Apprentices without Level 1 (or the equivalent) in English and maths must ensure that they achieve Level 1 and take the test for Level 2 prior to taking the end-point assessment (EPA). For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship's English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for apprentices for whom this is their primary language.
The employer and training provider will use the mandatory Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Operations (competence) and Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Engineering Operations (knowledge) within the Engineering Operative Standard to develop a training plan to ensure that the apprentice receives the appropriate level of knowledge and skills to advance to and successfully complete the Independent End-point Assessment (EPA).
Employer Gateway Review for Progression to Independent End-point Assessment/Readiness for End-point Assessment (EPA)
Before going forward for the EPA, the employer must be satisfied that the apprentice has:
Who decides if the apprentice is ready for EPA?
Once the apprentice has successfully completed appropriate on-programme training and assessment, the judgement on whether they are deemed occupationally competent and ready for the EPA will be made by their employer, on the basis of the knowledge, skills and behaviours attained by the apprentice and taking into consideration their work experience, the views from the training provider where applicable and the apprentice, to inform this decision.
When satisfied that the apprentice is ready for EPA, the employer will directly (or via their lead provider) inform their selected End-point Assessment Organisation for the EPA requirements to be planned and carried out.
End-point assessment must be undertaken by an Independent End-point Assessment Organisation that is on the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Register of End-point Assessment Organisations (EPAO). Successful achievement of the End-point Assessment (EPA) will lead to final certification of the apprenticeship and demonstrate that the apprentice is a fully competent Engineering Operative. The practical observation must be completed prior to the professional discussion.
Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard PPE dress code. Any shortfalls in safety equipment will be addressed during the first week of the course.
Completion of this apprenticeship standard will be recognised by the relevant professional institutions as the evidence required for Engineering Technician status.
For those deemed capable and ready, further career development and progression opportunities could be considered, such as the Advanced Apprenticeship in Mechatronics Maintenance Technician (Standard).
Rolls-Royce manager Jack O'Connor says his Derby College engineering course was the "start of everything" for the skills needed in his career. Jack joined the aero engine giant as a semi-skilled polisher and packer of blades. He began his Derby College Level 3 NVQ in engineering principals at the age of 23 when he was accepted by the company as an apprentice. Now aged 31, Jack is a Rolls-Royce production leader.
He is also taking a University of Warwick – Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Business management. Jack said he left school was "a few" GCSEs and the college course and apprenticeship provided him with a second chance to kickstart his career and build his confidence.
He said: "I can honestly say that the course was brilliant and the lecturers were great.
"If you went through a difficult period they were always there to support you. You could have a laugh and a joke as well, and when you take into account the facilities, you're halfway there.
"I was really impressed. It was the start of everything for my work, really."