‘The Future of Apprenticeships in England,’ originally released by the government in October 2013, sets out a new vision for apprenticeships. The new Trailblazer approach aims to increase the quality of apprenticeships and simplify things for everyone involved. A key part of the reforms is also to make apprenticeships employer-led – putting them in the driving seat of exactly what is required from an apprentice in each specific role.
The new Trailblazer apprenticeships consist of a role-specific standard and an assessment plan. Other documents may also be produced for guidance, but they are not mandatory.
The standards outline the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to carry out a certain job role.
The standards must:
- meet specific requirements in terms of format (number of pages, font size) unless exceptionally authorised by DfE
- describe a specific occupation or job role and the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to work competently in the role
- be recognised and supported by at least 10 employers in the industry
- be appropriate for apprentices working in all types of organisation within the industry, whether multi-national corporations or SMEs
- be stretching for a new learner and take at least 12 months to complete
- specify the level of English and maths needed (minimum Level 1 with a requirement to attempt the Level 2 test)
IT is not a mandatory requirement but Trailblazer groups are encouraged to consider whether the use of IT is integral within the role, and therefore should be included.
Qualifications may be included within trailblazer standards as long as they meet certain criteria. However qualifications are no longer a mandatory component of an apprenticeship.
The assessment plan outlines the formal external assessment required for the standard, which is a mandatory part of the new trailblazer apprenticeships.
The assessment plan should include evidence of:
- at least 2 methods of assessment
- grading (at least 2 grades)
an end-point or synoptic assessment that assesses all aspects of the standard.
NCFE offer a range of products and services to support you in the transition from apprenticeship frameworks to standards. Please take a look at the resources to the right of this page for more information, or get in touch with one of our Apprenticeship Consultants through one of our dedicated apprenticeship websites: