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Apprenticeships as Professional Development for Current Staff

Current Staff

Current Staff

  • We also deliver a number of degree apprenticeships at the University for existing staff and other employers.
  • No training fees - The University Apprenticeship Levy will pay for Apprenticeship training and assessment, including end-point assessment. 
  • No change to salary - Current staff remain on their current pay grade for their substantive position.
  • Support with training - Guided learning through our training providers, access to our apprentice mentor programme, and regular review meetings.
  • No age limit - All ages considered from 16 years and above.
  • Terms and conditions of employment will remain the same - However, a minimum of 20% of the applicant’s time must be allocated to off-the-job training, this must be completed during normal contracted working hours. Off-the-job training will vary depending on the programme and might include training delivered at your place of work, day release, block release, online learning or blended learning approach (see Apprenticeships off-the-job training factsheet‌, off-the-job training guidance, policy, and myth busters). 

For more information contact

The Institute for Apprenticeships states that:

  • The chosen apprenticeship may be at the same level as, or at a lower level than, a qualification the applicant already holds. It should allow the apprentice to acquire substantive new skills and the content must be materially different from any prior qualification or a previous apprenticeship.
  • English and Maths will be required at a minimum of Level 2 (GCSE grade 4/C or above) prior to the Assessment.
  • Apprentices must meet the minimum qualifications required to start the training, as stipulated by the training provider.

UK Government Apprenticeship Funding Rules state that:

  • The apprentice must have a contract of employment with the University which is long enough for them to complete the apprenticeship successfully (including the end-point assessment). Therefore if the apprentice is on a fixed-term contract, the contract end date must be after the expected apprenticeship training completion date.
  • The apprentice must have a job role (or roles) with the University that provides the opportunity for them to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve their apprenticeship.
  • The apprentice must have appropriate support and supervision on the job, by the line manager, to carry out their job role.

The individual must:

  • Start their apprenticeship after the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday. No upper age limit.
  • Be able to complete the apprenticeship within the time they have available. If you know an individual is unable to complete the apprenticeship in the time they have available, they must not be funded.
  • Spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship. When determining eligibility at the start of the apprenticeship, you must be confident that the apprentice will spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship. For working hours to be counted in the 50% limit, they must be regular, planned, and known at the start of the apprenticeship.
    • You must make separate arrangements with the relevant devolved administration if you are planning to deliver 21 apprenticeships to individuals who spend more than 50% of their working hours in a devolved administration over the duration of their apprenticeship, including time spent on off-the-job training. Have the right to work in England.
  • The individual must have a valid and eligible residency status.
    • UK nationals are eligible for funding if they have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the British Overseas Territories, or Crown Dependencies (the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.
    • Right of Abode in the UK - The right of abode is a status under United Kingdom immigration law that gives an unrestricted right to live in the United Kingdom. It was introduced by the Immigration Act 1971. Individuals with the right of abode are eligible for funding if they:
      • have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the British Overseas Territories, or Crown Dependencies (the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.
    • UK nationals in the EEA - In line with the government guidance, UK nationals who have been living in the EEA prior to their apprenticeships are eligible for funding if they:
      • have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship; or
      • have been ordinarily resident in a combination of the UK and EEA for at the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship. EEA nationals in the UK
    • Irish nationals are eligible for funding if they have been ordinarily resident in the UK, Ireland, or the EEA for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.
    • All other EEA nationals are eligible for funding if they have obtained either pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme; have been ordinarily in the EEA, Gibraltar, or the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.
    • Non-UK nationals.  A non-UK national (with exception to those that fall into the categories above) is eligible for funding if they have permission from the UK government to live in the UK (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.

 See page 95 of the Apprenticeship Funding Rules for the full details.

The introduction of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships provides an opportunity for existing staff to enhance existing skills, develop new skills and increase their professional knowledge.

Application Process

1. Complete application - complete the Staff Professional Development Request - Use Google Chrome web browser for best results. Once you have submitted it your Line Manager then approves/rejects, endorses and adds a statement of support to the request. The completed application is sent to the HR team to approve/reject. Note: Approval of the application does not guarantee you a place on the apprenticeship but is the first step towards it.

 Please note that applications for the Level 7 Senior Leader (with MBA top up) apprenticeship will now be reviewed by a panel, as part of Professional Services Directors Leadership Team (PSDLT).

