Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are a key aspect of the Government’s strategy to raise UK productivity
Credit has a key role to play in Degree Apprenticeships, providing the common currency for learning that this integrated approach requires. Credit provides the means to recognise learning equivalently wherever it occurs ‘on’ or ‘off the job’. For example, the accreditation of in-company training provides the means to integrate the resulting learning as a constituent element of Degree Apprenticeships. The integration of professional body recognition within Degree Apprenticeships can also be facilitated by a common understanding of credit and levels. For example, the production of credit-bearing professional development portfolios, as part of Degree Apprenticeship programmes, can often simultaneously provide the basis for meeting professional body membership requirements.
Most HEIs are now signed up to delivering Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. The promotion of Degree Apprenticeships which integrate the required knowledge, skills and behaviours of apprenticeship standards raises questions about the relationship between ‘academic credit’ and Apprenticeship Standards. While all Apprenticeship Standards are ‘levelled’, the language used to describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours is not currently required to reflect that of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications or, for that matter, the SEEC Credit Level Descriptors. SEEC has a key role to play in supporting and promoting a coherent response to the significant shifts in the higher education landscape brought about by Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.