Becoming an Approved Training Centre

Jerry Whiteley (right) presenting the Approved Training Centre plaque at City College Plymouth

City College Plymouth became a new CIPHE Approved Training Centre in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. Jerry Whiteley visited the college in March to deliver a talk on what’s changing in the industry and how to gain an apprenticeship.

“Through CIPHE membership, the Approved Training Centre status demonstrates how a college gains CPD for staff, industrial engagement with industry and keeps everyone abreast of changes,” says Whiteley. “It’s really important that colleges do this and can show evidence to their local community, potential employers and Ofsted or awarding body criteria. The list of benefits are many and all are aimed at improving learning.”

Speaking to the group of level 3 students on how they might improve their prospects of gaining an apprenticeship, Whiteley pointed out the importance of work experience and how it can lead to an apprenticeship. The advantages of owning some basic tools was also a topic of conversation.

Changing times

He also spoke about the change to renewables and the higher cost of fossil fuels making technology like solar thermal cost effective, as well as hydrogen’s role that may come into play sooner than 2030, with more localised renewables brought into play as the UK tries to be less reliant on other countries for energy.

All attendees were given free trainee membership to the CIPHE, which can also help to attract potential employers, including members, as it shows dedication to the industry.

Membership as an Approved Training Centre offers many benefits to the college, its staff and students:

• free trainee membership while the college remains a member

• free registration for staff as members, according to their qualifications

• access to qualified members to gain further knowledge, seek employment or work experience

• access to bespoke digital software the CIPHE has specifically developed for FE colleges as well as other online resources.

Our industrial associates are always seeking ways to engage with colleges and in particular those who are Approved Training Centres. Many like to offer support with resources to enrich learning at all levels. This might be via joint online learning with the CIPHE, site visits to deliver sessions, offering equipment at reduced cost or in many cases for free. Students and staff all benefit from the latest equipment and training upon it.

Learning programmes change and the new T levels and level 3 apprenticeship standards are the latest challenges. The CIPHE is involved with all awarding bodies and their developments. This knowledge is shared with colleges to prepare them for changes and support.

The college membership gives a 360-degree engagement aimed at supporting education and training throughout its academic year, every year.

You can find out more about becoming an Approved Training Centre at

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