2. Complete Training Provider Documentation and Sign up Process – once your application is approved by your line manager and People Services, your details will be sent to the Training Provider. The Training Provider will check your eligibility and any accreditation to prior learning, you will be required to complete the Training Provider's admissions process forms and on-boarding/induction. You may also be required to complete online functional skills assessments for English and Maths.




Current Staff on Higher and Degree Apprentices will be paid the grade for their substantive position.

Annual pay progression, under the agreed Conditions of Employment, is 'Subject to satisfactory performance and subject to a minimum of six months’ service in the grade, increments are payable on 1 August each year until the top progression point of the grade is reached.’

‘Normal’ progression points are awarded where the performance of an employee is assessed as ‘satisfactory’. Annual progression through the ‘normal progression range’ is conditional upon the employee fully meeting the requirements of their role.

Other terms of employment

The apprentice will remain on their current contract of employment and will be expected to adhere to the University's terms and conditions of employment. Where there are issues with performance or attendance, for example, the University and Provider will work together as a whole, although the normal University performance management procedures will apply.

The apprentice will:

  • Sign an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement to confirm arrangements between the apprentice, training provider and the University.
  • Undertake off-the-job training outside of your normal day-to-day working environment towards the achievement of your apprenticeship (this can include training delivered at your normal place of work, but is not part of your normal working duties).
  • Champion and support Apprenticeships at the university and in your own networks (media, photographs, events, articles, web, and case studies).

Want to know more about what training is available?

  • ‌‌‌Higher and degree apprenticeships - Provides information on the opportunities, progression and benefits of doing a higher or degree apprenticeship
  • A guide to apprenticeships - Find out what it’s like to be an apprentice – the opportunities, benefits and just how far an apprenticeship can take you in the future

Does my pay remain the same? 

Yes. If you are already employed at the university your pay will not alter. However, you will be given a variation to contract that confirms you now spend a proportion of your time on study. Once the apprenticeship is complete you would convert back to your original contract. 

Will I be liable for costs if I can’t complete the apprenticeship? 

No. If you must withdraw from the apprenticeship the costs will still be covered by the levy. 

Will I get expenses for travel costs, etc.? 

Not from People Development but your own department may be willing to cover these costs and you should discuss this with your line manager. 

I’ve already done an apprenticeship; can I do another? 

Yes, if you meet the criteria for the new apprenticeship, and it is agreed by your manager and People Development. A new staff development request will need to be completed, even if it is the same topic but at a higher level.  

Will I get a pay increase after I complete the apprenticeship? 

No. Unless your role changes substantially and your line manager agrees to apply for a pay progression your salary will not alter. However, many who complete apprenticeships successfully apply for new positions, at higher grades, due to the skills acquired.  

I have a degree do I really need to supply my GCSE Maths and English certificates? 

Yes. This is a Government Apprenticeship Funding Rule. However, there is the below caveat. 

Where the apprentice has a qualification at level 4 or above (including degrees) and/or SCQF level 7 and above (such as an Advanced Higher), this is acceptable if the qualification is predominantly in the subject of English Language or English Literature and/or Mathematics. For example, 50% or more of the content and assessment of the qualification should be focussed on the subject of English (language and/or literature) or maths. 

I’m on a fixed term contract, can I still do an apprenticeship? 

It depends. Your contract must cover the full length of your apprenticeship to meet funding rules. This includes GBPs. 

When can I start an apprenticeship? 

It depends on when the next intake for your qualification is. Many training providers do April and September starts but you should find out when your qualification’s intake is. 

How do I apply for an apprenticeship? 

First you must complete a staff professional development request form (found under 'How to apply'). This form asks you to detail what apprenticeship you would like to do and why. It then goes to your line manager who must provide a supporting statement for your application. Finally, this goes to HR for approval. HR will be checking that you meet certain criteria, e.g., you work enough hours, your contract is long enough, the programme is appropriate for your role at the university, there is a suitable training provider, etc. 

Approval by HR does not mean the training provider will accept you, but it means you can now apply to them with funds coming from the levy.  

Will the university be the training provider? 

Only if you have applied to one of our degree apprenticeship programs. Many of our apprentices are with external training providers, such as Exeter College.  

How much time will the apprenticeship take up? 

You are expected to undertake 20% ‘off the job (OTJ)’ training during your apprenticeship. This may be attending classes or training within the workplace. How training works will vary with course and training provider. 

