Academic Professional Apprenticeship Programme

What is it?

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme designed to equip new academics with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that they need for working in the Higher Education sector.

At the end of an apprenticeship, apprentices must demonstrate professional competence by providing evidence of their achievement against a series of professional standards set out in the apprenticeship standard. This is known as End Point Assessment and is conducted by an external End Point Assessment Organisation.

The APA offers a substantial development opportunity for new academic staff and has been designed to support the University’s commitment to Teaching Excellence and great student experience.

Who is it for?

The APA programme has been designed to meet the needs of early career academics (i.e. those with less than two years of working in a Higher Education Institution) who do not currently have a teaching qualification and/or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

How is it structured?

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship standard contains a core element plus two specialist pathways. All apprentices are required to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the core element of the standard. The competences relate to essential elements of the role of the academic professional. Apprentices can choose between two specialist routes which require them to meet additional knowledge and skills competences relating to either teaching and supporting learning or research.

To support apprentices to be able to demonstrate these competences the University of Lincoln Academic Professional Apprenticeship programme is divided into three elements:

  • An extended induction period, to support the transition to becoming an apprentice
  • A Postgraduate Diploma in Policy and Practice in Higher Education, to enable apprentices to develop the new knowledge and skills required to evidence the apprenticeship standard
  • A portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the core and chosen specialist pathway of the apprenticeship standard

The PgDip and development of the portfolio occur concurrently, culminating in a Gateway assessment which determines whether the apprentice is ready to take their End Point Assessment.

End Point Assessment is carried out by an external End Point Assessment Organisation and determines whether the apprentice has met the occupational standard successfully or not. End Point Assessment takes place in the last three months of the programme.

How and when is it delivered?

Academics who enrol on this programme take on the full status of apprentice. For the duration of the programme they spend 80% of their time learning ‘on the job’ by carrying out their job role in the workplace and the other 20% of their time is spent engaging in ‘off-the-job’ training. For an academic who works full time this would mean four days a week are spent undertaking their normal role in the workplace and one day a week is spent engaging in activities to support the development of new knowledge, skills and behaviours to enhance their practice.

At the University of Lincoln, a substantial part of the off-the-job training is provided by the PgDip Policy and Practice in HE. The PgDip comprises four, 30-credit modules which cover learning and teaching, assessment and feedback, teaching and research practice and professional development. The modules are delivered using a blended learning approach alternating between face-to-face learning (either classroom based or online) and self-directed study weeks. Face-to-face sessions are delivered on a Wednesday afternoon.

What do I get at the end?

The APA is a nationally recognised qualification. On successful completion you will get a certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).

The APA programme at the University of Lincoln will also provide you with a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education Policy and Practice and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy which will entitle you to use the postnominals FHEA.

Where can I find out more?

Frequently Asked Questions

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