How to create an individual learning plan (ILP)

Find out how the individual learning plan (ILP) needs to be tailored to each learner.

How to create an individual learning plan (ILP)

The system underpinning apprenticeships is constantly evolving, to accommodate aspects like new standards mandatory off-the-job training and end-point assessment 

To bring all this together in a way that works for apprentices, providers must now deliver more robust and personalised individual learning plans (ILPs). This ensures your apprentices will not only meet mandatory criteria – but also fulfil their potential in terms of development.  

Read this guide from OneFile to get the low down on key changes. 

What is an individual learning plan (ILP)?

Apprenticeship providers must create a curriculum and plan personalised for each apprentice, and underpinned by the new standards. 

These plans are known as Individual Learning Plans (ILPs.) Each one must take into account an apprentice’s prior learning, additional learning requirements and career aspirations so that you as an employer can design the best approach to support their needs

How is the curriculum tailored for each learner?

Once you have created a high-level curriculum, you can tailor the detail for individual apprentices, based on information you gather during the initial assessment. 

1. Recognition of prior learning

During the initial assessment, you will need to review and evidence the apprentice’s prior learning. If any of the apprentice’s previous training, qualifications or work experience covers learning objectives set out in your curriculum, you may be able to count these as already achieved and remove them from the ILP. 

Just make sure you assess the apprentice’s prior learning correctly. It might be sensible to check candidates’ RPL or gather evidence like examples or certificates to evidence claims of competence, rather than take things at face value. You could also include a minor refresh of skills, and work to fill in gaps as the apprentice makes progress. Either way, by the end of the programme, you’ll need to ensure the apprentice is competent in all of their learning objectives. 

2. Additional learning requirements

You’ll need to find out if the apprentice has any additional learning requirements – such as English and maths, Health and Safety, or the Care Certificate. If they do, you’ll need to include these in the ILP. 

3. Bespoke learning aims

As an employer, you may need apprentices to achieve competence in specific tasks not covered by the generic standard, such as the use of dedicated software. Feel free to include bespoke learning objectives in the ILP to ensure training meets the needs of your organisation. 

4. Stretch and challenge goals

If the apprentice already has significant prior learning in a subject, or you want to challenge them to achieve distinction, you can include stretch and challenge tasks in the ILP. Just make sure the activities are sequenced in a way that builds on the KSBs in the standard. 

How do you create an ILP for each apprentice?

Once you have a curriculum, and details of an apprentice’s achievements to date, you can set objectives and create an ILP. Each should include relevant off-the-job learning and opportunities for feedback – such as progress reviews, mock assessments and employer involvement. 

A key point is that the initial assessments can set the scene for the success or failure of your ILPs and apprenticeships. Employers who don’t gather the right information could find that ILPs won’t be properly tailored to individuals, apprentices might end up duplicating learning, missing objectives, and/or not reaching their full potential on your programme. 

You can avoid lots of these pitfalls by using OneFile’s RPL Funding Calculator, which enables you to systematically  gather all the information you need during the initial assessment. Apprentices complete a remote skills assessment so they can add evidence of their prior learning against the KSBs in the standard. They can also include any additional learning requirements, like English and Maths, as well as bespoke requirements from employers. The whole process is completed online, so you’ll have the insights you need to develop an individual learning plan. 

To find out more about the RPL Funding Calculator, download your free guide. 

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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.