Is Your Training Apprenticeship Ready? – Key Questions Answered

In a webinar held on the 8 June, 2017 a panel of experts discussed the recent changes to apprenticeships and what this meant for training providers and employers. A transcript of the webinar is available to download but we have also pulled together these top tips to help you navigate some of the recent changes.

What are the key differences between Apprenticeship Standards and Apprenticeship Frameworks?

  1. People who work part-time can now do apprenticeships. The hours are worked out on a pro-rata basis. You may need to take a practical approach eg that they attend off-the job training with the full-time apprentices but cover the on-the job training over an extended period of time.
  2. Apprenticeships are now available at degree and post-graduate levels.
  3. If you already hold a degree you can still be an apprentice, as long as the apprenticeship represents significant new learning for you.
  4. Generally speaking, apprenticeship standards should not include qualifications. There are specific circumstances when a qualification can be included eg a degree apprenticeship (containing a full degree or full masters); there is a legal or statutory requirement (license to practice) for a one; it is required for professional registration; or the trailblazer group can prove that it is used as a hard sift when applying for jobs and that apprentices would be disadvantaged without one. This is opposite to the apprenticeship frameworks which were qualifications-based.

Read more about the difference between standards and frameworks in our FAQs here.

What are the new funding arrangements for apprenticeship standards?

  1. In health most apprentices are over 23 years old. Previously this would mean receiving lower funding levels. The new funding arrangements mean that everyone over 19 is funded at the same rate.
  2. Overall funding for apprenticeships has increased. This enables the inclusion of End Point Assessment.
  3. The funding band allocated to a particular standard is not the cost of the apprenticeship but the level up to which the apprenticeship can be funded. The actual cost of the apprenticeship is worked out by employers negotiating with training providers. Employers need to consider the cost of providing on and near the job training as well as accounting for the training delivered by a training provider. It is a partnership agreement and there are opportunities to develop subcontracting arrangements so that employers deliver part of the training, providing they are able to meet all the necessary due diligence requirements. All partners that are providing training must be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.
  4. Functional skills are funded separately so can’t be counted as part of the 20% off the job learning.

Read the funding guidance in full here.

What do the recent changes in apprenticeships mean for employers?

  1. Apprenticeships can now enable career progression even more effectively with people moving from one level of the career framework to another as apprentices. The new apprenticeships are all designed by employers to be work-based and relevant to the jobs needed by the sector resulting in workers who are competent to carry out the work that they are paid to do. It is possible to do one level of apprenticeship followed by the next. Sometimes this will be with a period of consolidation in between but in others the apprentice may move almost seamlessly from one level to the next, depending on occupation and the employer’s needs.
  2. Employers can see apprenticeship reform as an opportunity to review all of their vacancies and workforce gaps, introducing apprenticeships for new starters across the organisation at all levels and in a range of clinical and non-clinical roles. You can search for standards that are available for use in the health sector here.
  3. When staff are going through appraisals employers may identify that their training and development needs can be met via an apprenticeship. So, apprenticeships are likely to be being used both for new and existing staff.

What do we need to know about learning design?

  1. New providers (including employer-providers or employers who are sub-contracted to a training provider) need to develop systems to collate an auditable trail showing the on and off the job learning. Examples may include using the training plans, lesson plans and logs, meeting notes, contact time files etc.
  2. On-programme learning and assessment is totally separate from End Point Assessment. If the on-programme learning includes a qualification the awarding organisation or higher education provider will outline how the learning needs to be delivered and who can assess it. If no qualification is included, it is up to the local employers to decide how they will judge that someone is ready to go forward to end point assessment. This is a separate, independent process carried out by organisations who are on the register of apprentice assessment organisations. The assessment plan, which accompanies each standard, outlines exactly who the assessors will be, how the assessment judgements will be made and which assessment methodologies will be used. Visit the Register here.
  3. If you are an employer considering setting up as an employer provider you need to consider whether it is worth the additional costs you will incur. There will also be a series of processes you need to put in place related to inspections and Ofsted compliance. Ofsted inspections can be rigorous but if you’ve already been through the Skills for Health Quality Mark procedures you are likey to have many of the things in place already that you’ll need for compliance with Ofqual. It’s also worth noting that if you are subcontracted rather than a full employer provider the lead provider will manage the process with you. Read more about the Quality Mark here.

Click here to view the full webinar transcript and access the webinar recording.

Recent Posts

The Skills Platform is closing down

We regret to announce that effective Thursday 14th March 2024, the Skills Platform website will be closed down and replaced… Read More

4 January 2024

A brief history of phlebotomy

We all experience blood being taken at some point in our lives, but what you might not know is how… Read More

9 February 2023

Pharmacists Train Up for Post-Lockdown Demand – Free CPD Courses

With restricted access to GP practices, people are turning to their local pharmacists. 56% of pharmacists have experienced increased hours.… Read More

25 January 2023