Provider Access Legislation (PAL) Access Statement


  1. Overview
  2. Introduction
  3. Learner/participant entitlement
  4. Management of provider access requests
  5. Review

1. Overview

1.1 Mencap provides educational and learning services that offer support to people with a learning disability , learning difficulty and autism .   

1.2 Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to lead happy, healthy lives. We are happy to work flexibly with all partners across the UK who uphold this vision, supporting learners/participants by developing skills and building confidence, sharing our passion to support learners/participants eventually into paid employment and the world of work.   

1.3 Mencap proactively seeks to build relationships with providers and positively welcomes provider contact relating to all pathways available for our learners/participants as part of their learning, supporting, and enabling them to make informed, realistic choices and broaden their horizons. 

1.4 As part of our commitment to provide the people we work with information on the full range of vocational, technical and apprenticeship qualifications and pathways.   

1.5 We encourage providers to contact us to arrange and plan interventions as appropriate. Due to our multiple delivery localities, providers we work with may vary across our programmes locally, regionally, and nationally.

1.6 Career interventions and activities will be measured against the careers standards of the Gatsby Benchmarks using the Compass Assessment framework.    

What is the Baker Clause?

1.7 The Baker Clause is a statutory duty, schools and colleges are obliged to comply with the terms set out in Section 42B of the Education Act 1997. Introduced as an amendment to the Technical and Further Education Act 2017, the Baker Clause stipulates that schools and colleges must allow providers such as training providers, colleges, employers, Further Education and Higher Education providers access to learners to discuss non-academic and wider routes, career pathways and options that are available to them. This regulation has been in place since 2 January 2018. 

1.8 Mencap is a charitable organisation and a Special Post-16 Institution (SPI). Although the Baker Clause best practice guidance is aimed at schools, providers, and FE Providers, we recognise and value the importance external providers can offer and therefore have implemented this Provider Access Statement as best practice across Mencap’s employment programmes in England.   

1.9 It is expected that by doing so, this will help address England’s productivity challenges and address future predicted skills shortages across several sectors of the economy .  

1.10 Positive partnership working also supports our vision for the future where people with a learning disability, learning difficulty and/or autism are receiving the right information and support to access and stay in work.  

2. Introduction

2.1 This provider Access Statement sets out Mencap's arrangements for managing the access of all providers and visitors (referred to as providers going forward) and learner/participant engagement for the purpose of giving them information about the provider's education, employment, or training offers. 

2.2 Mencap's employment programmes in England include our supported internships and study programmes, our supported employment programmes and programmes delivered under the brand name, Employ Me. All our provision is progressive and suitable for age and ability. 

2.3 To find out more about Mencap's commitment to giving people with a learning disability the right support to access and stay in work, please see our Employment Vision Statement

3. Learner/participant entitlement

3.1 To find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeship opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available.  

3.2 To hear from a range of local, regional, national, or international providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education, traineeships, and apprenticeships. This is through experiences such as: presentations,  work experience , careers fairs, group discussions, on-line encounters, and taster events.   

3.3 To understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.  

4. Management of provider access requests

4.1 Providers wishing to find out more/send a query or raise a complaint regarding any access issues should contact their local Mencap provision directly, or alternatively contact the named careers leader for Mencap for any further information and signposting: 

Careers leader: Maggi Pugh


4.2 Opportunities for access to events are integrated into the individual employment programmes at key times, as each programme is designed around the learner and is bespoke.

4.3 Please speak to local Mencap provision or the named careers leader above to identify the most suitable opportunity for you, and our learners/participants. Facilities and premises will vary across delivery sites and will therefore need to be negotiated at local level. We want to see big changes in society - and we know we cannot achieve this alone. Any provider is welcome to contact us to discuss what they can offer our learners/participants and how we can best facilitate such requests.

4.4 Mencap's procedures for enabling external providers/visitors to engage with out learners/participants will be in operation to support all interventions. We work with partners collaboratively to plan and organise interventions, prior knowledge of any presentations or literature before delivery help ascertain suitability, ensuring successful partnership working and better outcomes for both providers and learners/participants.

4.5 Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or any other relevant course details or literature as appropriate. This can then be shared subsequently with learners/participants, colleagues, parents and carers to share key messages and help raise further awareness of opportunities.  

4.6 All activities and information will need to be seen and agreed prior to delivery to ensure suitability and safety of learners/participants. All information should be age and ability appropriate, be inclusive and reflect the needs of our learners/participants.  

4.7 A member of Mencap staff will be present for all activities, visits and engagement with our learners/participants. 

4.8 Mencap reserve the right to refuse, stop, postpone or cancel any activity based on operational needs, safety and/or safeguarding concerns in line with Mencap's Safeguarding Policy. 

4.9 Some activities may need to be altered, postponed, or cancelled in line with government guidelines and recommendations. 

4.10 Mencap reserves the right to postpone or cancel any pre-arranged activities with an external provider to meet operational demands. We would always aims to give as much notice as possible, however, circumstance may arise where we may not be able to give substantial notice. 

4.11 Digital solutions, online experiences, or distance learning may be substituted where identified as suitable alternatives or more appropriate. 

4.12 We will always be led by the needs and safety of our learners/participants. 

5. Review

This access statement will be reviewed annually, or following any changes to relevant guidelines/legislation, updated and published on the Mencap website