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Pioneering new 5-year partnership between Fair Train and Health Education England

1st. October 2018

A five-year partnership between Fair Train and Health Education England has been formally announced today. It is intended to lead to the accreditation of almost 200 NHS organisations of all types and sizes throughout England with Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard and so to provide significant support to NHS’ workforce development.


Catriona Cole: National Programme Manager, Talent for Care (HEE); Kirk Lower: National Lead for Talent for Care (HEE); Rod Natkiel: CEO, Fair Train; Vanessa Convey: National Programme Manager, Talent for Care (HEE)

Fair Train’s accreditation applies to any employer, learning or training provider or facilitator engaged in any aspect or aspects of work-based learning, i.e. traditional school work experience for year 10 or 12 students; 16+ placements (e.g. for study programmes or

the incoming T-level industry placements); traineeships; internships; apprenticeships; and volunteering (when designed to improve employability).

Fair Train’s two principal aims are, firstly, to drive a substantial increase in the availability and uptake of all forms of work experience in all sectors, and secondly, to ensure that every experience is genuinely meaningful and delivers the greatest possible benefit to the employer, the learning provider and, above all, the learner undertaking the experience.


Since its inception in 2013, Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation has been achieved by more than 400 organisations, in all sectors. It demonstrates, not just  their commitment to providing work experience opportunities, but to doing so at the highest possible quality. As well as being a standard-setting and checking kite-mark, the accreditation is also a detailed framework which provides a first-class “how to” guide; accredited organisations consider this to be invaluable.


The Work Experience Quality Standard is awarded at three levels, Bronze, Silver or Gold. The level is determined by the breadth and detail of the experience on offer, but whatever the level, quality is the key criterion. The framework covers every stage of any work-based learning placement, from initial planning right through to post-placement follow-up and support, and enables an organisation to build on its current provision or to get started.


This five-year partnership is a development of a highly successful one-year pilot undertaken by Fair Train and Health and Education England in 2017/2018 which led to 37 NHS organisations being accredited with the Work Experience Quality Standard. They ranged from very large multi-faceted Trusts and Foundation Trusts to specialist providers, for example in mental health and orthopaedics, and an ambulance service.


Rod Natkiel, Fair Train’s CEO, said: “The NHS is literally the core of the UK’s well-being, and so it’s a real privilege to be playing a part in the development of its future workforce. Working closely with Health Education England and a large number of NHS organisations over the last year, we’ve been extremely impressed by the diverse developmental opportunities they offer to a wide range of people and by their commitment to the quality and constant development of those opportunities. Engaging ever increasing numbers of NHS organisations with Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard will significantly support that commitment to quality.”


“Whether it’s a young person starting out on his or her working life, someone returning to work or someone changing direction – for example leaving one of the military services – meaningful experience of the workplace is vitally important to their professional and personal development. But it only works if it’s an experience of quality. We’re extremely pleased to be working with Health Education England on ensuring that quality, and to be helping spread the message that the NHS offers a huge range of careers, not just medical ones.”

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