Apprenticeship standards

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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. All frameworks will be replaced by 2020.

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. 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 to use, those currently being developed or proposed, and how you can become involved in a trailblazer.

Developing an apprenticeship standard

From proposal to delivery, a standard can be developed in as little as 12 months, although some of the higher level standards may take longer.

The process starts with an expressions of interest (EOI) completed by a lead employer, who will also be the chair of the trailblazer group, using the template provided and is submitted online. All proposals are subject to approval from the Institute For Apprenticeships (IFA).

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 sets professional standards for the sector?
  • Have you invited representatives from across the sector to be 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?

The IFA have developed a handy two page guide that sets out the steps to developing a new standard and is available to download. 

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 detailed 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 June 2017.

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