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Increase your organisation’s impact with essential skills

The Skills Builder Universal Framework provides a complete approach for ensuring individuals effectively build their essential skills through your programmes or provisions.

We provide organisations with tools, training, resources and deep expertise to support skills development across their content design, impact measurement and facilitation.

The areas we support

Programme Design

Embed essential skills into your content

  • Review existing programme content and map against the Skills Builder Universal Framework
  • Run resource creation workshops
  • Upskill your programme design team

Impact Measurement

Effectively measure essential skills development

  • Establish clear outcomes and goals
  • Share assessment tools and ideas
  • Align essential skills measurement outcomes with content

Train the trainer

Upskill delivery teams with the Skills Builder approach

  • Ensure consistency of the delivery of essential skills in your programmes
  • Build confidence in delivery teams to build essential skills with their learners
  • Bring all stakeholders together to use the Skills Builder approach

Who we work with

Programme Journey

Strategic Support
Receive one to one support every step of the way. Regular video calls to support with any questions you have for your priorities and Impact Level accreditation.
Kick off meeting
Begin your journey with your Skills Builder relationship manager, plan the strategy for embedding the Skills Builder approach in your organisation. You will start to plan your Impact Level goals and the details and date(s) of your training.
Progress check-in 1
Review the Impact Level goals set and progress since your last bespoke support session. Additional Impact Levels or training support can also be discussed.
Progress check-in 2
Review progress towards the Impact Level goals set and progress since your last bespoke support session, earn accreditation for your programme. Discuss your priorities, next steps and programme renewal.
Bespoke training
The focus for your bespoke session will be agreed in the kick off meeting. You may choose from a menu of options:
Reviewing your provision and embedding the Framework
Measuring skills impact
Creating resources aligned to the Framework
Train the trainer: upskilling staff, volunteers and stakeholders to develop essential skills
Commissioning the Skills Builder team to create resources on your behalf
Group Training 1: Introduction to Skills Builder
Learn about the Skills Builder Partnership, the Framework and Impact Levels. Ask questions and network with other programme members from a range of organisations.
Group Training 2: Planning
Learn more about provision design and impact measurement systems to the Framework. Decide on your chosen Impact Level and review which skills you would like to include in your provision.
Group Training 3: Implementation and Impact Level Accreditation
Implement your aligned provision and agreed approach. Explore the resources and training required to lead a sustainable approach for skills development. Discuss any queries about your Impact Level goals and evidence before or after submitting your provision for accreditation.
Additional Bespoke Support
The focus for your bespoke session will be agreed in the kick off meeting. You may choose from a menu of options:
Reviewing your provision and embedding the Framework
Measuring skills impact
Creating resources aligned to the Framework
Train the trainer: upskilling staff, volunteers and stakeholders to develop essential skills
Commissioning the Skills Builder team to create resources on your behalf
Optional Bespoke training: Review and Mapping
Gain a clear picture of your current provision and how it already aligns with the Framework, we will signpost areas for development in line with your priorities and impact aspirations
Optional Bespoke Training: Impact Measurement
Evaluate your current impact measurement of essential skills, or implement new processes and tools.
Optional Bespoke Training: Train the Trainer
Support and build confidence in your delivery team or stakeholder network to understand and develop the essential skills of your beneficiaries
Premium elements
Skills Builder Benchmark admin licences and integration options, see Benchmark tab for more details.
Essential Skills Academy, fully resourced workshops available, see resources tab for more details.
Tools and resources
Skills Builder Benchmark
Online self-reflection tool to support individuals to identify their own essential skills strengths and development areas, plus admin-level access for organisations who want to measure the impact of their programmes and provision.
Skills Builder Launchpad
Online learning platform for individuals to build their own essential skills through interactive modules.
Skills Builder Hub
Online platform for organisations who want to build learners' essential skills - including hundreds of teaching resources, a group-level formative assessment tool, and online facilitator training modules.
Networking and promotion
Regular forum events throughout the year on specific clusters or topics
Annual Partnership wide events including research launches
Impact Level promoted and shared across the partnership in monthly/termly newsletters

Impact Levels

What are the Impact Levels?

