Understanding Laboratory Apprenticeships –

Laboratory apprenticeships are designed to develop lab skills and abilities as well as a right first time attitude in your staff. Typical duties can be lab stocking, decontamination, reagent preparation, quality assurance processes, equipment and instrument maintenance as well as data processing and communication. Higher level apprentices could go on to be involved in the management of health and safety processes, scientific investigations and deliver training to other members of the team.

There are two types of Laboratory Apprenticeship available to employers until 31/10/17. The traditional Framework style apprenticeship and the newer employer developed Standard apprenticeships.

Frameworks –

These apprenticeships encompass several elements but the two main areas of focus are the Knowledge component (BTEC) and the Competence component (NVQ).

In the example (right) the Knowledge component is the Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science and a Level 3 Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities, this fits into the Advanced Apprenticeship model.


Level 3 diploma in Applied Science (BTEC)


Level 3 diploma in Laboratory & Associated Technical Activities (NVQ)

Personal Learning & Thinking Skills

Functional Skills

Employee Rights & Responsibilities

The delivery of the level 3 apprenticeship will take 24 months and as CSR Scientific Training are accredited via the Royal Society of Chemistry for its work with apprentices, successful learners will also earn Registered Science Technician status and have eligibility to be placed onto a national register for their skills, abilities and knowledge.

This type of apprenticeship is delivered face to face one day per week with the option to have online learning with the use of Skype for Business and Onefile online portfolios.

Framework Levels available – Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeship)

Standard Apprenticeships –

Standard apprenticeships have been developed by employers for employers in a group called Trailblazers. These early adopter organisations helped to shape the structure and content of these apprenticeships to give employers in the science sector more control over content and quality. Since this process proved that this style of apprenticeship could be successful many more Standard Apprenticeships have been developed for all sectors.

Science sector Standards have some key differences to the traditional Frameworks in that they have an independent end point assessment process that ensures the learner has the ability to demonstrate the key core elements of the programme they have undertaken. This processes generates a grade for the overall apprenticeship that is either Fail, Pass or Distinction thus ensuring that those high achievers are distinguishable from those that meet the Standard but are less capable.

The programme is either 24 or 36 months in duration (level 3 and 5 respectively) and starts with an Apprentice Training Plan, developed by the employer and the training provider, once agreed the apprentice is recruited and an initial assessment carried out into their overall ability in English and Mathematics. From this point on the delivery and content for Standard Apprenticeships is all about Gateways…

Gateway One

Health and Safety Training or Qualification

Gateway Two

Completion Of;

  1. BTEC Qualification
  2. Behaviours Log
Gateway Three

End-Point Assessment

  1. Synoptic End Test
  2. Competence Discussion

Once all elements of the first two Gateways are completed an independent end point assessor will carry out the final Gateway and apprentices can be awarded their overall grades. The delivery of this apprenticeship can be face to face one day per week with the option to have online learning with the use of Skype for Business and Onefile online portfolios.

Standard Levels available – Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeship) and Level 5 (Higher Apprenticeship)