Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Buzzwords


Prospective apprentices may come across some terminology they don’t understand during their application and educational journey. In this quick guide, the DANCOP team explain some of the most commonly used apprenticeship buzzwords.

Apprenticeship Levy

A compulsory tax on employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million, to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship Standard

A concise document setting out the responsibilities of an occupation and outlining the knowledge, skills, and behaviours an apprentice will need to demonstrate mastery of an occupation

Degree Apprenticeship

Highly skilled work with study, providing the opportunity to gain level six and seven qualifications, including a Bachelors or postgraduate degree.

Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Government executive agency sponsored by the Department for Education, responsible for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults.

End-point Assessment (EPA)

Collection of assessments that offer confirmation of knowledge, skills and behaviours (known as KSBs) for a particular occupation. The EPA takes place once the training stage of the apprenticeship is complete, and the apprentice is considered ready. The EPA must be achieved before an apprenticeship certificate can officially be awarded.

‘Find an Apprenticeship’ Service

Regularly updated government search tool advertising new apprenticeship vacancies at all levels across England.

Funding Band

Each apprenticeship standard will be awarded a funding band. The funding band shows the maximum amount the government will contribute towards that qualification for each apprentice trained.

Higher Apprenticeship

Highly skilled work with study providing the opportunity to gain level four or five qualifications. This includes National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), Higher National Diplomas (HND), and Foundation Degrees (FdA/FdSc).

Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA)

Government body responsible for ensuring the development of high quality apprenticeship standards and advises government on funding for each standard.

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, a government agency that coordinates apprenticeships in England, enabling young people to enter skilled trades.

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.70 per hour and applies to apprentices aged under 19 or 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. In reality, most apprentices are paid more than this.

Off-the-Job Training

20% of an apprentice’s time must consist of ‘off-the-job’ learning. This must take place away from the workplace and can be delivered through different modes of learning, including block release, blended learning, and workshops.


The term used to describe a group of employers that come together to create a new apprenticeship standard for their sector.

Training Provider

The institute providing the ‘off-the-job’ element of an apprenticeship. This can be a Training Agency, FE College, or Higher Education Institute.

Need Apprenticeship Advice?

If you have a question or need some specific guidance on apprenticeships, the DANCOP team are here to help. Contact us and we’ll endeavour to find the answers to your queries.