BTEC Higher Apprenticeships. Delivery Guide

BTEC Higher Apprenticeships Delivery Guide Pearson Education Limited is one of the UK's largest awarding organisations, offering academic and vocati...
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BTEC Higher Apprenticeships Delivery Guide

Pearson Education Limited is one of the UK's largest awarding organisations, offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning, both in the UK and internationally. Qualifications offered include GCSE, AS and A Level, NVQ and our BTEC suite of vocational qualifications, ranging from Entry Level to BTEC Higher National Diplomas. Pearson Education Limited administers BTEC qualifications. Through initiatives such as onscreen marking and administration, Pearson is leading the way in using technology to modernise educational assessment, and to support teachers and learners.

References to third-party material made in this specification are made in good faith. We do not endorse, approve or accept responsibility for the content of materials, which may be subject to change, or any opinions expressed therein. (Material may include textbooks, journals, magazines and other publications and websites.)

ISBN 978-1-447935-66-7 All the material in this publication is copyright © Pearson Education Limited 2013

BTEC Higher Apprenticeships Delivery Guide

BTEC Higher Apprenticeships are the latest in a new breed of Apprenticeships. They have been developed to respond to the demands of providers in a changing education landscape – and to meet the needs of modern business, helping employers build the workforce of the future.

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Contents Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1  Provider roadmap ....................................................................................................................... 1  1  Getting to grips with the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships ............................. 3  Higher Apprenticeships and the introduction of the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) ................................................................................................. 4  BTEC Higher Apprenticeships ................................................................................................. 10 

2  Building a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship ........................................................... 16  BTEC Higher Apprenticeships ................................................................................................. 17  Who are Higher Apprenticeships for? ................................................................................... 17  How does an apprentice achieve a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship? .................................. 17  Guide to qualification specifications...................................................................................... 27  Functional Skills ........................................................................................................................ 29  3  Getting started with the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships ............................ 32  Employer recruitment .............................................................................................................. 33  Progression ................................................................................................................................ 36  Retention and timely completion........................................................................................... 36  Tracking apprentice progress................................................................................................. 37  The BTEC Higher Apprentice’s journey ................................................................................ 37  Further advice ........................................................................................................................... 43  4  Delivering a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship ....................................................... 44  Delivery best practice .............................................................................................................. 45  The SV visit ............................................................................................................................... 51  Assessment best practice ....................................................................................................... 54  Communicating with the apprentice and mentor ............................................................... 58 

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Introduction Welcome to your BTEC Higher Apprenticeships Delivery Guide. This guide is designed to simplify delivery and assessment of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework in line with the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) and the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and it will provide you with key information and support. The BTEC Higher Apprenticeships cover a range of different sectors – from Accounting and Business Professional Administration to Automotive Management and Leadership and Sustainable Built Environment. Although the characters of the individual sectors are different, each Higher Apprenticeship Framework is a response to industry needs and the requirements of the SASE. This delivery guide explains and addresses the following key areas in the delivery of Higher Apprenticeships: ●

the new Higher Apprenticeship Framework



recruitment



development of excellent relationships with employers



induction and assessment of current levels of knowledge



holistic assessment



management of apprentice performance



retention and completion.

Provider roadmap The steps to recruiting a higher apprentice are relatively straightforward (as shown on the next page) and there is a great deal of support available from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs).

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Employer

Training provider/centre

Approaches employers to sell benefits of offering a Higher Apprenticeship

Identifies a suitable job role for the higher apprentice within the organisation

Recruits higher apprentice

ATAs (see page 34 for further information) can help employers write job descriptions and identify suitable roles. They may: • identify funding • remove headcount issues for employers (www.apprenticeships. org.uk/Employers/ Steps-to-make-ithappen/GTAATA.aspx)

Registers higher apprentice

Agrees units and learning plan with higher apprentice

Identifies suitable workplace mentor for higher apprentice and provides opportunities to develop knowledge and competence within the workplace

The NAS advertise vacancies (www.apprenticeships .

Pearson provides a range of support for BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (http://pearsonwbl. edexcel.com/quals/btecapprenticeships/higher)

Workplace assessment and progress reviews

Completion Higher Apprenticeship certification

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1 Getting to grips with the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships equip apprentices and businesses with the skills they need for the future of their industry. They can offer an attractive alternative to university for higherlevel study, and on completion the apprentice may have opportunities to gain professional qualifications or top up to a BA, BSc or BEng Honours degree.

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Higher Apprenticeships and the introduction of the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) Higher Apprenticeships and the skills gap Higher Apprenticeships were introduced in 2009, initially in the Engineering and IT sectors, as a direct response to employers’ demand for higher-level skills. Employers were finding that job candidates, fresh from college or university, lacked workplace awareness and softer skills and needed considerable time and resources to become established as effective workers. At the same time, current members of the workforce with potential, who wanted to boost their qualifications but stay in work, had no clear pathway to follow. Higher Apprenticeships are designed to meet both these needs, offering employers a way to develop skilled and up-to-date employees for their industries and at the same time enabling individuals to study while they work and gain nationally recognised qualifications within a real context. Like the Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships are work-based qualifications that combine a range of on- and off-the-job training. These may be separate knowledge and competence qualifications, or combined knowledge and competence qualifications. Since they were introduced, Higher Apprenticeships have gained momentum in terms of status and funding. The first round of funding made £25 million available and resulted in support for 19,000 degree-level Apprenticeships. This benefited 250 UK employers, ranging from Burberry to Unilever. A second round of funding, worth £6 million, has pushed the success of the scheme even further, increasing the development and delivery of Higher Apprenticeships across the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ growth sectors. The second round of funding also saw the first-ever Apprenticeship at master’s degree level, with the development of an Accountancy Apprenticeship that will give the apprentice chartered status within the profession. Employers will benefit from these developments as Higher Apprenticeships will: ●

enable them to develop their workforce to a higher skill level



help tackle issues of diversity



support emerging specialist roles and reduce skills gaps.

Employers of all sizes will be able to access nationally accredited and nationally recognised vocational training delivered in the workplace. For individual apprentices, Higher Apprenticeships

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will give them unique access to employment opportunities and the chance to develop valuable, high-level professional skills. Among employers, Higher Apprenticeships are already proving their worth. Recent research identified that 70 per cent of the professional bodies interviewed believed that Higher Apprenticeships were a great way for professionals in their sector to become fully qualified.

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SASE Background The SASE requirements have been: ●

established to define the Apprenticeship experience



updated to incorporate the new specification and entry requirements



updated to reflect the introduction of the legal status of apprentices.

The new specifications were established to provide a more comprehensive and unifying structure around Apprenticeships in England. Compliance with the SASE is a statutory requirement of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning (ASCL) Act and replaces the non-statutory Blueprint for Apprenticeships. The ASCL Act 2009 received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009. The Act places Apprenticeship programmes on a statutory footing and guarantees that all suitably qualified young people will be entitled to an Apprenticeship place. The act also ensures that young people in schools receive clear information, advice and guidance about vocational training opportunities. It specifically requires schools to include information on Apprenticeships in their programmes of careers education. Within the act, a clear emphasis is placed on the Apprenticeship Agreement: the agreement is governed by the law of England and Wales and states that it must be entered into in connection with a qualifying Apprenticeship Framework.

Recent changes and their impact on Higher Apprenticeships Higher Apprenticeships have been developed at a time of continuing improvement for the whole Apprenticeship experience. SASE was updated in March 2013 to recognise the principal differences between Higher Apprenticeships and Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships. Further information on the updated SASE can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/specification-ofapprenticeship-standards-for-england. The tables on the following pages show you how the requirements for Apprenticeship Frameworks aim to make the Apprenticeship journey and its outcomes the best they can be for apprentices and employers. The tables also show where you can find content in this delivery guide and elsewhere to help with this.

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How the Apprenticeship Frameworks ensure the apprentice has employment rights and receives appropriate workrelated training Changes in Apprenticeships

Benefit to apprentices

Impact on delivery

More information

Requirement for employed status; ASCL Act 2009

Increased focus on learning in the workplace.



Has resulted in significant changes in the delivery model for some Apprenticeship providers as programme-led Apprenticeships will no longer be possible.

Recruitment, page 33



Various approaches have been developed to meet the challenge of securing the employed status of the apprentice, including the development of Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs).

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) no longer a mandatory requirement for Higher Apprenticeships, but still judged useful by employers

Allows greater flexibility for developing Higher Apprenticeship frameworks.



More streamlined delivery, allowing providers to focus on content that is relevant to Higher Apprentices.



ERR requirements are set out in the individual sector frameworks. Some require completion of separate ERR assessment, others incorporate ERR within the knowledge, competence or combined qualifications. In any instance where ERR forms part of the framework, it must be contextualised to the workplace.

Apprenticeship Agreement between employer, apprentice and provider required by law in the ASCL Act 2009

Greater focus on the apprentice’s journey and understanding of their role.



It is essential that the employer, apprentice and provider understand their roles within the Apprenticeship and that the apprentice in particular appreciates the details of the Apprenticeship Framework.

Apprenticeship Agreement, page 39

Removal of minimum guided learning hours requirement per year

Increased flexibility for framework design, allowing specification of GLH to suit individual sectors.



The requirements for GLH and offthe-job training are set out within the Apprenticeship Framework to meet the needs of the sector.

