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Apprenticeship Styles

Apprenticeship Frameworks and Standards

Know the difference between Apprenticeship Frameworks and Apprenticeship Standards

An Apprentice sits working at his computer

Under the government’s Apprenticeship Reforms, new Apprenticeship Standards, developed with employers, are replacing the old Apprenticeship Frameworks. The whole switch-over process is likely to take until 2020. Aside from the funding, there are a number of significant differences between Frameworks and Standards.

Volume of Apprenticeships

Firstly, whereas there are currently 250 Frameworks, it is anticipated there could be up to 800 Apprenticeship Standards. This is because the Frameworks cover broad occupational areas whereas the new Standards apply to individual occupations at specific levels.

Structure & Qualifications

Secondly, Frameworks and Standards are structured differently. Frameworks are based on qualifications, usually a combination of a technical certificate or diploma to develop knowledge and understanding, combined with a national vocational qualification focused on competencies.

The new Standards do not have mandatory qualifications, although these can be added. This means that employers have an opportunity to play a greater role in on-programme training and learning, with support from providers.


Thirdly, Frameworks and Standards are assessed differently. Standards are characterised by the introduction of End-Point Assessment which replaces mandatory qualifications and ongoing competence-based assessment linked to NVQs.

Towards the end of the Apprenticeship, employers and providers will ‘sign-off’ the Apprentice as ready for the End-Point Assessment, which will be undertaken by an independent assessor.

Get in Touch

If you're looking to recruit an Apprentice to your workforce and would like to speak to someone about the difference between Apprenticeship frameworks and standards, please contact the Employer Engagement Team:

T: 0114 260 2600

E: employer@sheffcol.ac.uk