Skills for Care has announced the closure of adult social care apprenticeship frameworks from December 2017.
The current apprenticeships frameworks in Health and Social Care and in Care Leadership and Management will be withdrawn by Skills for Care and Development on 29th December 2017.
The planned closure comes after the approval of the new employer-led apprenticeship standards at Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5. Level 2 and 3 are already open for registration and Levels 4 and 5 are anticipated in the very near future or imminently.
This means that no-one will be able to start an apprenticeship on the framework after the end of this calendar year, and all apprentices starting after that date will do so through the new standards.
The framework and standards will run in parallel until then allowing employers and learning providers to get used to the new standards and begin to phase them into their organisations before the frameworks are fully closed in December.
The new standards are two-page documents setting out the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to be competent in a clearly defined and unique occupation. The apprentice has to be assessed at the end, and the result graded. This end-point assessment test must be carried out by a body which is independent of the one which trained the apprentice and is on a new government Register of Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations.
There are four roles which will be the subject of the new apprenticeship standards:
- Adult Care Worker (equates to Level 2).
- Lead Adult Care Worker (Level 3).
- Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (Level 4).
- Leader in Adult Care (Level 5).
Skills for Care Chief Executive, Sharon Allen said, 'We are making this announcement now because we want to give employers the maximum amount of time to make any changes they need to migrate to the standards.
'The growth of apprenticeships is a real success story for adult social care and the new standards created in consultation with employers will play a key role in keeping that momentum going. Our dedicated apprenticeship team are here to help with any enquiries about these reforms.'
Both the frameworks and standards currently include the requirement to attain the relevant QCF Diploma but these Diplomas will be withdrawn on 29th December 2017 due to the introduction of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) on the 1st January 2018.