See the Framework document for your individual sector. All frameworks can be found at http://www.afo.sscallia nce.org/frameworkslibr ary/

Removal of minimum requirements for ‘off-the-job’ learning

Increased flexibility for employer, apprentice and provider. Recognises the training role of the workplace mentor.

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ERR, page 56

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Changes in Apprenticeships

Benefit to apprentices

Impact on delivery

More information

Minimum credit requirements for frameworks and knowledge and competence

Ensures apprentices cover appropriate knowledge and competence to work in their sector.



All Apprenticeship frameworks in England will have to include a minimum of 37 credits on the QCF, of which a minimum 10 credits are knowledge-based and 10 credits competence-based.

Details of the qualifications within the framework can be found in Section 2, starting on page 16).



Higher Apprenticeships at levels 4 and 5 must be a minimum of 90 credits.



Higher Apprenticeships at levels 6 and 7 must be a minimum of 120 credits.

Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE)

Apprentices claim their own certificates.

ACE uses a one-step system for confirmation, so there is minimal impact on delivery.

For further information, see http://ace.apprenticeship s.org.uk/

How the Apprenticeship Framework ensures the development of ‘soft skills’ and basic skills Changes in Apprenticeships

Benefit to apprentices

Impact on delivery

More information

Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) achievement no longer required by SASE

Promotes development of ‘softer’ skills.



Any requirements for PLTS are set out within the individual frameworks. In some instances completion of the knowledge, competence or combined qualification will involve evidencing PLTS.

PLTS, page 56

Functional Skills no longer required for SASE

Promotes development of basic skills.



Any basic skills requirements are set out in the individual frameworks.

Functional Skills, pages 29–31



At this level, providers need to be aware of prior achievement of equivalents to Functional Skills, such as GCSEs.



Where gaps in achievement are identified, provision needs to be provided to ensure the higher-level apprentice achieves the necessary Functional Skills.

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Independent learning For apprentices at the higher level, being able to plan and manage their own work is key. Being an independent learner is not merely a desirable attribute, but an essential demonstration of the skills expected at this level. While independent learning inevitably focuses on the apprentices themselves, the provider has an important role to play in supporting the development of the necessary skills and constructively challenging the apprentice to put them into daily practice. Higher apprentices need to use and fine-tune a range of study skills: ● Self-management: Higher apprentices are expected to organise and manage their own study time, creating the structures that suit them best and fitting these around formal training and teaching sessions. ● Taking control: Higher apprentices are responsible for making their own choices and for seeking out the advice and guidance they need from you. Providers can offer support by checking that choices are sensible and meet professional requirements. ● Personal planning: Higher Apprenticeships offer apprentices a great way to gain the ‘softer’ personal skills that employers want, but which they find are in short supply. Providers can encourage apprentices to take full advantage of opportunities for personal development. ● Knowing the essentials: Higher apprentices receive lots of key information – including crucial information about deadlines, assessment and regulations. They need to understand that it is their responsibility to keep on top of it. ● Finding resources and support: As independent learners, higher apprentices will be expected to identify most of their own needs and take steps to find support. Providers can point apprentices towards the right resources and support staff. ● Self-motivation: Staying focused and keeping going is a key part of independent study. Self-motivation is a skill in itself and one that higher apprentices can be supported to develop.

Pearson has produced a Study Skills Guide to help apprentices develop the skills required for successful Higher Apprenticeship study. This covers aspects of independent learning, including time management, research, and referencing. This guide can be downloaded at http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/Pages/default.aspx.

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Progression routes There are many progression opportunities available to apprentices who achieve a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship, although these may vary depending on the routes available within the individual sector. These may include: ●

higher-level professional qualifications

● higher education, including part-time study, to undertake a degree or a master’s degree ● further employment opportunities within their current job role or with another employer ●

individual membership of professional bodies.

BTEC Higher Apprenticeships To gain the full benefits of the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship Framework, your apprentices must be registered on Edexcel Online on the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship Framework. When registering, each Apprenticeship has a unique six-digit code that begins with HAS.

Higher Apprenticeship adviser visit Shortly after registering apprentices on a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship for the first time, centres that are newly approved to deliver BTEC Higher Apprenticeships receive a visit from a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship adviser. This visit forms part of the quality model for the delivery of the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships and is central to encouraging centres to engage with the quality cycle for their BTEC Higher Apprenticeship provision. The role of the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship adviser is to provide support, advice and guidance to the newly approved centre on the implementation and management of the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship. The visit provides an opportunity for the centre to focus on and conduct an initial review of the: ●

Higher Apprenticeship stakeholder relationships



management of academic standards



recruitment and targeting of apprentices



delivery models



assessment process



quality assurance process



training and standardisation of assessors



maintenance and auditing of records



required resources.

During the visit, the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship adviser will provide constructive advice and guidance to remedy any issues identified. For example, it is essential that competence-based Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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assessment evidence is gathered in the workplace and the adviser is able to provide support and guidance in identifying admissible forms of evidence and methods of verifying the authenticity of work-based evidence. After the visit, the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship adviser will provide a summary report of the visit.

Standards verifier (SV) allocations The number of standards verifiers (SVs) or external examiners you have allocated to your centre will depend on the structure of the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship you are offering. ● For separate knowledge and competence qualifications, a separate SV is allocated by Pearson for each qualification. You will receive two visits annually for the quality assurance of the BTEC qualification, and one visit annually for the quality assurance of the NVQ qualification. ● For combined (hybrid) qualifications a single SV is allocated by Pearson and you will receive two visits annually for the quality assurance of the BTEC qualification.

SVs are allocated to those centres that have registrations on the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship Framework – indicated by a HAS code on Edexcel Online. You need to have registered apprentices for a full framework. Here are some key points for quality nominees, programme managers and internal verifiers (IVs). ● If you are running several BTEC Higher Apprenticeships that include BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment, only one SV will verify BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment. ● The allocated SV liaises first with your quality nominee. The quality nominee will receive an email giving details of the SV and the programmes to which the SV is allocated. ● You need to ensure that the SV has the right information on each visit to ensure quality assurance is targeted to your needs.

An efficient approach BTEC Higher Apprenticeships are a new breed of Apprenticeships and the only complete Apprenticeship solution developed specifically to meet the new demands of providers in the changing education landscape. These new Apprenticeships have been developed with the Sector Skills Councils and in consultation with employers. BTEC Higher Apprenticeships are single integrated products. To reflect this, all systems and processes, from approval and registration through to verification and certification, have been amended and improved to provide an efficient interaction. One-click approvals and one-click registrations make it possible for centres to gain approval and make registrations for the complete Apprenticeship rather than for single component Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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qualifications. This enables you to register apprentices with minimum administration and also ensures that apprentices are registered, and working towards all required components, for a given Apprenticeship (see Section 3, starting on page 32, for more information).

Recognising early achievement with BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment Within the Higher Apprenticeships, providers may deliver, formally assess and provide evidence of achievement of Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) and personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS). The individual framework document sets out the sector’s requirements for these components. However, early achievement can help maintain motivation, which can be important for retention and engagement on a two-tothree-year training programme. The BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment qualifications are specifically designed for Apprenticeships. With a particular focus on the induction process and the requirements of the Apprenticeship Agreement, the BTEC WorkSkills qualification has been developed to support this essential learning. As assessment is through a portfolio of evidence, it is possible to record this using providers’ induction paperwork (if the assessment criteria are met). BTEC WorkSkills may require a little extra work beyond the core of the Higher Apprenticeship but it can help make a significant contribution to an apprentice’s commitment to the programme.

Awards There are a number of regional and national awards that higher apprentices, employers and training providers can enter or be nominated for. Entry and nomination bring a number of benefits for all involved – they help motivate apprentices and provide great public relations opportunities. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) runs an annual series of regional awards, which build up to an overall national awards ceremony. Categories covered by these awards include: ●

Higher Apprentice of the Year



Apprenticeship Champion of the Year



Small Employer of the Year



Medium Employer of the Year



Large Employer of the Year



Macro Employer of the Year.

For more information, see www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Awards.aspx. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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Performance Excellence (available from September 2014) All higher apprentices must meet the competence statements for the level of their Apprenticeship. However, some apprentices may be capable of demonstrating excellence in their vocational area. By reflecting on factors that affect their performance and implementing improvement plans, they can increase efficiency, reduce waste of resources and provide greater returns – results that hold both value and relevance with employers. Pearson’s qualifications in Performance Excellence are available from September 2014 and provide a framework to help apprentices take these steps. There are two routes in the suite of Performance Excellence qualifications: ●

a route that recognises performance excellence demonstrating a vocational skill in the workplace



a second route for those sectors where apprentices demonstrate performance excellence within a competitive environment.

Each route has Awards (ranging from six to nine credits) at levels 2–4 that allow the learner to develop and demonstrate behavioural skills that may have a positive impact on performance and employability. The benefits of the Performance Excellence qualifications are outlined below. ● For providers, the Performance Excellence qualifications offer a way of motivating apprentices by recognising the quality of their contributions as well as developing their wider skills. ● For employers, they offer a way of nurturing individuals’ talents and raising both the achievement of their staff and the profile of their organisations in their sector and community. ● For apprentices themselves, these qualifications help instil a sense of pride, while offering a clear route for showing commitment to their colleagues.

