Opportunity: Delivery Partners Required for the National Careers Service in the South Wes
August 21, 2020

Adviza seeks Expressions of Interest from organisations in the South West of England for delivery of the National Careers Service.

Adviza is a charity inspiring people to make better decisions that help them progress in learning and work. Our passion is to support those at important times in their lives where key decisions need to be made. We aim to raise people’s aspirations and motivate them to achieve their full potential.

The service

Adviza is the Prime Contractor for the National Careers Service across the South West and Oxfordshire region and has been delivering this Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funded service for adults since 2014. We provide high quality impartial careers information, advice and guidance (IAG). Our experienced team of Advisers motivate and inspire adults through their career journey, helping them overcome whatever barriers they may face. Any adult is eligible for the service e.g. we work with unemployed, those at risk of redundancy, the more vulnerable with SEND and single parents.

Expression of Interest

To help support the impact of COVID-19, on peoples work and learning in particular, we are interested to hear from organisations who wish to work in partnership with us and our existing supply chain. We are seeking to expand our National Careers Service provision across significant areas of the South West from 1st October 2020.

We welcome all applicants who work with adults and can demonstrate amongst other strengths:

  • Evidence and tactics of engagement
  • Any specialist support e.g. mental ill health, women, 50+
  • Evidence of progression including any accredited learning
  • Strong local networks including any community and/or employer links
  • Sound understanding of the local employment needs.

Career advisers deployed on the contract will need to be as a minimum working towards Level 4 NVQ in IAG. We are experts in our field and hold matrix, and Merlin accreditation at excellent standard and will provide induction and regular best practice activity support.

We welcome all applicants who actively engage adult customers, have a sound understanding of the local labour market and especially those who provide specialist support.

If you are interested in joining Adviza and our partners to make a difference in these critical times and you operate in the South West then we would love to hear from you. Please complete our initial Expression of Interest.


EOIs need to be completed and returned by 5pm on Friday 4th September 2020 in the first instance. Please return to: lindagilleard@adviza.org.uk


ViewPoint: Careers Expertise in a Time of Crisis – Rethink Current Payment by Results (PBR)
March 30, 2020

By Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER.

Across England, National Careers Service Prime Contractors are facing imminent collapse at a time when their support services and expertise are most needed in local communities, Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE warned today.

Dr Deirdre Hughes

Careers England has been in conversation with government about practical and ‘common sense’ ways of ensuring Careers Companies do not financially collapse in this time of national crisis. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) model of payment by results (PBR) which includes undertaking face-to-face and group sessions is now unworkable. Other DfE funded initiatives such as the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) have slackened their PBR rules and organisations such as the National Lottery Fund are actively trying to support their providers. Equity and fairness in these difficult times is essential.

Careers Companies are monitoring job losses and opportunities, they are also using technology to provide moral and practical support to people who have suddenly lost their income and/or livelihood. These companies are working extremely hard to identify and mitigate the risks that CovID-19 poses but they are already experiencing a significant impact which is only likely to get worse:

  • All staff are working remotely to comply with Government Guidance, many will have to be furloughed as there is not enough work to be undertaken virtually and no funds to pay their salaries.
  • Job centres are working remotely and are only dealing with claims for Universal Credit, which they are deluged with. Making referrals to the National Careers Service is not a priority. They are the biggest referrer to the National Careers Service and therefore the impact on the PBR contract is significant.
  • There are concerns about the viability of some sub-contractors, for example, some have temporarily shutdown
  • All planned events have been cancelled (rightly so) which impacts significantly on Careers Companies’ ability to claim PBR funding from the ESFA unless this stringent approach is relaxed.
  • The largest PBR payments relate to the achievement of Jobs and Learning Outcomes, staff are finding not surprisingly that customers think it is insensitive to be asked if they have managed to find work or training opportunities at this time.

Many Careers Companies are charities and have very little in the form of reserves to call upon. They are all experiencing a reduction in income from the National Careers Service work and the rate of reduction is accelerating. Some companies are trying to secure bank loans to help with cash flow and enable continued trading but this is proving difficult primarily as they have few assets to offer as security.

The ESFA needs to step up and adopt a common sense approach in this unprecedented situation to help Careers Companies survive the challenging months ahead and to ensure that they are in a position to support the many people across England whose jobs and livelihoods will be affected by this crisis. 

The support needed includes:

  • a relaxation of the PBR element of the contract and compliance rules – as a temporary measure
  • an adoption of a payment on profile for a limited number of months
  • a broader definition of priority groups given a large percentage of the population will be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

When this pandemic is over, young people and adults will need reliable and impartial careers information, advice and guidance which offers hope, guidance and opportunity. Most importantly, individuals will need to be able to ‘put bread on the table’ and thrive in a new social and economic landscape.

The National Careers Service Course Directory is Changing

The course directory is changing to make it easier for providers to add their course information.

As part of the measures to make the course directory easier for providers to add their course information, providers will see: a new simple interface, fewer fields to complete and mandatory learning aim reference (LAR) codes.

An image of the National Careers Service at a conference.

