10 ways to make Scottish standards work

The new standards are being rolled out in Scotland.

And while the apprenticeship standards are new in Scotland, training providers below the border have been delivering them for months, so they’ve ironed out some of the creases. They’ve already written the standards, sussed out off-the-job training, created a provider register, and completed the first ever end-point assessments. With that in mind, we’ve looked to the English for some guidance, and come up with 10 things to remember when you’re delivering standards. 

1. Find your funding

If you have employees on both sides of the border, you’ll need to use different systems to access apprenticeship funding. In Scotland, funds are assigned by the Government to each employer – whether you pay the levy or not. In England, it’s a little different. Levy payers need an NAS (National Apprenticeship Service) account to access their funds and pay for training online. There were a few teething problems to begin with, but the system is working smoothly now.

2. Learn the lingo

The different levels of apprenticeships are called different things in Scotland and England, so make sure you learn the names!

3. Get employers on board

Employers play a much larger role in the new standards than the old frameworks, so it’s important to get them on board. Most will be keen to collaborate with you, but some may need a little push. Using an eportfolio to manage apprenticeships is an easy way to get employers involved as they can log in to see their apprentice’s portfolio, send feedback and track progress – it’s a great way to keep the lines of communication open.

4. Plan your off-the-job training

Apprentices have to spend 20% of their contracted hours completing off-the-job training. This new requirement caused a lot of controversy when it was first introduced, but the English providers have finally got to grips with what can count towards the 20% so you can plan your apprentices’ activities.

5. Monitor and measure

When the 20% was first introduced, English providers had no idea how they were going to track it. But in the last year, they’ve found different solutions – including OneFile! We’ve developed our own off-the-job training tracker so learners and managers can track their progress at a glance.

6. Partner with an EPAO

End-point assessment is brand new too, so EPAOs (end-point assessment organisations) didn’t even exist a year ago. There’s now a wide range of organisations out there to choose from, and training providers can even become EPAOs themselves.

7. Make sure they’re independent

The first thing to think about when choosing an EPAO is independence. The EPAO or assessor can’t have any affiliation with the training provider, employer or apprentice they’re assessing – if they do, it’s seen as a conflict of interest. English providers found this a little daunting, but all you need to do is check the EPAO’s conflict of interest policy.

8. Go online

Most providers in England are using an eportfolio or learning software to deliver apprenticeships. They make it easier to communicate with employers, track progress and generate reports. Learners are also more engaged when they learn online and it saves tons of money!

9. Speak to other providers

Providers south of the border have had a year to get used to the new system, so ask them for guidance!

10. Keep learning

There’s a lot to take in, so keep learning about the best ways to deliver and assess the new standards. We’ve created a comparison chart to help you see the difference between the new standards and the old frameworks.

 

Want to see a real-life apprenticeship standard? Download our apprenticeship standard template to see exactly how the standards are set out.  

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