More information about the Performance Excellence qualifications can be found at: ● http://www.edexcel.com/quals/Specialist/performanceexcellence/Pages/default.aspx ● http://www.edexcel.com/quals/Professional/performanceexcellence/Pages/default.aspx

Technological innovation State-of-the-art technology is used to reduce your administrative and cost burden and simplify the delivery of BTEC Higher Apprenticeships. Wherever possible, time-consuming duplication and the possibility for human error have been eliminated so, for instance, the time spent on the registration process can be cut by two-thirds. The reduction of errors and avoidance of unnecessary bureaucracy are critical in cost-saving without compromising

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quality of delivery. Two key features of the use of technology within the BTEC Apprenticeships are highlighted below. ● Data transfer through Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT): The vast majority of providers already use an integrated management and information system (MIS). Working with these systems and with a data format created by Pearson, EDIFACT providers are able to send registrations automatically and report results directly from their MIS to Pearson. This greatly reduces the requirement for multiple data entry and eradicates the possibilities of error. ● BTEC Apprenticeship tracker: This enables providers to track the progress of their apprentices through the various qualifications within the BTEC Apprenticeship for which they are registered. The tracker is the destination page for administration of Apprenticeships and includes the ability to download reports on progress against Apprenticeship start date and estimated completion date. In particular, this unique tracker system is an excellent tool when working in partnerships or subcontracting and provides clear visibility regarding apprentices’ progress against target completion dates (see Section 3, starting on page 32, for more information).

The BTEC Apprenticeship tracker

Functional Skills BTEC Apprenticeships (where appropriate) incorporate flexible, accessible specifications and testing options for Functional Skills, including: ●

onscreen on-demand tests in English and Mathematics at levels 1 and 2 – these onscreen, on-demand assessments have a two-hour lead time

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and results are available within four weeks of submission of the completed tests ● paper-based tests – currently there are eight paper-based assessment opportunities for Functional Skills in English and Mathematics and four for ICT (see pages 29–30 for more information) ● initial assessment: a free onscreen tool that helps to determine the apprentice’s capability (see page 31) ● diagnostic analysis: analysis of results for paper-based tests in Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills is available using Edexcel’s Results Plus service. If a resit is required, it highlights the areas in which an apprentice needs to improve to have a better chance of future success. It also highlights areas that the provider may wish to focus on.

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2 Building a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship

Each BTEC Higher Apprenticeship programme has a wide range of different qualifications and elements. This section explains the key building blocks you can use to build a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship.

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeships The new BTEC Higher Apprenticeships are designed to provide employers with an alternative option to graduate recruitment. They provide new entry routes into skilled professions with the opportunity to gain qualifications up to graduate level and handson work-based experience. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for employers to develop their own in-house talent. They are totally work-based and they: ● offer a work-based alternative to university and an affordable route to highly skilled jobs ● allow employers to grow their own talent and build an elite cohort to work alongside their graduate intake ●

accredit and develop existing employees’ skills

● offer a potential route to professional status and further study (honours degree and beyond).

Who are Higher Apprenticeships for? Higher apprentices may be 16 years of age, although as it is expected that they will have completed suitable level 3 qualifications before taking the Higher Apprenticeship, it is more likely that they will be 18 years or older. The individual can be new to the profession or can already be working as a member of staff within a company. There are no formal entry requirements for the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships. Apprentices may have completed Level 3 BTEC qualifications or equivalents (A levels, a Level 3 Apprenticeship, a professional qualification in the sector at a lower level), they may have previously worked in the sector or they may have no prior qualifications.

How does an apprentice achieve a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship? In order to achieve a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship, the apprentice must complete the range of components set out within the Higher Apprenticeship Framework. The following tables summarise the key requirements of the individual BTEC Higher Apprenticeships. Please note that the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) was issued in March 2013, setting new minimum credit requirements for Higher Apprenticeships. As a result, the Higher Apprenticeship frameworks that are below 90 credits for levels 4 and 5 or 120 credits for levels 6 and 7 will be revised to meet these requirements for first delivery in April 2014. For up-to-date information on any changes to the frameworks, see the ‘Further information’ row in the following tables. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Accounting Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Accounting (QCF)

Competence qualification Functional Skills

BTEC Level 2 Functional Skills in Mathematics BTEC Level 2 Functional Skills in English

PLTS

Mapped to combined qualification and FSP Apprentice Workbook

ERR

Assessed through FSP Apprentice Workbook

Framework credits

51

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1424 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/accounting/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Advertising and Marketing Communications Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 in Marketing Communications (Advertising) (QCF)

Competence qualification Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped to combined qualification

ERR

Mapped to combined qualification

Framework credits

76

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1850 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/amc/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in General Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Marine Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Electrical Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Electronic Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Manufacturing Engineering OR BTEC Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND in Mechanical Engineering

Competence qualification

Level 4 NVQ Extended Diploma in Engineering Leadership (QCF) OR Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Engineering Leadership (NVQ)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in Mathematics Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

BTEC Level 2 Award in WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment (QCF) OR BTEC Level 3 Award in WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment (QCF)

ERR

BTEC Level 2 Award in WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment (QCF) OR BTEC Level 3 Award in WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment (QCF) OR Semta Apprentice ERR Workbook

Framework credits

216–243 credits, depending on pathway

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1602 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/adv-manu/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Automotive Management and Leadership Level

5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Automotive Management and Leadership (QCF)

Competence qualification

BTEC Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Automotive Management and Leadership (QCF)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped to knowledge and competence qualifications

ERR

BTEC Level 2 Award in Knowledge of Employee Rights and Responsibilities for the Automotive Sector (QCF)

Framework credits

99

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1443 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/automotive/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Business and Professional Administration Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC in Business (QCF) OR BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Business and Administration

Competence qualification

Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration (QCF)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped to competence qualifications

ERR

Skills CfA ERR Workbook

Framework credits

Minimum 94 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 2048 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/business-admin/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management Level

5

Knowledge qualification

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (QCF)

Competence qualification Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped to the framework

ERR

BTEC Level 2 Award in Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health, Social Care and Children and Young People’s Settings (QCF)

Framework credits

Minimum 98 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 2068 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/clm/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Facilities Management (Building Services) Level

4, 5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment (Building Services Engineering) (QCF) OR BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment (Building Services Engineering) (QCF) (covers both knowledge and competence)

Competence qualification

BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment (Building Services Engineering) (QCF) (covers both Knowledge and Competence)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths

PLTS

Mapped into competency qualification

ERR

Asset Skills Workbook

Framework credits

Level 4: 177 credits Level 5: 154 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1971 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/facilities/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Level

4

Knowledge qualification

Level 4 Certificate for Proficiency in Food Manufacturing Excellence (QCF) OR

Competence qualification

Functional Skills

Level 4 Diploma for Proficiency in Food Manufacturing Excellence (QCF) Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Assessed through Improve Ltd’s Logbook

ERR

Mapped into combined qualification

Framework credits

37 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1259 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/food-drink/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Principles of Hospitality Management (QCF)

Competence qualification

Level 4 Diploma in Hospitality Management (QCF)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into the competence qualification

ERR

Mapped into the competence qualification

Framework credits

Minimum 111 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 2036 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/hospitality/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Business Innovation and Growth Level

5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Innovation and Growth

Competence qualification Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into combined qualification

ERR

Mapped into combined qualification

Framework credits

Minimum 135 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1787 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/innovation-growth/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Computing and Systems Development (QCF) OR BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Computing and Systems Development (QCF)

Competence qualification

BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals (QCF)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into competence qualification

ERR

e-skills ERR Workbook

Framework credits

Minimum 215 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1959 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/iswtp/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management Level

5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management

Competence qualification

Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Leadership and Management

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into the competence qualification

ERR

Skills CfA ERR Workbook

Framework credits

Minimum 90 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1913 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/leadership-mgmt/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Life Sciences and Chemical Science Professionals Level

4, 5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Chemical Science for Industry (QCF) OR

Competence qualification

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Biological Sciences for Industry (QCF) OR

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Applied Biology (QCF) OR BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Operations Engineering (QCF)

BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Chemical Science for Industry (QCF) OR BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Biological Sciences for Industry (QCF) OR Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into combined qualifications

ERR

Cogent ERR Workbook

Framework credits

Level 4: Minimum 135-169 credits Level 5: Minimum 255

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR 02082 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/lscsp/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Public Relations Level

4

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Public Relations (QCF)

Competence qualification Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into combined qualification

ERR

Mapped into combined qualification

Framework credits

Minimum 85 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 1593 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/pr/Pages/default.aspx

BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Supply Chain Management Level

5

Knowledge qualification

Level 5 Diploma in Supply Chain Management (QCF)

Competence qualification Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into combined qualification, but recorded using Skills for Logistics Evidence Record Sheet

ERR

Level 2 Award in Employee Rights and Responsibilities in the Logistics Industry (QCF)

Framework credits

80 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 2050 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/scs/Pages/default.aspx

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BTEC Higher Apprenticeship in Sustainable Built Environment Level

5

Knowledge qualification

BTEC Level 5 HND in Construction and the Built Environment (QCF)

Competence qualification

Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Construction Management (Sustainability) (QCF)

Functional Skills

Level 2 Functional Skills in English Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths Level 2 Functional Skills in ICT

PLTS

Mapped into the competence qualifications

ERR

Assessed through a Construction Skills Training Specification document

Framework credits

314 credits

Further information

http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/index.cfm?id=FR0 2080 http://pearsonwbl.edexcel.com/quals/btec-higherapprenticeships/sbe/Pages/default.aspx

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Guide to qualification specifications Each qualification within the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship Framework has a specification for: ●

a combined knowledge and competence qualification, or



separate knowledge (BTEC) and competence (NVQ) qualifications



Functional Skills (one each for English, Mathematics and ICT).

