What is in an Apprenticeship Standard?
New Apprenticeship Standards are being phased in to replace existing Apprenticeship Frameworks. The current list of Apprenticeship Standards available for each sector or job role can be found on the government website;
Each Apprenticeship Standard defines the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for that particular job role or occupation, and each Standard is accompanied by an Assessment Plan, which details how the apprentice will assessed against the Standard.
Your employer will be required to release you from work in order to receive off-the-job training. This could be the requirement to attend college in the form of a day release or block release, or it could be training that takes place at your place of work but away from the immediate requirements and pressures of your normal job role. We will advise you and your employer about the off-the-job attendance requirements for your chosen apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship Standards can be quite different from each other. For example, some specify the achievement of mandatory qualifications, whilst others do not require the achievement of formal qualifications. We will advise you on the requirements for your particular apprenticeship.
However, all Standards will contain the following:
- Skills & Competencies
The Standard will define the range of skills and competencies that the apprentice needs to practice and acquire in order to do the job to a specified standard. These skills are largely acquired and practised in the workplace and the college will allocate an assessor, who has the relevant industry experience and background, to carry out formal or informal assessment of your skills and provide you with feedback.
- Knowledge & Understanding
The Standard will define the knowledge and understanding that the apprentice will need to acquire and apply in order to carry out their role effectively and become occupationally competent.
The Standard will define the behaviours that the apprentice will need to demonstrate in order to become occupationally competent. This may include behaviours such as good attendance and punctuality, good communication, problem solving or customer service skills etc.
- Maths and English
Virtually all Standards require the apprentice to achieve qualifications in English and maths prior to the end of their apprenticeship, and this will normally be Functional Skills qualifications.
Apprentices without prior qualifications in English and maths at Level 2 (e.g. GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above) will be required to study these subjects as part of their apprenticeship.
English and maths Functional Skills are practical, applied literacy and numeracy qualifications, relevant to both young people and adult learners. They will help the apprentice to develop and apply important skills such as communication, analytical and presentational skills.
Functional Skills are assessed by examination and normally require the apprentice to attend college on one or more three-day blocks throughout the year, depending on individual requirements.
- End Point Assessment
Each Standard has a detailed Assessment Plan that sets out how the apprentice is going to be assessed against each of the above elements of their apprenticeship.
Some Standards may require the achievement of formal and recognised qualifications as part of the Standard. Other Standards may require the apprentice to pass formal skills and knowledge assessments at certain points in their apprenticeship before they can move on to the next stage, and these are known as Gateway Assessments.
The range and type of assessment methods vary significantly between Standards, but all Standards will contain an End Point Assessment. This is an assessment that takes place at the end of the apprenticeship and is designed to assess the apprentice against all elements of the apprenticeship; skills, knowledge and behaviours. The End Point Assessment is carried out by an independent End Point Assessment organisation, and it will typically be spread out over a number of days.
The apprentice needs to pass the End Point Assessment in order to become a fully qualified apprentice.
The assessment methods employed to assess the apprentice throughout and / or at the end of their apprenticeship could be one or more of the following:
- Written or online knowledge tests
- Practical Test/Assessments
- Interview/viva/professional discussion