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What is an apprenticeship standard?

Whether you’re a training provider, employer or aspiring apprentice, as you begin your research into the world of apprenticeships, you’ll regularly be met with the term ‘apprenticeship standard’.  So, what is an apprenticeship standard, and why are they so important? Here, I’ll be answering these questions for you.

What is an apprenticeship standard? 

As outlined by the UK Government, “apprenticeship standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them, by job role.”  They are developed by employer groups which are known as 'trailblazers'.

In a nutshell, an apprenticeship standard is essentially the job role that the apprentice will be training for. The knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) set out within the standard are tailored specifically to ensure that the apprentice succeeds within that job role.  

As well as each apprenticeship standard having different KSB requirements, each standard also has different requirements for Gateway when it comes to end-point assessment (EPA).  

When preparing for the Gateway audit, it’s important that as a training provider or employer, you and your apprentice look over the specification to ensure you have everything necessary to help you progress through Gateway. 

Why is an apprenticeship standard important?  

It’s important that apprenticeship standards exist to distinguish the specific KSBs required for that job role. As each standard is so unique, to be successful in one apprenticeship standard does not necessarily mean you will be successful in another.  

For example, the apprenticeship standards that we offer range from Customer Service Specialist to Dental Nurse to Early Intervention Practitioner. These job roles vary hugely in terms of the skills and knowledge required, so you can see why outlining specific KSBs within each standard is so crucial! 

Apprenticeship standards also outline what is expected of an apprentice, and can therefore be used as a helpful and important guide for the employer, apprentice and training provider to ensure a mutual understanding of the apprenticeship for all.

Want to learn more about apprenticeship standards? You can find out more about which standards are available on the IfATE website.  Or, you can visit our apprenticeships page to find out more information on NCFE’s standards and our wider apprenticeship offer.


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