Degree-level apprenticeships: Standards development gathers pace

Published: 23 February 2017 Ezine

Charlotte Beardmore, Director of Professional Policy at the Society, provides an update on the development of degree-level radiography apprenticeships.

As many of you will be aware, last year the government announced its intention to develop degree-level apprenticeships for diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiography and medical ultrasound.

Apprenticeships combine practical training with study, with apprentices employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week whilst they are studying towards an apprenticeship standard.

‘Trailblazer groups’ have begun to form to aid in the development of apprenticeship standards.

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

This is then shared publicly for consultation for a two-week period before a decision is taken by DfE whether to approve the EoI or not. 

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.  

Members are advised to keep a watch for the publication of Expressions of Interest via https://consult.education.gov.uk/ in relation to trailblazers which may appear for consultation and to respond directly to the EoI consultation. 

Over the last few weeks we have provided advice to a number of groups who are considering submitting EoI’s for a range of roles within the radiography profession.  

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

The submission is employer led.  

It is extremely important that the apprenticeship development for an Advanced Clinical Practitioner aligns with the HEE ACP framework project.

There should also be relevant professional body and wider input to ensure the standard is 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. 

In the February issue of Synergy News, Leslie Robinson asked to hear from members interested in being involved with the development of Advanced Clinical Practitioner standards for radiography.   

The work will include radiography. A number of members contacted the SCoR following the article which has been helpful and 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.