The changes will also make information more relevant for potential learners so they can find out what is on offer in their area and contact providers.

ESFA has developed the new improved course directory by putting user research central to the changes that have been made. They have tailored the tools through rigorous testing by real users.

The Course Directory is a database comprising records of learning opportunities for people over the age of 16 delivered by all providers contracted with Department for Education.

Providers are responsible for maintaining their records in the Course Directory and the records are displayed through Find a Course, Find Apprenticeship Training and other public and private sector websites. This enables citizens and businesses to look for different types of learning in their area and generates referrals to providers across the country.

Providers will be contacted in the next couple of months to let them know when changes will be happening and to help them manage the changes to their information. In the meantime, the support team are on hand to help and to answer any questions on support@coursedirectoryproviderportal.org.ukor 0844 811 5073.

Changes to the course directory are part of a wider programme of improvement to digital services provided by the National Careers Service.

The National Careers Service is available to anyone over the age of 13 in England and provides careers advice and guidance to help people make decisions on learning, training and work.

The National Careers Service takes a digital first approach to allow users who are able, to self-serve and find the information they need. We work closely with teachers, careers advisers and citizens to ensure our tools can be used both independently and part of face to face careers sessions.

Exam Results Helpline

To chat live to an #ExamResultsHelpline adviser you can contact the National Careers Service online by following the link below


Or you can also call the on

0800 100 900 (option 7)

National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline
August 15, 2018

National Careers Service – New Contracts Awards
July 25, 2018

Below is a list of the new NCS areas and contractors (notice the subtle geographical changes – south central area has disappeared altogether and Cumbria is part of the service in the NE).

There will now be a period of transition activity to make sure there is a continued high-quality service for the remainder of current contracts, and to ensure that the new contractors are in place and ready to deliver the National Careers Service from 1 October 2018. 

  1. National Careers Service East of England and Buckinghamshire and National Careers Service East Midlands and Northamptonshire to be delivered by Futures Advice
  2. National Careers Service London and National Careers Service West Midlands to be delivered by Prospects
  3. National Careers Service North West to be delivered by Growth Company
  4. National Careers Service North East and Cumbria to be delivered by EDT
  5. National Careers Service South East to be delivered by CXK
  6. National Careers Service South West to be delivered by Adviza
  7. National Careers Service Yorkshire and Humber – further information will be provided in due course
Futures Celebrates National Careers Service Contract
July 24, 2018

Futures has re-secured the prestigious National Careers Service contracts for the East Midlands and East of England regions, supporting adults with their career options, worth a combined total of £23,509,698.00 over the next three years.

Having delivered the National Careers Service in the East Midlands since its inception in 2012 and more recently delivering the service in the east of England as well, Futures, the experts in supporting people with jobs, skills advice and training, is delighted to announce its retention of the two contracts. It has supported over a quarter of a million adults with careers advice and guidance in that time, with a further 191,970 now scheduled to receive support over the next three years.

JY NCS contractweb

The not-for-profit business will now continue to deliver the service across both regions for the next three years, following a Government-run competitive tender process.

The National Careers Service provides personalised careers information, advice, and guidance services to all adults, via individual and group face-to-face sessions, over the telephone, through digital and social media platforms, with particular emphasis on people who may need more help in developing their career management skills and progressing in work or learning.

Over the last five years the National Careers Service has demonstrated consistent improvement in quality across all aspects of the service. It has provided locally tailored information advice and guidance and supported customers to achieve positive outcomes particularly for those who are most disadvantaged in the labour market. Read more

National Careers Service Area-Based Contracts Funding Rules Updated

These documents set out the rules for funding and associated evidence needed for the National Careers Service area-based contracts which apply from 1 April 2018.

National Careers Service Satisfaction and Progression Surveys: 2015 to 2016 Report
February 9, 2018

This research looked at National Careers Service users’ satisfaction and progression after their telephone call, meeting with an adviser or visit to the website.

The survey took place between May 2015 and April 2016.

This report presents the findings from three strands of research. The first two, the National Careers Service customer satisfaction and progression surveys, are based on regular monthly surveys undertaken by telephone or online, among customers aged 18-plus (using the face-to-face or telephone service) or aged 16-plus (using the website). It is the fifth year of research on telephone and face-to-face customers (fieldwork years are referred to in this report at Year 5, Year 4, etc.), and the fourth year that research evidence has been collected of customers’ experience of using the National Careers Service website. This fieldwork was undertaken from May 2015 to April 2016 by monthly telephone interviews, a continuous online survey, and a quarterly email survey.


The overall quality of the service continued to be rated highly by telephone and face-to-face customers, with over nine in ten (93%) agreeing that it was good. Read more

National Careers Service Contact Details

National Careers Service advisers can provide you with information, advice and guidance on skills, learning and work. Explore the different ways to get in touch with an adviser.

Webchat: Chat with an adviser using webchat (8am to 10pm, 7days a week).

Phone: Call 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week). Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers. Find out more about call charges and freephone numbers

Email: Email your question or query and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Callback: Tell us your number and we’ll call you back. Read more