What you need to know:
1. The importance of recognising prior learning and experience
Apprentices should not receive training on the knowledge, skills and behaviours they have already acquired through prior qualifications, training or work experience. The apprenticeship should be about learning new capabilities which support them to become competent in their job.
The benefits to employers when the prior learning and experience of their apprentices is correctly recognised, include;
- Shortened or accelerated apprenticeships
- Supports progression
- Motivated and engaged apprentices
- Make the most of apprenticeship funds
2. The roles of providers, employers and apprentices in recognition of prior learning and experience
All three parties have a responsibility in ensuring an apprentice’s prior learning is recognised and the assessment is effective. Prior learning and experience’s impact on eligibility for apprenticeships.
To be eligible for funding there must be the equivalent of at least 6 hours per week of off-the-job training once any unnecessary training content has been removed from the training plan. There must also be a minimum of 12 months duration remaining
3. What’s involved in the assessment of recognition of prior learning and experience
- Skills scan – The skills scan assesses the individual’s competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements of the standard.
- Accreditation of prior qualifications – The provider must identify relevant prior qualifications or equivalents (particularly qualifications aligned to occupational standards) and unaccredited courses.
- Reviewing the level of competence against the proposed training programme – Once the above steps have been completed the provider must identify the knowledge, skills and behaviours that the individual already has.
4. Supporting apprentices to prepare for initial assessment
Employers should make sure the apprentice understands the requirements of the apprenticeship standard they will work towards.
5. Employers’ involvement in the recognition of prior learning process
The provider conducts the assessment of prior learning and experience, documents the findings in the training plan and uses the assessment to develop the apprentice’s tailored training programme.
However, the employer and the apprentice must play active roles in ensuring the assessment accurately reflects the apprentice’s prior learning and experience, that the training programme is adjusted accordingly and that this is recorded in the training plan.