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 DfE/IFA


IOC has two key qualification routes, management & delivery. For management, IOC is working with Derby University & The University of West London 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 Edexcel and City & Guilds. IOC attends the AELP (Association of Education and Learning Providers) 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 & the University of West London 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.


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IoC Trailblazer

IoC Trailblazer

The Express Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Individual express trailblazers from L2 to L6 are detailed below, but first to define the context. 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 (ST0753)

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

Standard ST0103 approved for delivery May 2018. Funding band announced 17 Aug 2018.

The Express Delivery Trailblazer standard at Level two is available here (compact 2-page view)  - IFA version is web layout.
The Express Delivery Operative apprenticeship standard endpoint assessment plan is available here ( Final IFA-published version - dated 10 May 2018)
Draft Delivery Framework for Level two is available here (v1.1 updated 30 May 2018)

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 assessment EPA published May 2018. 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 is acting as the External Quality Assurance (EQA) assessor, Pearson Edexcel and City & Guilds have worked closely with IOC on the EPA.

The IOC  has mapped the standards units for delivery, showcasing best-practice training materials & recognises best-practice providers who deliver the training.

Express manager, degree Apprenticeship Level 6

Standard ST0471 agreed July 2017

Level six degree apprenticeship Express Manager is available here (final IFA web version updated 07 Nov 2018)
Level six degree apprenticeship Express Manager end-point assessment  is available here (v10.0 updated 07 Nov 2018)

The Express employer group has a level six degree apprentice Express manager standard that was published August 2017 following an EOI with BIS in 2016. The End-point assessment (EPA) was submitted in May 2018. A document defining the headline terms was published by IOC June 2018, Logistics service providers, delivery network bandwidth, operating capacity and urban density are all issues in the delivery of the customer promise of 'on time, first time' .

Close partners are West London University and Derby. LMU, SHU & MMU are involved, giving wide UK coverage for the qualification for next-generation managers. The Institute of Couriers is acting as the EQA assessor.

Express delivery / sortation hub operator Level 2

Standard ST0753. EOI approved April 2017

Level two Express Delivery Sortation Hub Operator final submitted EOI is available here ( v2.0 submitted 28 Feb 2018). Draft explanation sheet here (Mar 2018)

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 sortation/ hub is empty after the shift, every shift.) A heads of industry group sat at round table with IFA in May 2018 secretaried by the IOC to outline the standard for the qualification, APC to Yodel, Royal Mail, DPD, Fedex, Hermes, TNT, with AELP sitting in. IFA have asked that express sortation is reviewed to fit in the warehouse & storage trailblazer, but sector feedback remains strong that express sits in its own pathway, there is no storage or warehousing in a sortation hub, the skills are different, there are no pallets, express sortation is fast-moving and based around complex sortation machines.

Express delivery / express courier supervisor Level 3

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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


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What can be to done to improve logistics operations in Urban Areas?

Sheffield University, Dr Erica Ballantyne urban freight research hosted a round table focus group, Smart technologies, customers, quick turnarounds, reliable availability, safer deliveries, reduced mileage, air quality all featured in the discussions. Stakeholders who are part of and affected by Urban Transport policy and operations engaged the discussions. Tracey Worth for Institute of Couriers reports. The introduction started with moments of quietness to reflect on the issue 'What can be done to improve operations in Urban Areas whilst helping to alleviate current urban transport problems?' Each of three stakeholder table groups focused on how this question affected their area of expertise.

AELP logistics in employer heartland of levy for Express trailblazer.

UK Mail director John Nolan was at the heart of naming the Express trailblazer alongside CitySprint and TNT. What better host for an AELP training provider focus on Trailblazer delivery?

UK Mail sortation site in transport hot-spot on the A45 opened their doors to host the Association of Learning Providers Logistics Forum Sept 22nd. A full house of training providers, colleges and award bodies packed the event to receive strategic updates on Trailblazer, levy & RoATP. Quality and excellence in logistics sortation all around the group at the 22 acre, 55 million pound site set the scene for a strategy update with the very latest govt views on employer involvement to levy in logistics and express.

Carl Lomas, secretary for  Express Trailblazer, Bill boards in the streets

Degree Apprenticeships will be the game changer that brings a new perception to every level of apprenticeship.


Trailblazer standard in Express Delivery Management at degree apprenticeship level submitted to BIS by Justin Moore and the Institute of Couriers.

A degree apprenticeship for managers in the evolving e-retail final mile has been submitted to BIS (July 28), polishing touches were added to the BIS submission at the recent Heads of Industry meeting of the Institute of Couriers, (July 13), aligned with the Universities of Derby and West London to cover the hot spots of the exploding sector numbers in final mile. The degree level goes alongside the existing level two for express delivery and provides a strong platform for employers approaching levy in April 2017.

Lomas speaks express trailblazer at historic date for levy conf Coventry

Trailblazer, levy, employers and providers?

Are you prepared for levy? Lindsay McCurdy Apprenticeships 4 England Coventry Conf

HMRC collects levy from April 2017.

Full house booked solid, a historic day for Levy conf. Govt change real time as Theresa May announced Gove and Nicky Morgan out. Chris Grayling took sec of state for Transport. Education role change, could it become the Dept for Education and Apprenticeship as Justine Greening got the role of sec.

Sunshine in Coventry filled the room for levy conference organised by Lindsay McCurdy.


Express trailblazer Royal Mail meeting for a sector recognising walking post to white van in the evolving and exploding platform of express delivery.

IOC chairman Carl Lomas met Liza Strong, director for talent at the Victoria Embankment offices of the Royal Mail to talk about the Trailblazer Express group developing qualifications ready for levy.

Carl Lomas, acting as BIS employer group sec for Express trailblazers explored the alignment of the existing Express level two Trailblazer to engage walking post in the level 2 qualification. This was a key sector the employer had already reviewed to be in the standard. The standard covers skills from customer service to compliance, an end point assessment developed with award body Pearson using a Q&A, simulated job issues (failed delivery, dealing with returns, damaged parcels) and a viva interview recognising  an individual’s delivery log, work book or record of deliveries. The standard covers all express courier job roles from walking express delivery through trolley, cycle, bike and van.


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.

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