STEM Foundation

STEM Assured

Assuring the quality of STEM provision

In the highly competitive education and training market, it is important to stand out. Launched by in 2010, STEM Assured is the ONLY standard that provides independent, industry-backed validation of the quality of an institution’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics provision. It is an outcome based standard that provides a powerful catalyst for helping educational institutions forge new partnerships and create new revenue stream opportunities.

To achieve the STEM Assured status, education providers (schools, colleges, universities) are assessed against a robust framework that benchmarks their capability to design and deliver STEM courses that keep pace with emerging technology and the evolving needs of employers.

By achieving the STEM Assured status, an institution can demonstrate that:

  • Its STEM-related provision is of a consistently high quality and aligned with current and anticipated industry requirements
  • Its provision provides a multi-disciplinary context to its students to reflect real world needs and scenarios
  • Its employability and related transferrable skills are embedded into the curriculum and reflect their students journey
  • It is committed to continual improvement and innovation of its provision to ensure that it keeps pace with rapid advances in technology and the changing jobs market
  • It has clear engagement processes with employers and key stakeholders

STEM Assured status last three years. The STEM Foundation reviews progress with each STEM Assured institution annually, monitoring and supporting its process of continual improvement.

STEM Assured was covered in the prestigious Science in Parliament journal. Click here to read the article.

STEM Assured is a crucial differentiator and a powerful recruitment and marketing tool for educational establishments, ensuring that the curriculum stays fresh and students are attracted to the vibrancy of the courses on offer.

WHO IS IT SUITABLE FOR?

STEM Assured is suitable for a range of institutions including schools, further and higher education providers and academies.

STEM Assured can also be used by a city or a region to ensure their educational offering is of high value and differentiated. Using STEM Assured can help organisations such as city councils, LEPs and Chambers of Commerce to take a more strategic and coordinated approach to education, thus ensuring their STEM offerings fully meet with the regional economic priorities.

STEM Assured is acknowledged by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the National Apprenticeship Service and the UK Commission on Employment and Skills.

BENEFITS

  • Provides a stronger visibility of your STEM specialities to local employers and the community it serves
  • Demonstrates your capability to meet the needs of business and industry
  • Encourages and fosters a high level of consistency in the quality of STEM education and training and drives professionalism in your students
  • Promotes cross-curricular collaboration in teaching and learning, knowledge transfer and business innovation
  • Increased interest in STEM subjects by students through visible employment prospects
  • Membership of an elite network of STEM Assured institutions.

PROCESS

The standard has been developed to assure the quality of an integrated approach to training, learning and development within STEM areas which captures and responds to the needs of local and national employers. To add value whilst maintaining the high level of the standard, the assessment is undertaken in multiple stages.

You complete a self-assessment that analyses your STEM provision against the criteria and producing actions for continuous improvement. You will be supported in this by one of our STEM team.

The self-assessment will be followed by a visit by a panel of advisors who will validate the evidence and make a recommendation on whether or not you have met the required standard. The Panel visit will be supplemented by a series of interviews undertaken with staff from all areas and levels of responsibility. The Panel will also interview a sample of STEM students from different disciplines and who are at different levels of their studies.

We will produce a report capturing observations of the visit and supporting evidence. It will include constructive feedback designed to support your continuous development.

An external independent validation panel drawn from our Industry Educational Board and from members of our Innovation Council will be review the final submission and provide the final feedback and judgement on the STEM Assured status.

Assuming that you are successful, you will receive the STEM Assured Award. The award is valid for three years and will be supported by an on-going relationship with NEF.

As a recognised STEM Assured organisation, your students, employer contacts and other stakeholders will be assured of your thriving capacity to deliver STEM based education and training which meets their needs and expectations.

STEM ASSURED COLLEGES

Ayrshire College
Barking and Dagenham College
Barnsley College
Beamont Collegiate Academy
Bishops' Blue Coat Church of England High School
Blackburn College
Blackpool and The Fylde College
Blackpool Six College
Bradford College
Bromley College of Further and Higher Education
City of Glasgow
Dudley College
Edinburgh College
Emtec Colleges Ltd
Ernest Bevin College
Forth Valley College
Glasgow Clyde
Glasgow Kelvin
Havering College
Heathcote School
Herefordshire and Ludlow College
High Tunstall College of Science
Leyton Sixth Form College
Liverpool Life Sciences UTC
New College Telford
North West Regional College
PETROC
Priestley College
Sir George Monoux College
South Cheshire College
South West College
St Helens
The Holy Family Catholic School and Sixth Form
Trafford College
TyneMet College
West College Scotland
West Lothian College

CASE STUDIES

Barking & Dagenham College

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FEEDBACK

WHAT COLLEGES SAY...

