express Delivery courier apprentice trailblazer, Adrian Smith of Swift Couriers (Oxford &  Newbury) explained: ‘Elite couriers, this is where we need to be.’

Adrian Smith, IOC Fellow and owner of Swift - a strong company-owned van fleet, operating PAYE drivers and providing quality service to the West London corridor around the postcodes of Newbury and Oxford with focus on medical services clients. ‘Every driver goes through a detailed induction, 6 months attendance, 6 months specialisation to make the step to one of our elite couriers.’

Adrian is one of the heads of Industry Fellows joining the IOC panel discussions Feb 26th in the City of London with TfL boss Mike Brown. The invitation-only event is before the Fellows' gowning on the same evening at the House of Lords. Call Tracey Worth for details of a diary must-do (07976 263745)

Page 2 of 3