Understanding Apprenticeship Standards

The government is replacing all apprenticeships frameworks with new apprenticeship standards. Read on to find out why the changes are taking place and what difference it could make to your apprenticeship or business.

Why are the new apprenticeship standards being brought in?

The introduction of standards is part of the government’s reform of apprenticeships which aims to boost the number of apprentices in the country, ensure high quality training and put business needs at the centre. Apprenticeship standards have been designed to give employers more control over the training their apprentices receive. This means that people who complete an apprenticeship, and employers they apply to, know that they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform the job role.

Apprenticeship standards are being introduced from level 2 (GCSE) up to levels 6 and 7 (degree level) to allow people to progress through the apprenticeship pathway to higher level qualifications and more senior job roles.

Apprentices who have already started their programme on a framework will continue on the framework until they complete. Some apprentices will still start on frameworks where there is not a suitable standard available, until the rollout is complete in 2020.

What are the main difference between frameworks and standards?


  • Apprenticeship frameworks are a collection of qualifications that an apprentice completes during their apprenticeship. Once each element is complete, the apprentice receives their apprenticeship certificate. This usually includes an NVQ to ensure competence and a technical certificate to increase their knowledge, as well as functional skills in maths, English and ICT if required.
  • Apprenticeship frameworks often cover quite broad subject areas, such as Health and Social Care or Business and Administration.
  • Assessment of most frameworks is completed through observation or portfolio, with tests for the technical certificate and functional skills.


  • Apprenticeship standards can include a qualification, especially if this is a requirement of the job (for example, working in a nursery or a care home). However, they are more focused on specific skills, knowledge and behaviours that are needed for a specific job role, rather than generic qualifications. Maths and English are still completed as part of the apprenticeship if required and digital skills are part of all standards.
  • Standards are written for a specific job role, such as Adult Care Worker or Customer Service Practitioner.
  • Standards are assessed through an independent End Point Assessment, composed of several elements such as observation, online tests, a project, a professional discussion or a presentation. Once the apprentice successfully completes the assessment they receive their certificate, which can be a pass, merit or distinction, depending on the standard.

If you have any questions about how these changes could affect your business please contact us on 03332 408302 or email info@ptp-training.co.uk and one of our advisers will be happy to help.

PTP are currently offering the following standards:

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