What you need to know when becoming an apprentice:
1. Recognising your prior learning and experience
Before you become an apprentice, you may already have covered parts of the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in your apprenticeship – you could have gained these from a relevant qualification or employment in the industry. It is important that you are given credit for what you already know and can do, so that you don’t have to repeat training. This is known as recognition of prior learning and experience.
Your apprenticeship should be about learning new capabilities which support you to become fully competent in your job, as described in the apprenticeship description (the standard).
Your training provider will assess what prior learning and experience you have before you begin your apprenticeship. Your employer will also be involved in the process by helping identify what you can already do and agreeing this with the training provider.
2. Prior learning can affect whether you can do an apprenticeship
The apprenticeship funding rules say that to start an apprenticeship you must:
- need significant new training that lasts for at least 12 months
- undertake the equivalent of 6 hours a week doing off-the-job training
This doesn’t have to be organised weekly but must be the equivalent of 6 hours per week over the duration of your apprenticeship.
3. Eligibility checks for your apprenticeship (Initial Assessment)
An initial assessment is completed to identify any prior learning and experience you may have. This must include completion of a skills scan, which is based on the content of the apprenticeship you are enrolling on to. The results of this will be followed up at a review meeting with your employer and training provider.
You can help your training provider to make an accurate Initial Assessment by:
- telling them about the relevant work experience (including volunteering), education and training that you have done
- completing any pre-Initial Assessment activities you are asked to do
- being ready to talk about how your prior learning and experience is relevant to your chosen apprenticeship
4. After the Initial Assessment
Your training provider and employer will agree on:
- whether your prior learning and experience can count towards your apprenticeship
- what changes are needed (if any) to your training plan
- whether you are eligible for funding to start your chosen apprenticeship