Hot Topic Learning - Meeting the Required 20% ‘off-the-job’ Activities for Apprentices

18th March 2019 Date of publication

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. To download a copy of this information please Click Here

The Guiding Principles

Off-the-job training is focused on teaching new skills rather than assessing existing skills and it is the responsibility of both the main provider and the employer to ensure that an apprentice spends a minimum of 20% of their employed time doing off-the-job training.

The off-the-job training must take place during employed time. If training must take place in an evening or outside of contracted hours, it would be expected this to be recognised (for example: through time off in lieu).

To decide whether a training activity constitutes ‘off-the-job’ training, it may be helpful to consider it in comparison to activities undertaken by other staff who are fully occupationally competent.

Distance learning can be used as part of off-the-job training but the funding rules do not permit all off-the-job training to be delivered in this way, it must be as part of a blended approach.

What can count:

  • Company Induction (Job descriptions, contracts of employment, grievance procedures, sickness reporting and holiday request procedures, lone working and keeping safe).
  • Apprenticeship Training (1-2-1 teaching & learning of theory, classroom learning, simulations, demonstrations, how to use equipment, complete a skilled task or learn a procedure).
  • Coursework – writing assessments / assignments / building a portfolio.
  • External / Internal / on-line courses.
  • Manufacturer / supplier demonstrations.
  • Industry visits.
  • Mentoring.
  • Shadowing peers or supervisor.
  • Training on a new process or procedure.
  • Knowledge and awareness of relevant workplace standards/practices.
  • Supporting the apprentice as they carry out a task independently i.e. being involved with the process of risk assessment processes, dealing with a complaint, communicating with service users etc. Follow up with reflective account/conversations to evaluate the learning that has taken place.
  • Simulations - manual handling/people moving, first aid, dealing with an emergency, promoting positive behaviour, refusals, discussions/examples of poor practice identified and what to do about it.
  • Creation and understanding of methods of measuring performance - personal development plans, targets and deadlines, formal supervision, daily diaries and reflective journals. Evaluation of performance and reflective practice.
  • Learning on in-house policies and procedures and legislation relevant to role:
    • Safeguarding.
    • Equality and Diversity.
    • Health and Safety.
    • Mental capacity and care standards.
  • A project that has to be completed as part of the standards.
  • Visiting other departments - understanding what others do within the business and the importance of the role and understanding the importance of being a team member
  • Mock tests and end-point professional discussions.
  • Milestone achievement events.
  • Prevent strategies - Safeguarding in the community, Equality and Diversity, British Values and radicalisation

What can’t count:

  • English and maths teaching and learning which is funded separately.
  • Progress reviews (unless feedback is given on how to improve) or on-programme assessments that are required in the apprenticeship standards.
  • Training that takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours (unless given time off in lieu).
  • Tests and exams.
  • On-programme assessments.

How can One Awards help you?

Although the focus of an apprenticeship is on the End Point Assessment for which NOCN holdsGovernment approvals to deliver apprentice End Point Assessments (EPA) in a range of key sectors, some Standards specify certain qualifications as a requirement for professional-body membership and as a route towards the final assessment and One Awards can provide a wide range of NOCN qualifications aligned to and included within current Standards.

In addition, NOCN and One Awards single units available at differing levels, many with low GLH can be combined in different ways and may provide innovative and flexible solutions to meet the needs of and add value to your apprenticeship training.

  • Single units may provide curriculum solutions.
  • Additional approval for the use of single units is not always necessary.
  • Units may be part of qualifications you already have approval for.

One Awards Accredited Units (sometimes known as Bespoke Accreditation) are credit-based units of assessment, tailor-made to the requirements of the Centre.

We offer you the opportunity to accredit courses developed to meet the specific needs of your learners and/or your employers by supporting you to write appropriate Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria (the unit), based on the content of your training. All One Awards’ units are written to meet the national standards for credit based units of assessment.

For those not looking to develop new and unique units, or in addition to new units we offer a well-resourced unit bank available solely to our centres with Entry Level through to Level 5 units.

The unit bank located on our website has a detailed search facility and units may be located by category, level, credit value, unit code and key word.

Some suggestions of units available include:

  • Presentation Skills
  • Developing Workplace Communication Skills
  • Developing Customer Service Excellence
  • Disability Awareness in the Workplace
  • Planning and Participating in Meetings
  • Managing Time and Prioritising Workloads
  • Understanding British Citizenship
  • Skills for Living in the Community
  • Accessing Community Facilities
  • Developing a Positive Mind-set
  • Maintaining Emotional Well-being and Resilience
  • Developing Personal Confidence and Self-awareness
  • Understanding Peer Support and Mentoring

No cost approval - With One Awards, there is no cost to recognised (approved) centres for the approval to use units from the bank. Registration and Certification costs start at £16.50 dependent on credit value.

Contact us

If you are interested in appropriate End Point Assessments, qualifications, single funded units or bespoke One Awards units and can’t find what you’re looking for, why not ask our Business Development Team for further information, they’d be happy to help. You can call us on 0191-5186550 or email

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