Key features The specifications for the knowledge, competence and combined qualifications contain information on: ●

key features of the qualification



the structure of the qualification



units that must be completed in order to achieve the qualification



learning outcomes mapped against assessment criteria



assessment requirements



progression pathways.

In addition, each qualification specification includes assessment and/or evidence requirements for each unit.

What is the format for qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)? Each qualification is made up of a number of units; some are mandatory and some are optional. The rules of combination determine: ● the size of the qualification, for example a diploma on the QCF can be 37 credits or more ● the number of credits required as a minimum to achieve the qualification ● the number of credits to be achieved within the mandatory and/or optional units ●

the percentage of units that can be achieved at different levels.

The units must be selected from those listed in the specification.

What does a QCF unit in a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship look like? The table on the next page describes the typical content of a unit from a specification that is part of a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship. Each unit contains: ●

a description of the unit’s aim



an introduction to its content



a list of its learning outcomes and assessment criteria



an expanded description of the unit content.

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Unit title

The unit title is accredited on the QCF and this form of words appears on the apprentice’s notification of performance (NOP) and the BTEC Apprenticeship record of achievement.

Unit code

This code is a unique reference number used to locate the unit on the Register of Regulated Qualifications.

QCF level

All units and qualifications within the QCF have a level assigned to them that represents the level of achievement. There are nine levels of achievement, from Entry Level to Level 8. The level of the unit has been informed by the QCF level descriptors and, where appropriate, the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and/or other sector/professional bodies.

Credit value

All units have a credit value. The minimum credit value is one, and credits can only be awarded in whole numbers. Apprentices are awarded credits when they achieve the unit. One credit is based on 10 hours of learning.

Guided learning hours (GLH)

These are estimates of the number of hours that a tutor, trainer, facilitator or workplace mentor will be present to give specific guidance towards the learning aim being studied. This time includes lectures, tutorials and supervised study.

Unit aim

A clear summary of the purpose of the unit. It summarises succinctly the learning outcomes of the unit.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of a unit state exactly what an apprentice should know, understand or be able to do as a result of completing a unit.

Assessment criteria

Assessment criteria for a unit specify the standards an apprentice is expected to meet to demonstrate that a learning outcome, or set of learning outcomes, has been achieved.

Assessment

This provides a summary of the assessment methodology to be used for the unit. All competence criteria for a Higher Apprenticeship must be evidenced in the workplace through real work tasks. On completion of a related task, the apprentice may write a reflective report of their work which can be authenticated by their mentor.

Unit content

This details the knowledge and understanding that an apprentice needs to have in order to complete the unit successfully. Note that ‘e.g.’ lists indicate the level of depth required but are not exhaustive and as such the detail covered should be tailored to the apprentice’s work situation.

(All qualifications except NVQs)

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Functional Skills Functional Skills are practical skills in English, Mathematics and ICT that help apprentices progress confidently, effectively and independently in life and at work. They are an essential part of the Higher Apprenticeship and an apprentice cannot be certified without either completing the appropriate Functional Skills qualifications or having achieved approved transferable skills qualifications that are accepted as exemptions for Functional Skills. Information on which qualifications may be used to demonstrate that the apprentice has appropriate transferable skills can be found in the Apprenticeship Framework document (www.afo.sscalliance.org) available on the Apprenticeship Frameworks Online website. This section of the delivery guide is designed to support teaching and learning of Functional Skills within Apprenticeships by: ● helping you consider the practicalities of delivering Functional Skills within Apprenticeships ●

showing you how to highlight their relevance to the workplace

● helping you make the learning process more rewarding for both the apprentice and the employer.

Functional Skills delivery Functional Skills qualifications are generic in nature and are not directly linked to any particular sector. They are a set of standards that can be transferred across a range of contexts. Pearson provides access to a free onscreen tool (www.edexcel.com/quals/func-skills) to support you in your initial assessment of an apprentice’s level. It is very important that all staff involved in the delivery of Functional Skills are familiar with the standards and criteria. You need to provide a range of different learning opportunities to help apprentices develop Functional Skills. These can teach them how to: ● build the full range of Functional Skills by raising apprentices’ awareness of different skills and their relevance within the workplace ●

develop their problem-solving techniques

● practise applying skills across a range of contexts, giving the apprentice the opportunity to build on experience and develop speed, accuracy and confidence ● demonstrate transferability of skills, that is, confidence in a range of contexts, allowing apprentices to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding in real activities, within an increasing variety of contexts and complexity.

This requires planning on how to provide these opportunities. The situations for learning should be real and meaningful.

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The process is ‘build – practise – apply’. However, this may not always be in the same distinct order or stage for every apprentice. This means that you need to assess continually where an individual is within the different aspects of Functional Skills in order to keep building their skills.

Functional Skills learning opportunities Within an Apprenticeship programme there is a whole range of opportunities for learning skills that need monitoring and tracking to measure progress. Learning can happen off site and on the job. ● Off site: This is where learning takes place away from the workplace, possibly within a college setting. In this environment it is important that the learning is relevant to the apprentice and their workplace. This ensures that the apprentice remains engaged and motivated. Apprentices must have the chance to apply what they learn off site when they are back in the workplace. This requires collaboration between provider and employer. ● On the job: A great deal of learning takes place on the job. However, there is always the risk that this learning may not be structured and opportunities for both learning and reinforcement may be missed. To avoid this, collaboration between the tutor/assessor and the workplace mentor is important, with regular reviews and progress tracking taking place.

The best approach to delivery is to use a mix of teaching and learning approaches to: ●

identify the best learning opportunities



get the most from the role of the workplace mentor/coach



provide relevant and contextualised teaching and learning resources

● ensure regular information, advice and guidance (IAG) through reviews, feedback and formative assessment opportunities ● create a range of opportunities to practise application and transferability of skills across a range of situations ●

get everyone collaborating across the Apprenticeship programme.

Embedding and contextualising the learning within Functional Skills will appeal to apprentices as it makes it engaging and motivating and helps their understanding. However, it is also important to allow for some focused teaching and learning to practise the external assessment for Functional Skills.

Assessment Functional Skills at level 2 are assessed mainly by a written external test that is set and marked by the awarding organisation. The external assessment for Functional Skills is an exam-based test with a mixture of open- and fixed-response questions. Pearson assessment guidelines for Level 2 Functional Skills are as follows:

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Subject

Assessment type

Duration

Mathematics

One external assessment

1½ hours

English: reading

One external assessment

45 minutes

English: writing

One external assessment

45 minutes

English: speaking, listening and communicating

One internal assessment

Approximately 30 minutes in total

ICT

One external assessment

2 hours

Pearson offers onscreen, on-demand Functional Skills assessment for level 2 in both Maths and English. This offers more flexible assessment opportunities to meet the needs of work-based learning centres. You can view the specifications on the Pearson Functional Skills website at www.edexcel.com/quals/func-skills.This provides more specific details about assessment opportunities and procedures. For further details on delivering Functional Skills within the workbased learning/Apprenticeship arena, please refer to the Pearson website and current publications. Other sources of useful information on Functional Skills include: ●

Functional Skills Support Programme



Learning and Skills Improvement Service



BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills)



the Department for Education.

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3 Getting started with the BTEC Higher Apprenticeships

It is important to get the beginning of any Apprenticeship right. The first stages of the higher apprentice’s journey are crucial in ensuring that the apprentice is on the correct programme at the correct level and that the programme works effectively with the business needs of the employer.

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Employer recruitment It is crucial to have a well-defined process for recruiting apprentices. If carried out correctly, it enriches the experience for all involved, not least the apprentice and it makes the experience smoother for the provider and employer. This section looks at: ●

employer engagement



key information on stakeholders and relevant organisations



information to help choose the right model for recruitment



guidance on progression routes in and out of Higher Apprenticeships.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs) provide additional support in engaging employers with higher apprentices in the form of: ● initiatives run by the NAS to promote apprenticeships, such as the National Apprenticeship Awards, the National Training Awards and WorldSkills UK ● support for providers and employers with advertising Higher Apprenticeship vacancies, through both the NAS website and the ATAs ● support with the administration of employing a higher apprentice – for example, an ATA can act as the apprentice’s employer.

Employer engagement Providers play a key role in employer engagement. They need to identify employers offering Higher Apprenticeships and persuade other employers of the benefits of implementing Higher Apprenticeship schemes. Higher Apprenticeships have been designed to meet employers’ needs, as a direct response to their demand, but engaging employers can still be a challenge. The employer experience has improved greatly as Apprenticeships have become more coherent over time and the Higher Apprenticeships – strongly shaped by employers themselves – have been well received from the start. In addition, there are many clear benefits for employers, particularly in a difficult economic climate. Higher Apprenticeships give employers the opportunity to: ●

fill skills gaps efficiently and effectively



get the higher-level skills they need to suit their business



develop a more motivated and committed workforce

● keep their business up to date with the latest techniques and technology.

