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There are a number of elements to each Apprenticeship and all together they are known as the Framework. The benefit of a Framework is that you will be able to achieve a range of qualifications as you progress towards achieving your Apprenticeship.

There are three main strands to each Apprenticeship:

  1. A competence based element
  2. A technical element
  3. A skills element

In some cases there may also be additional qualifications available on top of the three elements to ensure that you have the most relevant skills and knowledge required for the job that you are employed in.

Each framework is developed by representatives of the industry it relates to, both employers and the relevant Sector Skills Council. This means that they are focused on the exact skills that the employer needs but also include skills that are transferable to other roles. There are over 190 frameworks covering a wide range of jobs from Accountancy to Youth Work.

Framework QCF Level  Typically includes; 
Apprenticeship 2 Level 2 Competence
Level 2 Technical
Skills at Level 1 and Level 2
Advanced Apprenticeship  3 Level 3 Competence
Level 3 Technical
Skills at Level 2 and Level 3
Higher Apprenticeship 4 Level 4 Competence
Level 4 Technical with Skills @ Level 3 


You will receive certificates for each successfully completed element of the Framework. Once all of the elements are complete you will receive a framework certificate confirming that you have passed your Apprenticeship.



Element Description
Competence Element or NVQ This is a nationally recognised vocational qualification (NVQ / QCF) which gives you the skills that you need to do your job to the standard set by industry. It is based on a series of competencies which are mapped to your job role. As you carry out activities at work you will gather work-based evidence and get assessed against the competencies. Once you have been assessed and successfully met the competencies of the QCF requirements you will be awarded the qualification. NVQs are available from Level 1- 5 allowing you to progress throughout your career.
Technical Certificate A technical certificate is a knowledge based qualification which helps you develop your understanding of an industry or role. It supports you to do your job safely and is a specialised course of study. Completion of the technical certificate confirms you have developed an understanding of information that is vital to the performance of tasks associated with your profession or job.
Skills Element These enable you to function at the level required for your job role you will complete a range of functional skills. These could be Maths, English or ICT depending on your sector but they are about using these skills in real life situations and not just in a classroom. The skills will help you to develop important skills like communication, team work, problem solving and presentations. They will support you to succeed and open doors to learning, life and work. They are a sound base on which to develop employability skills. They are skills that we all need in our everyday life without which we would find it hard to succeed.
Other Other qualifications which can be included in your framework, although they are often delivered as part of one of the other elements are Employment Rights and Responsibilities – they update your knowledge of rights and responsibilities within your sector.

You may also have the choice to complete specialised qualifications and there may be further options for you and your employer to choose from.

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