Prior to starting your apprenticeship, you will be required to enrol online. All learners are sent an online link from the University 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 Apprenticeship Hub and a central 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.
You can view our 2021/22 Apprenticeship Hub induction booklet here.
As an apprentice, you will have agreed and signed a number of documents to confirm compliance to the expectations of an apprenticeship.
This will include the following:
TRAINING PLAN (A)
The Training Plan (A) completed to confirm adherence to the following during your studies with the University of Suffolk:
- Attend all learning activities/lectures required
- Complete and evidence a minimum of 6 hours per week of 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 Training Plan (A) is intended to be used at, and to inform the regular progress reviews between the training provider, employer and apprentice, that take place during the lifetime of the apprenticeship.
The Training Plan (A) will be signed by both the employer and the apprentice. A copy of your signed Training Plan (A) 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 Training Plan (A).
An apprenticeship agreement must be in place at the start of the apprenticeship.
The purpose of the apprenticeship agreement is to identify:
- The skill, trade or occupation for which the apprentice is being trained;
- The apprenticeship standard connected to the apprenticeship;
- The dates during which the apprenticeship is expected to take place; and
- The amount of off the job training that the apprentice is to receive.
The employer and the apprentice need to sign the agreement – it is an agreement between these two parties only. Training providers sign a separate Training Plan (A) (as detailed above) which outlines the planned content and schedule for training, what is expected of and offered by the employer, provider and the apprentice, and how to resolve queries or complaints.
As part of the apprenticeship application process, every candidate completes a self-assessment, called a Skills Analysis. The Skills Analysis ensures that the knowledge, skills & behaviours of the chosen apprenticeship standard will be beneficial to the apprentice’s development and meet the business needs.
Every government approved apprenticeship is a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to be competent at the end of the apprenticeship, to perform in the job role. The Skills Analysis checks that the apprenticeship programme contains sufficient new learning that will support the apprentice’s progression.
Apprenticeships are about development. For a candidate to be eligible for an apprenticeship, a significant percentage of new learning must take place. However, each candidate also brings with them prior learning, qualifications and workplace experience. The Skills Analysis determines the amount of new development the apprentice will gain.
This can also impact the cost and duration of the apprenticeship, as employer levy/government apprenticeship funding can only be used towards new learning and development.
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 Practice Educator/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.
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.
If you need some impartial advice about what to do next and how to progress in your career, please get in touch with our Careers and Employability team. More information can be found here.