Delivering apprenticeship standards in Scotland
The new standards are being rolled out across the country.
Whether employers want their apprentices to complete frameworks or standards is up to them. Some employers will stick with what they know, and enroll staff on the old frameworks.
Other employers may have designed their own apprenticeship standard and will prefer their staff to complete a homegrown course. Some large levy-paying employers may have offices on both sides of the border, and will want all their staff to complete standards so they can standardise training across the country. It's all a matter of preference.
Apprenticeship standards are new to everyone, and they're not being fully rolled out in Scotland, so many Scottish providers are struggling to deliver them. This means providers who can deliver standards are gold-dust, and are reaping the benefits of a new market.
With that in mind, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to delivering the new standards – from enrolment to assessment.
Apprentices on the new standards will have to complete a normal apprenticeship agreement and employment contract to enroll. They'll also have to sign a commitment statement which will outline how the employer and training provider will meet the new 20% off-the-job training requirement.
2. Workplace training
Apprentices complete most of their training in the workplace, so training providers need to work closely with employers to keep them on track. Providers can set assignments and course content for apprentices to complete, and support them as they learn new skills. Using an eportfolio will make this process really easy to manage as the whole learning journey can be accessed, completed and tracked online.
3. Off-the-job training
All apprenticeship standards must include 20% off-the-job training – which has caused a bit of confusion since it was announced. Off-the-job training can include anything the apprentice wouldn't do during a normal working day – such as theory, conferences, lectures, seminars, competitions or visits. Functional skills in English and maths doesn't count as they're now funded separately.
Apprentices need to record a portfolio of evidence so their employer and training provider can track their progress and see if they've learnt the skills they need. When both the employer and training provider agree that the apprentice is ready, they can then complete their assessment. The apprentice may also be asked to present their portfolio during assessment.
Instead of being continually assessed, the new standards include an end-point assessment (EPA). The EPA can use a variety of assessment methods, such as interviews or exams. Unlike with the frameworks, assessments cannot be carried out by the training provider – instead they must be completed by an independent registered apprenticeship assessment organisation (RAAO).
Unlike before, apprentices on the new standards are graded with a pass, merit or distinction depending on their performance in the EPA. If they fail, apprentices can re-sit their assessment, but each resit will be charged.
Scottish training providers that have already mastered the new apprenticeship standards are in high demand. Levy-paying employers in both Scotland and England have a lot of money to spend on apprenticeships, and are looking for providers to partner up with.