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3. Measure the milestones

In a world of satnav and smart phones, it can be easy to forget just what it’s like to plot out a journey of any significant length. Our modern methods of navigation really highlight just how long ago it was that the Romans first used the original ‘milestones’ to help travellers know how far they had come on their journey. With a minimum length of 12 months, it’s fair to say that an apprenticeship programme certainly represents a long and challenging road.

Sometimes great old ideas are just waiting for the right time to make a comeback. Within our new Apprenticeship Standards, this ancient approach to plotting and monitoring progress of a journey is now primed to return in a whole new context.

Based on our early experiences of providing EPA, we’re already convinced that the greatest success will be enjoyed by the training providers and employers who design and follow a new ‘map’ for delivering apprenticeships. This should include:

  • assessing the starting point of an apprentices journey against the knowledge, skills and behaviours from the Standard.
  • mapping out a detailed, personalised programme of delivery that recognises both the starting point and aspirational destination, e.g. a Distinction.
  • placing the right delivery fuel into the programme, through a blended approach and high quality, current content.
  • tracking and monitoring progress against key milestones throughout the programme, whilst also informing any ‘course corrections’ required to keep apprentices on track and arriving on time.

Interestingly, in the later years of the Roman Empire, craftsmen began to organise into independent societies intended to uphold the standards of their trades – Sound a bit like a Trailblazer?

All week I’ve be sharing key insights from my experience of leading EPA at NCFE. Through sharing these insights with our current and future customers, we hope to play our role in enhancing of the value and integrity of Apprenticeships - something that we care about very much.


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