Career Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Policy

Policy statement

Career development is the lifelong process of managing progression in learning and work. The quality of this process significantly determines the nature and quality of individuals’ lives: the kind of people they become, the sense of purpose they have, the income at their disposal. It also determines the social and economic contribution they make to the communities and societies of which they are part.

The Careers and Employment Service takes a strategic lead on inspiring students and graduates, delivering industry and community connected experiences, building skills, attributes and experience to enable students to achieve sector leading outcomes. We aim to enable this by delivering a range of high quality services to all students, this includes access to timely impartial advice and guidance and a wide range of volunteering, employment and enterprise opportunities for all students whilst on programme and after graduation.

The purpose of the policy

The Careers and Employment Service (CES) will provide a wide range of opportunities for development of employability skills throughout the student/graduate journey, aligned across the curriculum, extra-curricular and life-wide experience. The Careers and Employment team pay due regard to equality and diversity in designing strategies, policies and initiatives, and are fully aware that we are an institution with a diverse student population and a focus on social mobility.Enhancement of social, navigation and cultural capital is an important aspect of our service design.

Activities will be agreed by CES and academic Colleges through Partnership Plans to target and maximise impact for students and graduates. A student focus for these plans is imperative and they are also evidence informed by Labour Market Information and the following widely used sector metrics: Graduate Outcomes (GO), Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO), National Student Survey (NSS), Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and Gatsby Benchmarks.

The Policy responds to the further education college’s duties and requirements to meet Advice and Guidance (IAG) quality standards and the new Education Inspection Framework (2019), and aims to be:

The Policy and Procedure needs to meet the statutory Career Guidance and access for education providers:

Curriculum design and applied learning and teaching, underpinned by the Advance HE Frameworks and Gatsby Benchmarks for student success and employability will be demonstrated by:

Responsibility for personal development and career planning belongs to individual students and our approach enables students and graduates to continue to maximise their potential after completing their studies. The University has a strategic focus on applied learning and employability and therefore has an approach which is institutional and embedded in the curriculum; live briefs or 30 hours of work experience in all on-campus undergraduate programmes. Work experience/industrial placements are in place and mandatory for all further education students on a programme of study and managed through the CES team.

Eligible students and graduates

The following groups are eligible to access our service and facilities and are therefore stakeholders in the institution’s CEIAG policy:

Provision and student entitlement of careers education, information, advice and guidance as defined by OECD2 (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), covers services intended to assist individuals, of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. The services include career information (in print, ICT-based and other forms), assessment and self-assessment tools, guidance and coaching interviews, career education and career management programmes, taster programmes, work search programmes, and transition services.

The Careers and Employment Service is committed to delivering services that are of the highest quality and is the lead provider of careers information, advice and guidance services to all students at the University and to graduates up to three years following completion of their course. Our mission is:

From our culture of ambition and excellence, we create positive impact and open doors for our students and graduates through delivering an innovative Careers and Employment Service that inspires and empowers students to succeed in their individual goals whilst embracing our civic and global responsibility.

The University is a member service of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and meets all the core principals within the AGCAS Code of Practice, and Gatsby Benchmarks and therefore users can expect a confidential, impartial and professional service. We are also members of National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES), and Association of Colleges.


A core aspect of our service to our stakeholders is providing universal access to CEIAG by means of well-resourced spaces across our sites including:


The Careers and Employment Service has key responsibility for supporting employability through the curriculum, career related information and events, advice and guidance, recruitment services, work experience and volunteering.

Students can access support via a range of promoted opportunities including drop-in for advice on a specific topic, via a range of skills workshops or through our comprehensive range of online resources and through webinars. Advice and guidance with a professional Careers Consultant or Engagement Officer can be accessed face to face, by phone, email or Skype by all students via our careers website.

Careers education in the curriculum

The Careers and Employment Service works with academic colleges through a partnership planning process which aims to support academic delivery of employability skills across the curriculum to develop, share and embed best practice in careers and employability education. This is delivered through the work of Careers Consultants linked to each college and the use of the Advanced HE Framework and Gatsby Benchmarks to inform best practice in employability. Evidence, including destination data, NSS and student feedback will inform the planning of careers delivery in programmes. We will ensure students and graduates will have access to a future-fit curriculum, and high-quality careers and employability education to support individual career development and management.

Work with employers and organisations

Work with employers and organisations is key to ensuring that students and graduates have access to high-quality vacancies, work experience opportunities, volunteering and internships. The University works with a wide range of local and regional employers from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large companies to deliver employer events, assessments centres, skills workshops and employer mentoring. Strategic partnerships with employers and voluntary organisations are identified in all sectors through CES employer and community engagement, and the University Business Gateway.


The University has a high-quality offer in delivering enterprise and entrepreneurship skills to students both embedded in the curriculum or as elective workshops. This is delivered through the Be The Boss programme and through the further education tutorial programme.

Student destinations

The Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) undertakes a survey of graduates 15 months after course completion that informs Graduate Outcomes, in line with all higher education providers. This survey report forms the basis of the university key metrics, and is an important success indicator. This informs the service to identify programmes which require an enhanced level of careers guidance and support agreed in partnership with academics and delivered in curriculum.

Buxton and Leek College undertake a destinations survey each year for the FE students who have completed their studies.

Quality assurance

The Careers and Employment Service seeks and collates regular feedback from students and stakeholders on a formal and informal basis regarding our CEIAG provision – both central and curriculum based. This takes place through individual feedback, workshop and event evaluation, career pulse, surveys such as student voice, student programme representatives and institutional quality monitoring with Careers Consultants in attendance at College Quality Enhancement Committees and Management Committees as appropriate.

The CES work in partnership with the Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching to embed good practice identified, including the use of observations.

Our staff are vital in meeting these aims so, as a service, we ensure our team are appropriately skilled, knowledgeable and qualified. Career Consultants are qualified to a minimum of QCF Level 6 in line with the CDI-recommended qualification level for this role. We have an expectation that all Careers Consultants will achieve Associate Fellowship/Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (FHEA) status.