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The Review of Career Information, Advice and Guidance services delivered by Skills Development Scotland 2014-2020 (LINK) covers all Scottish local authorities over the last six years. 

SDS teams were graded excellent, very good, good, satisfactory, weak or unsatisfactory for each of the five questions. Seventy-five percent of SDS’s grades were either very good or excellent (120 out of 160 scores across the five questions for the 32 local authority areas and 156 out of 160 (97%) were good or above.   

The comprehensive report provides a rigorous evidence-based assessment of Scotland’s career information, advice and guidance services across Scotland’s 32 local authorities, carried out over the last six years. 

The Review’s focus was on customer progression and achievement of high-quality outcomes, meeting the needs of stakeholders, delivery of key services, management of service delivery and strategic leadership. The report highlights examples of positive practice across all of these areas. 

These included how locally set service targets, progress monitoring and benchmark performance were working well. Another area of positive practice was the collaborative working between partners which lead to improved outcomes for school and post-school customers. 

Also highlighted in the Review was the impact of the support for employers and adults facing redundancy through PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment). 

The year-on-year improvement in the proportion of young people securing a positive destination after leaving school, how careers advisers’ knowledge and professional skills help customers develop career management skills and the quality of strategic leadership in SDS were also mentioned in the Review. 

Director of CIAG Operations James Russell said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in CIAG Operations for all the hard work they’ve put into these reviews over the last six years. The culture of continuous improvement is firmly embedded in our organisation and our CIAG teams have adopted it with professionalism and enthusiasm.” 

  James also acknowledged the dedication of SDS’s Quality Assurance team and Associate Assessors who provided clarity, professionalism and expertise which added value to the Education Scotland inspections. 

He said “The reviews provide an external and independent assessment at a point in time. After what has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all or us, this report gives us a chance to reflect on the hard work and success of our teams who are working tirelessly the length and breadth of the country. 

 “We’ve yet to feel the full economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but I have every confidence that our local CIAG teams are ready and able to support our customers in the coming weeks and months.” 

The report also provides comment on progress made across the period of the reviews, and ongoing themes for further consideration.   

It identifies clear improvement over the six-year period in the quality of SDS services and impact on customers. Significant strengths are seen across all aspects of service delivery and partnership working which is leading to improved outcomes for young people leaving school.  

 Julie Riley, Head of Quality Assurance & Improvement said: “The reviews have demonstrated that SDS delivers high quality career information, advice and guidance services that are valued by our customers. This report emphasises the importance and impact of partnership working across CIAG regional operations and recognises the fantastic work our CIAG colleagues do, day in, day out. It has been a privilege to witness first-hand the CIAG improvement journey over the past six years.” 

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