Health & Social Care Training Throughout the UK

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The New Level 5 Apprenticeship Standard

There is a change in the way apprenticeships are being funded and delivered.

The previous Health and Social Care Apprenticeship Frameworks Levels 2 and 3 have already been replaced by the new apprenticeship standards. Next to change over is the Level 5 Leadership and Management Apprenticeship Framework.

From 31st December 2019, the Framework will no longer be available, and this will, therefore, impact on anybody who wishes to obtain the Level 5 Diploma (Registered Manager qualification) as part of a government-funded apprenticeship.

The new standard changes –

  • How the apprenticeship is funded
  • The fee the employer is expected to contribute
  • The expected duration of the programme
  • What the content of the apprenticeship is

With the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards came funding changes and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. Changes to the amount of employer fee required to be paid by those employers not currently paying the new levy were also introduced. The employer fee required for the new level 5 standard is expected to be £350. The apprentice is typically expected to spend 18 months on-programme working towards the apprenticeship standard.

This article focuses on the content of the new Level 5 apprenticeship standard which is called Leader in Adult Care.

Overview of the New Standard

The Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship Framework being replaced by the new standard, stipulates the qualification that the apprentice must obtain to complete the framework. This was the only specified requirement of the framework for the learner to achieve their apprenticeship.

The new apprenticeship standards have a different approach. Each standard stipulates Behaviours, Knowledge and Skills that apprentices are expected to consistently work at to meet the standard. The apprentice receives on and off the job training and also assessment throughout the programme to meet these requirements. When the training provider and employer agree that these are met, the apprentice then passes through the gateway to complete the End Point Assessment, which concludes the programme.

All new standards require that individuals have passed English and maths at the prescribed level, which for the Level 5 Apprenticeship is Level 2 (A-C GCSE or equivalent). If the apprentice does not already have this level when commencing the apprenticeship, they must obtain a pass at this level as part of their programme before them passing through the gateway.

Some standards may also stipulate other qualifications that must be obtained before the apprentice passing through the gateway. The new standard also continues to require the apprentice to obtain the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership & Management qualification before progressing through the gateway.

The following sections consider these requirements further.

The level of Behaviours, Knowledge and Skills (BKS) set out in the standard.

The level of BKS that an apprentice should be consistently working at before passing through the gateway is set out in the standard.

The Level 5 standard sets out the following behaviours that are required to be exhibited by the apprentice:

Behaviours

Care – is caring consistently and enough about individuals to make a positive difference to their lives.

Compassion – is delivering care and support with kindness, consideration, dignity, empathy and respect.

Courage – is doing the right thing for people and speaking up if the individual they support is at risk.

Communication – good communication is central to successful caring relationships and effective team working.

Competence – is applying knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care and support.

Commitment – to improving the experience of people who need care and support ensuring it is person-centred.

Knowledge and Skills

The skills and knowledge to:

Undertake tasks and responsibilities relating to specified systems, processes and procedures combined with an understanding of the relevant statutory frameworks, standards, guidance and codes of practice.

Complete activities relating to:

  • Dignity and human rights
  • Communication
  • Safeguarding
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Professional development
  • Leadership

English and Maths

The new standard requires anybody completing the apprenticeship to have Level 2 English and maths qualifications. This will mean anyone without these qualifications, will need to complete as part of the programme. This will also be the case for anybody who cannot provide evidence that they already have these qualifications (i.e. copies of the certificates).

The introduction of this English and maths requirement is a significant change that will have consequences for many considering the new apprenticeship standard route. All undertaking this programme will be in senior and challenging work roles. Some will, therefore, feel that they will not be able to cope with the demands of obtaining both the Level 5 Leadership and Management Diploma as well as separate English and maths qualifications simultaneously as part of the apprenticeship.

Supporting individuals to achieve these qualifications simultaneously, will also be a major challenge to training providers/colleges too. It is therefore likely that many will stipulate as an entry requirement, that individuals are already in possession of the English and maths qualifications before commencing on this apprenticeship programme.   

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care

The recently introduced RQF version of the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership & Management for Adult Care will be delivered as a core requirement of the Apprenticeship. This or equivalent is the qualification that CQC expect Registered Managers of care providers to have. This is a workplace vocational qualification which is assessed using a variety of methods, including observation of prescribed workplace practices and knowledge.

Much of the content of the qualification does align with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the requirements of the new apprenticeship standard. With the support of the training provider, this qualification will contribute significantly to the apprentice being ready to pass through the gateway to end point assessment.

How the Standard is Assessed – End Point Assessment

The new Apprenticeship Standards all require End Point Assessment (EPA). This is the process where government-approved independent organisations undertake the final assessment of apprentices to confirm or otherwise that they meet the requirements of the standard. These organisations must be independent of both the apprentice’s employer and the training provider. Once the employer and training provider confirms that the apprentice is ready to progress through the gateway to EPA, the assessment process comprises:

EPA – Independent Assessor

Employers chose at the start of the apprenticeship programme the independent organisation they wish to undertake the EPA of the programme from those listed on the Government’s Register of End Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO). In most cases, it is expected that the training provider will assist the employer with this process.

An approved assessor from this EPAO (End Point Assessment Organisation) will be allocated to assess the apprentice once they have progressed through the gateway. The assessor is required to have the necessary work experience in the sector and qualifications to perform this EPA.

EPA – Timescale and Location

The EPA must be completed over a maximum period of three months after the apprentice has met the requirements to pass through the EPA gateway. It is expected that the employer’s premises will be used for most EPAs. The independent assessor can be present face-to-face or remotely if appropriate technology is available to permit this.

The assessment methods can be completed either on the same day or different days to best meet the needs of the employer or the apprentice.

EPA – Assessment Methods

The EPA consists of two distinct assessment methods:

Observation of leadership

This will typically involve the independent assessor observing the apprentice leading a team-meeting activity. The activity is likely to be based on presenting service development or improvement plans or similar. The assessor will then ask the apprentice a minimum of four pre-set open questions to assess related knowledge to the activity. The observation activity should last 60 minutes with the follow-up questions lasting 15 minutes.

Professional discussion

The professional discussion is an in-depth two-way discussion between the apprentice and the independent assessor. The professional discussion is for the independent assessor to ask the apprentice questions about knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out in the apprenticeship standard. The professional discussion should take 60 minutes.

Apprentices should be very familiar with these EPA methods as they should have already experienced similar approaches with the training providers own assessors supporting them to complete the Level 5 Diploma qualification.

EPA – Apprenticeship Grading

Unlike the previous apprenticeship frameworks, the new apprenticeship standards require all apprentices to be graded as part of the completion of the EPA process. The independent assessor is required to grade each of the two assessment methods – fail, pass or distinction. Therefore, apprentices can be encouraged and supported – as part of an apprenticeship – to develop and stretch themselves to achieve outcomes beyond the minimum level required.

More information

There are several government agency websites containing useful information for employers concerning the new apprenticeship standards:

If you have any specific enquiries, contact us here.

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