IoC Qualifications

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 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.



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 will be taking the express sector message to the review.

Employment, self employment, lifestyle workers and more in the mix as RSA boss Mathew Taylor is set to review in detail the present and future views of employment in England.

Check the 2015 review in the DWP section of the IoC web here


What defines a worker in the express sector ? Help answer the Government's Taylor review May 2nd

The express sector must be heard; IOC have called a Heads of Industry meeting for the afternoon of May 2nd in the City of London.

Fellows are asked to set their diary for May and help answer the question: What defines a worker in the express sector?

IoC to undertake an Independent Review and submit an IoC Members' Finding report to the Taylor Review


The Taylor review is to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models. The review will consider the implications of new forms of work, driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and our existing regulatory framework surrounding employment.

15% of those working in the UK’s labour market now self-employed. A great proportion of IoC members operate business models that may engage with independent workers or those that could be deemed to work within the ‘gig economy'– short-term, temporary engagement  that is increasingly sought by people through mobile phone apps & other platforms when they want to work. These roles can include driving and delivery.

IoC  - Independent Review Approach

An online survey will be launched week commencing 24th April to all IoC members. In addition, an option will be provided to members for a telephone interview if there are any of the Taylor Review themes (6 themes - detail after Read More) that you want to discuss / capture your views on in more detail.

IoC will also be attending multiple Taylor Review consultation events prior to co-ordinating a final submission report to the Review on our members' response to the key themes of the Taylor Report.

Please take the time for you, or a nominated member of your organisation, to complete the survey or get in contact to arrange a telephone interview with one of the IoC Taylor Review Team.

The IOC will also be holding a Heads of Industry round table meeting on the afternoon of May 2nd in the City of London, call Tracey Worth for your place.

The IoC report will be submitted prior to the 17th May so do not miss your chance to be heard!

Friday 29th January,  BIS confirming approval of the Express Delivery Driver standard, subject to some final amendments.

Gerry Swift, Standards Development Team. BIS/DfE Apprenticeships Unit

Congratulations on having the standard approved and many thanks to you and the rest of the group for all your hard work on this.’


IOC Chairman Carl Lomas comments

This is a great step for our future workforce in express delivery and courier, Justin Moore City Sprint chaired the employer group meetings, outstanding contributions from so many employers, nationals, networks and local SMEs. The standard that will set the future qualification for our sector. It’s a big thank-you all round for everyone who has made this possible. Broad input came in from the LEP teams D2N2, LLEP, SEMLEP, NLEP and more with education advice and support from Universities including Derby, SHU and LMU. This will be a vocational qualification for our front-line teams delivering at the client face.

First emails following the Friday afternoon news...

Patrick Gallagher, CitySprint, ‘Great news, congratulations.’ Alastair Brooks Manchester college, ‘Fantastic news, congratulations.’ Sarah Maddox, UK Mail. ‘Great news.’ Sharon Davies, DHL, ‘Well done.’ Elaine Harris, Action Express, ‘Fantastic’. Marjorie Semple, principle West Thames college Heathrow, ‘Fantastic news – well done for getting that through.’  Stephen Ram Kissun, AELP. ‘Well done looks very promising to seal of approval from BIS.’ Andrew Lowery TNT, ‘Brilliant  - not every Friday you get a green light like this.’  Patrick Henry, Grimsby ac ‘That's good news well done’. Pierre de Carteret, ‘Congratulations, that is excellent news!’.  Stewart Segal AELP ‘Congratulations.  I am sure it will prove very beneficial for the sector.'

More as they come in...

Jill Godard, Findafuture, ‘Excellent news - well done to you and your team and your industry colleagues. A great start to 2016!’  Professor Rod Dubrow-Marshall Univ Derby, ‘This is really great news’.

Steve May NCDA, Sameday Company, ‘Excellent News, Congratulations, everyone should be applauded for the hard work.’ Lisa Smailes Pearson-Edexcel, ‘That's great news that the standard has now been approved, congratulations!’ Professor Liz Barnes, Deputy VC, Sheffield Hallam Unv, ‘Great news! Well done.’

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.’


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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