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Apprenticeship - Rail Engineering Technician - Level 3Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: The RoundHouse

Years: 3

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This apprenticeship is designed as a three-year programme to equip you with a complex blend of skills, knowledge and occupational behaviours across electrical, mechanical and rail-specific disciplines such as traction and rolling stock, track, electrification and signalling.

The apprenticeship is delivered in a collaboration between Derby College and the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Northampton.

Typically, the duration of this apprenticeship is 36 – 48 months. This may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience or for someone already part-qualified through the Rail Engineering Technician Apprenticeship.

You will study:

  • Foundation Competence - 12-18 month duration
  • Level 3 academic subjects - 18–48 month duration (technical subjects are taught at Derby College and the rail specific subjects are taught at NTAR)
  • Level 3 competence qualification (workplace)

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships. In order to optimise their success, candidates should typically have four GCSEs at grade C or the equivalent, including Mathematics, English (at grade 4 or above) and a Science.

Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at grade 4 or above must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.

Course Content

You will study the following units:

  • Complying with Statutory Regulations and Organisational Safety Requirements
  • Working Efficiently and Effectively in an Engineering Environment
  • Using and Communicating Technical Information
  • Conducting Business Improvement Activities
  • Producing Components using Hand Fitting Techniques
  • Maintaining Mechanical Devices and Equipment
  • Maintaining Electrical Equipment/Systems
  • Wiring and Testing Electrical Equipment and Circuits
  • General Turning, Milling and Welding Applications
  • Producing Engineering Project Plans

Taught at Derby College:

  • Working Safely in Rail Engineering
  • Mathematics for Engineering Technicians
  • Engineering Solutions and Innovation within the Rail Industry
  • Electrical and Electronic Principles
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Engineering Design
  • Electronic Measurement and Testing
  • Engineering Drawing for Technicians
  • Engineering Materials
  • Other subjects which are required by the employer

Taught at NTAR (depending on the pathway):

  • Rail Vehicle Traction Systems, Suspension, Wheelsets and Brakes (Traction and Rolling Stock)
  • Passenger Comfort, Safety and Security (Traction and Rolling Stock)
  • Railway Infrastructure, Construction and Maintenance (Track)
  • Rail Technologies (Track)
  • Features and Applications of Electrical Machines (Electrification)
  • Rail Electrification Technologies (Electrification)
  • Overhead Line Technologies – Construction (Overhead Line Equipment)
  • Overhead Line Technologies – Maintenance (Overhead Line Equipment)
  • Functions and Characteristics of Railway Signalling Systems (Signalling)
  • Signalling Technologies (Signalling)
  • Telecommunications Systems (Telecoms)
  • Telecommunications Principles (Telecoms)

How will I be assessed?

Your academic study will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

What can I do after this course?

Completion of this apprenticeship standard will be recognised by the relevant professional institutions as the evidence required for Engineering Technical registration (EngTech) through a professional review.

For those deemed capable and ready, further career development and progression opportunities could be considered, such as the Level 4 Rail Technician Apprenticeship or higher levels of education and training.

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This course is run at the Roundhouse Campus

About the Roundhouse »

Pete Szabo

Pete Szabo

Shy student engineer Pete “grew” to enjoy distinguished police career

Shy student engineer Pete "grew" to enjoy distinguished police career. Retired police officer Pete Szabo was "painfully shy" and not "particularly bookish" as a young man...yet he went on to hold some of the most senior positions in the Derbyshire force.

And, looking back, he credits his early training in an entirely different field at Derby College with broadening his skills, as he "grew" to pass his police training course with the second highest mark. When he retired at the end of October, Pete, 52, had operational oversight of 680 officers and police staff, yet in the mid-1980s he worked as a laboratory technician in Belper.

While Pete was with solid fuel business TI Parkray, he studied on release for a day-and-a half-a week, over four years, at Derby College. He gained his ONC and HNC engineering qualifications with passes and merits. And his time at Derby College helped lay the foundations when he decided to change career and apply for the police.

Pete progressed through the ranks, from PC, to becoming the youngest Sergeant at the time in Derbyshire, to Inspector and Chief Inspector. At one stage he headed Learning and Development for forces across the East Midlands.

He retired as Chief Inspector and Operations Manager for the Derbyshire force. Pete is currently studying for a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 5 qualification and said he intends to keep on learning.

For me, college was great. I was painfully shy at that stage and it helped me grow as a person, through meeting and learning from people from a wide range of backgrounds and different ages and cultures, and from various sections of industry like Rolls-Royce.

It gave me an early idea of public speaking and it gave me an insight into the academic world. I'm not the most bookish of people but I came out of my police training course with the second highest mark.

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