YOUR APPRENTICESHIP JOURNEY STARTS HERE
We hope you enjoy your time studying with the University of Suffolk. Our aim is to give you the best possible experience in academic learning, social activities, as well as benefiting from our range of support services, which are available to everyone studying with us.
Prior to starting your apprenticeship, you will be required to enrol online. All learners are sent an online link from the Admissions team in order to complete this. Being able to enrol will be dependant on you meeting the entry criteria for your chosen apprenticeship standard (i.e. providing sufficient evidence of required qualifications and attending an interview), and being compliant with apprenticeship funding rules (i.e. being employed with a levy-paying employer with appropriate contractual paperwork in place).
At the start of your apprenticeship, you will be invited to attend an induction, where you will have the opportunity to:
- meet members of the Apprenticeship Hub team
- discuss apprenticeship compliance - such as off-the-job training and tripartite reviews
- meet members of the Academic Team
- review programme delivery and assessment schedules
- learn about the services and learning support available to you
- tour the campus.
As an apprentice, you will have agreed and signed a Commitment Statement to confirm adherence to the following during your studies with the University of Suffolk:
- Attend all learning activities/lectures required
- Complete and evidence 20% off-the-job training
- Build a portfolio to provide evidence of gaining the skills, knowledge and behaviour required from the Apprenticeship Standard, if required for your programme
- Proactively participate in tripartite reviews with the appropriate member of the team, and an employer representative present
- Keep your individual learning plan up to date
- Complete your End Point Assessment.
The Commitment Statement is intended to be used at, and to inform the regular tripartite reviews between the training provider, employer and apprentice, that take place during the lifetime of the apprenticeship.
The Commitment Statement will be signed by both the employer and the apprentice. A copy of your signed Commitment Statement will be filed within your learner files, should you need to access it. A full list of the roles and responsibilities can be located in Section 2 of the Commitment Statement.
TRIPARTITE REVIEWS (also known as 'Progress Reviews')
These meetings are an important part of your apprenticeship programme and will be carried out regularly between you, your employer and a member of the University (usually a Skills Coach). This will happen approximately three times per year. The aim of the meetings is to review your progression and allow you the opportunity to raise any issues or concerns you may have. These reviews can be face-to-face or remote via Microsoft Teams.
Once you are ‘on-programme’, you will follow your programme timetable of learning. Training is delivered as blended learning and you will be set assessment deadlines, which will be graded on their outcome and formally recorded through a regular meetings called 'assessment boards'. Apprentices can access their assignments and course content using Brightspace, a Virtual Learning Environment.
Gateway is the point at which the apprentice is ready to commence their End Point Assessment (EPA). The employer and training provider will review their apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours to see if they have met the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship set out in the apprenticeship standard, and are ready to take the assessment.
To meet the minimum requirements set out in the apprenticeship standard an apprentice needs to:
- Display occupational competency
- Have evidence of or pass functional skill levels in English and Maths
- Complete mandatory training
- Take any qualifications set out in the standard
- Meet the minimum duration for their apprenticeship training
Only apprentices who complete gateway successfully can start the EPA.
COMPLETING YOUR APPRENTICESHIP - END POINT ASSESSMENT
All apprentices must undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA), which will be taken at the end of your programme. The EPA is a key part of your apprenticeship, which will assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours you have learnt throughout your work-based learning.
All apprentices MUST undertake their EPA to successfully complete their apprenticeship. Assessments have been designed by employers in the sector, and can include:
- A practical assessment
- An interview
- A project
- Written and/or multiple-choice tests
- A presentation
For each assessment method, an assessor might ask you questions. This is to make sure you show the assessor all the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for your occupation.
The apprentice will not have achieved the full apprenticeship and be able to graduate until all elements the programme including the EPA have been successfully completed. This is including any required standards in English and Maths.
How to prepare and what to expect
Five top tips:
- Refer to the grading criteria, like a checklist, to ensure the requirements are met
- Manage your time so you are fully prepared for your EPA
- Clearly communicate to the employer, training provider or mentor any concerns or support you need
- Keep all work such as the e-portfolio safe and up to date
- Practice makes perfect
You can find the assessment plan for your apprenticeship on the Institute for Apprenticeships website. This tells you which assessment method is used in your apprenticeship.
CERTIFICATION AND GRADUATION
On successful completion of your apprenticeship programme at the University of Suffolk, you will be awarded your certificate and have the opportunity to attend your graduation day.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw.
For many apprentices, the prospect of seeking impartial careers advice may not have crossed their mind. After all, they're already employed. However, there is no end to the wealth of opportunities available to us if we are open to exploring them. The University Careers and Employability Team is at the forefront of supporting current and future students in embracing this forward-thinking attitude through a vast array of resources. One of the resources that has been developed and tailored to meet the needs of students is the ‘FutureMe’ careers platform.
Current learners and apprentices can access this resource through ‘My Suffolk’. FutureMe has a tailored section to support the differing needs of those on an Apprenticeship Programme and, alongside our impartial Careers and Employability Advisors, can support with the following:
- Support with helping you decide what to do next
- Advice on postgraduate study
- Career development workshops and events
- Impartial one-to-one careers guidance
- Advice on writing effective CVs and applications
- Mock interviews and interview guidance
- Tips for networking, using social media and developing your personal brand
- Careers fairs and opportunities to meet employers throughout the year
- Volunteering opportunities
- Job vacancies, projects and paid internships