  • The Skills Builder Impact Levels recognise high-quality essential skills provision at four levels of impact: awareness, reflection, practice and progression.
  • The Impact Level accreditation is awarded to individual provision / programmes / platforms which demonstrate best practice and meet the listed criteria.
  • As an active member of the Skills Builder Partnership, your accreditation will be validated in each year of your membership, you will receive an annual kitemark and will feature on our Impact Directory.

How do I achieve an Impact Level?

  • In your training sessions, you will be able to discuss your priorities and provision, and map out a plan for the year to achieve the Impact Level(s) you want to work towards.
  • You can submit your provision and programmes' evidence for review at any point during your membership.
  • As soon as your Impact Level is achieved, it will be featured on the Impact Directory and you will receive a kitemark to use in your marketing, impact reporting and resources.
  • In the summer we will finalise the numbers reached through your accredited provision, contributing towards our collective impact reporting.
The Impact Level 1 badge
Raising awareness of essential skills
  • Programmes that are successful at this level make individuals more aware of the eight essential skills and their importance for success. 
The Impact Level 2 badge
Reflecting on essential skills
  • Programmes that are successful at this level give individuals the opportunity to become more self-aware of their skill levels and next steps by reflecting on the essential skills. 
The Impact Level 3 badge
Practising essential skills
  • Programmes that are successful at this level give individuals the opportunity to reflect as well as apply and practise their essential skills and the steps.
The Impact Level 4 badge
Progressing in essential skills
  • Programmes that are successful here combine the chance for individuals to reflect on the essential skills before and after applying them. Programme content  is specifically targeted on making steps of progress and data is collected to demonstrate this. 

Tools & Resources


An image of the Skills Builder Benchmark

What? Skills Builder Benchmark is an online self-assessment tool. Learners can reflect on their skill set, using questions aligned to the Skills Builder Framework. Admins can use it as an impact measurement tool, by setting up groups and collating data about individual learners.

Who? Individuals aged 11+ can register for free and record their reflections.

Cost? Free for individuals to use. Admin Licences can be purchased by members of the Skills Builder Partnership. Click on the Download a prospectus button above to find-out more.


An image of the Skills Builder Launchpad

What? Skills Builder Launchpad features online learning modules that build every step of the Skills Builder Framework. It is designed for older learners to build their own essential skills independently.

Who? Individuals aged 11+ can register for free and start learning.

Cost? Free.


An image of the Employers Toolkit

What? Skills Builder Hub features a huge array of resources for building essential skills - plus an easy way to track group-level progress against the Skills Builder Framework.

Who? Teachers and facilitators, working with children and young people can access free resources and the assessment tool.

Cost? Free to use. Premium elements can be purchased.

Essential Skills Academy

An image of the Skills Builder Hub

What? Essential Skills Academy is a fully resourced training course to support individuals to make measurable progress in their essential skills. Ten 90 minute group sessions available for you to deliver or for Skills Builder staff to deliver for you.

Who? Designed to support work experience, apprentices, internships and graduate trainees.

Cost? Start from £4,460 with additional costs depending on the type of delivery you would prefer. Please contact us to discuss the needs of your programme.

Case Studies

Children's University

Children's University

Children’s University works nationally across 69 local authorities reaching over 110,000 students to offer limitless learning beyond the classroom. This year they transferred their Passport to Learning online, supporting a greater understanding of the skills being developed through a diverse range of extra-curricular activities.

Learning providers select up to 3 top skills that a child will learn which can then be discussed and validated by a Children’s University manager. Children can then collect stamps across all eight skills through a multitude of clubs.

Aligning to the Framework has allowed children to reflect on their progress in the skills and identify new opportunities. Children’s University gains a national picture of participation to help share best practice and increase access to providers.

