Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the entry requirements for Apprenticeships?

We do not set entry requirements for Apprenticeships; rather they are set by the relevant Issuing Authority. Some requirements are the same across all Apprenticeships e.g. learners must be at least 16 years of age and must be in employment on the first day of their Apprenticeship. Some Apprenticeships, for example the Early Years Educator pathway of the Advanced Apprenticeship for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, set very specific requirements relating to attainment of GCSEs instead of Functional Skills; as such Providers must check the relevant Framework on the Apprenticeship Frameworks Online website to ensure their learners achieve the required qualifications to complete their Apprenticeship. Any significant changes to Apprenticeship policy are highlighted in the Latest News ​section of our website.

Q: Which qualifications are taken as part of an Apprenticeship?

The qualifications required in each Apprenticeship can be found here. For more detailed information on the requirements for each framework, providers should check the relevant framework on Apprenticeship Frameworks Online to ensure all the requirements of the Apprenticeship are met.

Q: Do I have to be in full time employment to undertake an Apprenticeship?

Apprentices are expected to be in full-time employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week whilst undertaking their Apprenticeship. In settings where the average working week is less than 30 hours, e.g. after-school clubs, the Skills Funding Agency will allow a minimum of 16 hours a week, on the condition that the length of the Apprenticeship is extended accordingly. Full clarification of the employment conditions for Apprenticeships can be found in the latest version of the Funding Rules.​

Q: Can I undertake an Apprenticeship if I'm self-employed?


The Skills Funding Agency has confirmed that “The commencement of the Apprenticeship Act requires apprentices to be working under a contract of employment with an employer and hence paid a wage in line with the National Minimum Wage regulations”. As such, those who are self-employed or volunteering in a role are not eligible to undertake Apprenticeships.

Q: How long does an Apprenticeship take?

An Apprenticeship will generally take 18-24 months to complete, depending on the learner and the Apprenticeship they are undertaking. The minimum duration for all Apprenticeships is 12 months.

Q: What is the difference between 'Framework requirements' and 'Additional Employer Requirements'?

Mandatory Framework requirements are those components documented in each Apprenticeship Framework that must be taken, delivered and assessed in line with the guidance in the specific framework. Additional Employer Requirements are not a requirement of the framework (and thus an Apprenticeship can be completed without them) but have been identified by employers as highly advantageous to a learner to help them select an apprentice with the required skills. Fulfilling the Additional Employer Requirements is strongly advised where possible.

Q: What are Personal Thinking and Learning Skills (PLTS)?

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) cover the areas of competence that have been identified by employers as valuable. Integrating these skills into the framework will provide learners with a platform for employability and further learning. PLTS are:

  • Team Working
  • Independent Enquiry
  • Self-Management
  • Reflective Learning
  • Effective Participation
  • Creative Thinking

The location of PLTS, whether in a qualification or elsewhere, and how achievement is to be evidenced will be specified within the PLTS section of the specific Framework document, which can be found on the Apprenticeship Frameworks Online website.

Q: How do I obtain my Apprenticeship certificate?

Once a learner has successfully completed their Apprenticeship, providers or employers can apply for their Apprenticeship certificates by providing evidence that the learner has met all requirements of the Apprenticeship (including qualification certificates) using the ACE Online website. As a reminder, we issue certificates for the individual components (i.e. qualifications) of an Apprenticeship but the overall Apprenticeship certificate is only available through ACE online.

Q: What funding is available for Apprenticeships?

At present funding is routed through Training Providers, at 50% of the fully funded rate of each component; the employer is expected to make up the remaining 50% of the cost. Funding Rates for Apprenticeships can be found on the Frameworks tab of the Learning Aim Search (LAS) facility on the Hub website. The Latest News page of the website provides updates to Apprenticeship funding policy that may affect providers.

Q: If I am aged 24 or above and wish to undertake an Apprenticeship do I need to take out an Advanced Learner Loan?

No, Apprenticeships do not fall within the scope of Loans and are fundable for all eligible learners aged 16 and above.

Q: What is the difference between and 'Apprenticeship Framework' and an 'Apprenticeship Standard'?

An Apprenticeship Framework is the document currently used for Apprenticeships in England that state the full requirements of the specific Apprenticeship. All Apprenticeship Frameworks must comply with the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE), which mandates certain rules around the quality of Apprenticeships. All Apprenticeship Frameworks available at present can be viewed and downloaded from the Apprenticeship Frameworks Online website. 

Work is currently being undertaken by employer-led Trailblazer groups to replace these Frameworks with Apprenticeship Standards. These Standards will identify what is required from each new Apprenticeship, including the qualifications that must be achieved and the skills that must be evidenced for the Apprenticeship to be completed, focusing primarily on the skills the learner will have upon completion of their Apprenticeship. Further information is available on the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards​ page of the website.