FAQs: Degree and higher apprenticeships – What are apprenticeship standards and what are their significance for HEIs/course designers?

Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit

We’ve pulled together a list of FAQs regarding degree and higher apprenticeships.

From 2015 onwards all new apprenticeship programmes have been required to be developed according to new mandatory Apprenticeship Standards.

The term Apprentice and Apprenticeship are moving to become protected titles, which means that it will be illegal to call any training programme an apprenticeship if it has not been developed and approved in accordance with these standards

The Apprenticeship is actually offered by the employer not the education/training provider (who simply provides one element of it as a subcontractor to the employer).  In order to offer apprenticeship training (and also to be eligible for funding) the apprenticeship offered by an employer must comply to this new set of national standards.

This lists both those standards which have been approved and are ready to be delivered, and those that are currently under development.   A first point for any organisation wishing to get involved in apprenticeships is to see whether a standards is already developed/under development in that occupation areas.

Where the Apprentice Standards have been approved, then any HEI wanting to deliver the education parts of it has no option but to design and deliver their provision in line with the existing Apprenticeship Standards.   In practise (and given that in Engineering at least, these will generally be linked to UK Spec) this may not be too restrictive.  The level at which the content is defined is typically not that prescriptive.  See for example these two examples of undergraduate and masters level degree apprenticeships


Any views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely that of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies, or position of the Engineering Professors’ Council or the Toolkit sponsors and supporters.

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