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Published: 13th December 2023

End of Year Reflections by Steve Smith, Managing Director of SIAS

End of Year Reflections by Steve Smith, Managing Director of SIAS.
As 2023 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey we’ve had at SIAS over the past year. It’s been a period of growth, innovation, and strengthened partnerships that has positioned us as the leader in the field of STEM apprenticeship standards and skills assessment.

First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our provider and employer partners. Your continued unwavering support has been instrumental in making this year a resounding success, and I’m proud of the continued positive impact that together we are delivering through our collaborations.

I also want to say a huge thank-you to all of my staff – I’m so proud of the team we have, and are, building at SIAS, it’s an organisation filled with highly talented and committed professionals, I’m honoured to lead them –  they make everything possible!

Record-Breaking Achievements

This year, we developed and approved 10 new standards, bringing the total number of standards in the SIAS portfolio to an impressive 23. Our commitment to STEM subjects as our core offering remains steadfast, and as we scale our business, we are dedicated to maintaining the high standards of customer service that define us.

Our team, like our product portfolio, has also doubled in size, prompting an upcoming office expansion to accommodate our growth. This expansion is not just about physical space but reflects our determination to continue making a positive impact in the field of education and skills assessment.
We have across the year finalised a record number of new partnerships with Providers who have made the decision to switch to SIAS for EPA services, these exciting new collaborations, coupled with continued growth and commitment from our valued existing partners, has seen active learners registered with SIAS for EPA grow 80% year on year and 234% since 2021.

Building and Strengthening

Throughout the year, we’ve diligently built our brand and enhanced our communication efforts. Attending more events than ever before, we were honoured to take a seat as presenters at several industry conferences, further solidifying our presence in the sector.

Our commitment to quality led us to embrace new technologies. We embedded EPAPro as our end-point assessment system and introduced a cutting-edge online assessment platform in partnership with Question Mark. Our relationship with our regulator OFQUAL remains positive, and we continue to explore innovative ways to enhance our assessment processes.

Operational Excellence

We introduced and evolved a new operational support model, ensuring we could deliver our unique start-point to end-point support and EPA model to all customers. This included the establishment of EPA Relationship Manager roles, further enhancing our ability to provide a dedicated and responsive service to our partners.

Our ability to now, at scale, provide the very highest standards in consistency and timeliness of assessment throughout the year, was something I was particularly pleased with.

Looking Ahead to 2024

As we eagerly anticipate the coming year, our focus remains on continuing to build the business, to establish and develop even more exciting partnerships, and to delivering exceptional customer service day in day out. Our goal is to continue to expand our EPA portfolio to reach 30+ standards, with comprehensive coverage across all STEM disciplines. I want us to be the best EPAO in the country, nothing less than that will cut-it!

The green skills and net-zero agenda will become an increasing a focal point for us in 2024 and beyond, as we explore apprenticeship standards and skills interventions related to hydrogen, carbon capture, battery power, and electrification. Additionally, we plan to invest further in technology and explore the positive impact of artificial intelligence on our assessment processes.
And finally, stay tuned for a special announcement in the first half of 2024—something truly exciting is on the horizon!

In closing, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your support throughout this year. Whether you celebrate or not, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and here’s to a prosperous and fulfilling 2024 for you and your teams.

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