How to align your curriculum to the apprenticeship standard

Use these practical tips to align your curriculum to the apprenticeship standard.

How to align your curriculum to the apprenticeship standard

When you're developing your apprenticeship curriculum, you need to align it to the standard to make sure apprentices learn all the KSBs in the standard. It’s straightforward in principle. But in practice, making sure your curriculum follows the standard, but is still flexible enough to customise for each apprentice can be a challenge.

Before you start planning your curriculum, take a close look at the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan.

The KSBs will form your curriculum intent – what learners have to learn.

The assessment plan will tell you what assessment methods the apprentice needs to practice for EPA and inform how your tutors deliver learning – this is your curriculum implementation.

You’ll also need to factor in time for progress tracking, reviews and stretch-and-challenge activities – how you’ll measure the impact of your curriculum.

When you have all these things outlined, you’ll have the basic structure of your apprenticeship curriculum. Tutors will be teaching the right things and you’ll have the flexibility there to personalise your curriculum for individual apprentices.

This is a basic overview of how to align your curriculum to the standard – but as we said, things are a little trickier in practice. We’ve spoken to training providers who are developing their curriculum to find out what else needs to be considered:

1. Employer involvement

Employers play a major part in curriculum planning and delivery, so it’s important to get them involved from day one. If your employer is engaged, let them take ownership. If not, you'll need to explain to them what the curriculum is, what it should look like and the impact it’ll have on their learners.

2. Off-the-job training

The 20% off-the-job minimum requirement needs to be planned into your curriculum too. Leave enough time for apprentices to complete their OTJ, and speak to the employer to find out what additional skills could be covered off the job.

3. Record of prior learning (RPL)

Before you start delivering your curriculum, you need to complete an RPL with each apprentice to recognise their prior learning. When you know their starting point, you can then adapt your curriculum to each apprentice – remove any KSBs they’ve already covered and add stretch-and-challenge activities.

4. Evidencing behaviours

Pay attention to the behaviours in the standard and build them into your curriculum – soft skills like being punctual, working with equipment and time management. This will give your apprentices the opportunity to practice and evidence behaviours.

5. Preparing for gateway

Depending on the assessment methods and EPAO, the gateway could be between a week or even a few months long, so it needs to be carefully planned for. You need to include monitoring reviews and mock tests in your curriculum to track progress, and then revision sessions during the gateway.


When it comes to curriculum planning, there’s a lot to think about. Download your curriculum planning template to help you develop your curriculum and make sure it’s aligned to the standard.

Download template


This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.