Benefits of membership

Becoming a member of Natspec provides you and your organisation with a range of benefits. These include ensuring your views count in Government consultations to providing access to training and best practice for your teams.

Natspec offers two types of membership: Full Membership and Natspec Transform.

Full Membership

Full Membership is open to specialist providers only. These are defined as:

  • ESFA funded Specialist Post 16 Institutions (SPIs) in England
  • Specialist FE Colleges in Wales
  • Equivalent organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Other organisations, including independent learning providers, which provide state-funded Further Education (post-school), and where the majority of the education provision has been established for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, and there are at least 10 high needs students with the provision named in their Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP).


Promotion and PR:

  • Inclusion in the Natspec directory, which is sent to careers advisers, schools and LAs, and widely used by young people and their families
  • Inclusion on the Natspec website
  • Case studies and news stories about member colleges included in Natspec News, our termly e-newsletter, which is sent to over 2,000 stakeholders and government bodies

The voice of specialist further education:

  • Your views represented to Government in response to policy proposals and consultations
  • Representation on a wide range of national organisations within the FE system
  • Links into regional groups and national networks of similar providers
  • You receive full voting rights and the opportunity to stand as a Board member

Training, advice and guidance:

  • Policy forums – on employment, care, HR, funding, quality, publicity, finance and more
  • Quality Times – a comprehensive newsletter with advice, guidance and case studies to help you improve your provision
  • Regional meetings and benchmarking opportunities, including the opportunity to join a peer review and development group
  • TechAbility – a comprehensive service to improve your technology infrastructure and AT services
  • Natspec Transform – Outstanding value-for-money CPD, training, networking and consultancy service enabling you to develop your staff, including as trainers and facilitators
  • National conferences and events: you receive a free residential place at our 2 day annual conference and free places at networks and forums.
  • Fortnightly updates on issues of direct relevance to the sector
  • Support for quality improvement through networks, peer working groups, national events and forums

Projects and partnerships:

  • Cross-sector projects with the opportunity for members to be involved in delivery
  • Significantly discounted cost of AoC membership if requested
  • Focus weeks: for example Work Experience Week, Maths Week
  • Natspec Games: showcasing participation and achievement in sport.
  • Inclusive Skills: highlighting the work of students and their teachers, improving links with employers and showcasing Natspec members on a national stage.
  • Student Parliament: including students in policy making at the highest level, with a partnership with NUS to support student representation.

Transform Membership

Natspec Transform is our professional development, advice, support and training service

Membership of Transform is open to:

  • Incorporated colleges: General FE Colleges, Sixth Form Colleges, Land based colleges, and specialist designated colleges: details on the AoC website. Individual departments or specialist units of these colleges can also subscribe directly.
  • Independent Learning Providers and Adult and Community Learning providers who are inspected by Ofsted and hold an ESFA contract.
  • Other organisations who work in the FE sector with an interest in promoting the objectives of Natspec.

Transform membership benefits

  • Discounted entry to all Transform training events and conferences – up to 15% depending on the event.
  • TechAbility – a service to improve your technology infrastructure and AT services. You receive free access to webinars, priority booking for events and bespoke consultancy or in-house training to ensure your students have the most appropriate AT equipment and support.
  • Regional networks: you receive a free place at up to three networks per year.
  • Projects: the chance to get involved in our research and development projects; last year Natspec led a project for the Education and Training Foundation to deliver a project to improve Study Programme design and delivery.
  • Natspec Games: bring your students to one of our sport events, showcasing participation and achievement in sport.
  • Focus Weeks and projects: get involved in Work Experience Week and Maths Week which continue to highlight the great work you are doing and spark ideas and innovation for the future.
  • Inclusive Skills: highlighting the work of students and their teachers, improving links with employers and showcasing Natspec members on a national stage.
  • Student Voice: we will showcase your work with student councils, help you network with others and share the work of our Student Parliament, which gives students a voice at the highest level, with a new partnership with NUS to support this.
  • Promotion: your success stories included in Natspec News, our termly e-newsletter. Your organisation can also be included in the Natspec website directory for an additional fee of £750.00 per year.
  • Finally, you are entitled to vote for the board member with a policy portfolio covering the wider FE sector and you will receive a termly bulletin summarising policy and funding issues, relevant to the whole sector.

Please contact the Natspec office if you have any questions regarding membership.