Apprenticeship standards

Man reading work

Apprenticeship frameworks are being replaced by apprenticeship standards that set out what an apprentice will need to do, and the skills they require to carry out their role competently. 

Developed by employer groups known as trailblazers, the apprenticeship standards will help to reform and improve the quality of apprenticeships and provide the skills that employers need. All frameworks will be replaced by 2020 with much of this work taking place during 2017/18.

Trailblazers consist of at least 10 employers, in addition to any professional bodies or trade associations etc. who are committed to developing the apprenticeship standard.

From this section you can find out which standards are ready for delivery, those currently being developed or proposed, and how you can become involved in in a trailblazer.


Any proposed standards are subject to approval from the Institute For Apprenticeships (IFA). Expressions of interest (EOIs) are completed by the lead employer, who will also be the chair of the trailblazer group, using the template provided and submitted online.

Questions that should be considered when writing an EOI include, but are not limited to:

  • What is the occupation?
  • Are you working with a professional body that set professional standards for the sector?
  • Have you invited representatives from across the sector to become involved?
  • How will you engage training provider organisations to provide a supporting role?
  • Will the standard be replacing an existing apprenticeship framework?
  • What do you think the annual take up will be?
  • Are there enough learners for education providers to be interested in supporting the learning?

Healthcare Apprenticeships Standards Online (HASO) is an online system developed by Skills for Health that provides a one-stop shop to find and download apprenticeship standards that are commonly used in healthcare settings.

Trailblazer support and guidance

As there is a lot of interest in developing healthcare standards to help avoid time and energy being duplicated anyone interested in setting up, or becoming part of a trailblazer should initially contact who can offer advice and support. 

A How-to guide for trailblazers, reflecting the updated policy and processes has been published by the Institute for Apprenticeships. Providing stage-by-stage guidance on the development of new apprenticeship standards and End Point Assessments, this replaces all previous guidance from April 2017.

Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In