Guild Examinations

The Modern Apprenticeship Scheme

The future of the Laundry and Dry Cleaning industry is a challenging one, and we need to encourage more people to gain better skills and qualifications. Businesses depend upon attracting the right talent to fill key roles within the organisation and apprenticeships can be a means to offer opportunities for progression to higher level skills.

We, at the Guild, have been involved in ways to gain recognised qualifications, while at work, since 1949, therefore it was felt we were in the best position to produce a framework for apprenticeships that could benefit both the employer and employed, and we have had a huge success, in recent years, of candidates taking Guild exams and assessments.

21st Century Apprenticeships

There is a long tradition of craft apprenticeships, in other industries, and they represent an established route in a range of occupations, Our business suffers, like many others, with a lack of skilled, or key, workers, and we have a long tradition of having to “grow our own” when it comes to filling these roles. Modern apprenticeships are not just aimed at young people, and if they were they would have no place in our industry because we attract many mature adults, therefore the scheme is for all age group, with no element of “timeserving” as they will be achieved at the pace, and within the timescale appropriate to the employer and apprentice. The Guild have a long tradition, and much experience of delivery of qualifications based upon the recognition of ability of the candidate working at a pace within their own capability and progression.

Positive Gains and Benefits

There are positive gains for both employers and employees with a Modern Apprenticeship Scheme. For the employee it can provide a valuable experience leading to the acquisition of sophisticated skills needed for a worthwhile career, and can give status within local communities and opportunities for progression in employment. A positive feature is that the apprentice has the opportunity to ‘learn while earning’ in a coherent, coordinated way. It can have a further positive advantage in that they will have a clear, well defined route into a career, or occupation, which is not always the case for other people.

The Guild have developed a suite of distinctive practical work based units, which will suit the learning style of those involved, and this is based on the skill qualifications the Guild already finds are very successful.

When achieved, the candidate, has the possible progression into more responsible job roles, because of the gained knowledge and new skills. For employers, a Modern Apprenticeship Scheme provides a high quality method for increasing the skills of employees. A means of ‘growing your own people’ passing on the skills, culture, knowledge, practices and traditions of a firm, and with Guild help support, design learning, training, and work place assessment for those with the right ability. It could lead to improved employee retention rates of the more capable, ensure people acquire the essential skills to progress within the business and industry. It may also widen the recruitment pool by attracting the talented who would not otherwise consider a career in our industry.

The development of Modern Apprenticeships in Laundry and Dry Cleaning

With help and support of members of the Guild Examination Board, and employers in the business, a framework has been put together that is to a standard of a 3 NVQ qualification. At this level of ability it is expected that the successful apprentice can carry out many activities that are complex and non routine and the expectations are of individuals taking considerable responsibility and also working independently, very often supervising the work of others

Drawing upon the resources of the Guild own national occupational standards, that are well established and accepted by the industry to be relevant and achievable, core skills. These are all of a practical nature leading to two theory based written exams, which are the Guilds own Practical Dry Cleaning Technology and ‘Intermediate Technology’ qualifications. There is no set timescale and a pace appropriate to the employer, and the ability of the apprentice. However, recognition will be given to those with previous ability (prior learning) and the system frame is modular in construction to guide and assist.

In reality the apprentice will be assessed when capable of achieving the level of their skill to enable them to have some flexibility. This could benefit this with a career break, for example during pregnancy, or even those who change employers, for example through redundancy. The ‘Modern Apprenticeship Certificate’ will only be received when all the Practical Certificates and the theory exams have been successfully taken.

If you would like more information regarding the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme please click here to email the exam board.

Click Here to view a progression chart for the Modern Apprenticeship for Dry Cleaning.

Click Here to view a progression chart for the Modern Apprenticeship for Laundry.

Guild Examinations and the Qualifications Star Scheme

The Guild has a network of Examiners nationwide and by contacting the National Secretariat on 01698 322669 or, we can arrange for an examination for one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Retail Sales
  • Stain Removal
  • Garment Finishing – Scissor Press and Ironing Table
  • Dry Cleaning Practice
  • Wet Cleaning

The cost of an examination is £35 per student, per discipline. Non-Members £40 per exam.

You don’t have to be a member of the Guild if you just want to take an examination and receive a Certificate, but you do have to be a member if you wish to be part of the Guild’s Qualification Scheme. The reasons being:

  • The scheme is for individuals in business as opposed to companies.
  • A successful student will receive an examination certificate together with a window sticker in the shape of a ‘Q’ Star. The scheme is based on the 5 Stars shown above.
  • The ‘Q’ Star becomes part of the students C.V. and this can be taken with them if they change their employment. In order to ‘police’ the scheme the window sticker remains the property of the Guild, the recipient can display the Star for as long as they are Guild members.
  • ‘Q’ Stars holders will be notified of upgrades to syllabi and legislation, which will affect them in the enhancement craft.

The cost of a ‘Q’ Star examination is £35 per discipline.

The Guild is not a trade association – it is the Examining Body of the Industry. Because our officers give their time voluntarily, we do not have the facilities to undertake training, but we have a list of Preferred Training Providers, who will be happy to advise you on the courses, which are available.

For students wishing to undertake a full NVQ, this can be run in conjunction with the Qualification Star Examination. Candidates will have to register with a college to obtain a Log Book or register with an approved Centre. An Assessor would be appointed by the Guild to attend the training course and examination to complete their Log Book.

Practical / Theoretical Examinations

These include:

Practical Laundry Certificates

  • Check-in, sort and classify
  • Wash Process (Choice of Syllabi)
  • Tumble Drying
  • Calender Finishing – Flat Work
  • Finishing – Shaped items ( choice of tunnel finishing or from finishing )
  • Polished Head Pressing – Scissor press or rotary press
  • Rack and Pack
  • Textile Repair and Alterations
  • Collection and Delivery

Examination Fee is £35 per examination per candidate. Non-Members £40 per exam.

Supervisory Certification

£185 per candidate

Minimum of 4 exams – Check In and Classify, Rack and Pack and a choice of any other two, plus Theoretical Exam at Intermediate Level.

Theoretical Examinations at Intermediate Level

£45 per candidate. Minimum of 6 candidate per exam session.

You do not have to be a member of the Guild to undertake Practical or Theoretical examinations.

For more information on examinations and fees please contact either the Chairman of the Examination Board Mr Ken Cupitt FGCL or the National Secretariat.

Learning and Skills Recognition

The Guild has worked with the industry for over 65 years and our qualifications are recognised by employers, and we have a Learning Aim Database to support our suite of Qualifications.

The Guild Examination Board exists to make laundry and dry cleaning staff in Britain better skilled and therefore more competitive.
We have a single goal: to improve the skills of Britain’s young people and adults in our business to ensure we have a workforce of world-class standard

Click here to view the Guilds reference numbers on the Learning Aims Database.