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Three New Apprenticeship Standards for Healthcare Support Workers in England Now Ready for Use

HEALTHCARE APPRENTICESHIP STANDARDS for Healthcare Support Workers, Senior Healthcare Support Workers and Assistant Practitioners

A steering group of healthcare employers, chaired by Kay Fawcett, OBE and Jane Hadfield, North Bristol Trust have developed these standards with employers, as part of the governments Trailblazer Apprenticeship activity.  These new standards are being developed by all sectors in England in response to the 2012 Richard Review of Apprenticeships. The review puts employers in the driving seat to ensure that apprentices develop the right skills, knowledge, value and behaviours that are required for them to be effective in the workplace.

Each Standard is a short document giving an overview of what the apprentice should know and be competent to do on completion of their apprenticeship.

On-programme learning helps apprentices develop their skills and knowledge over a period of time.  The standard is not prescriptive in how this should be delivered and may or may not require the apprentice to complete an accredited qualification.  The standard outlines how long the apprenticeship should take and, if not already achieved, the apprentice will have to take English and Maths.

When the employer, supported by the on-programme training provider, feels that the apprentice is ready it’s time for End Point Assessment. End Point Assessment organisations are registered with the Skills Funding Agency and employers need to select one of these recognised bodies to carry out the process.  Criteria of what should be assessed in the End Point Assessment is defined in the assessment plans that accompanies each of the standards.  Once the End Point Assessor is satisfied that the apprentice meets the assessment criteria they will give the apprentice a grade (pass, merit, distinction) and the apprentice will be awarded their certificate.

The apprentice is now job-ready and can apply for a post.

About the standards

Standard Note Level Duration On- programme qualification
Healthcare Support Worker A generically written standard that can be applied to train apprentices for a range of different roles.  Role specific learning is evidence within the assessment process which observes the learner during their normal course of work. 2 12-18 months Employers can choose whether to use an accredited occupational competence qualification e.g. clinical healthcare support at level 2 or to develop their own in-house training
Senior Healthcare Support Worker

This standard has a range of options specific to certain support roles:

  • Adult nursing support
  • Maternity support
  • Theatre support
  • Mental health support

In development:

  • Children and young person support
  • Allied health profession support
3 18-24 months A range of accredited occupational competence qualifications at level 3 as described within the individual option
Assistant Practitioner A generically written standard that can be applied to train apprentices for a range of different roles.  Role-specific learning is evidenced within the on-programme qualification and during the end point assessment process. 5 18-24 months A range of accredited occupational competence qualifications such as  foundation degrees or level 5 diplomas

About Skills for Health: The Sector Skills Council for all health sector employers– – NHS, independent and third sector. Since 2002 it has been working with employers to get the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. It is the authoritative voice on skills issues for the health sector and offers proven workforce solutions and tools, with the expertise and experience to use them effectively.

About the Healthcare Trailblazer: The full standards and assessment plans can be viewed here.

The standards being developed across all sectors can be found here.

Information on funding, the levy and other useful guidance or background information can be accessed here.

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