From education to employment

Apprenticeship View: Associate Project Management Level 4


I’m now two months into my Level 4 Associate Project Management apprenticeship and what has been interesting to see first-hand is the amount of off-the-job training that is required in the new world of standards.  At AELP we talk about off-the-job training a lot in various webinars, workshops and at our member sector forum meetings, but experiencing it myself has provided an excellent insight which I’m sure will be useful for future guidance for our members.  The Associate Project Management standard includes a mandatory qualification so has included lots of preparation and mock questions to prepare me for this – bearing in mind I haven’t sat an actual exam for a long time!! I’m now surrounded by text books and revision notes, not to mention assignment and portfolio notes and resources.  And to think that IfA are currently reviewing this standard’s funding band – we’ll await the outcome of that announcement!!

Over the past two months I have been learning about:

  • Project Contexts and Environments
  • Portfolio and programme management
  • Organisation Structures and Project Teams
  • Project lifecycles
  • Business cases
  • Communication
  • Project Success Criteria
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Net Present Values
  • Internal Rate of Return

Plus… I’m about to submit my 3rd set of mock exam questions and first 3 assignments.

What has also been interesting, is to look at the above in the context of a current EU project I am working on called AppHelp4SMEs.  I am fortunate enough to have attended meetings in Cyprus and Poland and really see the benefits of a project that aims “to build the capacities of key intermediary bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, Employer Organisations and Business Agencies, for providing tailored support to SMEs for recruiting and placing quality apprentices at their organisation”.

Although the UK system is far from perfect at present, it is a lot further advanced and supported by Government than in some of our EU partner countries and we are now starting to see some real success stories with learners starting to undertake and achieve well in their End Point Assessment.

Cheryl Swales – AELP Project Manager

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