One of the key changes to apprenticeship delivery has been the introduction of Apprenticeship Standards. Standards are the replacement to apprenticeship frameworks. Frameworks were made up of a number of different elements that a learner had to complete to be awarded their overall apprenticeship framework certificate. This could have been a diploma, a technical certificate, functional skills etc.
Standards are completely different from frameworks and we thought that it might be useful to explain this in more detail.
- Employer Led – Standards are developed by groups of employers that have set out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that should be expected of someone when they complete their apprenticeship programme.
- End Point Assessment – an apprentice can only complete their programme once they have successfully completed the end point assessment. This takes place at the end of an apprenticeship and is conducted by an independent organisation that is listed as an official end point assessment centre. Notably, end point assessments are also graded; pass, merit or distinction. All standards have individual end point assessment requirements.
- Accredited Qualifications – frameworks always stipulated the need for an apprentice to complete a main accredited NVQ diploma qualification. This need has, in the main, been removed from most standards. Some standards will still require an NVQ Diploma qualification but for most, the onus is on the training provider and employer to deliver the knowledge and skills needed for end point assessment.
What happens if there is now standard for our industry?
The first point is that it is probably still being developed and has not yet been released. Where this is the case the existing framework will still be in place and can be used. Where standards are released the old framework will be phased out. You can see the current and planned standards on the government website.
Can we develop our own standard?
Yes. Apprenticeships are developed by trailblazer groups.
These are groups which:
- Have a wide range of employers who are committed to working actively on the development of a new apprenticeship standard, and intend to use the apprenticeship standard once it’s been approved for delivery (see the overview section later in this introduction).
- Have at least 10 different employers as members (in addition to any professional bodies, trade associations, who want to be involved).
- Reflect the range of companies which employ people in this occupation – including size, geographical spread and sector. Any trailblazer group should normally include at least 2 employers with fewer than 50 employees.
Trailblazer groups should be open to new members, and prepared to consider carefully how the standards they’re working on relate to the needs of other sectors.
There are three phases to developing a standard:
- Develop the proposal for a new standard
- Develop the standard
- Develop the end-point-assessment plan
Please speak to Yorkshire Apprentice if you are interested in developing an apprenticeship standard. One of our advisors will talk you through the process.