Innovation Code Evaluation 2013/14 – Final Report

This report sets out the findings of the research commissioned from NIACE by the Skills Funding Agency to evaluate the implementation of the Innovation Code. Although the report is primarily aimed at policy makers, it will also be of interest to funders, skills providers, awarding organisations and employers.

The report describes research undertaken with providers, local employers and other stakeholders including awarding organisations and sector membership bodies, to look at the extent to which the Innovation Code was delivering its objectives, which are: 

  • to enable providers to respond more rapidly to training needs;
  • to increase employer engagement and investment in skills system through providing training that is a better fit to employer needs;
  • to allow the accreditation of skills gained that otherwise would not lead to a qualification; and
  • to improve the fit of qualifications to employer need.

The overriding finding of the report is that where creative and bold organisations embrace it, the Innovation Code can help deliver better learning and better outcomes. The report also highlights good practice in co-creation of training, learning and skills between employers, key stakeholders and providers. 

Based on its findings, the report makes several recommendations including that 

  • more extensive and differentiated guidance on the use of the Innovation Code is required;
  • sector membership bodies, awarding organisations, sector body networks, and other government agencies need to be involved in the dissemination of best practice;
  • training opportunities should be developed for individuals who are in key roles for making the Innovation Code work; and 
  • further qualitative research is needed to follow up new data findings.