1 April 2016

Since ABC Awards was founded we have established a reputation for developing high-quality qualifications to support the British fashion industry, even as it faced a steady decline from competition and cheaper production abroad.

We consider this even more a reason to support its current revival, and ensure the industry is supplied with a well-trained and knowledgeable future workforce. With five Showcase Centres for fashion related qualifications, we have become a champion awarding organisation for the industry, with the ambition to celebrate the achievements and unique delivery methods of our Centres and support employers’ changing needs and expectations.

Our suite of fashion and textiles qualifications ranges from footwear and leather production to specialist qualifications in pattern cutting, garment technology, and tailoring. We also offer specific qualifications in fashion retail, developed with Middlesbrough College to fuse the gap left in the market between singular fashion and retail programmes.

Our newest qualification, the Level 5 Diploma in Bespoke Tailoring, has similarly been developed to meet the very particular needs of the tailoring industry – more specifically, the needs of the world-renowned tailors on Savile Row.

But developing a new qualification, particularly a bespoke one, is no simple feat. The process comes with a long checklist of criteria to meet before the qualification can be approved by the necessary parties and finalised for delivery – and this particular qualification would also need to be incorporated into a new “trailblazer” apprenticeship.

To begin with, the Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA) sought an awarding organisation to support them in developing a new Level 5 qualification, and with ABC Awards’ reputation in providing qualifications in this industry, it was a perfect match.

While already offering an in-house training programme for tailors and cutters, the SRBA wanted to create a nationally recognised high-level apprenticeship standard and lead the way in the government-backed trailblazer initiative for developing Level 5 Apprenticeship Standards for Bespoke Cutters and Tailors.

With the support from industry skills body Creative Skillset and the trailblazer employer group, the SRBA began brainstorming what their apprenticeship standards and assessment should look like. Their conclusion was a regulated qualification which could be used both as the Level 5 demonstrative element of the apprenticeship standards, and as a standalone qualification for learners who wanted gain the knowledge and skills required for cutters and tailors at Level 5 without completing an apprenticeship.

This qualification was then developed jointly by the three parties, combining the SRBA’s excellence in tailoring and cutting; Creative Skillset’s experience of meeting apprenticeship standards; and ABC Awards’ knowledge of writing and developing high-quality bespoke qualifications.

It is by forging our respective expertise and working together closely over six months that we have successfully developed a stand-out qualification which meets all the requirements for Ofqual regulation, Level 5 apprenticeship standards and, of course, the standards expected of a Savile Row tailoring house.

If you are looking to develop a bespoke qualification or would like more information about the Level 5 Diploma in Bespoke Tailoring, please don’t hesitate to call our team on 0115 854 1620.