There are three main organisations involved when delivering an apprenticeship successfully. These are the employer, the training provider (Cranfield University) and the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). Within each organisation, there will be different roles that will need to be undertaken to ensure the apprenticeship is run smoothly and successfully.

Primarily, the training provider will teach the knowledge and skills as part of the educational learning aspect of the apprenticeship, as well as providing feedback, guidance and support to the apprentice. The training provider will also undertake the administration of the apprenticeship and provide the necessary facilities and systems to allow it to be delivered.

As an apprenticeship combines educational learning with workplace training and learning, employers have an important role to play in the apprenticeship. Employers should have a good understanding of how apprenticeships work as well as what the apprentice is trying to achieve in order that they can provide adequate support to the apprentice throughout their journey.

EPAOs are concerned with the assessment of the apprentice at the end of their apprenticeship. They undertake the End Point Assessment (EPA) once all other criteria has been passed and evidenced.

Employer

The two main roles within an employer organisation that will be involved in the apprenticeship are the:

  • Key point of contact,
  • Reviewer.

Training provider

There are multiple teams involved within the training provider organisation in the delivery of an apprenticeship. These include:

  • Masterships Team,
  • Faculty/Academics,
  • School / Student and Academic Support (SAS) Leads,
  • Legal,
  • Finance,
  • Registry,
  • Admissions.

EPAO

The main role within the EPAO that will have contact with the apprentice is the independent assessor.

What should the induction to the apprentice cover?

How an apprenticeship works and what is involved. It's important to make clear that the apprenticeship is a considerable commitment and that this is different to studying for a solely a postgraduate qualification.

Where do I get the commitment statement?

The Cranfield legal team will send out the contract and commitment statement after a place on the apprenticeship has been offered to and accepted by the applicant.

How do I know when the apprentice is ready to be submitted to gateway and the EPA?

The requirements of gateway are set out in the compliance section. Gateway occurs after the apprentice has completed the on-programme section of the apprenticeship, i.e. after the academic qualification has been achieved.

Employer organisation

Key point of contact

The key point of contact is likely to have the most contact with the training provider and will be the point of contact for them regarding the facilitation of the apprenticeship. They may have a role such as Apprenticeship Manager, Apprenticeship Coordinator, Talent Manager, HR manager, etc.

  • Providing an induction to the apprentice covering how an apprenticeship works and what is involved;

  • Arranging for employee/apprentice to sign the commitment statement;

  • Discussing EPAO choice.

  • Receiving communications relating to the facilitation and administration of the apprenticeship (and forward to the relevant person inside company if necessary);
  • Signing or arranging a signature for the contract and commitment statement;
  • Providing training provider with  details of EPAO choice;
  • Communicating changes in circumstances (redundancy/change of employer/suspension/withdrawal);
  • Receiving financial invoices (and forward to the relevant person inside company if necessary);
  • Confirming and communicating that the apprentice is ready to be progressed to gateway/EPA;
  • Providing details of the apprentice's reviewer to training provider.
  • Completing activities on the apprenticeship service (e.g. cohort requests / starting, stopping, pausing apprentices);
  • Understanding the apprenticeship standard and requirements;
  • Liaising internally with different departments to cascade information regarding facilitation of the apprenticeship.

Reviewer

The reviewer will likely have the majority of contact with the apprentice and carries out regular reviews with them to ensure they are on track with their apprenticeship. They will likely be the apprentice's Line Manager, Team Lead, Team Manager and/or sponsor.

Cranfield will set the reviewer up with access to PebblePad so they can monitor the apprentice's progress through their apprenticeship. PebblePad is where the apprentice will upload evidence of their application of the learning and Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) to the workplace.

  • Attending regular (once every 10 weeks approx.) reviews with the apprentice to ensure they are achieving the KSBs as set out in the apprenticeship standard;
  • Setting objectives that help the member of staff to achieve the standard;
  • Reviewing, recording and supporting the apprentice’s progress (via PebblePad);
  • Identifying and providing any additional exposure to areas in the workplace in order to meet the apprenticeship standard.

Contact with the training provider will include:

  • Cranfield contacting the reviewer to arrange tripartite reviews;
  • Providing them with access to student’s portfolio via a PebblePad login (issued by the Masterships Team).

Other activities can include:

  • Reviewing the apprentice's evidence on PebblePad and commenting as necessary;
  • Having an understanding of what was agreed in the commitment statement;
  • Reading and understanding the apprenticeship standard and the EPA plan.

Reviews

Regular reviews must be carried out throughout the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is making progress and achieving what they are meant to be achieving. There are two types of review: one involves the reviewer and apprentice, and the other is a tripartite review which also includes the training provider.

Meetings with the apprentice

The meetings between the reviewer and the apprentice should be held regularly, at least once every 10 weeks, and are held so that the reviewer can discuss the apprentice's progress and how they are applying what they have learned in the workplace. To do this, the reviewer can review what the apprentice has uploaded into PebblePad as evidence. There is a facility in PebblePad for the them to leave comments.

The meetings can also be used as a time for the reviewer to identify any opportunities or exposure that the apprentice may require to be able to apply the academic learning and KSBs to the workplace. The reviewer can set objectives for the apprentice to help them achieve any KSBs required.

Reviewer/apprentice meetings:

  • Take place once every 10 weeks;
  • Track progress;
  • Review evidence in PebblePad and comment on progress;
  • Set objectives to help the apprentice achieve the KSBs;
  • Identify opportunities/exposure required in the workplace.

Man and woman sat down with laptop

Tripartite reviews

At tripartite reviews, the training provider will review and report back on academic results and the progress made by the apprentice on the evidence they have uploaded to their PebblePad portfolio, as well as off-the-job hours. The tripartite reviews are held once per year or term, depending on the programme. The Masterships Team at Cranfield will send information relating to the tripartite reviews to the reviewer and/or the key point of contact as well as the apprentice, where relevant.

Templates for the reviews can be obtained from PebblePad. Once completed these should be uploaded to PebblePad as proof of compliance for the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Tripartite reviews:

  • Take place once per term/year;
  • Review academic results;
  • Review evidence per competency quantitatively;
  • Communicate any direction or feedback from Cranfield.

PebblePad

PebblePad is the platform provided to apprentices by Cranfield to record their evidence showing their development throughout their apprenticeship and their achievement and application of the KSBs, from the apprenticeship standard, in their workplace. The evidence that is recorded by the apprentice in PebblePad forms the basis of the professional discussion in the EPA.

It is used by the employer when conducting reviews with the apprentice and to monitor their progress throughout the apprenticeship. Reviewers can monitor how the apprentice is achieving the requirements of the apprenticeship standard and can comment as necessary. Reviewers can use PebblePad to identify gaps in the apprentice's progress and can then look to provide opportunities to the apprentices to fill those gaps.

Cranfield use PebblePad to monitor apprentice progress as well as reporting for tripartite reviews. There are functions in PebblePad that allow both employer and training provider to monitor compliance, such as the 20% off-the-job activity hours.

PebblePad is the apprentice's portfolio depository for the professional discussion in the EPA and so there are helpful documents and guides relating to the standard which their apprenticeship is mapped to, including mapping documents which detail which KSBs each academic module is mapped to.

Login details will be provided to the reviewer by the Masterships Team after the apprentice has registered on programme.

Further information can be found on the PebblePad page on our website.