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Gatsby benchmarks

The eight benchmarks set out serve as a framework for improvement in careers provision and have been adopted as part of the Government's Careers Strategy and statutory guidance for schools and colleges.

Introduction to the Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Foundation commissioned Sir John Holman to research what good careers guidance in educational organisations should look like, and he subsequently published the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance. These benchmarks are used as a framework by the Careers and Enterprise Company alongside legislation in the form of the statutory Careers Guidance and Access for Education and Training providers Careers guidance and access for education and training providers ( which applies to all schools and colleges and is applicable to; 

  • All students in schools years 8 to 13 (statutory duty) 
  • All students in college up to, and including, the age of 18 (guidance) 
  • Students up to the age of 25 if they have an EHCP (Educational Health and Care Plan – SEN needs) 


The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance (schools’ version) are: 

Introducing the Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance

Introducing the Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance - YouTube

The benchmarks themselves are not statutory but are strongly recommended by the Government as a framework for ensuring statutory requirements around careers guidance are met.   

The Compass Tool was created by the Careers and Enterprise Company as a free assessment tool for educational organisations to measure themselves against the benchmarks. The Compass + Tool has succeeded this, and now allows schools upload student data in order to manage, track and report their progress.