UK NARIC, the National Recognition Information Centre, is the national agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on academic, vocational, and professional qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide. Under the Lisbon Recognition Convention, the UK Government contracts on an open public tender basis for an external supplier to deliver the NARIC service.
In accordance with the UK NARIC contract with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) effective from 1st February 2014 (and subsequently novated to the Department for Education); the NEC has been established to take the responsibility for the overall strategy and direction of the NARIC function, providing advice and support for its continued growth and development.
The objective of the Council is to review and advise on the work of NARIC with particular reference to the following aspects:
- Providing advice and guidance to NARIC on its work and developments in the context of the new Erasmus+ programme and international activities including advice to DfE on public policy needs regarding qualification recognition issues;
- Ensuring that the contract terms are fully met with particular reference to the public service aspect;
- Supporting and promoting NARIC as a centralised intelligence source providing a national information service to education, employment and regulatory sectors;
- Determining the overarching strategies and direction of the NARIC service based on sector / market observations;
- Monitoring and advising on the financial and legal situation of the operation to ensure sustainability and continued growth of NARIC services.
The Council requires input from the major stakeholders in the public interests that NARIC serves as representatives of central Government Departments and the education and employment sectors. The Council also requires legal and financial expertise and independent advisers.
Appointments of members shall be proposed by UK NARIC, based on its knowledge and experience, and approved by the contract authority. Any replacement of members will need to be approved by the contract authority.
Membership and the terms of service of the NEC shall be reviewed annually by UK NARIC and the contract authority to ensure that the NEC reflects the range of experience needed and the level of attendance required. Replacement of members must be agreed between UK NARIC and the contract authority.
The Council is composed of four groups of members:
- Government departments with key policy interest in UK NARIC. This includes the Department for Education, the Home Office and the Department for International Trade. The DfE is represented by the contract manager for the NARIC contract; the Home Office is represented by the lead official on migration policy and qualifications to work; the DIT is represented by the lead official for educational exports. Individual membership will change when the post holders for each department change roles;
- Education and employment sectors served by UK NARIC i.e. higher and further education and employers. The representatives for these sectors will be appointed for the term of the contract - 31 December 2020 under the present contract - and their term can be renewed by agreement;
- Independent advisers. These will be appointed for the term of the contract - 31 December 2020 under the present contract - and their term can be terminated or extended by UK NARIC;
- The chief executive of UK NARIC and the legal counsel/company secretary to the company delivering the UK NARIC contract.
No member can be directly responsible for the award of a contract for services to the UK NARIC (apart from the DfE representative, who is the manager for the UK NARIC contract itself).
The UK NARIC Quality and Standards Group will be the forum for all stakeholder organisations to comment on UK NARIC’s service delivery. This Group will report to the Council annually.
There will be nine members of the Council – three representing government departments, two representing the education and employment sectors, two independent advisers and two representing the UK NARIC. The quorum shall consist of seven (7) members, provided that the chairperson is present.