Assistant Practitioner Standard – FAQs

2 October, 2019

Welcome to this month’s Apprenticeship Chat Series 

We get a lot of queries about the Assistant Practitioner standard so this post attempts to answer some of the common things that people want to know.

The apprenticeship standard outlines that the apprentice must undertake an accredited level 5 occupational competence qualification such as a Foundation Degree, other Level 5 Diploma of Higher Education or the Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare.

Providers can self-declare that their foundation degree meets the content of the standard using this form.

As an employer you can ask to see the mapping that they have done between the standard and their qualification to ensure there are no gaps.  It is wise to do this before you purchase the qualification for your employee so that you can be sure that the apprentice will be ready to be put forward to end point assessment when they complete the on-programme learning.

There are different ways of achieving this.

Either you choose to purchase a qualification that has content specific to a particular clinical setting.  For example, you may choose a Foundation Degree in Adult Mental Health which will provide everything that is included in the apprenticeship standard plus specific knowledge and skills related to the role of an assistant practitioner in mental health. Another example could be a foundation degree in Healthcare Practice where there are pathways for specific clinical areas such as End of Life Care or Long Term Care.

Alternatively, you may decide to select a qualification where the curriculum isn’t designed for a specific clinical setting and your apprentice will study alongside others from the multi-disciplinary team. Whilst the curriculum itself may not contain specific clinical content the apprentices will still need to apply the learning and the assessments to the clinical area in which they work.  As with any apprenticeship You may wish to consider whether there are wider opportunities to supplement and enhance the apprentices learning with experiences on and/ or off-the-job.

Firstly you need to download the standard and assessment plan from here. You will need to map your curriculum to the apprenticeship standard to make sure that all learners are going to be able to achieve the apprenticeship via your qualification.  You will also need to look at the assessment plan to make sure that your learners will be being prepared by your qualification to undertake the end point assessment associated with this apprenticeship. You must do this even though completion of your qualification is a gateway requirement and you do not have any involvement in the end point assessment itself.

Once you are happy that your curriculum is going to offer everything that is required by the apprenticeship then you complete this form so that you can be added to the list of ‘self-declarers’. Adding your organisation to this list is optional.  However, it does make it much easier for employers to find you and your qualification. Please note that they may ask to see the mapping you have done before making their decision.

You also have to register on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. This is mandatory. You must be on this register in order to access the funding available for apprenticeships. Employers and apprentices can search here to see who has registered as a training provider for this apprenticeship.

There is no mandatory requirement to include placement-type experiences into the assistant practitioner apprenticeship.

However, sometimes people feel that the opportunity for apprentices to experience different areas of work during their training is important. So, some training providers may work with you to enable apprentices to ‘swap’ work areas during their training but many will not able to offer this facility. As an employer, you may make a local decision to rotate your apprentices through different locations. This is often easier for larger employers with a reasonable size of cohort in training.  It may also work across organisational or sectoral boundaries where good networks exist. This kind of movement does take considerable planning, may require local service level agreements to be in place and for coordinators to be available to facilitate the process and movement of the apprentices. Unlike conventional students, assistant practitioner apprentices are employed and in most instances included in the staffing numbers  in the areas that they are working, usually in a support worker role.

An alternative to a longer placement-type experience could be shorter sessions where apprentices visit other departments or organisations as part of their off-the-job learning hours instead.

Yes. The qualification can include more content that the standard but it cannot include less. As long as all the knowledge, skills and behaviour statements listed in the standard are included within the chosen qualification it can be seen as meeting the standard.  All of these must be ‘mandatory’ within the qualification. Additional or ‘optional’ units or modules within the qualification may cover additional or more in-depth knowledge and skills that are specific to an individual assistant practitioner role or area of expertise.

As this is a non-integrated apprenticeship, the end point assessment is undertaken after the apprentice has met the gateway requirements which includes completing their qualification and the English and maths requirements.  End Point Assessment Organisations must be registered here. The end point assessor will not have been involved with the apprentices during their qualification or in their workplace. This is to ensure independence.  You can search to see which end point assessment organisations have registered against this standard here.

End point assessment organisations may also find these FAQs helpful.