The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. The Careers Strategy is built around them, and they make a great place to start for planning or improving your programme. 

Detailed explanations of the 8 benchmarks, along with practical tips and examples of best practice can be found in our toolkits. We have three versions; a toolkit for schools, for colleges and for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We also have a general Gatsby Benchmark FAQs. Download these here:

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit for schools [PDF]

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit for colleges [PDF]

SEND Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit [PDF]

Gatsby Benchmark FAQs [PDF]


The eight Gatsby Benchmarks are:

Benchmark Description
1. A stable careers programme

Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

2. Learning from career and labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

6. Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences* of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

7. Encounters with further and higher education

All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

8. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.


Our work with the Gatsby Foundation

We've worked closely with the Gatsby Foundation to develop tools and guides to help you understand the benchmarks. Their Good Careers Guidance website also provides further informaton.


Meaningful encounters

The below materials help Career Leaders ensure each encounter or experience is meaningful for
all participants, particularly for Benchmark 6.

Download 'Making it meaningful' slide deck [PPT]

Download 'Making it meaningful' checklist [PDF]


Gatsby Benchmarks for SEND

As schools and colleges begin to work towards the Benchmarks, the Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company have been asked how the Benchmarks should be used for schools and students with special educational needs and disabilities. Our joint statement explains our position for interpreting the Gatsby Benchmarks for students with SEND. In addition, we also offer some perspectives from the special educational needs and disabilities sector. Download below.

Download Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the SEND Sector [PDF]


Need help?

See our Gatsby Benchmarks FAQs and Gatsby Benchmarks FAQs for middle schools.