Standards for Apprenticeships

L2 to L6 standards documents

Delivery material

Guidance for delivering the qualifications


External Quality Assurance

Qualifications in the Express 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 DfE/IFA, The IOC have a 4 module workbook pack to accompany the express delivery operative level 2 apprenticeship, candidates are funded by levy. Candidates who complete the workbook on their apprenticeship journey are eligible for associate membership of the IOC.


A degree in Express logistics for next generation managers

IOC has two key qualification routes, management & delivery. For management, IOC is working with The University of West London in the Heathrow logistics hot spot and Derby University in the heart of the East Midlands gateway to deliver the first-ever undergraduate degree dedicated to our sector. A level six apprenticeship degree standard passed by the IFA. A level six text book is nearing publication.

An apprenticeship for sortation operatives ST0753

The very latest apprenticeship in Express was published in Nov 2021 for sortation operatives, focused on those working in the sortation hub, depot. IOC worked with operators to build a training plan for this new apprenticeship and a textbook for candidates to use during the 12 months of the course. The textbook begins with ‘what is this thing we call Express?’ the four streams of mail, parcel, food and meal, all delivery to door. Chapters follow a similar path to packages and parcels, early chapters look at goods delivered, then loaded to belt sort, moving to chute, sorting and separated to outbound final mile. There is a chapter on mail licencing and compliance in final mile. A chapter on security looks at threat and theft of parcel. A chapter looks at sort errors, belt failure, chute error, dealing with jams and later looking at maintenance.

An apprenticeship for Express operatives

There is level two apprenticeship for express operatives, it is free to candidates and funded by levy. The ‘Courier Trailblazer’ was a phase three application and evolved into ‘Trailblazer Express Delivery’, the standard submitted to BIS Nov 2015, live apprenticeship qualification in 2019. A full delivery pack for learners, a four workbook reflective journal portfolio to match the standard went live in 2020, rich in employer operator content. Employer support came from APC to Yodel, nationals from Hermes to DPD to SMEs such as Swift in Liverpool and GLH in London.

Justin Moore, chaired the strong employer group meetings talking Express driver operative at Level two.

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.


Workbook modules for the apprenticeship level two, ‘Express delivery operative.'

IOC uniquely built a full learning delivery pack for the express delivery operative apprenticeship. Built with rich levels of operator content, ‘What is this thing we call Express?’ ‘Parcels larger than letters, smaller than pallets’ ‘Same day, next day schedules.’ ‘POB to empty.’ ‘Safe-guarding age related goods from knives to fireworks.’ The learning delivery pack is formed of four module workbooks, they can be completed in the job environment, interactive learning booklets with interpretation boxes for on the job notes, top tip lines from industry. Knowledge to do the job, skills blocks that follow experience in delivery, behaviour focused on brand, integrity and security at the door.


IOC acting EQA for DFT IFA

Ofqual is the official external quality auditor, IOC acting as the sector review body, IOC have built a one hundred question bank for the apprenticeship knowledge test, extensive simulation exercises and a pointer set for the professional discussion module of express delivery operative.


Going beyond the standard for express delivery operative apprenticeship

Candidates who complete the IOC work books with an apprenticeship pass qualify for access to associate membership of the IOC.


Message to schools

IOC deliver key note tuition express sector introductions to schools. Explaining the career stairway in logistics. 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 further education, FE, from West Thames College GTA at Heathrow to Buxton & Leek with their Skillbase driver training centre in the homeland of former Sec of State for transport Patrick Mcloughlin.


Jobcentre Plus – SWAP - ‘What is this thing we call express logistics?’

For adults looking at a step into the sector, IOC have worked with DWP Jobcentre Plus to develop a free of charge SWAP, Sector Work Academy Programme targeted at the unemployed entering sortation and express delivery roles.


Latest hot off the press news flash items can be found below.

A new workbook lens for on-job learning in express sortation apprenticeship.

Dr Tracey Worth, CEO at the Inst of Couriers was at Whistl to see the launch of their candidate groups on the new sortation apprenticeship.

She had a gift for the candidates - hot off the press, latest version ‘on the job learning IOC workbooks for the express sortation apprenticeship.’

In the workbook, the learning lens to candidate is based on job - it's interactive and in the real world of work - earn while you learn, learn well and progress in our sector of key worker critical infrastructure.