Research also shows that an Apprenticeship is an investment that pays, bringing a significant long-term benefit to both the apprentice and the employer. There are many ways in which providers can encourage employers to consider and adopt Higher Apprenticeships. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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● Providers can, directly, or through links with other supporting organisations, give employers support and guidance in completing the paperwork associated with Higher Apprenticeships. ● Clearly identifying and communicating the employer’s role in the delivery of the framework also helps smooth the way and encourages employers to get involved. ● Business breakfasts and local networking sessions provide good opportunities for talking to prospective employers about the advantages of taking on higher apprentices and the possible incentives. ● Focusing on the business benefits and return on investment can enable the employer to see the potential for their business. ● Providers can take a clear, businesslike approach by focusing on employers’ needs, the skills they can gain and the process improvements they will see. ● Incentives, such as deals for recommending a friend or training their staff to be assessors for free, can work wonders.

Providers must be flexible in their approach if they are to encourage a broad range of employers to join the scheme.

Key stakeholders and organisations in recruitment Group Training Associations (GTAs): Often of long standing, they are usually not-for-profit organisations that give support to a group of employers who employ the apprentices directly. This support includes accessing, managing and, where appropriate, providing the training of the apprentices on behalf of the employer. ATAs: These are based on the employment agency model. The agency employs and manages the apprentices and outsources their training to an approved training provider. This is quite often the host employer. Following the initial 12 pilots funded by the government in 2009, ATAs have grown in popularity, particularly with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The host employer pays the ATA a fee for the hire back of the apprentice while the ATA looks after payroll issues, management costs and supervision. They can also be not-for-profit organisations but are subject to inspection by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate. Brokers: Brokers are contracted to supply a number of apprentices and are therefore able to advise and support employers throughout each stage of the process. This support can be particularly valuable in the recruitment and selection phase. Other stakeholders include: ● NAS: The NAS provides a cost-effective and convenient vacancies service. It advertises vacancies on its website and sends vacancies to suitable candidates registered on its database. The employer can then decide the most appropriate way to carry out the selection, training and supervision of the apprentice. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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● Local authorities: Besides being employers in their own right, local authorities act as a conduit for information concerning the needs of local people and businesses in their area. They also act as skills champions for young people, particularly those choosing the work-based learning route. ● Training providers: A training provider can be a college, a private training provider such as a GTA, or another employer. They help in deciding the correct Apprenticeship to be offered. They also recruit or assist the employer to recruit a suitable person and then manage the training to ensure national standards are being met.

Models for recruitment There are two main models for the recruitment of apprentices: ●

the employer direct model



the provider employment model.

Employer direct model In this model, the employer recruits, employs and then carries out the training of the apprentice, either directly or through a training provider. Provider employment model Historically, 85 per cent of Apprenticeships were provided by employers. However, this pattern is changing with increased provision by GTAs and the creation of ATAs (see page 33). Providing the various strands of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework may well be daunting to a number of organisations. The provider employment model allows training providers to carry out the following functions that may prove problematic to some organisations. ● Recruitment and selection: Through discussions with the local labour market, training providers will know the type of candidate and the basic skills and qualifications they need to have to be successful in a particular Higher Apprenticeship. They may have developed positive links with a range of agencies (schools and colleges, for example) that are helpful in achieving their requirements in this area. Often, it will be the local college that takes on this role. ● Managing the employment issues surrounding apprenticeships: The training provider will have all the necessary systems in place for employees. ● Providing training opportunities to enable the apprentice to achieve their knowledge component and Functional Skills accreditation for their Apprenticeship.

Training providers are able to form alliances with local employers who can provide the necessary workplace training opportunities for the competence elements of the Higher Apprenticeship. Being a part of such an arrangement allows employers to help young people realise their Higher Apprenticeships and also enables employers to recruit quality people whom they have helped train and develop. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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Progression People might progress into Higher Apprenticeships through a variety of different routes. They might: ● have recently completed a full-time programme in school or college, such as a BTEC National or A levels ● have completed an Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeship in a related discipline ● already be in employment and be seeking the opportunity to develop their skills further through a Higher Apprenticeship route.

Apprentices are usually aged 18 or over when they apply for a Higher Apprenticeship, although in exceptional circumstances they may be 16 or 17. There is a full progression route available through the Apprenticeship ‘ladder’ from Foundation Learning to Higher Apprenticeships. Apprentices can choose to start an Apprenticeship at the most appropriate level for their existing skills. For example, an apprentice with relevant qualifications could start directly on a Higher Apprenticeship. Once the apprentice has achieved the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship, they may progress onto a degree at a higher education institute or higher-level professional qualifications. The frameworks for individual Higher Apprenticeship sectors provide more information about progression routes available. Framework documents for all available Higher Apprenticeships can be found at http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/.

Retention and timely completion A Higher Apprenticeship usually takes between 15 and 36 months to complete, although different frameworks may stipulate slightly different timeframes. It requires commitment to keep the apprentice on track. Regular communication and feedback from the workplace mentor and assessor are necessary to help retention. Similarly, as the Higher Apprenticeship is a significant programme of learning, effective planning and monitoring are necessary to ensure timely completion. Retention and timely completion can also be helped through: ● early certification to increase motivation and help apprentices stay on the programme ●

holistic assessment (see page 56) to save time in gathering evidence



consistent tracking of apprentice progress.

Apprentices like to see achievements. If they can see that they are achieving parts of their framework in small, bite-sized chunks then they are more likely to stay on the programme and complete it in a timely way.

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Improving timely success rates ensures that the resources devoted to training are maximised and that apprentices are in a position to apply their skills and take on responsibilities in the workplace at the earliest opportunity. Employers who are committed to training monitor closely the time that an apprentice takes to start adding value to the company and evaluate regularly the impact of training on productivity.

Tracking apprentice progress Tracking apprentice progress is an essential part of retention and completion. Assessor visits for Higher Apprenticeships may be less frequent than for Level 2 or 3 Apprenticeships. Consequently, it is important that the workplace mentor is able to take a role in tracking the apprentice’s progress against their individual learning plan. The assessor should communicate with both the apprentice and the workplace mentor – by phone or email – on a regular basis to monitor progress against the plan and provide additional support where required. You can keep track of your apprentice’s progress in all strands of the Apprenticeship with the BTEC Apprenticeship Tracker (see page 14).The tracker includes full: ● visibility of all components that make up the BTEC Apprenticeship at individual apprentice level ● visibility of the apprentice’s progress through the entire BTEC Apprenticeship and through each component ● details of qualification achievement and progress by several variables including start date, estimated completion date and cohort.

Once the apprentice has completed all strands with Pearson, they will receive a notification of performance (NOP) to recognise their achievement.

The BTEC Higher Apprentice’s journey Getting started It is important to get the beginning of a Higher Apprenticeship right to ensure apprentices are on the correct programme, they are at the correct level and that the programme works effectively with the business needs of the employer. A well-structured induction should ensure that the higher apprentice: ● fully understands the requirements of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework they are working towards ●

understands how they are going to achieve the requirements



has clear, realistic targets.

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The induction is a major part of the higher apprentice’s journey and this next section looks at what to include in the induction of your higher apprentices. It also looks at some common problems you may encounter and how you can deal with these.

The induction process It is important to carry out a thorough induction with an apprentice. This ensures that they understand the programme completely and what is expected of them, the assessor and their employer. It is also good practice to involve the employer during the induction process. This enables you to build a rapport with the employer and also gives them a full understanding of what will be taking place during the Higher Apprenticeship programme. A key part of the induction process is the assessment, by the training provider, of the apprentice’s recognised prior learning. This helps identify parts of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework that the apprentice has already achieved, such as achievement of one or more of the Functional Skills qualifications through prior achievement at GCSE. It is also important to assess an apprentice’s prior learning in key topic areas related to their Higher Apprenticeship. This may identify areas of weakness or gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed in preparation for studying the content of the specification. At the start of a Higher Apprenticeship programme, it is important that the employer allocates a mentor to the apprentice. The mentor acts as their buddy, assists them in the day-to-day working environment and also acts as the contact for the assessor/tutor. The mentor can be anyone in the team who has experience in the workplace and the time to assist the apprentice. The mentor’s role is to assist with the development of the apprentice in their work and with queries during their Higher Apprenticeship programme. They are also there to motivate apprentices and ensure they complete their action plans on time and are always prepared for assessment visits. A good induction is important for the Apprenticeship journey. This induction covers: ●

the Apprenticeship Agreement (see below)



the framework that is being completed



unit selection



current competency levels and previous relevant learning



training

● an individual learning plan (ILP), discussed with timescales for achievement ●

the role of the workplace mentor



equal opportunities

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health and safety



the appeals procedure



full discussion of assessment and review visits



how evidence is collected



preparation for tests.

The Apprenticeship Agreement The Apprenticeship Agreement is a legally required document that cements the relationship between the apprentice, employer and provider. It embeds the relationship between all parties and links it to the requirements of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework. The induction is a good time to work through the content of the agreement – the mandatory unit of the BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment qualification supports the apprentice in doing this.

Understanding the framework Often, when an apprentice is interviewed, it becomes clear that they do not fully understand the qualification that they are completing and the components that make up the qualification. This can be addressed easily at induction by making explanations relevant to the apprentice and their work. Let them see that there is a clear link between their job and the qualifications they are starting on. Past experience shows that if the apprentice does not understand the relevance, they do not appreciate the importance of the qualification and can possibly lose their motivation early on.

