Apprenticeships: a glossary

The key principles and terms used in the context of apprentices are explained below:


Apprenticeships are made up of work-based training and a minimum of 20 per cent off-the-job learning. By the end, apprentices must be able to demonstrate the skills, behaviours, knowledge and competencies as prescribed in the apprenticeship standard. The standard may also include a qualification, but not in all cases.

Apprenticeship standard

As part of the 2017 apprenticeship reforms, all new apprenticeships were required to be designed and developed by relevant sector bodies. Groups of employers, awarding bodies and other industry experts formed trailblazer groups, and the apprenticeships that they originally built were called trailblazer apprenticeships. This title has now been dropped and these are now referred to as Apprenticeship Standards. This is because the document published by government specifies the standard to be achieved by the end of the programme. Earlier apprenticeships followed frameworks which focused what the learning should be, rather than the outcomes.

The full list of approved Apprenticeship Standards is available on the Institute for Apprenticeships’ website.

Legal apprenticeship

A legal apprenticeship is avocational qualification studied within paid employment. Apprentices are trained in law and legal practice and learn workplace skills.

We offer several legal apprenticeships:

Off-the-job training

The employer is required to provide at least 20 per cent of the apprentice’s paid hours as off-the-job training. This means time spent on learning activities outside of the normal day-to-day working routine. The activities must contribute to the learning and assessment of the apprenticeship. Typical examples of this include interactive webinars, study sessions, work shadowing and completing assignments.

Apprenticeship levy

The apprenticeship levy came into force in April 2017 and requires all employers operating in the UK with a pay bill over £3 million each year to make monthly payments to an apprenticeship account towards funding apprenticeships. Employers can then draw back this money by employing an apprentice to pay for the delivery programme.

Gateway point

Under apprenticeship standards, the gateway refers to the point when an apprentice has completed all the teaching and learning within the delivery plan and is ready to begin preparations for their end-point assessment. This must be agreed by the employer, the apprentice and CLS.

End-point assessment

The end-point assessment (EPA) looks at an apprentice’s ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, behaviours and competencies required under the Apprenticeship Standard for their chosen apprenticeships. It is delivered by an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO). The assessment typically involves a mixture of timed assessments and a professional interview. However, it is the trailblazer group that determines its composition and ensures its suitability for the sector and the job role.