§ Lord Bach:
My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am pleased to inform the House that I have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Adult Learning Inspectorate on behalf of the MoD. This MoU provides for the introduction of an agreed annual rolling programme of independent inspection, reinspection and oversight of defence training and education, including the welfare and duty of care provided within the training environment. The MoD is one of the largest single providers of training and education in the United Kingdom, particularly for those in the 16-plus age range. The MoD offers training for over 300 specialist career paths, and its educational development programmes range from basic skills and vocational qualifications to postgraduate level.
In signing this, the MoD seeks to achieve:
The implementation of quality assurance arrangements which guarantee high standards, meet MoD requirements, add value to the expenditure of public money and at least match the quality of comparable civilian learning programmes.
The ability to have access to the national learning community to share good practice and benchmark defence training & education.
The ability to maintain and update professional skills through continuous professional development activity in order to support the lifelong learning agenda and skills development in the MoD.
The MoD and ALI will work together to develop appropriate working arrangements to facilitate a suitable training and inspection programme that will complement existing internal quality assurance and improvement procedures of the armed services implemented through the defence systems approach to training quality standard (DSAT QS); a British Standards Institute accredited private standard.53WS
This MoU marks an important milestone in helping to ensure that the MoD's highly regarded training and education standards continue to improve and to ensure that its service and civilian personnel are provided the best opportunities to develop their skills in order to carry out their demanding roles in the face of the challenges of the 21st century.
A full copy of the MoU is being placed in the Library of both Houses.