Unit selection and current competency levels Early on in the induction period, the training provider must conduct an assessment of the apprentice’s current level of competency and understanding for their job role. This should focus on identifying recent relevant education and experience and should identify any gaps between current knowledge levels and the knowledge required for the units that will be covered. This identifies any necessary revision, or lead-in study, required prior to starting the learning for the individual units.

Training There is a requirement for apprentices to receive off-the-job training, on-the-job training and workplace mentoring. A good induction will help the apprentice understand the different training formats used in their apprenticeship. ● Off-the-job training is completed away from the apprentice’s workstation. This may be within their office, or on the premises of their training provider, but will be separate from their day-to-day role.

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● On-the-job training is completed in the workplace as part of the apprentice’s employment. This will involve introduction to, familiarisation with and mastery of systems, processes and skills within the workplace. ● Workplace mentoring can take a variety of formats, depending on the mentor and the task. This may involve elements of shadowing, informal training, and coaching.

The individual learning plan (ILP) The individual learning plan (ILP) is important in ensuring that the apprentice completes their programme to the required standard and in a timely manner. It drives the programme and should be a working document throughout the apprentice’s journey. The ILP should: ●

be a plan of the whole programme and of the apprentice’s journey



contain framework details and details of units to be completed

● include all the apprentice’s personal details, place of work and mentor’s contact details ● contain the assessor’s name and contact details and also alternative contact details should the assessor be unavailable.

The ILP should also contain SMART targets. For every target set, consider whether the target is: ●

S – specific, significant, stretching



M – measurable, meaningful, motivational



A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented



R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented



T – time-based, tangible, ‘trackable’.

It is important that the targets that are set are agreed by both the apprentice and the mentor. As mentioned earlier, the ILP drives the programme and therefore should be kept with the apprentice and looked at and updated at every visit.

The role of the workplace mentor The workplace mentor on a Higher Apprenticeship programme may take a fairly significant role in supporting the apprentice’s learning, depending on their experience and the amount of time allocated to supporting the apprentice. The mentor is able to provide on-the-job training for specific tasks allocated to the apprentice, but they may also be able to supplement the independent study the apprentice will complete for the knowledge element of the Higher Apprenticeship. It is important that the assessor is aware of the amount of contact the mentor is expecting to have with the apprentice. A clear agreement and regular communication between the training provider and the workplace mentor can help ensure that the apprentice receives the allocated guided learning hours.

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If appropriate, an apprentice may have more than one mentor. For example, if their role involves working in two or more distinct areas of the business or if the apprentice’s role rotates around different functional areas, mentors may be allocated for specific parts of the apprentice’s work.

Equal opportunities Equal opportunities play a major part in the Apprenticeship journey and it is important that they are explained fully at the induction and also covered throughout the programme. It is essential that the apprentice understands equal opportunities legislation and how it is relevant to them. Equal opportunities are covered in various ways. The apprentice must understand fully what they are and what they themselves need to do if they feel they are being discriminated against in any way. Some apprentices find this subject less engaging so you may find it useful to discuss equal opportunities in the context of industry news. There may be relevant news stories that can be used to highlight the importance of equal opportunities.

Health and safety Health and safety is another important part of the apprentice’s journey. It is imperative that they appreciate fully their responsibility for health and safety. The assessor must ensure that the workplace of the apprentice is a safe environment for them to work in and that all the correct policies are in place to cover the apprentice. The apprentice must also understand the policies and procedures for health and safety. It is good practice to cover health and safety at every visit, not just at induction. If you are on a visit and you see something that breaches health and safety, you must stop the visit and deal with the issue. Health and safety is also an important factor in Ofsted inspections. It forms part of the provider’s contract that health and safety is checked and looked at on an ongoing basis. Examples of bad practice include: ●

apprentices standing on chairs when trying to reach something in a high place



leaving drawers open



blocking fire exits with rubbish.

For further information, see the Health and Safety Executive website: www.hse.gov.uk/.

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The appeals procedure The appeals procedure is in place to protect the apprentice against any unfair or incorrect decisions. Apprentices must understand the procedure from the outset and throughout the programme. Providers usually have their own appeals procedure set up. An example of an appeals procedure is shown below. Guidance on apprentice appeals procedure All centres are required to use a three-stage appeals process that apprentices can use to appeal against assessment decisions that have been made by their tutors or assessors. Stage 1 The apprentice approaches the assessor or tutor with their appeal. Assessor or tutor agrees to review the assessment decision made and feed back to the apprentice within a defined timescale. Stage 2 Following the feedback from the assessor or tutor, if the apprentice is still unhappy about the assessment decision, they can approach the internal verifier or moderator. Again, the internal verifier or moderator agrees to review the assessment decision made and feed back to the apprentice within a defined timescale. Stage 3 Following Stage 1 and Stage 2, if the apprentice is still unhappy with the feedback, then an appeals panel must be convened to hear the apprentice’s case. The appeals panel should normally consist of an assessor or tutor, an internal verifier or moderator and another member of staff who has had no previous involvement with the case. The apprentice may also bring along another apprentice for support. The decision of the appeals panel is final. The Pearson Standards Verifier is unable to be involved in any individual appeal but will take an overview of the appeals procedure.

Assessment and review visits The apprentice needs to understand the assessment process for the Higher Apprenticeship and what will be expected of them. In addition to this, assessment visits will need to be scheduled in with the apprentice and employer so both are prepared for the required time away from their workstation.

How evidence is collected It is essential that the apprentice understands the evidence requirements of the Higher Apprenticeship. In practice, the induction will introduce the apprentice to the assessment methodology of the Higher Apprenticeship, but the first six months of the programme should equip the apprentice with the ability to identify suitable assessment opportunities and workplace evidence. Once the apprentice fully understands the requirements of the programme, the assessment of the Higher Apprenticeship will become more efficient.

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Further advice National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has information for employers and parents on the apprenticeships available, as well as advertising services for apprenticeship vacancies. www.apprenticeships.org.uk/

Skills Funding Agency The Skills Funding Agency has information about funding available for apprentices and employers offering apprenticeships. http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/

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4 Delivering a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship

There are a number of valuable approaches – for the provider, the apprentice and the employer – to delivering a successful Higher Apprenticeship. This section looks at best practice in ensuring effective delivery.

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Delivery best practice This section looks at common delivery issues learning providers may encounter when delivering the Higher Apprenticeship Framework. It aims to describe best practice in key areas of delivery including: ●

engaging with employers



building relationships



logistical challenges



apprentices’ ownership of assessment



delivering training



assessor best practice



preparing for an external examiner or standards verifier (SV) visit.

Each Higher Apprenticeship Framework may consist of two components: ●

Either separate knowledge (BTEC) and competence (NVQ) qualifications, or a combined knowledge and competence qualification (BTEC)



Functional Skills, Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) and/or personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS). Note: these elements may not be mandated by the new SASE requirements, but may be included in the framework, in which case they are required for completion of the Higher Apprenticeship.

Careful planning and monitoring of delivery is necessary to ensure successful completion and achievement of the programme.

Engaging with employers We have already looked at the importance of employer engagement around the recruitment process (see pages 33–34). Here we consider the continued importance of engaging with employers during the delivery of the Higher Apprenticeship. Assessors need to build a strong relationship with the employer so that any issues or problems can be discussed. They should aim for regular and effective communication with the employer throughout the apprenticeship. It is important to try to get the employer involved from the very outset and to be honest with them about what will happen during the programme. The training provider needs to see the apprentice as employed but must also ensure that the balance between working and learning is met. However, the demands of business, particularly in a small organisation, mean that an apprentice may not always be able to attend the training provider for essential off-the-job training.

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The employer plays a crucial part in helping apprentices understand the long-term benefits of training and achieving a qualification. The support offered throughout the learning experience is vital in ensuring success. Equally important are the communication links between the training provider and employer. Regular updates from the employer to the training provider on progress not only assist in the assessment process but also create a good working relationship between the parties. It is important to arrange a meeting with the employer at the initial assessment stage. In this meeting, aim to help the employer understand that: ●

access to organisational policies and procedures will be necessary

● the apprentice will need to attend, and be given time to attend, a centre/place of study 'off the job' ● the apprentice will require frequent reviews of their progress, and that employers must be aware that the training provider will need its assessors to have access to the apprentice at given times ● an assessor (and from time to time an internal verifier (IV)) will need to visit the business premises for meetings/observations with the apprentice ● the apprentice must enjoy the same employment rights as any other employee ●

they may be asked for witness statements periodically

● the apprentice will need access to a computer system to complete online assessments (if necessary).

It is good practice to request periodic reports from the employer. This process further involves the employer and cements your relationship. Likewise, you are expected to communicate with the employer through regular progress reports. Encouraging apprentices and employers to participate in any of the awards that exist for recognising achievement and excellence (see page 12 for details of the National Apprenticeship Service awards) can provide good public relations opportunities for employers to showcase their involvement in Higher Apprenticeships and gain local publicity. This may be something worth discussing with the employer at the outset. Any additional benefits that employers receive from the Higher Apprenticeship will increase their buy-in to supporting the apprentice.

