Skip to main content
Welsh Government

Careers Wales Quality Award Pilot

We have developed the Careers Wales Quality Award to align with the Curriculum for Wales. It will support schools to create high quality careers and work-related experiences (CWRE).

Following approval from Welsh Government we are now piloting this award.

The award

The Careers Wales Quality Award aims to support all schools and settings with learners aged 3 to 16. It will support the development of purposeful and relevant CWRE across the curriculum.

The Careers Wales Quality Award (CWQA) is aligned with the Curriculum for Wales. It will replace the Careers Wales Mark.

The CWQA has 3 stages, each with a different focus.

Stage 1 – Leadership

This stage is about formulating and maintaining the commitment to lead the development of CWRE.

The criteria are:

  • The school has made a formal commitment to gaining stage 1 of the Careers Wales Quality Award (CWQA) and has created an action plan / checklist for achieving it
  • The school has a vision and strategy for CWRE set out in a specific CWRE policy
  • The school has a plan for the regular monitoring, review and evaluation of CWRE to support continuous development and the contribution of CWRE to overall school improvement
  • The school has identified the roles needed to facilitate effective development of CWRE
  • The school is committed to allocating sufficient resources for CWRE and ensuring that they are effectively deployed
Show more

Stage 2 – Development

This stage is about realising CWRE in the curriculum through professional learning, stakeholder engagement and effective teaching and learning.

The criteria are:

  • The school has made a formal commitment to gaining stage 2 of the CWQA and has created an action plan/checklist for achieving it
  • The school has completed a comprehensive audit of their current CWRE provision taking account of Welsh Government curriculum guidance and the criteria of this award
  • The staff leading on CWRE maintain an annual commitment to their own professional learning, and the school identifies staff learning needs in CWRE and aims to meet them appropriately and within a reasonable period
  • Learners are actively involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of CWRE
  • Parents and carers are recognised as partners in the career development of learners and are well-supported by the school
  • The school maintains a network of business, community contacts and alumni, where appropriate, to enhance work-related experience opportunities for learners
  • The school collaborates with other schools, Further Education colleges, Higher Education institutions and Work Based Learning organisations, where appropriate, to provide continuity of CWRE provision and to collectively raise standards in CWRE
  • The school selects information and resources that contribute to effective learning and teaching and makes effective use of Careers Wales resources and services
  • The school’s CWRE provision is:
    • Planned with specific reference to Welsh Government curriculum guidance
    • Broad and balanced, provides age and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities and experiences for all learners, uses a range of career learning approaches, and is integrated within the curriculum
Show more

Stage 3 – Impact

This stage is about demonstrating impact in CWRE.

The criteria are:

  • The school has made a formal commitment to gaining stage 3 of the CWQA and has created an action plan / checklist for achieving it
  • The school ensures that learners are well prepared for key CWRE learning opportunities to maximise impact
  • The school’s CWRE provision makes a discernible difference to learners’ career understanding and skills and their learning across the curriculum
  • The school’s CWRE provision addresses the needs of all learners and groups of learners, especially those experiencing stereotyping, disadvantage and discrimination
  • The school’s CWRE provision equips learners to make informed decisions and successful transitions into personally valued destinations. (Secondary only)
Show more

The pilot

Who is taking part?

In June 2023 we invited schools and settings to apply to take part in the CWQA pilot. We offered 38 places to schools and settings across Wales.

The schools and settings are made up of:

  • 5 primary schools
  • 5 through schools (primary and secondary aged learners)
  • 21 secondary schools
  • 5 special schools
  • 2 pupil referral units (PRUs)

How long will the pilot last?

The pilot will run from September 2023 to 2026.

What will happen during the pilot?

Schools and settings taking part in the pilot will complete all three stages.

Our Curriculum Coordinators will work closely with the schools and settings. Together they will develop the best model for the Careers Wales Quality Award.

We will develop and refine:

  • Assessment methods
  • Evidence
  • Documentation
  • Professional learning requirements

We will also explore the time commitment required to undertake the award.

Following the pilot we hope to launch the award nationally.

You might also like

Careers in the curriculum

Find out about careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) in the Curriculum for Wales and access tools and information to support your planning.