top of page

Apprenticeship Curriculum Intent Checklist

We recently published a set of slides on Slideshare, which we used in a presentation about developing apprenticeship curriculum intent.

Following on from this, we thought it might be useful to add a bit of context to the slides and offer a little more guidance about curriculum intent for organisations delivering apprenticeships.

All providers should now be fully aware that OfSTED has released its new Education Inspection Framework (EIF), which will be used from September 2019 to inspect apprenticeship training and schools and colleges. If you haven’t read the new framework, then we can only suggest you do it with a certain sense of urgency. There are huge changes, specifically the introduction of the Quality of Education judgement. OfSTED has suggested that there will be a period of grace for inspections from September 2019 as having curriculum plans fully up and running by September will be challenging – but they will want to see that curriculum planning is being done for all programmes.

Quality of Education Judgement

The Quality of Education judgement will focus on the quality of teaching, training and the curriculum plan that you put in place for each apprenticeship standard. Broad statements are really not going to work. There will need to be detailed planning and clear evidence that delivery staff have seriously considered the curriculum. OfSTED will inspect the curriculum using a 3 stage process:

OfSTED’s working definition of a curriculum is:

The curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage (intent); for translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context (implementation) and for evaluating what knowledge and skills learners have gained against expectations (impact/achievement)

So the three keywords here are:

  • Curriculum Intent

  • Curriculum Implementation

  • Curriculum Impact

Apprenticeship Curriculum Intent

Apprenticeship training providers need to first consider curriculum intent before addressing curriculum implementation and impact.

Providers will need to set out the aims of the apprenticeship programme, including the knowledge and skills that are gained. Fortunately, these are neatly laid out in the Apprenticeship Standards KSBs

  • Knowledge

  • Skills

  • Behaviours

If you haven’t moved from frameworks to standards, this might be an opportune time.

The next thing that will need to be considered is how to translate the apprenticeship standard into a delivery structure with narrative – the implementation

Finally, how do you then measure the impact of delivery? Relying on achievement data will be a little narrow for inspectors.

We have created a simple checklist for apprenticeship training providers, which we hope will help identify areas of curriculum planning that need to be worked on.

Apprenticeship Curriculum Checklist

Curriculum Intent

  • What do you want your apprentices to know by the end of the programme? What are the knowledge standards?

  • What are the key topics that apprentices must cover?

  • Are there other elements of delivery that need to be considered? Prevent Guidance, Safeguarding, extended Maths & English?

  • What knowledge will be gained in the workplace, and what knowledge will need to be delivered?

  • How ambitious are you being with your apprentices? Are they being challenged, or are you covering knowledge that is elementary or already covered in the workplace? If you are upskilling staff, ensure you are also delivering new knowledge to them.

  • What delivery is needed for learners to achieve the skills and behaviour standards?

  • Are all of your training staff fully engaged with the curriculum? If OfSTED questioned them, would they be able to confirm that they were involved in developing the curriculum?

  • Do your apprentices know what the curriculum is? Are they aware of what knowledge they can expect to gain, when and how?

  • Does your curriculum support development? If you deliver a Level 3 programme, have you considered what might be added to support learners moving to higher-level programmes?

  • What is going to be assessed to demonstrate that learners have gained the necessary levels of knowledge? What are your success benchmarks?

Curriculum Implementation

  • How are you going to list your curriculum activities? Workshops / Topics / Block Courses?

  • Do you have lesson plans and supporting teaching material?

  • What learning needs to be theory, practical or online?

  • Are some knowledge requirements shorter or longer than others?

  • Do your curriculum activities contain just learning? Do learners need to practice elements before the knowledge is confirmed? Do they need to be assessed?

  • How will you deal with learner differentiation?

  • Are there any cross-curriculum links? Can it be linked to developing Maths & English or Prevent or Safeguarding?

  • Have you considered how to build career guidance, stretch and challenge and additionality into the curriculum?

  • How long is the activity, and does it constitute Off the Job Learning?

  • Have you sequenced the activities in a logical order that supports learner progress?

  • Will learners have enough knowledge from previous activities to move to the next?

  • Are you sequencing your activities to reflect developments in the workplace, or are you just sequencing based on the order that knowledge elements listed on the apprenticeship standard?

  • Does the curriculum sequence reflect workplace development?

  • How do you know that all of the standards have been covered by curriculum activities? Have you conducted curriculum mapping?

Curriculum Impact

  • How will you measure that learners have achieved your curriculum intent?

  • Do learner assessments meet your minimum benchmarks?

  • How do you record areas for improvement and develop these?

  • Has there been enough assessment for learners to gain feedback which helps them develop?

  • Is there too much assessment, and are staff inundated with marking?

  • How do you know that learners have gained knowledge to support them in the workplace?

  • Do employers confirm that apprentices have the necessary knowledge to do the job?

  • Are learners achieving End Point Assessment? Are they just passing, or are they excelling?

Next Steps

Apprenticeship providers need to be wary that in just over two months, the OfSTED EIF will be used for inspections, and if you have yet to address curriculum planning, you could run into a few problems. Obviously, we will suggest that education and training providers look at our curriculum planning system Stedfast. This comprehensive system allows providers to set out their curriculum intent and implementation and then measure the impact.

This short 5-minute video gives a brief overview of the Curriculum Planning tools in Stedfast.

bottom of page