"My colleagues and I are delighted that our work has achieved national recognition with STEM Assured. The training we offer to students and apprentices must be linked to the demands of the local, regional and national economies. The world of work is becoming increasingly hi-tech and employers need access to a pool of talent with excellent STEM skills. As London is moving eastwards the college is ideally placed to meet that demand.”
Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal and CEO, Barking & Dagenham, London
 
"As a leading progressive College we are delighted to have received the STEM Assured validation for our work both across the College and in partnership with the STEM industry sectors. This is a huge accolade recognising the excellent work done by the College’s innovative and committed staff. We look forward to building further, following achieving this top level award.”
Leo Murphy, North West Regional College, Northern Ireland

“Businesses and the economy are striving for higher productivity and STEM skills talent is the key. We aim to make Glasgow world class in STEM, and having the strategy, and STEM Assured will help us do this.”
Michael Fainbarn, Chairman of Board of Regional Colleges in Glasgow, Scotland
 
“For our College, one of the first and immediate benefits of STEM Assured was that because of the process we were able to engage with more employers. The employers who took part were  impressed by the whole process and we ended up doing more work with them. STEM Assured has also given us the opportunity to talk to different groups of employers that we wouldn’t have been able to. A benefit that perhaps goes without being seen is that it has been hugely motivational for staff and students.”
Paul Little, Principal & Chief Executive City of Glasgow College
 
“The STEM Assured Standard provided us with a robust framework to benchmark and validate Petroc’s capability in delivering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum through a range of our programmes, activities and events. The STEM Assured Standard confirmed to our students and to local employers that Petroc is delivering high quality education and training in these subjects, which are essential to the local economy and the region.”
Pené Prior, Petroc’s Director for Quality and Performance
 
“Commencing with the STEM Assured Programme enabled us to strengthen the STEM delivery across our curriculum, and ensure that we continue to drive improvement and better connectivity with employers, universities and the community in which are in.”
Zoe Cozens, Head Teacher, Heathcote School
 
“As a result of us gaining the STEM Assured standard, we have developed high profile links with companies such as BASF, who has recently acquired a plant in the Isles of Lewis and Skye for the production of omega 3 oils. The College is working with BASF to deliver hybrid qualifications. Another example of recent developments with industry is in the delivery of short training courses for the oil and gas industry. This collaboration was recently publicised in The Times Newspaper. However, it is not only with industry that our external links have been increased; we are getting an increasing level of engagement with schools. Furthermore, the College has developed a new partnership with Universities to understand their requirements within environmental science and life sciences.”
Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College
 
“Receiving STEM Assured® status means incredible things for the future of our school and being presented with this accolade is a testament to our staff and students. Liverpool Life Sciences UTC reaches out locally and nationally to businesses and members of the scientific community to provide our students with vocational education pathways. STEM Assured® status now highlights our school as an institute of excellence and will ensure positive relationships between the school and our future partners.”
Phil Lloyd, Principal, Liverpool Life Sciences University Technical College
 
“Ultimately, it is about the impact and value our STEM education delivers to others. As educators, we have to create challenge in students, but also in our teaching environment. Undertaking STEM Assured enabled us to innovate and pursue excellence in STEM to propel young people into the careers and lives they seek to achieve.”
Dr Andy Stone, Head Teacher, Holy Family Catholic School
 
"We were very proud to be named the UK’s first STEM-assured sixth form college and are therefore delighted to be the first that has been successfully re-evaluated. This honour recognises the strong STEM culture at Priestley and the opportunities we create for learners to improve their level of achievement in science, technology, engineering and maths. The independent evaluation underlines our excellent work in STEM, which is supported by national employers who provide our students with numerous experiences and opportunities.”
Matthew Grant, Principal, Priestley College
 

WHAT INDUSTRY SAYS...

“The fact that a college is STEM Assured is very important to Siemens, as it shows capability and knowledge in latest STEM techniques and technologies.”

Mark Armstrong, General Manager, Siemens, ETC

“We need providers and learners that can invent the future with us. STEM Assured delivers on that, and the associated NEF Intelligent College Network enables us as employers to bring together an aggregated view of how educational providers can respond to our needs.”

Mike Pilbeam, Director, EMC2

“NEF are in step with industry needs, they take a progressive and modern approach to innovation and their focus on Vocational educational opportunities is an example for other similar organisations. STEM Assured delivers on what industry needs to progress and grow. We are interested in developing relationships with colleges that are STEM Assured, as it gives that level of confidence and standard.”

David Drury, Chancellor, EDF Energy, Campus

“National Grid considers collaboration between industry and FE as critical to securing our future engineering workforce. In terms of the skill set at technician level, it’s a priority for National Grid as around 65% of our future engineering resource needs are at level 3 – 5. We seek the right balance between vocational experience and academic study to enable successful completion of our programmes, which lead to ‘Professional Technicians’ status and beyond….NEF is a fundamental enabler in terms of bringing FE & Industry together, through such programmes as STEM Assured, to ensure a sustainable workforce for the UK economy.”

Tony Moloney, Manager, Business Capability & Skills, Global LTC, National Grid

STEM > Innovation Driven Education