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Our investments and partnerships

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Investments and partnerships 

NCFE’s vision is of a world where everyone has the opportunity, means and motivation to access the highest quality learning. We firmly believe that in a sector that is constantly changing, we must help to shape that change for the benefit of learners everywhere. We don’t just challenge the status quo – we lead the drive to improve the education system through a collaborative and transformative outlook. That’s why we look to continually invest in, and partner with, organisations who share our desire to be positive disruptors and can support our purpose to promote and advance learning for all individuals, leaving no learner behind.

We go beyond awarding qualifications to shape smarter learning solutions for the future. This includes our market leading diagnostic and skills assessment tools and resources  and you can also see below some examples of the more diverse approaches we take.

Movements need collaborators

if you’re interested in combining ambition with the scale and determination to make an impact, get in touch with us at [email protected]


CACHE Alumni

​​​​​​​CACHE Alumni is a free professional membership service for the care, health and education sectors powered by NCFE. Whether users are an experienced practitioner, learner, educator, job seeker, employer or someone with an interest in joining the caring sector, CACHE Alumni members get access to content, tools and resources to help achieve learning, career and business goals.

Member benefits include insightful articles from sector experts, free career advice and guidance, continuing professional development (CPD), job search and qualification finder and member events and discounts.

The CACHE Alumni logo


Our Assessment Innovation Fund

We’re on a mission to break boundaries in assessment with our £1 million Assessment Innovation Fund initiative, which is helping to pilot innovative new assessment ideas.

As the pace of change in the world increases – particularly due to disruptive new technologies, major societal trends and global turbulence – the needs of the labour market continue to rapidly evolve. Through looking at the future of assessment and identifying the key ingredients to deliver maximum value to learners on the greatest possible scale, we can help to create a system that is transformational for learners in technical and vocational education.

The University of Newcastle (Australia), The Sheffield College and The Really NEET Project are among the successful applicants from window 1 of the Assessment Innovation Fund. We’re really excited to be a part of these projects and look forward to watching their development.

2022 AIF pilots


Campaign for Learning 

Since 2020, independent educational charity Campaign for Learning has formed part of NCFE. As champions of the value of lifelong learning, there is a natural synergy with the core purpose of both organisations.

Our investment ensures that we can work together with Campaign for Learning as they continue to deliver highly impactful campaigns, training programmes, research projects and policy work. For example, the charity recently published an insightful whitepaper on Levelling Up and the Post-16 Education and Skills Policy featuring the expert voices of 18 leading stakeholders and thinkers across the post-16 education and skills sector.

Campaign for Learning coordinates a number of high-profile learning events including the notable Learning at Work Week, which promotes a culture of learning at work and is marked by employers across the country. They also deliver the national Family Learning Festival in October each year, a large-scale national celebration to mark and inspire a love of learning in family life.




We've partnered with the mental fitness platform Fika to launch the sector's first ever mental fitness mobile app, allowing us to truly champion and improve these skills within further education. The innovative platform is Ofsted mapped and is proven to build mental fitness in both students and staff after just 5 minutes’ use per day. 

Since its rollout in March 2021, Fika has had a huge real-world impact, helping to equip learners for life with crucial skills such as resilience, confidence and motivation. Plus, more than 6,000 staff across FE have seen their mental fitness scores increase by an average of 15% when regularly using the app.

We believe that by moving away from classing mental health as something which involves seeking retrospective ‘help’ and instead beginning to understand it as a curricular issue that can be addressed more proactively, that Fika is helping to redefine how we discuss mental health within education.


WorldSkills UK 

We believe it is not possible to have world class education without world class educators. With that in mind, we’ve collaborated with WorldSkills UK to create the innovative Centre of Excellence programme to advance vocational learning practice. The programme works directly with educators to help them become artful and inspiring world-class teaching practitioners, enabling thousands more learners to benefit from world-class learning experiences.

In its second year, our partnership is helping us to test a range of methods and practices to disseminate and transfer world-class expertise to educators and influence standards across technical and vocational education and training. So far, 82% of participating educators say it’s had a positive impact on their motivation to improve their teaching and training practice, whilst a further 75% say the programme has given them more confidence in teaching their skill or subject.

We’ve just launched the 3rd phase of this programme and will be announcing the successful applicants for 22-23 in July.


Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

Research from the National Autistic Society states that only 16% of autistic people are in full-time paid work, whilst 77% autistic unemployed people say that they want to work. It is vital to provide extra employability support to increase opportunities for autistic young people, which is what our work with the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) is focused on.

Together, we’ve launched a new project to increase apprenticeship opportunities for autistic young people, helping to equip them with the technical and employability skills to progress into employment and improve the links between schools/colleges, training providers, referral agencies and employers to improve progression routes.

The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network logo


Research Further

We recently launched the Research Further initiative in collaboration with the Association of Colleges (AoC) to support, drive and encourage college-centred research that can help influence party and practice. It’s vital that we develop a deep understanding of the needs of the learners and communities that we serve and this research will help us to achieve this.

In this first year of the programme, successful FE practitioners will be funded to undertake post-graduate research in an area where evidence is currently lacking. They will be supported through this programme by the Research Further team and be able to rely on the guidance of the advisory board. Scholars will be part of a supportive community of peers, and throughout their scholarship, will share findings from their research through online articles and in a webinar series, hosted by AoC and partners NCFE.

Think Further

More information on the Think Further initiative will be coming soon.