Apprenticeship Policies and Procedures

“Regarding apprenticeships, please provide:

1. Copy of Employer engagement practice Policy/Document

Devon County Council (DCC) is registered with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as an employer provider and is not required to have an employer engagement practice/policy document.

2. Copy of Complaints policy, procedure and process Policy

Apprentices are employed by DCC and are able to access the usual processes for grievance as an employee. Additionally, as part of the commitment statement (section 5 in Appendix A to this document) required in offering the apprenticeship, additional channels are identified to comment / complain on the apprenticeship programme.

3. Copy of Contract for services with employers Policy

Please refer to our response to question 4 below.

4. Copy of the Commitment statement Policy/Document

The apprenticeship programmes provided are through two principle routes:-

a) An employer provider which is delivered by Learn Devon, part of Economy Enterprise and Skills, for which an agreement is in place to support effective working across the Council. A copy of the Commitment statement is provided at Appendix A.

b) Where apprenticeship programmes fall outside of the remit of Learn Devon, it is provided by the use of the Directory of Approved Apprenticeship Training Providers (DAAP) which is administered by Nottingham City Council (the DAAP is an Approved Provider List which we use when procuring training providers). As part of the DAAP there is a template Contract for Services and Commitment Statement which we have to use with all our training providers -a draft of these documents is publicly available on the Nottingham City Council

5. Copy of your process for performing initial assessments of apprentices prior learning Policy/Document

A copy of the Initial Assessment Policy can be found at Appendix B.

6. Copy of your process for delivering English and Maths to apprentices Policy/Document

A copy of the process for delivering English and Maths to apprentices can be found at Appendix C.

7. Copy of your plan for continuity of apprenticeship training Policy/Document

No formal plan was required as part of the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (ROATP), however, this is covered through two routes:-

a) Within the Commitment Statement, Section 4, (Appendix A) DCC is required to notify Learn Devon of any changes that may affect the apprentice within the Apprenticeship Agreement the following statement is within Employer Section 1: “If the Apprenticeship is terminated due to redundancy, to attempt to redeploy the Apprentice to another department or, with the assistance of relevant organisations, to arrange employment for the Apprentice, for the duration of the Apprenticeship, with another organisation.”

b) As an employer we have undertaken a risk assessment and identified that we need to ensure that the Apprenticeship Team retains close links with the local apprenticeship training provider market and other local employers to ensure that providers are aware of DCC’s current and future needs, so that we can source alternative provision if a provider ceases trading. We also have an agreed procurement process in place which includes contractual documentation to ensure continuity of delivery.

8. Copy of your safeguarding policy Policy/Document

A copy of the policy can be found at Appendix D.

In addition, the following link on the Inside Devon pages may be of interest:-

Safeguarding Children and Adults

9. Copy of policy or practice that complies with the prevent duty Policy/Document

Please refer to Appendix D.

In addition, the following link on the Inside Devon pages may be of interest:-

How do I Prevent

10. Copy of your process for professional development of your employees Policy/Document

Please see Appendix E.

11. Copy of your process for evaluating quality of training and outcomes

Please see Appendix F.

12. How do you make your methods for delivering 20% On The Job relevant to the Frameworks or Standards you’re offering?

There is no requirement for “On The Job” training of 20% – However, If you are referring to ‘Off The Job’ training, where there is a 20% requirement for delivering training relevant to the apprenticeship, DCC can confirm that it reviews the units and criteria of all the mandatory parts of the framework and standards to build a learning journey for the apprentice.

Performance and behaviour-based criteria are delivered through face to face and work-based learning such as job shadowing and practical training. Knowledge and understanding-based criteria are delivered through e-learning, skype and backed up within the face to face sessions to ensure that the apprentice understands how the underpinning knowledge relates to their behaviours and performance.

We use a blend of Awarding body provided materials, Employer-based (DCC E-learning materials available to all staff and where necessary purchased for apprentices), together with materials developed by the trainers to support individual learning. We use E-learning platforms to add value to our training and direct learning to help prepare the apprentices for training sessions and improve their knowledge with written assignments that help them to retain their knowledge. We have allocated Skype sessions for optional units, to ensure that each apprentice gets the tailored training programme to complete their apprenticeship. There is also ongoing discussion with line managers and the apprentice about the learning opportunities available within the workplace that contribute to the apprentices learning experience.

13. How do you ensure your methods for delivering 20% On The Job meet the needs of employers and apprentices?

As above, in relation to ‘Off The Job’ training, we have a core programme of face to face, remote and distance learning; as part of the induction process, all apprentices complete learning style questionnaires and initial assessments. By ensuring a mixture of teaching and learning techniques we meet the majority of our apprentices needs, however we fully acknowledge that one size does not fit all, and where we or the apprentice identified that a change is required, we are able to adapt the type of session and or its content, or assessment method. We strive to meet all of our learners’ needs, wherever possible.

Our Initial Assessments are completed via our dedicated Learning Support Team so there is always the opportunity to discuss known needs or concerns with our experienced team at the beginning of the course. The team work with us if there is any specialist information that we need to be aware of that we would need to change or adapt learning delivery and they check in with the learner and us regularly to ensure that what has been put into place is meeting the need of the apprentice. All of our tutors are experienced in work-based learning and through training, CPD and experience have a vast skill base to work from to help all of our apprentices succeed in their apprenticeship.

Through regular reviews and feedback, our apprentices are encouraged to let us know that we are meeting their needs or if there is anything that would help to make their personal learning journey even better. Regular dialog with managers also ensures another feedback mechanism, with an “open door policy” we find managers are generally willing to engage and actively support their apprentice. Where an additional need or a change is identified by either party, we work as a team to support the apprentice. We also have feedback via surveys conducted by the DCC Human Resources (HR) team to provide an additional source of feedback.

14. How are your employees teaching and training expertise been maintained and kept up to date through your professional development process?

All staff are employed by DCC and are subject to the same protocols, regulations and working practices as the candidates with whom they work. Where they are supporting candidates in different departments and customs and practices vary, staff are given the opportunity to work with line managers to understand the different approaches.

As part of regular one to ones, receipt of reports for observation of improvement of teaching learning and assessment, appraisals, internal and external; verification reports the line managers of staff have the opportunity to work with senior sector experts to plans for and ensure that the staff member is all to meet the industry standards. as part of DCC individuals are able to request secondment and work shadowing.

During Continuing Professional Development (CPD) weeks each term apprentices are provided with the opportunity to develop their skills base through working with business support teams.

All teaching and assessment staff are part of the improvement of teaching learning and assessment process which assesses individuals against the CIF and relevant teaching standards. This observation results in feedback to support improvement and subsequent follow up visits to measure the impact of the interventions on the performance of the individual within the regular CPD weeks, tutors teach micro sessions across different subject areas providing opportunities to give and receive peer feedback on their skills and performance in a non-threatening atmosphere.

Additionally, we are carrying out a wider digital skills improvement programme supporting tutors particularly to incorporate effective digital skills in sessions. Each carries out a self-assessment.

15. How are your employees sector expertise been maintained and kept up to date through your professional development process?

Please see above answers to questions 13 and 14.