STEM Foundation

Innovation Skills Certification (IKE Assured)

Recognising Innovation Skills & Competencies within Eductaion & Learning

IKE (Innovation and Knowledge Exchange) Assured® is an independent accreditation that is used by universities and colleges to demonstrate the value and relevance of innovation and problem solving skills within their educational programmes. It provides a platform that educators can apply to demonstrate their students’ ability to examine a problem or challenge, collect useful information, apply problem solving strategies, build a business case, execute a plan, monitor progress, and critically review each step.

IKE Assured® presents a clear differentiation from competitors and signal to students, employers and other stakeholders that your graduates possess the innovation skills and problem solving competencies required to succeed in today's ever changing business environment.

IKE Assured® deploys an outcome-based IKE Accreditation Framework® that assesses programmes in key category areas including: Curriculum Planning; Teaching and Learning Practice; Innovation Skills; Industrial Exposure; Information, Advice and Guidance; and Impact. IKE Assured® can be applied to a singular educational programme or can be applied at a departmental or institutional level.

The Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) uses current educational and industrial expertise to assess programmes against the IKE Accreditation Framework®. The IKE Accreditation Framework® was published in 2013 in the prestigious Science in Parliament Journal. Click here to read the article.

As an added value, IKE Assured® also provides those who have successfully completed an accredited programme an opportunity of professional membership with the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE).


IKE Assured®  is suitable for any educational provider (colleges and universities) able to demonstrate the development of innovation and problem solving skills and competencies in their students and graduates. 


Helps your organisation to develop:
  1. Innovation skills in people
  2. Better creative problem solving skills
  3. Innovation talent
  4. A culture of innovation
  5. A consistent innovation vocabulary
  6. Accredited innovation programmes (including graduate development)
  7. Improved employee engagement
  8. Professional recognition of innovation practice
Thus, ensuring an effective and sustainable innovation skills and capability.


The accreditation process has six stages: 

Step 1 – Induction

During this stage, we will outline the detail of the process to you. This ensures that you understand what is expected from you and enables us to identify potentially relevant sources of investigation and evidence analysis to deliver best value and impact to you.

Step 2 – Self-assessment 

The organisation completes and submits the IKE Assured self-assessment form. Performance is broken down into four categories as follows:


 Descriptive Statement


 Exceptional performance, leading practice in the sector with examples of best practice


 High levels of experience, with well-developed policies and practice
 which shows full compliance with the requirement


 Some experience and practice but areas of identifiable improvement
 indicating partial compliance with the requirement


 Limited or no experience in this aspect which indicates
 under compliance with and working towards the requirement

When completing the application form, you should include:

  • why you believe that you meet the criteria
  • what actions you are doing to demonstrate that you meet the criteria
  • what is the impact of the activities
  • what evidence you will present to support this, and
  • what future actions are you planning to enhance your performance against the criteria

The application form should be returned to IKE along with the necessary supporting evidence. If evidence is too complex to digitise or deemed commercially sensitive, it can be referenced and then presented to the advisors at the visit.

Step 3 – Initial assessment by IKE

Our IKE Advisors will assess your application and the evidence submitted against the criteria. The evidence should be compiled as per the sequence of the criteria and cross referencing of evidence for multiple criteria is encouraged.

Step 4 – Advisors' Report 

The advisors will prepare a report of findings and recommendations for the validation panel, comparing your application and evidence with the criteria and recommending whether or not the standard should be awarded along with actions that they would like to see undertaken before accreditation is reviewed (normally after three years).

Step 5 – Validation Panel  

The validation panel includes sector representatives and they will assess your application and the advisors’ report against the criteria. The outcome will be one of the following:

  • status awarded – criteria fully met and an agreed action plan is in place to maintain the strong position
  • status deferred – criteria partially met, action required by applying organisation to address gaps; an action plan will be developed, agreed and implemented
  • status not awarded – criterion are not met and significant development is required; re-submission by the applying organisation will be allowed after six months.

If approved, the award of IKE Assured Course status will be granted to the applying organisation for three years.

Step 6 – Feedback and Action Plan 

The advisors will provide feedback and support the organisation in developing an action plan which will be used to measure progress during annual reviews and at resubmission after three years.

Need More Information?



Plymouth University

“Plymouth University is very proud of its track record in the field of innovation. The entrepreneurial experience of the innovation centre managers, the focus and support for students and client businesses, particularly young entrepreneurs, the methods of engagement such as with business competitions and entrepreneurs-in-residence, and the levels of community engagement, with 16,000 visitors interacting with the centres have all been recognised with the IKE Accreditation.”
Bernard Curren, Director of Cornwall Innovation & Innovation Lead at Plymouth University, Nov 2015

MBDA Missile Systems

"Achieving the IKE Accreditation Award provided external recognition for all our employees that have been involved in the innovation programme. It enabled us to benchmark our content, processes and delivery. It also means that all successful participants on the innovation programme will be eligible for a full membership grade of the IKE Institute and will also be awarded the Certificate of Professionalism of Innovation Practice. This is brilliant news and a great honour for MBDA.

EDF Energy Campus

“As part of our continuous improvement within Learning, Training and Development at EDF Energy, we wanted to strengthen the innovation skills developed within two of our Campus Training programmes (EDF Energy & Me! and the Structured Approach to Training – SAT) and assess the innovation skills and competencies that are being developed at different levels skills in people as a result of these programmes. We also wanted to highlight the value of developing creative problem-solving capability in our people.

The IKE Accreditation process was invaluable in providing us with a structure on how to build innovation skills within our programmes and achieve the desired business impact. The IKE Innovation Skills Development Framework (covered such categories as approach to innovation, creative thinking, developing a sustainable innovation culture, generating and implementing ideas, value creation).  A key by-product of the IKE Accreditation is the strengthening of employee engagement and the raising of people’s aspirations to achieve more by providing certification to our staff who have undertaken these accredited programmes. The recognition of our EDF Energy & Me! and SAT training programmes through the IKE Accreditation has helped us to underpin not only emerging talent development and quality enhancement initiatives in our business but also to benchmark our approach to innovation skills development much more broadly. The Innovation Institute’s team has shared with us their experiences on developing innovation skills and have provided examples of best practice within and outside our sector.

The External Validation by members of the Innovation Council has meant that we can now follow the action plan for improvement with confidence. We were thrilled to receive the IKE Accreditation Award at Innovisions 2014 by the Minister for Energy and Climate Change.” 

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