Degree-level apprenticeship agenda gathers pace

Published: 23 March 2017 Ezine

Author: Charlotte Beardmore, Director of Professional Policy

As many of you will be aware, last year the government announced its intention to introduce an employer levy to support development of apprenticeships.  

‘Trailblazer groups’ have formed to consider the development of apprenticeship standards for the support workforce and advanced practice, together with degree level radiography and medical ultrasound apprenticeships.    

Prior to the development of an apprenticeship standard, an Expression of Interest (EoI) is submitted by a lead employer online to the Department for Education.    

Each EoI is shared publicly for consultation for a two-week period before a decision is taken by DfE whether to approve the EoI. 

If approved the apprenticeship standard group can form from the trailblazer group and standard development can begin. 

There can only be one apprenticeship standard for each role so once an EoI is approved for a specific role, other interested parties can express interest and register to contribute to the development of the standard. 

All trailblazer groups are employer-led, must include at least 10 employer groups plus other key stakeholders, including professional bodies, educators and regulators for registered professions.  

Members are advised to keep a watch for the publication of EoI’s via and to respond directly to the EoI consultation accordingly. 

Over the last few weeks we have provided advice and guidance to a number of groups who are considering submitting EoI’s for a range of roles within the radiography profession. Specifically this has included the development of an EoI for Advanced Clinical Practice. 

My role, in representing AHPs as co-chair of the Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) HEE group (see above) is offering me the opportunity to now contribute to the development of an employer led EoI for Advanced Clinical Practitioners.  

This is important for AHPs and for our profession in ensuring that the standard will enable advanced clinical practice apprenticeships for all professions. The apprenticeship standard must therefore be inclusive, flexible and sufficiently high-level with definite capabilities to relate fully to multiple sectors, settings, services, workforce needs, professions and advanced level roles. This is challenging, but should be possible.

It is also extremely important that the apprenticeship development for an ACP aligns with the HEE ACP framework project (see above).

A number of members contacted the SCoR following the February news article in Synergy News, ‘Apprenticeships for Advanced Practice learning’. We have advised members to register their interest in the standards development should the EoI proceed.

If you’re interested please register by contacting [email protected].

Meanwhile, SCoR officers have been invited to contribute to the 1st meeting of the medical ultrasound trailblazer group developing the medical ultrasound standard.

We are awaiting confirmation about how the trailblazer groups will take forward the radiography degree level apprenticeship following the EoI submission at the end of last year. We are in contact with the leaders of these groups. 

We continue to work collaboratively to gather and share intelligence with members, between the AHPs Education Leads group and within the SCoR. 

Further updates will be provided through SN, on the website and through social media.