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What is the difference between an apprenticeship framework and standard?

Frameworks are the old system of apprenticeship programmes, devised by government bodies to fit industry needs. Standards were introduced to replace frameworks and are industry-led, developed by “trailblazer” groups of employers.

Standards were introduced to improve quality of provision, ensure training was aligned with employer needs, and to guarantee that learners were fully competent in their given role. Standards are closely tied to a specific role, and provide the learner knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to excel.

A major difference is how the programmes are assessed. Although both are competency-based, frameworks are assessed throughout the training programme, whilst standards have a separate End-point Assessment of up to three months. This process is led by an independent assessor to ensure full competency.

What is an apprenticeship standard?

An apprenticeship standard is a nationally recognised training programme mapped to a specific role within a huge range of industries. Each standard is developed by industry-leading employers and apprenticeship experts through a board of “trailblazers”.

Standards were introduced to increase the overall quality of apprenticeship provision across all industries and levels. The programmes are closely aligned to specific roles and focus on developing skills and behaviours to ensure learners are competent.

The new programmes are fully aligned to the needs of employers because they are developed by boards of industry leaders.

There is an End-point Assessment period of up to three months after the programme, in which the learner is tested by an independent assessor. This is a more rigorous approach than with frameworks, resulting in a higher quality of provision. Learners must pass the assessment to achieve their accredited standard.

Find out more about End-point Assessment here.

What is an apprenticeship framework?

Frameworks are the old apprenticeship schemes and are gradually being phased out and replaced by new apprenticeship standards. There are plans to completely replace frameworks by 2020.

Frameworks provided the learner with a qualification, with assessments performed throughout the programme on a range of competencies. Frameworks are based on combinations of units with specific qualifications.

Apprenticeship frameworks and standards funding bands

Every apprenticeship framework and standard has a funding band set by the government. Each funding band is a guide to the cost of the programme, and acts as the upper limit for the amount the government will contribute towards each apprentice trained.

You can only use your levy funds towards a programme costed within the funding band.

Lifetime was an early adopter of the apprenticeship standards and had expert input in Trailblazers. We use this expertise to deliver award-winning apprenticeship training programmes to our clients.

How Lifetime can help your business

Lifetime delivers industry-leading skills training that’s reshaping the future of business. Our expert teams work to become an extension of yours, so we can build long-lasting, trusted partnerships. Talk to us to find out more.