Higher Apprenticeships

Skills for Care has developed a Higher Apprenticeship (level 5) in Care Leadership and Management (England). The qualification only applies to jobs in adult social care, and has two pathways; a general pathway and a specialist pathway.

The Higher Apprenticeship was designed following extensive consultation with social care employers. It is for those in a managerial or business development role in adult social care, or for those who require a high level of knowledge or specific specialism.

Skills for Care has developed the following Higher Apprenticeship guides for employers and potential higher apprentices:

Developing managers and leaders in your workforce - a Higher Apprenticeships guide for employers

Progressing your career in social care - a guide for potential higher apprentices

A tenth version of the Higher Apprenticeship Framework in Care Leadership and Management (FR02611) has been issued as compliant with the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE 2013) by the Issuing Authority (Skills for Care and Development) on 3 February 2014. For more information see the pathways below.

The general pathway includes an achievement of the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services (England). This qualification requires achievement of a minimum of 90 QCF credits.

Key changes to the new framework (FR02611 issued 3 February 2014) affecting the general pathway are:

  1. Transferable Skills/Personal Learning and Thinking Skills/Employment Rights and Responsibilities have been removed to comply with SASE 2013.
  2. SASE 2013 obliges developers to set a minimum framework requirement of 90 credits for achievement of a Higher Apprenticeship at level 5. The general pathway of the framework has been amended accordingly, requiring the achievement of a specific 10 credit unit at level 5 within the listed qualification and a minimum of 90 credits through the Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services (England) in order to be certified as a higher apprentice in care leadership and management via the general pathway.
  3. The specific 10 credit unit is "Understand professional management and leadership in health and social care or children and young people’s settings".

It should be noted that:

  1. the rule of combination for the diploma has not changed – the minimum requirement for achievement remains 80 credits. A number of awarding organisations offering the diploma state explicitly that 80 credits is the minimum requirement, on the Ofqual qualifications register
  2. learners may still achieve the diploma with 80 credits and progress to the Specialist Pathway. This is particularly important for those who achieve the diploma outside the Higher Apprenticeship and within five years and who wish to progress to the specialist pathway. 

As well as taking the general pathway, learners have the option to take the specialist pathway in an area of specialist care knowledge, or in enterprise skills and achieve a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) Diploma at level 5 (120 FHEQ credits).

Those taking the specialist pathway can gain an 'exemption', where they can transfer 80 credits from the level 5 diploma in the general pathway and undertake specialist modules with a value of 40 FHEQ credits to gain a university qualification at level 5. They can then, if they choose, use the 120 credits gained to progress onto other university qualifications at degree and graduate level.

Key changes to the new framework (FR02611 issued 3 February 2014) affecting the specialist pathway are:

  • Transferable Skills/Personal Learning and Thinking Skills/Employment Rights and Responsibilities have been removed to comply with SASE 2013.

It should be noted that:

  1. the rule of combination for the diploma has not changed – the minimum requirement for achievement remains 80 credits. A number of awarding organisations offering the diploma state explicitly that 80 credits is the minimum requirement, on the Ofqual qualifications register
  2. learners may still achieve the diploma with 80 credits and progress to the specialist pathway. This is particularly important for those who achieve the diploma outside the Higher Apprenticeship and within five years and who wish to progress to the specialist pathway
  3. the credit value of the specialist pathway is unaffected by changes in SASE 2013 and is still worth 120 credits.

 

The general pathway is for those responsible for:

  • management of day to day provision in a residential service or non-residential service as an assistant manager, deputy, unit or service manager. This may include responsibility as the Registered Manager of the service
  • those within adult social care services that need a high level of knowledge of care provision activities or a specific specialism. They are not involved in direct management of staff but have some responsibility for the assessment of individuals' needs to ensure positive outcomes.

The specialist pathway is for those responsible for:

  • managing specialist adult social care services, with a specialist knowledge of particular adult social care provision and requirements, for example, responsibility for strategic planning of dementia care across a service
  • business development in adult social care - taking an enterprise/business development role which involves managing a business on behalf of others and/or starting and growing a new business and/or developing an existing business and/or supporting an employer to achieve any of these objectives.

In 2013-14, employers can claim Skills for Care’s Workforce Development Fund for completed and verified units on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

Previous versions of the Higher Apprenticeship framework have been approved for funding by the National Apprenticeship Service. For details go to https://gateway.imservices.org.uk/sites/lara/Pages/AimsSearch.aspx and search for '584' under 'framework'.

The specialist pathway consists of qualifications in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). Student Loans may apply. See https://www.gov.uk/student-finance for more information.

A report has been published which shows how new routes to university have been opened up for people working as managers and specialists in adult social care under the Higher Apprenticeship Framework in Care Leadership and Management.

This has been a ground-breaking development in Higher Apprenticeships, using credit transfer to open up access to Higher Education to experienced workers and recently qualified advanced apprentices. For new recruits to the sector, the potential to eventually progress into Higher Education from Apprenticeship level will be visible right from the start of their career.

The report explains how Skills for Care has worked with Further and Higher Education learning providers and employers to create these opportunities, describes what has been achieved so far and outlines actions and plans for expansion by Skills for Care for 2013-14.

Download the report here:

New routes into university for people working in adult social care (pdf)

Higher Education (HE) providers wishing to develop options for the specialist pathway are expected to use our Specification for Developing Options for the Specialist Pathway, which describes the Higher Apprenticeship framework, the requirements for HE providers planning to design specialist pathway options and the information that they need to supply to Skills for Care for their plans to be approved.

If you are a HE provider and are interested in developing an option for the specialist pathway, please email apprentices@skillsforcare.org.uk

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