As a work-based programme, an important part of an Apprenticeship is off-the-job training. However, there is much confusion surrounding it – both for apprentices and managers alike. Here, we try to keep it simple and explain what off the job training is and how you can determine which activities counts as off-the-job training
Off-the-job training is learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working duties but is within working hours and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship.
Key facts about off-the-job training
- 20 is the magic number
Off-the-job training is at least 20% of the apprentice’s contracted hours, over the total duration of the apprentice’s planned training period (this excludes holidays).
It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as a part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five or as block release. Off-the-job hours need to be evidenced over the duration of the Apprenticeship programme, not per week, per month. For example, 10% one week/month and 30% the next week/month meets requirements.
- Location, location, location
Off-the job training can be delivered in the apprentice’s normal workplace or at an external location.
- New learning
Apprentices must gain new knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to their apprenticeship. Progress reviews and on programme assessments do not count towards 20% off-the-job training, as they do not deliver new knowledge, skills and behaviours.
- Not part of the day job
Off-the-job training must be away from the apprentice’s normal working duties.
- Not done in your own time
The training should not take place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours. Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside paid hours, but this must not be required to complete the apprenticeship.
- Functional skills don’t count
If needed, English and maths training must be on top of the 20% off-the-job training requirement.
How can I tell what is off-the-job training?
If you answer YES to these questions, it is off-the-job training.
- Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard or framework?
- Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?
- the learning taking place within the apprentice’s normal (contracted) working hours?
But, day-to-day, what does this look like?
- The teaching of theory (for example: lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training)
- Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competition
- Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.
Find out more?
The National Apprenticeship Service has developed some resources. To access, click the titles below:
- Steps to help you determine whether an activity counts as off-the-job training
- A myth-busting document to counter five common myths.