Children’s University are undertaking an exciting new phase to further integrate the Skills Builder Framework into their online platform to support learners with their self-reflection. Incorporating the language of the steps will enable children to further pinpoint their success and guide their next steps for development.

Harlequins Foundation

Harlequins Foundation

Since 2019 the Harlequins Foundation and Skills Builder Partnership have been working together to create a Sports Toolkit to transform how all young people develop the essential skills through sport.
This Toolkit is being piloted by community foundations like the Harlequins Foundation, Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Albion in the Community, in addition to sports for development organisations: Street League, Sported, London Youth's fifteen Active Talent organisations, Active Communities Network Hampshire, SportInspired, Sport Impact and the Eton Fives Association’s Westway Club.

The Harlequins Foundation believes that all young people should have the opportunity to develop relevant technical and vocational skills to support employment and entrepreneurship in the 21st century.  They deliver a range of educational opportunities that meet the needs of the local population of their borough heartlands in order to address disparities in education and employment, with a specific focus on those most vulnerable in society.

Their Development Officers and HITZ alternative provision team have integrated the eight skills into their programmes to underpin skills development and support transferability in both sports and education settings. Combining two pillars of their strategic mission, skills and wellbeing, the Harlequins Foundation identified Staying Positive as a core skill in their programmes. Using the Sports Coaching Handbooks, the team will focus on the explicit development of Staying Positive skills across their work and work alongside educators in their network to ensure young people can continue to build and apply these skills.



Spiral deliver workshops, particularly working with students from FE colleges and other post-16 institutions. These interactive workshops focus on equipping young people with the transferable skills essential for success and use activities based on real-life career challenges to support skill development and confidence in career readiness. Their work was already aligned with the Skills Builder essential skills and they develop all 8 through their programmes, with focus areas for each project in line with the Focus Tightly Principle of skill development.

The Spiral team co-design their sessions with employers, and use work-based learning to equip young people with relevant skills, enhance their work experience and populate their CV.  Using the Skills Builder framework for entry and exit-level assessment allows them to measure the impact of these programmes and to highlight young people’s strengths and areas for development.

Spiral’s programmes facilitate young people’s access to employment, apprenticeship, training, or further education opportunities. These are targeted to their interests and supported by their extensive network of opportunity partners, including the Skills Builder Partnership.

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust are an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed.

The Trust’s flagship literacy and employability programme ‘Words for Work’ is designed for Key Stage 3 and post-16 students.  It challenges the inequality in employment opportunities for young people, giving them the communication skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

Words for Work aims to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of literacy for success in employment by providing workplace context for students
  • Improve young people’s verbal and written communication skills through activities lead by teachers and through engagement with corporate volunteers
  • Give young people confidence in their own abilities and raise their career aspirations

This work has also been expanded to ensure learners are developing the essential skills in all settings, including specialist and alternative provision schools and colleges at all Key Stages.  Words for Work highlights the importance of communication in the development of skills such as Leadership and Teamwork, whilst the careers-related learning focuses on the development of Aiming High skills in younger learners.

To see programmes that have achieved an Impact Level through their Skills Builder Programme, visit the Impact Directory.
How do I become a member and join The Impact Programme?

Just get in touch at and one of our team will arrange a call to discuss your aims and aspirations, we can then discuss the support package that will best suit your needs.

You will then be able to sign up online for your programme, using the 'Join the Partnership' link.

Can I speak to someone about joining the programme?

If you have questions about the programme offer, you can email us at and we will get back to you. Please include the name of your organisation in the email.

Who can register for The Impact Programme?

Any Impact-led and not-for-profit organisations, based in the UK or internationally, can register for Impact Programme.

This programme is also open to local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and multi-academy trusts.

Depending on your organisation’s turnover, you can find out more and register for the Group Training Programme, which is for smaller organisations.

If you’re unsure of which programme is best for you, please do contact to discuss.

How much does The Impact Programme cost?

