How apprenticeships work

An apprenticeship programme must:

  • run for a minimum of 12 months
  • provide an opportunity to learn whilst at work and time to learn away from work (within paid working time)
  • be independently assessed at the end (end-point assessment).


All apprentices must spend 20% of their time taking part in off-the-job training. This time away from their normal working duties allows them to gain the knowledge and develop the skills needed for their new role. The Department for Education has published some supportive materials to help everyone understand this important requirement.

Access further guidance on off-the-job training


Each apprentice is assessed at the end of their apprenticeship, by an independent organisation and given a final grade. Your learning provider will help you source and End-point Assessment Organisation EPAO.

Click here for more information on commissioning your own EPAO.


Functional Skills are qualifications that have been developed by the UK Government as part of an initiative to improve England’s literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.

Functional skills qualifications have been reviewed and updated and are due to be used from September 2019. For more information about the changes click here.


All employers should work with a learning provider who delivers the apprenticeship programme for them and who must be on the Government Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). 

You can also search for Skills for Care endorsed providers in our search directory. Skills for Care Endorsement is the bespoke quality mark for learning providers within the adult social care sector.

You may wish to deliver all or some of the programme yourself. There are three routes for employers to become training providers. Click here to find out more


You can advertise your apprenticeship through the find an apprenticeship service – your learning provider might do this on your behalf. Or you can use apprenticeships for career progression for existing staff. Your learning provider will help you ensure that they’re eligible.

Click here to access Government advice and rules on employing an apprentice.


If you want any specific support on apprenticeships please get in touch.