Government Guidelines for Apprentices during COVID 19

Please see this important link to the DfE guidance:  

Key points:

  • The guidance allows furloughed apprentices to continue their training, and to take their end-point assessment, and allows all existing furloughed employees to start a new apprenticeship, as long as it does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, their employer
  • Encourages training providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable
  • Clarifies that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled. 
  • Enables employers and training providers to report and initiate a break in learning, where the interruption to learning due to COVID-19 is greater than 4 weeks

Always Consult are proud to have been registered on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP) since April 2017. As a specialist in Management and Leadership, Always Consult offer two apprenticeships designed to upskill your workforce and make your business run more efficiently. The apprenticeship ‘Standards’ that we deliver are government recognised qualifications. They have been written by industry with the help of the ILM and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Mission: Our mission is to deliver high quality, innovative and bespoke apprenticeship training to all of our apprentices in order to enhance their skills, knowledge and behaviours in their existing roles, give them a springboard for the future and ensure their employers have a highly trained and engaged workforce.

We utilise the following principles for all of our apprenticeship training:

  1. We aspire to deliver the highest standards of training, through innovative course design and staff with the best competencies.
  2. We tailor all of our apprenticeship programmes to the individual and their job role.
  3. We develop programmes that will support our apprentices in developing themselves and give them increased opportunity for the future.
  4. We work in partnership with employers to tailor our courses to fit the needs of specific job roles to support the development of their workforce.
  5. We focus on quality and innovation to give the best learning experience possible to all of our apprentices.

Our first apprentices, based at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust, started on their programme in December 2017.  Since then we have developed a range of programmes linked to the Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship and the Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager apprenticeship.  Our particular focus is on the development of clinicians and other healthcare professionals working at all levels within the NHS and healthcare.  Some of our bespoke programmes are outlined below along with a case study outlining our partnership with South Tees NHS Foundation Trust and the ground-breaking programme that has come from this. (See case study)

Team Leader / Supervisor Level 3

This apprenticeship is ideal for those starting out in management and responsible for the activities, output and performance of a team. The Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship is suitable for individuals who are working in a first line management role. The course lasts 12 – 15 months and the training is delivered by our highly qualified staff predominantly in the workplace through 1-2-1 individually tailored training, lectures, webinars and using a wealth of resources available through our e-portfolio system. Over the course of the last 2 years we have developed a series of specific programmes.  These include:

Foundation Leadership and Management (FLM):

This is a programme targeted at Foundation year 1 doctors, designed to support the transition form medical student to doctor, filling the leadership and management gap that exists in their undergraduate programme.  The case study attached explains the development of this programme.

Speciality and Associate Specialist Leadership Programme (SASLP):

This programme is focused on clinical leadership for SAS doctors working in the NHS.

Allied Healthcare Professionals:

This programme is focused on clinical leadership for AHPs working in the NHS.

Corporate Healthcare Leadership:

This programme is focused on clinical leadership for healthcare professionals working in private healthcare.

Operations /Departmental Manager Level 5

This course is ideal for established managers looking to take the next step in leading and managing larger teams and business units. Level 5 Managers are typically responsible for everything from creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, leading and managing teams, managing change and financial and resource management. A suitable candidate is someone who manages teams or projects and is responsible for achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives as part of their organisation’s strategy. The course lasts 15 – 20 months and the training is delivered in much the same way as the Level 3 course above. The level 5 courses expects the individual to have some experience of Leadership and Management prior to the start of the course and will focus at a more strategic level.  Over the course of the last 2 years we have developed a series of specific programmes, including:

Ward Managers Leadership:

This programme is focused on clinical leadership for Ward Managers working in the NHS.

Acute care common stem Leadership Programme (ACCS-LP):

This programme is designed for junior doctors training in anaesthetics, acute medicine and emergency medicine in the NHS.

Consultant Leadership Programme:

This programme is designed for newly qualified medical and surgical consultants working in the NHS.

Corporate Healthcare Leadership:

This programme is focused on clinical leadership for healthcare professionals working in private healthcare.

Link to Case Study

Link to Appeals Procedure

Link to Policies

Apprentice Programme - Always Consult

Frequently Asked Questions about Apprenticeships and the Levy:

Q: What is an apprenticeship?
A: An apprenticeship is an on the job training course designed to teach a new skill to someone in employment. An apprentice can be anyone aged 16 or over. The apprentice can be recruited specifically to undertake the training, with a view to progressing into long term, full time employment on completion of the course, or the course can be delivered to existing staff as part of their current role, by way of up-skilling.

Q: What is the Apprenticeship Levy?
A: The apprenticeship levy is a payment by employers with a wage bill of £3m or over. It is ‘levied’ at a rate of 0.5% on anything over £3m and is held by the government, on behalf of the employer. The funds are available to the employer to fund apprenticeship training by an approved training provider such as Always Consult. The payment is taken monthly using the PAYE system.

Q: What happens if I don’t spend my Levy?
A: You have 2 years to spend your levy and then you will start losing it each month from then on.

Q: How can I use my Levy?
A: The money in your Levy account can be used to fund apprenticeship training for your staff. The courses must be delivered by an approved provider, such as Always Consult. There are a huge number of apprenticeship programmes to choose from and there is likely to be one that will suit your industry. If you are struggling to work out what courses would be appropriate for your business then we offer a consultancy service in order to make best use of your funds.

Q: How can I work out how much I have to spend?
A: Each of the apprenticeship standards has a funding cap which varies depending on the length of the course and the qualification in question. For example the Level 3 and Level 5 courses above are capped at £4,500 and £7,000 respectively. You can use these funding caps as a gauge to work out how much you have to spend.

Q: What happens if I want to spend more than I have available in my account?
A: If you want to spend more money than you have available in your account then this is no problem. The government has committed to a co-funding model, whereby it will fund 90% of any course over and above your available funds, leaving you to top up the remaining 10%. For example, if you had £40,000 available annually in your account, and you wanted to fund 10 courses, year-long courses, costing £5,000 each; the government would fund £9,000 of the £10,000 overspend, leaving you to top up £1,000.

For further information please call us on 0333 444 2467 or email