Ethos of the IOC work book for express sortation is hands on, it opens - ‘This is a career - get your protected boots and gloves, put your high vis on and let's go sorting.’


Published in IoC news

Supporting the external quality audit of express logistics apprenticeships, the DFE advised the Institute of Couriers this week that the IFA Decision Panel approved an application for the IOC to join the Employer Directory for Express Logistics apprenticeships.


Published in IoC news

Your next generation have a stairway to manager

Three years. No student loan – it's paid by levy

Three years in the making, DfE Institute for Apprenticeships have approved the level six standard at degree level for Express Delivery Manager.

A three-year course, no student loan, on-the-job learning with a degree in Express management, paid for by levy apprenticeship funding while the candidate earns a living in the express workplace.

Published in IoC news

How does the Express courier Trailblazer qualification fit inside the govt levy and qualification delivery?

Express Trailblazer group were invited to the National Trailblazer conference, hosted at the Manchester City football stadium in an ocean of pale blue success for apprenticeship delivery across all sectors.

Keynote by the Minister Anne Milton to a full house of employers and Trailblazer chairs. ‘Next generation workforce success and value for money for the employers.’

Published in IoC news

Express delivery qualification is waiting for the Minister's sign-off to start, but news across the wider transport sector is good for apprenticeships in truck, warehouse and roads.

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani, ‘The transport industry is leading the way in unlocking brilliant careers and tackling the need for the logisticians of the future.’

TfL boss Mike Brown chaired and opened the event with apprentices from the transport sector. Knights of Old truck driver, Jonathan Field took the top truck spot showcasing apprenticeships in LGV. Joel Hadfield was the warehouse and storage apprentice, working Manchester at Amphorea Packaging, he was trained by MANTRA learning.

Published in IoC Trailblazer

Milestone qualification for Express courier sector.

Hold the front page, Institute of Couriers Chairman Carl Lomas announced at the Microlise transport Conference, May 16  to the largest audience of transport professionals in the UK. Express courier Trailblazer is published today.

This will bring levy-funded training to front line final mile drivers.


IFA Trailblazer launch for express courier drivers

Five thousand expected in first year for levy paid twelve month qualification in Express final mile delivery.

Three years in the making, employer built for next generation final mile delivery operators.

The training is already indexed and mapped, find it on the IOC web.


Published in IoC news

Thousands of depots at sortation round-table, IFA Coventry May 9th 2018

Express trailblazer employer group met in strength on May 9th at the Coventry HQ of the Institute for Apprenticeships. Thousands of express sortation depots were at the table to talk knowledge, skills and behaviour, developing vision for a new trailblazer standard for the sortation hub operatives in the express sector.


Published in IoC news

IOC Chairman Carl Lomas, sec of the DfE Inst for Apprenticeships Express employer group talks employment status and levy qualifications.

Lomas met Ben from Yodel to explain the latest position of apprenticeship qualifications for the Express sector and take a broad look at the IOC Taylor response document.

Capturing his thoughts - It’s a sector-wide issue, there is a lot of material on the IOC web worth a look, easy summaries for both Taylor, the IOC response and the March 2018 Good Work document response. There is also a full bubble on the express qualifications  where the first delivery that uses levy is very close at both manager and frontline driver level.


Published in IoC news

The Institute for Apprenticeships IFA announced this Friday the appointment of Robert Nitsch CBE as its new Chief Operating Officer. Robert is a professional engineer with a strong background in logistics. Major General, he has been the Army’s Personnel Director for the past three years with significant leadership roles in his military career.


Published in IoC Trailblazer

DfE Institute for Apprenticeships hosted a supply chain advisory group in last days of February, a hot-house of expertise defining the roles and occupations.

Insitute of Couriers chairman, Carl Lomas, secretary to the Express trailblazer group joined a rich attendance list from Nestlé to Royal Mail, DHL to K&N.

Guests represented rail, maritime ports & road logistics - IOC for express. RHA for LGV, FTA for warehouse and storage. Kevin Shakespeare, Inst of Export talked air. The event hosted at the Institute of Apprenticeships' Coventry HQ closed with a unanimous reality. ‘We need a career map for supply chain.

Published in IoC news
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