The Careers Wales Mark is an award designed by Careers Wales to recognise an educational establishment’s commitment to continuous quality improvement.
The Careers Wales Mark has been designed to meet the Welsh Government’s statutory entitlement for Careers and the World of Work for 11-19 year olds in Wales.
Why should I work towards the Careers Wales Mark?
The Careers Wales Mark contributes to:
- The ‘learning core’ of the 14-19 Learning Pathways
- Estyn’s drive to build capacity for self evaluation and improvement
- Aspects of the Common Inspection Framework (CIF)
Benefits gained from working towards the Careers Wales Mark:
- The auditing and development planning carried out by the establishment as outlined in the supplementary guidance document for Careers and the World of Work (CWW) will self evaluate against the Estyn Common Inspection Framework
- It will support aspects of the School Effectiveness Framework (SEF) and complement the increasing maturity of approaches to self evaluation
Developing a robust Careers and World of Work programme has many benefits for educational institutions and their learners, including:
- Personal effectiveness - improving self esteem and motivation of young people
- Career readiness - improving career exploration skills, decision making and preparedness for transition
- Educational outcomes - improving attendance and raising educational outcomes
Who can support me with the Careers Wales Mark?
The Careers Wales Mark is not designed to be completed by an individual, rather, it is a whole school contribution. With 1 or 2 people coordinating it you will also receive the ongoing support of a named Careers and World of Work Coordinator throughout the process.
Is there a financial cost to sign up to the Careers Wales Mark?
No, there isn’t any financial cost but a member of the school’s Senior Management Team will be asked to sign a commitment document.
What’s involved in the process?
The Careers Wales Mark is a cyclical process involving:
- Audit of Careers and World of Work provision to identify good practice, gaps in provision and duplication
- Self evaluation of Careers and World of Work provision based on the Estyn CIF
- Implementation of a development plan
How long does it normally take to complete the Careers Wales Mark?
Depending on the development plan and when certain activities are timed to take place the process should be completed within 1 full academic year.
Once we've achieved the Careers Wales Mark how long does it last for?
The Careers Wales Mark award lasts for 3 years, however, it is focused on continuous improvement so it is expected that the cycle of audit, self evaluation and development plan is re visited on a yearly basis.
How does the work get moderated?
All documentation is sent to the Careers and World of Work Coordinator for review, but only the development plan is moderated. This is completed by the curriculum team to ensure it is robust and fulfils the S.M.A.R.T* criteria. Your link Careers and World of Work Coordinator will support you prior to moderation.
*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound
What happens if we engage with the Careers Wales Mark accreditation/re accreditation, but do not make satisfactory progress?
Your link Careers and World of Work Coordinator will agree an overall timescale for completion and a timescale for each element, for example the audit, self evaluation and development plan. Please discuss with your Careers and World of Work Coordinator at the earliest opportunity if you need to amend these timescales. However, if there is unsatisfactory progress we reserve the right to remove the school from the Careers Wales Mark process as it won’t be possible to evidence continuous improvement.
What happens if we don’t achieve all of the agreed development points fully in the timescales agreed?
The development plan is a dynamic document. We know that things don’t always go according to plan and timescales change. Your link Careers and World of Work Coordinator will work with you and agree changes to timescales in accordance with your needs.
How is the Careers Wales Mark awarded?
The Careers Wales Mark framed certificate can be awarded in any manner of your choosing for example in assembly, 1 to 1 or in a small group. We will take a photo and tweet a congratulatory message on the day, please feel free to retweet. We will also send you an e-logo for use on your website.
Take a look at the process
Stage 1: Audit and self evaluation
The first step is to audit the activities and experiences you offer your learners against the Careers and World of Work range statements in each key stage. View the audit:
The next step is to self evaluate against the Estyn 5 Inspection Areas. View the Estyn self evaluation template:
Self evaluation will help you think about all aspects of your Careers and the World of Work provision, by gathering the evidence of strengths and areas for development. View our accompanying notes for self evaluation:
Stage 2: Development planning
The second stage is to create a development plan.
Having completed your audit and self evaluation it will support you in identifying areas for development in your CWW provision.
A development plan will help you prioritise, plan and implement how you will go about making identified improvements. View the development plan template:
Stage 3: Evidence your success
While you are writing your CWW development plan you will also need to think about how you will evaluate the impact of your plans.
You need to establish a baseline now so that you can measure improvement later.
Think about, how having a new resource or activity in place may be the first step, but how you will judge whether they improve pupil learning?
Some suggestions include:
- Pre and post questionnaires - This will allow you to assess any improvements in a pupil's understanding of a certain subject, for example options at 16+
- Taking photos - Taking photographs is a great way to show others what took place and a good way to keep a record of the events you've arranged
- Gaining general feedback - Asking pupils to write on flip chart papers or post it notes at the end of a session is an effective way to get quick and simple feedback
Stage 4: Implementation
Now you've audited, self evaluated and created your development plan you're ready to put it into action.
It's easy to get side tracked in a busy work environment but keeping the development plan on target ensures your CWW provision is effective and current.
Planned occasions such as regular meetings to which you report, will prompt you to monitor the progress of your development plan, and realistic timescales in the plan will help you keep developments on track.
Stage 5: Review
Progress should be reviewed every term during partnership agreement meetings with Careers Wales.
Gathering evidence and reviewing the progress is a key step in achieving the Careers Wales Mark. You can gather evidence of the progress made and decide the action still needed to inform planning for the coming year.
Stage 6: Report
The Careers Wales Mark offers accreditation for your process of continuous improvement so tell others about your achievements.
Let your colleagues, parents and governors know what you've achieved and how you are improving CWW provision for your pupils. Share it:
- On your school/college social media - Remember to tweet @CareersWales about it to so we can share the good news
- In newsletters
- In parents evenings
- In staff and departmental meetings
- With governors
I'm interested - what next?
Email your local Careers and World of Work Coordinator who can support you with starting the accreditation process.