Trailblazer Standard

Abstract buildingLATEST UPDATE

Act now to influence the Trailblazer End Point Assessment Plan

The Employer Group is now in full flow with the BEMS Controls Engineer Trailblazer development and we are delighted to announce that our application has now been approved and is published on the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website. For further information click here.

The next stage is to produce an End Point Assessment (EPA) Plan alongside a proposed sample training programme. This should then enable us to ensure that BEMS Controls Engineer apprentices have a development plan showing them (and their employers) the knowledge and skills needed to be competent in their jobs. With this information the IfA will then be able to assess the funding needed to provide relevant training to achieve this. This is one of the most important stages because we need to ensure that you have access to the right level of funding for each employee on a BEMS Trailblazer apprenticeship

What do we need?

The Employer Group needs to compile an overview of the training and development required to produce competent BEMS Controls Engineers, as well as how long it might take and the likely cost as this will allow us to justify the funding which will be required for this Trailblazer.

This is currently in progress and it is hoped that the final version of the EPA Plan can be submitted to the IfA in early 2019. Then the next stages are:

  • A period of assessment whilst the EPA Plan and final funding band is agreed
  • Approval by Department for Education of the Final Funding Band
  • Publication of the EPA Plan and Final Funding Band
  • Approval for Delivery of the Apprenticeship
  • Training Providers can then be engaged……so what does all that mean ? ……all being well it means that you could start your first BEMS Controls Engineer Apprentices in September 2019 and draw down funding to pay for their training.

The BEMS Controls Engineer Trailblazer is being developed by the Employer Group for the buildings controls industry and it is your opportunity to ensure that a ‘funded’ route is available to help you to develop your staff into competent BEMS Controls Engineers

The Employer Group now has over 20 contributing members with a wide representation from all sectors of the industry and many thanks go to them all for their support of this initiative which will ensure that we have the right skills in place for the future.

If you haven’t been involved yet but would like to then please email Wendy Belfield who can update you on how you can contribute to the next phase.

BEMS Controls Engineer TrailblazerPresentation and training in business office

The challenge of developing BEMS Control Engineers in sufficient numbers and quality for the industry, is one that the wide variety of BCIA employer members have been pondering since the association’s formation (in its current form) in 2004. Many inroads have been made during this period from the BCIA’s formation and many more developments are in the pipeline. The main focus at present is to achieve full professional recognition for BEMS Control Engineers and this will primarily involve the completion of a BEMS Trailblazer Apprenticeship standard (required as part of the government’s overhaul of the old apprenticeship scheme). In case you are not aware, an apprenticeship standard is an ‘approved pathway’. It outlines what a ‘trainee’ could be doing, and the skills they need to become a BEMS Control Engineer but it is much broader than the traditional apprenticeship course used to be and can include a whole range of other appropriate areas of study (not just at a college and can include professional courses). It should therefore allow potential recruits (of all ages and skill levels) from all backgrounds (from within and outside the industry) to access this route and the Government funding associated with it.


In order to be involved in the Trailblazer process an employer-led Trailblazer Group has to be formed and the BCIA has facilitated this by putting BEMS employers in touch with one another. A group has now been formed which meets the ‘Trailblazer Group’ criteria but new members are always needed so if you would like to be involved please email either of the Trailblazer Co-Chairs: Wendy Belfield of InTandem Systems and Gary Smith of Global Associates.

Trailblazer groups should:
Have a wide range of employers who are committed to working actively on the development of a new apprenticeship standard, and intend to use the apprenticeship standard once it has been approved for delivery; Have at least 10 different employers as members (in addition to any professional bodies or trade associations who want to be involved); Reflect the range of companies which employ people in this occupation – including size, geographical spread and sector. Any trailblazer group should normally include at least two employers with fewer than 50 employees. Even if you are unable to commit to the use of the new Apprenticeship Standard at this stage we would still encourage you to support the Trailblazer Group and input your knowledge and expertise by making contact.