The New World of Apprenticeship Standards and the Puzzle of On-Programme Delivery

Apprenticeships have evolved. A shift away from the safe and well-known framework to the more flexible and holistic approach of standards offers employers, training providers and colleges a host of opportunities. However, the relative lack of structure also causes confusion, uncertainty and makes delivery a puzzle that must be solved.

Since the launch of the standards we have been asked so many questions that start with the word ‘how’. How do I start? How do I track progress? How do I prove my apprentices are ready for gateway? How do I know that my apprentices are progressing? How do I evidence my apprentices have the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviours required of the standard? How do I ensure my apprentices cover the 20% off-the-job training?

If you’re asking these same questions, please know that you are not alone.

The change to the standards is a whole new world when it comes to apprenticeships. It is a giant leap in the delivery model from frameworks to standards and the lack of detail can make planning the mandatory on-programme learning difficult. The lack of a clearly defined structure can leave training providers unsure how to structure their delivery. It can leave the apprentice feeling isolated and confused and means that the risk of the apprentice dropping off the programme is heightened.

Clearly there is a need for greater structure. There are ambitious targets of 3 million apprentices completing the standards by 2020. This number becomes increasingly unlikely as we all read stories of the dwindling numbers of new starters, and that many providers across all sectors are claiming it is taking longer for apprentices to reach gateway, and that the natural consequence of this is, of course, that apprentices’ motivation reduces while their frustrations go the opposite way. The risk of non-completion also rises.

When it comes to supporting our customers through on-programme delivery, the main way we can help is through our Apprenti-kits. The premise of our Apprenti-kit is that it provides a clear pathway from day one of the apprenticeship through to gateway, and that they are:  

  • mapped to the standards that they support
  • created by genuine industry experts with recent relevant experience
  • are available as an e-kit that is compatible with most e-portfolio systems
  • are broken down into manageable sized modules that can be completed at the apprentice’s own pace
  • evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprentice
  • contain over 1,000 hours of our experience, expertise and knowledge
  • track learners’ progress towards gateway and evidence their readiness for end-point assessment

We are committed to continuing to listen and respond to our customers’ needs, particularly around on-programme apprenticeship delivery and preparation for end-point assessment. Our ultimate aim is to contribute to the number of apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship, and to continue to provide leading work-based learning qualifications and training materials.

Speaking about Highfield Apprenti-kits, Jon Ansty, Head of Assessment, at Eastleigh College, said:

I have been working with Highfield for nearly three and a half years now. During this time our working relationship has flourished. When we started looking at the transition to standards, we met a few times to discuss the offer from Highfield around the Apprenti-kit for frameworks as well as standards.

The kits we use are for a range of areas, we use kits for the new standards in Hospitality Team Member and Hospitality Supervisor, Customer Service Practitioner as well as Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker.

The quality of the kits has been recognised by our employers including HC3S where we have branded the Apprenti-kits with their logo. The kits are of a professional level and I am impressed by the support provided by both Highfield in facilitating further tweaks to personalise the kits for Eastleigh College as well as the employers.’

Find out how we can work with your organisation to deliver effective on-programme training by calling us on 0845 226 0350 or 01302 363 277 or emailing info@highfieldassessment.com.

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