About Apprenticeships

What qualifications will I study?

There are 2 different types of apprenticeships - frameworks and standards


Depending on which apprenticeship framework you apply for you will study:

A Technical Certificate (knowledge & theory based) and an NVQ (with work-based assessments)


A Combined Diploma, which is one large qualification.

(Some units relate to the Technical Certificate and others to the NVQ.)

Both of the above will require apprentices to also complete an Employment Rights & Responsibilities (ERR) unit or workbook, and also Personal Learning & Thinking Skills (PLTS), which is embedded into the teaching of your lessons.

You will also (if necessary) study Functional Skills up to Level 2 – this usually includes English and maths, but may also include ICT.


Over time, apprenticeship standards are slowly replacing apprenticeship frameworks.

Standards are designed and set by employers around industry-specific job roles.

Standards will require apprentices to meet the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for being competent in a specific role. They are designed to ensure confidence that an apprentice will develop the real-world skills they need to truly contribute and grow within the business they work for.

Like frameworks, standards will enable apprentices to gain occupational qualifications. One of the main differences between frameworks and standards is that apprentices are required to take an End Point Assessment at the end of their programme where their apprenticeship will be graded.

Not all standards require a formal qualification to be achieved; however it is likely that most standards will require the apprentice to complete a formal qualification in their specific sector.

E-Portfolio - SMART Assessor

Smart Assessor is an E-Portfolio programme, where apprentices upload their work.

The apprentice and the employer have access to the apprentice’s online portfolio, ensuring clarity on progress and the tasks that have been set.

Find out more about SMART Assessor

English and maths

Most (but not all) Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships require you to complete English, maths and possibly ICT* Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications if you do not already hold these or equivalents.

Level 4 apprenticeships and above will require you to already hold the equivalent of Level 2 English and maths.

English, Maths & ICT Equivalents accepted as exemptions:

Level 1

Level 2

GCSE grades D-E

GCSE grades A-C

Functional Skills Level 1

Functional Skills Level 2

Key Skills Level 1

Key Skills Level 2

Do not discount A Level or BTEC qualifications if you have them, as they may be accepted.

A member of our Apprenticeships Team will need to review your qualification.