Change to Apprenticeship Standards

Employer and apprentice reading through a document together

Apprenticeships are changing

Due to a major government reform of Apprenticeships, the current system of ‘frameworks’ is being replaced by ‘standards’.

The standards are two-page documents listing the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for being competent in your role.

These have to be assessed throughout and the result graded at the end of the Apprenticeship by somebody independent.

What are the new standards?

Four job roles are the subject of the new Apprenticeship standards:

  • Adult Care Worker (level 2)
  • Lead Adult Care Worker (level 3)
  • Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (level 4)
  • Leader in Adult Care (level 5) - this incorporates both managers and advanced practitioners.


You can download an introduction to the new Apprenticeships standards as well as a table of the new roles and the training and testing needed for each. 

The standards have been written by a group of employers representing the public, private and voluntary sectors and different specialisms in adult social care. All draft documents were open to public consultation.

If you have any more questions we have put together a Frequently Asked Questions document to help you with these changes. 


Funding is changing too.

A total maximum cost is assigned to the standard rather than per component element, so there is more freedom in the make-up of the training.

You will agree a price with the learning provider and then pay for one-third of the cost to your learning provider and the government will contribute the rest of the cost and pay the learning provider.

There is also a system of incentive payments if you are a small organisation, employ 16-18 year olds, and also upon completion.

In some cases these incentive payments may be more than your original cash contribution. From April 2017, there will be a different system called the Apprenticeship Levy which will apply to employers with a payroll of more than £3m. For more detail go to Apprenticeship Funding Systems


The next stage in development is to produce an Assessment Strategy for each standard which will need to be approved by the government.


The guidance on assessment sets clear rules which must be followed by all Trailblazer groups.


Qualifications are no longer needed as part of Apprenticeships but they can be included as part of the training if appropriate. However qualifications cannot be used as a substitute for the end-test. 

The employer group who developed the standards decided to keep the health and social care diplomas (QCF) in all four standards as the industry-recognised competency measures. Find out more about these in the qualifications section of our website.

The Care Certificate is a must for all new apprentices.

For those staff who have completed the Common Induction Standards prior to the launch of the Care Certificate, it is the employer’s responsibility to judge where the gaps are for staff to meet the additional standards in the Care Certificate.

Dependent on government decisions and the emergence of end-point assessment organisations, the first Apprenticeship starts on the new standards are expected to be in late 2016.

There is likely to be a period of dual running between the current frameworks and the new standards while the system settles in.

We’re supporting the employer group who have developed the standards and have set up a dedicated email to take enquiries:

Now that the final shape of the standards and assessment strategies is known, we will work with employers, learning providers and other stakeholders to help with a smooth roll out of the new system.


Guidance for learning providers

We’re offering help to learning providers on all the new changes to social care qualifications and Apprenticeships

”By understanding the sector better you can improve your offer and potentially increase your business too”



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