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T Level implementation groups - terms of reference

Introduction 

Implementing T Levels requires various people and groups to take responsibility for different aspects of the programme.

This resource is designed to help you define the roles and responsibilities of groups within your organisation which contribute to T Level planning and delivery. Having clear terms of reference for each group helps to provide oversight for the whole T Level implementation process.  

These groups may have various names such as T Level implementation working groups or delivery boards, depending on the type and size of your organisation. 

There may be different groups for each T Level and for operational functions, such as employer engagement or assessment. You might also choose to have a group concerned with the overall implementation of T Levels across the organisation.  

The resource contains a blank template to document a groups’ terms of reference, and checklists to help different groups decide their roles and responsibilities.  

There are checklists for: 

Who is it for? 

This article is most applicable to:

  • T Level implementation leads 
  • T Level curriculum leads and subject heads
  • functional leads, for example, employer engagement, assessment
  • student support staff, for example, SEND, pastoral care

How to use this resource 

  1. Select the relevant checklist for your group.  
  2. Use the checklist with group members to discuss the role of the group, and to agree its responsibilities. Each checklist contains suggestions which can be used as a starting point for discussion. You don’t have to cover all the suggestions in the checklist during your discussion, and you may want to add others. 
  3. An example of a template to record the terms of reference for the group is available in the downloadable tables at the end of this resource. You may adapt the template or use one of your own if you prefer.  

Roles and responsibilities

1. Oversee scope and structure of the T Level programme within the organisation including:

  • which T Level subjects are offered
  • timetable for when T Levels will be available
  • key stakeholders such as employers, students, partners (schools, universities, other providers)

2. Assess and put in place the staffing capability and capacity[1] to deliver high-quality T Levels including:

  • T Level curriculum development
  • delivery of technical and occupational specialisms
  • student support
  • stakeholder relationship management

3. Establish and deploy highly qualified and expert teams to design, deliver and manage T Levels including:

  • academic staff
  • technical and vocational teaching staff
  • student support and learning support (SEND)
  • employer engagement and industry placements  
  • operational functions, for example, finance, marketing, estates, HR

4. Oversee the provision and risk management of finance to create and deliver a coherent, high-quality T Level programme including sufficient capital and revenue funding for:

  • premises
  • facilities and equipment
  • staff, including recruiting staff in specialist areas

5. Communicate information about the T Level programme to:

  • support delivery
  • raise awareness
  • create positive messages among internal and external stakeholders

6. Manage stakeholder relationships by contributing to local skills plans including:

  • identification of economic and labour market challenges and opportunities most relevant to the area
  • alignment of the T Level curriculum to employers’ future skills needs 
  • collaboration with other providers to ensure that T Levels cover all key areas of the local economy and build on the existing strengths of different providers

[1] Capability refers to knowledge, skills and expertise available in the organisation to design, deliver and manage a high-quality T Level programme, particularly whether there is sufficient breadth and depth in the teams. Capacity refers to the amount of human resource available to do this, particularly whether there are enough people for the planned activity levels. 

Please note that the resource entitled Planning a Strategic Approach for Your T Level Offer is also aimed at managers with strategic responsibility for T Levels, and considers the same areas as this checklist. You may find it helpful to use the two resources together. 

T Level groups 

Roles and responsibilities

1. Design and develop the curriculum for the T Level including:

  • core
  • occupational specialisms

2. Timetable and sequence the delivery model including:

  • course structure
  • industry placement model
  • non-standard and out of hours learning

3. Create a detailed delivery plan for all learning components in the T Level specification including:

  • teaching and learning plans
  • resources
  • formative assessment
  • summative assessment

4. Create an operational plan to maximise staff and resources used in the delivery plan including:

  • occupational expertise
  • academic content development
  • practical or project-led teaching, learning and assessment

5. Create a staffing plan that is sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of learners and employers on industry placements, including:

  • out of hours
  • weekend
  • out of term
  • remote working arrangements

6. Create a plan for monitoring students’ progress including:

  • progress monitoring system/software
  • progress reviews
  • including employers in progress reviews

 Employer engagement and development groups

In this context ‘engagement’ means all activities up to the point at which employers become actively involved with T Levels, for example by offering industry placements.

‘Development’ refers to subsequent activities designed to maintain or extend employers’ involvement.

Roles and responsibilities 

1. Liaise with the strategic group to identify:

  • all subjects and occupational specialisms contained in the organisation’s T Level programme
  • employer stakeholders currently involved with T Level planning and/or delivery
  • other employer stakeholders who may be involved in future

2. Work with T Level groups to identify:

  • the types of industry placement roles students need
  • the number of industry placements needed
  • potential employers able to provide industry placements

3. Oversee an engagement strategy directly with employers and via employer representative bodies to:

  • inform employers about T Levels
  • generate leads for industry placements

4. Empower employers to get involved in the curriculum including:

  • planning
  • agreeing learning objectives
  • delivery, for example talks and webinars 
  • provision of specialist facilities and equipment

5. Oversee the production of promotional materials for employers to:

  • position T Levels as part of a talent pipeline 
  • integrate T Levels as part of the wider workforce offer including apprenticeships

6. Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of employer contacts, e.g. using a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Student support groups 

Roles and responsibilities

1. Link with subject groups to ensure sufficient resources are available to deliver effective student support to all T Level learners. 

2. Link with employer engagement staff to make sure students are well prepared for industry placements before starting them.

3. Identify potential student support needs including:

  • access to industry placements
  • learning support links
  • support for academic staff in signposting learners

Human Resource groups 

Roles and responsibilities

1. Ensure that the right mix of skills is available to support T Levels, including:

  • academic and vocational teams
  • employer engagement and development
  • student support
  • operational functions, for example finance, IT, marketing

2. Ensure that staff have sufficient opportunity for continuing professional development (CPD) to deliver all T Level components including:

  • core
  • occupational specialisms (you may want to consider the ETF Industry insight offer)
  • projects where specified 
  • monitoring students on industry placements
  • assessment

3. Put succession planning and contingency arrangements in place to provide continuity when staff leave or are absent. 

Assessment groups 

Roles and responsibilities

1. Ensure that all examination staff understand:

  • the structure of T Levels
  • assessment methodologies used in different T Level subjects

2. Integrate T Level assessments into the organisation’s examinations routine and timetable, including examination windows.

3. Oversee the training of staff in:

  • working with mixed modes of assessment
  • compliance with combinations and submission requirements
  • moderation and standardisation processes
  • protocols for non-examination assessments such as employer set projects

Downloadable tables

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