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise, and ask partners to make a contribution towards our costs of delivering the programme. The programme starts from £1,980 per year. Additional training and support sessions can be added to suit your priorities and these start from £725 per session.

Organisational admin access to the Benchmark skills assessment tool starts from £880.

When can I sign up?

The programme is open all year round. Your programme will be 12 months and you can liaise with your Skills Builder relationship manager to arrange the training dates which suit your planning and timelines best.

I am based outside of the UK, can I join?

Yes. We work with a number of partners based internationally. Contact us to discuss programme details and timings of our group training sessions. Alternatively, you could be able to join the Global Impact Fellowship - which you can explore further here.

I am at a for-profit organisation, can I join?

Our impact organisation programmes are for non-profit and community interest companies only. However, you can join the Partnership through our Employer programme here.

When do training sessions run and what is the format?

All training dates are agreed between your organisation and your Skills Builder relationship manager. Our sessions are typically delivered online but we can discuss options for in-person delivery, should you wish.

Can I add bespoke support to my Impact Programme?

If you would like additional support during your programme, this can be added. Each programme session starts from £725 and we have a menu of options. Please speak to your Skills Builder contact to discuss these options further.

What is Skills Builder Benchmark and how do I access an admin licence?

Find out everything you need to know about Skills Builder Benchmark via the tools & resources tab above.

Impact Academy

Book a meeting
Download a prospectus
If your organisation is small*, you might qualify to apply for the Impact Academy.

The Impact Academy gives your nominated Skills Leader the opportunity to learn and network alongside other impact-led and not-for-profit organisations through a series of training and support sessions, tools and resources, and guidance to achieve a Skills Builder Impact Level.
Organisation turnover must be less than £500k to qualify for the Impact Academy

Global Impact Fellowship

Are you an organisation based outside of the UK? The Global Impact Fellowship provides impact-led organisations, based around the world, with a series of training sessions to embed essential skill development within your programme or provision.
Explore the programme


Get started straight away with Skills Builder guides - full of useful top tips and ideas to start using the Universal Framework in your organisation’s work.
All Organisations
An image displaying the front cover of the Skills Builder Guide for Youth Organisations

Guide for Youth Organisations

This guide is to support organisations who work with young people in a youth setting to learn more about the Skills Builder Universal Framework, accompanying resources and how to use these to support their employability programmes such as CV writing and interview workshops.

Download now
A screenshot of the Impact Directory page of the Skills Builder website.

Impact Directory

Explore reviewed programmes from out partners, and filter by Impact Level, theme, age, location, skills and more.

Browse programmes
All Organisations
An image displaying a screenshot of the Careers and Employability guide

Careers and Employability guide

For organisations who want to support individuals to develop their skills as part of their employability provision. In the Guide you’ll find: exciting ideas for your programmes, examples of best practice, inspiring video case studies and links to further resources.

Visit the site
An image displaying the front cover of the Skills Builder Inclusive Organisations Guide

Inclusive Organisations Guide

Practical advice for building skills with learners

Download now
An image displaying the front cover of the Skills Builder Expanded Framework

The Expanded Framework

This free toolkit breaks progression down, by placing three simple stepping stones between steps to give more intensive scaffolding.

Download now
An image displaying the front cover of the Skills Builder Sports Toolkit

Sports Toolkit

Advice and case studies for all sports settings. Developed in partnership with Harlequins Foundation.

Download now
An image displaying the front cover of the Skills Builder Coaching Handbook

Coaching Handbook

Practical advice for building skills
with learners. Developed in partnership with Harlequins Foundation.

Download now
An image displaying the Skills Builder Coaching Handbook Digital Resource. On front cover is a darkened image of a team of teenage wheelchair basketball players in red uniforms. In the foreground is the title 'Coaching Handbook' and the eight essential skills icons.

Coaching Handbook 1.0

A digital alternative to the original Coaching Handbook. Find practical advice for building skills with your learners.

Access the resource