Apprenticeships and the professions – Happy bedfellows

8 August, 2019

Welcome to this month’s Apprenticeship Chat Series 

Apprenticeships are not new, but apprenticeship reforms in England have opened up new opportunities for employers in the health sector, which they are actively embracing. We are seeing large numbers of employers, public and private providers engaging in the reforms extensively and willingly, and they are discovering new ways to utilise apprenticeships for the regulated professions.

Individual employers will each have their own reasons for engaging with apprenticeships for the regulated professions. For some it will be widening participation, offering career progression to existing employees, for others it will be a recruitment and retention tool for hard-to-fill posts. Some will see it as a chance to mentor and shape the individual in-line with their organisational culture.

Retaining public confidence in our regulated professions is of paramount importance and it is understandable that the public will want to be assured that the introduction of apprenticeships for the regulated professions won’t compromise standards. Here are some headline reasons as to why apprenticeships and the regulated professions are happy bedfellows.

Apprenticeships for the regulated professions will….

Directly align with standards of proficiency set by the statutory regulator
The apprenticeship standard cannot be approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education* without having a letter of support from the statutory regulator.

Require the apprentice to complete a regulated qualification approved by the statutory regulator
Regulators will continue to approve professional programmes offered as an apprenticeship.

Require the apprentice to achieve the same academic standards as traditional students
In most cases this will be a level 6 Bachelors or level 7 Masters degree and the apprenticeship will be known as a Degree Apprenticeship.

Complement traditional routes to registration and offer choice
Apprenticeships will be additional to and will not replace existing routes.

Increase opportunity for those who may not be financially able to support themselves as a student
Apprentices are employees which means that they are paid a wage for the duration of their apprenticeship. Their university fees are paid by the employer and/or government.

* The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is an employer led crown Non-Departmental Public Body that oversees the development, approval and publication of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. Information on the development process can be found at