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Find out about Higher Education in Apprenticeships through our updated Characteristics Statement

Date: June 22 - 2022

Apprenticeships in higher education position the workplace as the primary source of learning, which is facilitated, supported and enhanced through structured learning inputs by higher education providers and employers. More information on qualifications of this nature is available through our updated Characteristics Statement on Higher Education in Apprenticeships.

The Characteristics Statement was initially written by the Higher Education in Apprenticeships Advisory Group and was published by QAA in October 2019. The current version reflects a minor review in 2022 which was carried out to ensure the Statement addressed policy developments since its first publication.

The Statement describes the typical features of higher education in apprenticeships including the integration of on and off-the-job training, collaboration with employers and the role of these qualifications in increasing productivity and social mobility. The Statement also sets out how the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) developed through an apprenticeship are assessed within each nation of the UK.

The Characteristics Statement has been developed in QAA’s capacity as a membership organisation. It is a reference point for all those involved in the design, delivery and review of UK higher education where it is included within, or as part of, an apprenticeship; for individuals considering undertaking apprenticeships; and for employers who are considering using apprenticeships to meet their workforce development objectives.

We are grateful to the members of the Advisory Group who supported the review of the Characteristics Statement in 2022, in collaboration with QAA colleagues. Members of the Advisory Group included representatives from higher education institutions and sector bodies involved in the development, delivery and award of apprenticeships across the UK.

QAA’s Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards, Dr Ailsa Crum commented: ‘Higher education in apprenticeships continues to play an important role in stimulating the workforce and supporting social mobility across the UK. This updated Statement reflects policy developments within this space since the Statement was first published. We hope it will continue to play an important role for all those involved in the design, delivery and review of apprenticeships.’

The updated Characteristics Statement is available on the QAA website.