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, download these here:

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit for schools [PDF]

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit for colleges [PDF]

SEND Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit [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.

We have worked closely with the Gatsby Foundation to develop tools and guides to help you understand the benchmarks. Their Good Careers Guidance website also provides information and guidance on the Gatsby Benchmarks.


Evaluate your school against the Gatsby Benchmarks

Our online Compass careers evaluation tool is free to use, takes around 30 minutes to complete and gives you a clear picture of how your careers activity compares to the benchmarks. 

Our Tracker planning tool allows you to record and manage your careers plan for the year. 


Get support from our network

Over 2000 schools and colleges in England are already part of our network. They are matched with a local volunteer to move careers activity forward using their connections in the business community, and have access to other support, tools and advice.

As part of the Careers Strategy, we will make one of these Enterprise Advisers available to every school and college in England by 2020, who can support you and use their business contacts to plan effective careers provision guided by the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks.

Our network
Sign up your school


Find an activity provider

We invest in careers activity providers across England, helping them to deliver activities with schools and colleges. Search for providers in your area and refine your results by Gatsby Benchmark, so that you can search for providers who facilitate activities related to certain benchmarks and fill any gaps in your careers activities provision.

Find an activity provider 


Interpreting the Gatsby Benchmarks for students with special educational needs and disabilities

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 in special schools and with students with special educational needs and disabilities.

Read our statement here