Building relationships A strong relationship between the training provider, the apprentice and the employer is essential to the successful delivery of a Higher Apprenticeship. You can gain buy-in to the Apprenticeship from the employer and apprentice if they fully understand what you require from them – both in terms of time commitment and the points at which they will need to provide support or input. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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Logistical challenges There may be a considerable geographical distance between your centre and the apprentice’s workplace. This can affect the apprentice’s attendance at study sessions held offsite and is more challenging for assessors visiting the workplace. Busy employers – especially those that require a responsive workforce – may become less supportive if they consider unreasonable demands are being made on their time. It is therefore essential that assessor visits and off-site sessions are planned well in advance. Before the start of the apprenticeship, the employer should be aware of the amount of time an apprentice will need to spend studying off-the-job and the likely frequency and nature of workplace visits.

Apprentices’ ownership of assessment The apprentice should feel empowered to take ownership of the assessment of their Higher Apprenticeship. Unless they have completed an Apprenticeship previously, it is likely that the assessment methodology of the Higher Apprenticeship will be quite different from what they are used to. It may take the first six months of the Apprenticeship for the apprentice to fully understand the kind of evidence that can contribute towards their assessment, the kinds of opportunities that produce this evidence and the principles of holistic assessment. However, once they fully understand this, the apprentice can gather evidence successfully and efficiently and arrange for validation (by their mentor).

Delivering training The assessor should aim to complete any ERR requirements of the framework within the induction. This should take place as early as possible to encourage early achievement. See pages 38–39 (The induction process) and page 12 (BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment) for guidance on this. Both on- and off-the-job training may be necessary to meet the requirements of the framework. On-the-job training occurs naturally in the workplace and may be carried out entirely by, or facilitated through, the workplace mentor. In addition, it is the employer’s responsibility to monitor aspects of the higher apprentice’s job on an ongoing basis and to create positive learning opportunities for them in line with the framework criteria. As a provider, you need to ensure the employer and workplace mentor understand that sufficient and relevant work is given to an apprentice to provide a culture of learning. You also need to ensure that an apprentice is given every opportunity to participate in aspects of continuous professional development Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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(CPD). Likewise, providers should arrange, monitor and evaluate continuous professional development for their assessors. As discussed previously, an initial assessment should be conducted to ensure a sensible and achievable training plan is put in place. This should be conducted as part of the induction process (see pages 38–42). Employers can sometimes be reluctant to allow apprentices to attend study sessions if, for example, they believe that this time away from work will obstruct achievement of workplace targets. Discuss the benefits of apprentice training with the employer. These include staff retention – as higher apprentices qualify and remain with the organisation – and motivated employees who enhance performance and profitability.

Assessor best practice All competence outcomes (within the NVQ or combined BTEC qualification, depending on the framework) must be assessed in the workplace through real work tasks. The apprentice should ask their mentor to validate their evidence in advance of the assessor’s visit. It is the responsibility of the centre to provide competent and qualified assessors with relevant background/sector experience. Assessors must be given the opportunity to benefit from continuing professional development (CPD). Pearson provides a range of qualifications for assessors and individuals conducting quality assurance through internal verification. As well as being a requirement for staff assessing or verifying qualifications confirming occupational competence, these qualifications are also valuable for any staff involved in, or responsible for, assessing and quality assuring vocational and vocationally related achievement. The assessor qualifications contain knowledge units for assessment and for the internal quality assurance role, which are available as one-unit Awards. These will be valuable if: ● you need an understanding of these roles but are not yet in a position to practise because you have not yet started the role ● you are a manager responsible for assessors and verifiers but do not undertake these roles yourself.

Additional units confirming competence can be taken at the same time as, or after, achieving the knowledge unit. These qualifications are appropriate for all staff assessing and quality assuring qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), including staff assessing on knowledge, competence or combined knowledge and competence qualifications, ensuring that they meet agreed standards of assessment. Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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The relevant qualification titles are listed below. Further details on these can be found on the Pearson website, or at the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications website (http://register.ofqual.gov.uk). ● Edexcel Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (QCF) ● Edexcel Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (QCF)

Planning assessment with your apprentice At level 4, the assessor will be assessing an apprentice who will progress during the course of the Apprenticeship to carry out a range of workplace activities with a limited amount of supervision. The assessor will need to negotiate and agree with both the apprentice and the employer suitable times and dates on which assessments will take place and the work areas that will be covered by the assessments. Assessors should give regular relevant feedback on how well the apprentice is doing the job. This feedback should be benchmarked against evidence that proves they are doing the job effectively and efficiently. Feedback should also show the level of knowledge and understanding that the apprentice has. As an assessor you should: ●

engage your apprentices fully with the assessment process



offer a detailed induction to e-portfolio and paper-based systems

● ensure your apprentice has access to the units/standards, whether paper-based or electronic ● consider jointly producing a detailed assessment plan, with SMART action points ●

use a range of evidence sources and assessment techniques

● ensure that assessed work is of a real-life nature rather than a simulated activity ●

make sure that apprentices are ready to be assessed



ensure an agreement is made about when to carry out assessments

● ensure the apprentice is aware of details of assessment activity and assessment methods ●

put your apprentice at ease before assessments

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be sure to give feedback at the end of each assessment

● refer back to your planning on an ongoing basis to ensure all units are covered.

The use of a combination of assessment methods should result in sufficient evidence to prove that your apprentice is competent and that they meet the required standards to complete their Higher Apprenticeship Framework. It is important that assessors have sufficient time to be able to remain with an allocated apprentice throughout the duration of their qualification. This encourages consistency and a solid working relationship between all parties. Changing assessors part-way through (unless absolutely unavoidable) can be very disruptive for an apprentice.

Preparing for an external examiner or standards verifier (SV) visit It is important when delivering a BTEC Higher Apprenticeship to ensure that your centre can provide evidence of rigorous quality assurance processes and procedures in relation to the Higher Apprenticeship Framework. Your centre will be allocated an external examiner (SV) for a Higher National Certificate or Diploma or a BTEC Professional qualification, or a standards verifier (SV) for an NVQ, who will visit you to offer support with all aspects of delivery of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework. Evidence of how apprentices with identified special needs have been catered for will also be examined by the SV. The internal verifier (IV) will liaise between the assessors and the SV. The main role of the IV is to work through the process of monitoring assessment within your centre. Their role also includes supporting assessors and checking their competence. Further responsibilities include: ● ensuring Pearson’s requirements are maintained, to enable you to operate as an approved centre ●

attending training and standardisation sessions provided by Pearson

● overseeing requests for special needs support and any appeals against assessment decisions ●

ensuring accuracy of the assessment process



organising standardisation meetings with assessors at your centre

● providing assessors with appropriate documentation and guidance for their use ●

providing training, advice and support to assessors

● liaising with Pearson over SV visits, interpretation of standards and any administrative problems that may arise.

It is the responsibility of the SV to ensure that IVs operate in line with Pearson’s assessment procedures. The SV is looking for Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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proof that the IVs provide prompt and accurate feedback to assessors and that they interpret the sector standards correctly. The SV is also looking to establish that the design and completion of your centre’s documentation meets the requirements of Pearson. To prepare for an SV visit, you need to: ● make available assessors’ and/or IVs’ CVs, detailing relevant sector experience and qualifications, along with evidence of their assessor and IV qualifications (see pages 48-49 for more information on qualifications available from Pearson) ● show evidence of regular communication between assessors and IVs (e.g. that Pearson documentation/IV files/minutes of standardisation meetings and other relevant information is being distributed on time) ● ensure that a staffing matrix and job descriptions for assessors are available for the SV to examine (this will ensure that the responsibilities of assessors match the needs of apprentices) ● show evidence that assessors are supported effectively by the centre to meet training and development needs (e.g. development plans for assessors arising from their staff appraisals and up-to-date CPD files for each assessor) ● show that procedures are in place to deal with requests for support for apprentices with special needs and that support is given to assessors who deal with referrals, disputes and appeals (e.g. IV files, equal opportunities policy, minutes of meetings, appeals procedure) ● show that assessors are given appropriate support to achieve consistency in assessment, using different types of evidence ● provide up-to-date assessment records and access to the apprentice’s portfolios of evidence ● provide up-to-date records showing that judgement of evidence, aspects of confidentiality and assessment decisions are sampled and monitored effectively ● provide records of progress and records of communication between employers and your centre (e.g. reports and progress reviews).

The SV visit The visit should follow the schedule agreed with the centre. The approved centre criteria on the Qualification Report Form (eQRF) provide the basis of the visit and it is on these that the SV will focus. For centres delivering NVQs, the visit should enable the SV to make a decision on whether or not to recommend access to certification and direct claims status (DCS). Within the centre it is the IV’s responsibility to provide evidence to demonstrate that the criteria are being met. Where there is more than one IV on a programme, one should adopt the senior or coordinating IV role and take responsibility for managing the programme information.

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The SV will report on provision within the centre against the approved centre criteria and the Pearson Delivery Requirements and Quality Assurance Guidance. The SV will also report on the extent to which approval conditions are being maintained through reviewing: ●

management systems



resources



candidate support



assessment and verification



centre records.

