Apprenticeship standards: how to create an effective training plan
The system behind apprenticeships is becoming more rigorous all the time, with regularly updated rules and standards. In response, employers and training providers must be much more methodical in ensuring learners meet the required Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs), provide clear and organised evidence of work completed, and ensure learners are competent in the end-point assessment (EPA).
None of that will happen by accident. Employers and training providers must create training plans which support the effective management and delivery of apprenticeship qualifications throughout their entire life cycle.
What is a training plan or ‘scheme of work’?
A training plan outlines exactly how you’re going to deliver training to the apprentice – or implement your curriculum. It should include details about the learning objectives, the tasks apprentices complete to meet these objectives and the desired outcomes. The training plan should be sequenced in a way that builds on learning and include timelines, milestones and reviews.
What are the components of a good training plan?
Your training plan should cover all stages of the apprenticeship journey – from initial assessment to end-point assessment – not just the ‘on-programme’ learning.
How do you create an effective apprenticeship training plan?
Start by checking the apprenticeship standards for your industry, which are essentially the ‘rules of the game’ for your programme. You must ensure apprenticeships cover all the KSBs – but it’s up to you how to best achieve that within the plan.
1. Decide your learning objectives
Using the KSBs, create a list of learning objectives – all the topics the apprentice needs to cover. These should be active statements of intent; ‘In this activity, the learner will...’
2. Create learning sessions or modules of learning
When you have your list of objectives, you can create learning sessions to meet the objectives. These sessions could include practical activities, workplace shadowing or reflective tasks. Make sure all your learning sessions have a learning outcome you can track – that way you'll know the apprentice is progressing through the KSBs specified in the standard.
3. Set milestones
Set milestones throughout your curriculum – the outcomes the apprentice should have met within the timeframe. You can then track the apprentice’s performance towards these milestones during progress reviews.
4. Get ahead of gateway and EPA
It’s wise to build on-programme assessment into your training plan so that apprentices can practise their assessment methods well in advance of the gateway and EPA. This removes the potential for any nasty surprises at crucial stages.
Include revision tasks, mock assessments and time for apprentices to organise their portfolio. You could also schedule additional reviews and catch ups for apprentices who may need extra support preparing for EPA.
Once you’ve created your training plans, you can then tailor the approach for each apprentice to create individual learning plans (ILP).
These are just the main points to consider when you’re creating training plans, but there are many other aspects you need to include – like employer engagement and off-the-job training. To find out exactly what goes into an effective training plan, download your complete training plan checklist.
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