What is off-the-job training? 

Off-the-job training, is training that is: 

  • Carried out outside of normal working duties, and covers practical, work-based learning along with technical and theoretical learning. 
  • Must teach new knowledge, skills and/or behaviours that will contribute to the successful achievement of an apprenticeship. 
  • Measured over the course of an apprenticeship and must take place during employed time. 
  • Training outside of working hours cannot be counted towards off-the-job training. 
  • Can take place at an employer’s workplace or off-site. It is the activity, rather than the location, that determines whether an activity satisfies the funding rules (it is possible to be undergoing training activities outside of normal working duties while physically at your normal workstation). 
  • Distance learning (as part of a part of a blended approach) can be used effectively as part of the 20% off-the-job training. 
  • English and maths must be on top of the 20% off-the-job training. 

Will the training be online? 

How training works will vary with course and training provider. Common examples are detailed below. 

  • Day release – 1 day per week in training, 4 days per week at employer 
  • 100% Workplace - assessor visits workplace 
  • Block release - 1 week every 3 months 
  • Apprenticeship Standards - Apprentices (signed up to an apprenticeship standard) must spend at least 20% of their time doing guided learning with their training provider. This may not mean they are out of the workplace as the training could be delivered at the workplace. 
  • Apprenticeship Frameworks - Apprenticeship frameworks delivery differs from Apprenticeship Standards as the "20% off the job" training rule does not apply to them. Typically, these are delivered one day a week for several weeks. The apprentice then has the remaining duration of their apprenticeship to complete the NVQ associated with their chosen course. 

Are the apprenticeships only for Exeter based staff? 

No. We have staff doing apprenticeships remotely through online providers (including UoE) and with non-Devon based colleges (e.g., Truro College). However, some apprenticeships are only delivered by a limited number of providers and there may be issues finding one that fits your geographical needs.  

How long does an apprenticeship last? 

This will vary depending on the level chosen (i.e., can take between 1 and 5 years).  

What are the typical qualifications gained by the apprentice?  

There is a vast array of qualifications available within an Apprenticeship. The typical qualifications gained at each level are:  

  • Level 2 (Intermediate level) NVQ, BTEC, Certificate and Diploma (QCF)  
  • Level 3 (Advanced level) NVQ, BTEC, Certificate or Diploma (QCF)  
  • Level 4 and 5 (Higher level) HNC/HND, Fd  
  • Level 6 and 7 (Degree level) BSc, Ba, BEng, CILEx, CFA etc 

How is an apprenticeship assessed? 

This will vary with each qualification associated with the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship itself will include an end point assessment (EPA). The EPA is an assessment of whether you have developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard. How this is done will vary but examples include: a practical assessment, an interview and/or a project.   

Changes in Circumstances

You will be able to continue your apprenticeship. Your new line manager should support you with your 20% off-the-job commitment until you complete.

Funding Rules page 77

If you change employer but continues the same apprenticeship with the same main provider (Where there is no break in employment or a break of 30 days or less)

Effect on funding - Funding from the University’s apprenticeship service account stops, using a stop date that corresponds with the date you changed employer/left the university. Funding continues based on agreement with the new employer using the funds in their apprenticeship service accounts, transfer of levy funds or government co-investment. The funding band cap will apply to the total cost across both employers. The number of days in learning with the University are added to the days in learning with the new employer to calculate when payments are due.

Your new employer and main provider must:

  • Agree on a price for the remainder of the apprenticeship training and assessment taking into account relevant learning from the first employer.
  • Register the apprentice on the apprenticeship service for funding to start;
  • Confirm arrangements for, and start paying, co-investment if appropriate.
  • If, on the day of dismissal, you are within six months of the final day of your apprenticeship practical period OR you have completed at least 75% of the practical period.
  • Effect on funding – the government will fund 100% of the remaining costs of the agreed price. This should be arranged with your training provider.
  • If, on the day of dismissal, you have completed less than 75% of the practical period and this remaining training represents a training duration of 6 months or more.
  • Effect on funding – the government will fund the costs of 12 weeks of training while you seek a new employer that can take on the costs of training. If you are unable to find a new employer in 12 weeks the training provider must issue a record of part completion. This must include, in the case of apprenticeships with mandatory qualifications, the qualification, or units thereof, achieved.
  • See Funding Rules page 64 for more details

Want to know more about what training is available?

Please contact for more advice.