Apprenticeship standards and assessment plans are written by employer-led ‘Trailblazer’ groups. The Institute of Apprenticeships & Technical Education provides guidance, signing off and publishing the final documents and allocating a funding band.

In health, many Trailblazers are sponsored by Health Education England and facilitated by Skills for Health. We can help you through the three phases of the process.

Most Trailblazers will be completed within 12 months, although timescales may vary.

It’s not unusual for proposals, standards or assessment plans to be returned with conditions applied which may slow down the overall process. Occasionally the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education will reject a proposal, standard or assessment plan which can add significantly to the development time.

In some instances a Trailblazer may close. Where available, we publish short reports against the standard explaining why the project has closed.


  • Read the full IFA guidance here.
  • Request Skills for Health support for your Trailblazer here. HEE sponsors the programme of work and will advise the chair of the group if Skills for Health’s support will be made available.
  • Suggest a new standard here.
  • Other questions? Click here.


Click on the boxes above to find out more about writing a proposal, standard and assessment plan.