Evidence for BTEC Level 4+ competence or combined qualifications For the BTEC qualifications at level 4 or higher the SV visit will focus on the following areas. Centres need to provide evidence for each of the seven listed areas. 1. Academic standards and assessment The main source of evidence here is sampling, with particular emphasis on the nature and design of assignment briefs and opportunities for apprentices to produce evidence of achievement. In addition to sampling evidence of apprentices’ work, the SV will seek secondary evidence through meeting and talking with apprentices about these aspects of their assessment. The SV will also review the previous SV reports to determine whether all comments in the action plan have been addressed. 2. Academic standards and apprentice performance Again, the main source of evidence is samples of apprentices’ work but this time the emphasis is on apprentice performance and achievement. In addition to sampling of evidence of learners’ work, the SV will seek secondary evidence through meeting and talking with apprentices about these aspects of their apprenticeship. The SV will also review the previous SV reports to determine whether all comments in the action plan relating to academic standards and apprentice performance have been addressed. 3. Assessment process The centre will need to provide a variety of sources of evidence of the assessment process in order to address the following five aspects of the SV report form: ●

samples of apprentices’ assessed work



samples of assignment briefs

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course documentation relating to assessment



meetings with apprentices



quality management documentation and/or meetings with staff.

The SV will also review the previous SV reports to determine whether all comments in the action plan relating to these aspect have been addressed. 4. Assessment meetings The primary source of evidence here is attendance at examination board assessment meetings. Your centre should keep the SV informed of planned dates of assessment meetings and examination boards. The centre must also provide the SV with secondary evidence, in the form of documented procedures for, and minutes of, assessment meetings and examination boards. 5. Physical resources The SV will obtain evidence of this aspect of their report via a tour of the appropriate section of your college/department and the facilities for workplace assessment. In addition to the tour of the premises and facilities for workplace assessment, the SV will seek secondary evidence through meeting and talking with your apprentices and their assessors about these aspects of their course. The SV will also review the previous SV reports to determine whether all comments in the action plan relating to physical resources have been addressed. 6. Apprentices’ comments The SV will meet with apprentices to seek their opinions on their experience of the delivery of and their participation in the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship programme. Apprentice comments offer an opportunity to corroborate opinions formed from observations of other aspects of the SV’s visits. 7. Meetings with staff This is a key part of the SV visit procedure and provides an opportunity for the SV to feed back their observations to staff involved in delivering and assessing the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship. In addition to highlighting areas of good practice, this provides an opportunity to cover aspects of management support for staff including, for example, staff development opportunities and staff consultation. In terms of the competence elements of the combined qualification, the primary concern of the SV (and the focus of the visit) is to ensure that your centre is: Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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● maintaining national standards for qualifications awarded by Pearson ●

ensuring that the approval criteria are still met

● assessing candidate performance in accordance with National Occupational Standards (NOS) and evidence requirements ● providing equal opportunities to accreditation for all candidates who can demonstrate that they meet the national standards ●

committed to assuring and improving quality.

Assessment best practice This section covers the principles behind assessment best practice for the combined competence and knowledge qualification. Please note that further information on assessment can be found in the qualification specifications.

The assessment team Assessment of the combined qualification requires an internal team to plan, assess and monitor quality. The internal team needs to include the following people. ●

A quality nominee who: o

acts as the main point of contact between Pearson and the centre

o

ensures effective management of the programme

o

encourages and promotes good practice.



A programme manager who: o

is responsible for the day-to-day management and delivery of the programme

o

liaises with the quality nominee to prepare for the SV visit

o

provides information (e.g. evidence related to apprentices’ portfolios, assessment, internal verification and quality assurance)

o

ensures actions from the SV report are followed up on.



An IV who: o

ensures there is an effective system for recording apprentice achievement

o

develops and maintains an internal verification strategy

o

advises assessors on level, sufficiency, authenticity, validity and consistency

o

samples assessments and takes corrective action where required. (NB: An IV cannot sample their own work.)

SV allocations For separate knowledge (BTEC) and competence (NVQ) qualifications you will have two SVs – one for each qualification. For a combined knowledge and competence qualification you will have one SV. Each allocated SV will liaise with your quality nominee. The quality nominee will be sent an email giving details of the SV(s) Delivery Guide – BTEC Higher Apprenticeships (QCF) – Issue 1 – © Pearson Education Limited 2013

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and the programmes to which they have been allocated. You will need to provide the SV with the right information on each visit to ensure quality assurance is targeted to your needs.

BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment If you are running several BTEC Higher Apprenticeships that include BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment, then only one SV will verify the BTEC WorkSkills qualification.

Assessing the different Apprenticeship components The apprentice generates a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and competence. Knowledge component The purpose of assessment is to deliver valid, reliable, fair and manageable assessment. An assessment programme must be designed so that the apprentice can develop skills and knowledge in line with the assessment criteria. A range of assessment methods can be used, including: ●

presentations, written reports, accounts, surveys



logbooks, production diaries



role plays



observations of practical tasks or performance



articles for journals or press releases

● production of visual or audio materials, artefacts, products and specimens ●

peer- and self-assessment.

Although self-assessment is not sufficient on its own, it can provide valuable additional evidence of learning and formative assessment. It encourages apprentices to become self-critical and evaluative and can provide a useful stage prior to tutor assessment. It should generate action plans that are followed up prior to summative assessment. Competence component A range of evidence may be collected to demonstrate professional competence. At this level the apprentice should be encouraged to consider the depth of underpinning knowledge demonstrated through their work. Evidence for competence units or criteria may include: ● photo or film evidence (the apprentice should be aware that they need to clear permission with their manager to record this evidence) ●

documents and reports produced in the workplace

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artefacts produced in the workplace



witness statements from a mentor or manager



assessor observation.

In addition to these evidence types, apprentices should consider the role of reflective reports. These reports can identify the steps that an apprentice completed in a practical task and highlight underpinning knowledge and an awareness of professional standards. The reflective reports should be signed by the apprentice’s mentor.

ERR and PLTS ERR and PLTS are not requirements of SASE, but may be required by the framework. Your Sector Skills Council may have specific requirements for how ERR is achieved (for example, through completion of a workbook issued by the Sector Skills Council). Any specific requirements for the completion of ERR are outlined in the Higher Apprenticeship Framework document, available from http://www.afo.sscalliance.org/frameworkslibrary/. In some instances, ERR and PLTS will be integrated into the knowledge, competence or combined qualifications comprising the BTEC Higher Apprenticeship. In these cases, the qualification certificate on completion will provide sufficient evidence that these components have been achieved. You may want to consider using the BTEC WorkSkills for Effective Learning and Employment qualification to formally certificate the achievement of ERR and PLTS. You can find more information about this qualification on page 12, or by visiting http://www.edexcel.com/quals/specialist/workskills-appslvl3/Pages/default.aspx

Holistic assessment A holistic approach to assessment of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework has several benefits. ●

It more easily reflects daily working life.

● It provides a more structured approach for the assessor and the apprentice. ●

Evidence is collected in a more efficient way.

● Duration of the study period for the apprentice may be reduced as assessors may need to visit a workplace less frequently. ●

It reduces the chance of over-assessment.



Better-quality evidence is produced.

● It can reduce costs for your centre and lessen the demands on the apprentice’s time.

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Encouraging apprentices to see their apprenticeship as a ‘whole’, rather than in a more fragmented way, will make it easier to collect evidence holistically.

Using a range of assessment methodologies It is important to use a diverse range of appropriate assessment methods to prove an apprentice’s competency. This ensures that sufficient content for each unit is covered. See page 55-56 on evidence and assessment types for more information. One way to ensure that this happens is to produce a detailed assessment plan during the first visit, identifying key activities that cover a range of units holistically. For example: ● discussions with the assessor ● questioning sessions ● observations ● witness statements from a manager ● product evidence (such as emails, reports, minutes of meetings and so on) ● tasks or assignments to test knowledge.

Assessment planning The assessor, in agreement with the apprentice, will need to prepare a detailed assessment plan. It is important to develop a clear plan that includes an indication of possible activities that cover a range of units. During the process, it is important to maintain transparency of assessments and internal verification to ensure that apprentices and their employers are kept fully up to date with progress, assessment decisions and relevant feedback.

Meeting evidence requirements for the Higher Apprenticeship Framework It is important to use evidence effectively to cross-reference to as many competence and knowledge units and other aspects of the framework as possible. This will reduce the burden of evidence collection and bureaucracy. Assessors should make the best use of naturally occurring evidence in the workplace and maintain a clear audit trail. This can be achieved through the use of relevant and appropriate house-styled documentation that is completed with accuracy and then signed and dated by all concerned parties, to prove authenticity, reliability and currency of the evidence presented. In order to ensure that either the IV or the SV can locate the evidence as necessary, the assessor needs to record the location of the evidence. Details that need to be recorded include

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the document name, where it is stored, the date and any other information that will assist in locating documentation in the future.

Communicating with the apprentice and mentor It is important to communicate with the apprentice and workplace mentor regularly. Opportunities to do this arise naturally when visiting the apprentice and mentor at their own workplace. However, it may be the case that assessors wish to communicate during interim periods to: ●

offer feedback on submitted work



monitor progress observed by the mentor



feed back on action plans that can be forwarded to the apprentice

● feed back on evidence submitted for assessment that can be forwarded to the apprentice ● feed back on online practice assessments (e.g. multiple-choice quizzes).

The assessor may communicate through emails and social media. Communications through social media will need to be recorded to log the time, date and topic. Obtaining feedback from the apprentice is important to ensure messages have been received. For example, not all apprentices have access to emails or they may not read them for several days. Therefore, careful selection of appropriate methods of communication and feedback from the apprentice stating that they have received and understood the message are essential. It is not enough to assume that communication has been effective.

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