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Higher and Degree apprenticeships - what you need to know

Information to help education providers meet our regulatory requirements when setting up Degree Apprenticeships.

If you are planning to set up a Degree Apprenticeship programme, you should contact us when you are in a position to discuss your plans for delivery of the programme. It is best to contact us sooner rather than later.

How we assess programmes

Our standards of education and training (SETs) are designed to be flexible, which means they can be applied to a variety of training models. Education providers will need to demonstrate how their apprenticeship programme meets our standards.

New programmes

Generally, if you are introducing a new programme award title to deliver your apprenticeship, we will consider this a new programme. This would usually be the case where you are already approved to deliver training at the same level for the profession using a different programme award title.

We need to approve new apprenticeship programmes before apprentices can start their training. For these programmes, we need at least six months to arrange an approval visit, then at least three months to conclude the process with you.

Changes to existing programmes

You may intend to make changes to your existing programme to deliver a degree apprenticeship pathway through the programme. We can assess these changes either prospectively or retrospectively in accordance with our normal major change process.

We may still need to conduct a visit if we consider this is the most proportionate way to assess the changes you are making. A result of this process is that we do not approve changes, and require you to run the programme as it currently meets our standards.

We may also require you to introduce a new study mode for the degree apprenticeship for the purposes of our records (eg work-based learning).

Progress against the Institute for Apprenticeships' requirements

We will progress our assessment in the most timely and efficient way that we can to support you. However, you will need to consider how much detail you can provide to us at the point of engaging with us. We may need to delay our assessment of your programme until you are able to consider how programme design and delivery might be brought together to allow us to consider the programme against our standards.

When engaging with our processes, education providers should consider the profession’s progress against the Institute for Apprenticeships’ requirements. For example, it may be difficult for programmes to demonstrate how they are sustainable and fit for purpose (a requirement of our standards) if the funding band has not be agreed. It may also be difficult to evidence how programmes effectively assesses learners to meet our standards of proficiency if the apprenticeship assessment plan is not yet publicly available.

We will provide advice about our regulatory process and standards to trailblazer groups, but are unable to formally sit on the group, or provide direction about how the profession should develop their standard.

Standards that may be affected

Depending on the model of training, changes may affect several standards, including:

Download our Standards of education and training guidance

If you have any questions about developing an apprenticeship programme, email or call +44 (0)20 7840 9812.