1. On-Boarding
  2. Building community
  3. Maintaining trust & confidentiality
  4. Balancing flexibility with compliant attendance

On-Boarding and Building Community

What is different for Apprentices?


The standard Hallam Welcome package offers strong principles and information for new learners.  However, much of the content does not apply to an Apprentice’s situation (for example, student finance, accommodation and other similar themes are largely irrelevant).  For 2020-21, BESE will be launching a new On-Boarding webpage – available to both Apprentice applicants and employers before enrolment.  This is part of the Apprenticeship Information and Impact Resource (AIIR):

The On-Boarding Section covers:

Apprentices will have shared experiences of conducting their Skills Scan and working on WBL Projects which should be used as a focus for community building and sharing ideas in discussion boards etc.

Building Community

Apprentices are widely considered to depend on peer to peer learning and as their attendance at SHU and direct F2F time might be limited and sometimes threatened, they attach great weight to meaningful engagement. Community is highly valued by apprentices.  Whilst striving to develop innovative on-line activities, Course Leader and Module Leaders should be mindful of the national spotlight on apprenticeships and their role in widening participation, both in terms of recruitment and successful outcomes.

LTA practitioners can obtain more information on inclusive practice as set out in the Course Delivery Guide.

In Practice

The learning community for Apprenticeships is critically important. How learners interact and develop trust and inquiring behaviours has a direct bearing on their ability to learn from each other’s practice and develop knowledge, skills and behaviours.  This is done best by sharing work-place experiences and comparing evidence of competence, within applied frameworks and spaces for reflective practice.

Therefore Apprenticeship Course Leaders can work with WBL Coaches and PPD Module leaders, in particular, to identify the key drivers for an Apprenticeship community including on-boarding and induction activities for new starters and a continual community-based offer for returning learners. Apprenticeship Course Leaders and key module leaders need to design interactive sessions, ideally with compulsory attendance, both on campus and using digital technologies.  These might be in connection with early themes like getting to know the Standard, or dealing with 20% Off The Job Training, but also in connection with later stages of the Programme including EPA workshops for learners at or near to Gateway.

For more information on induction see the Delivery Guide in the Teaching and Assessment Essentials Intranet Site: (Sections 6 & 7).
Back to top of page

Maintaining Trust and Confidentiality

What is Different for Apprentices?

Apprenticeship discourse is a fundamental part of the andragogic work-based learning approach.  A Learner’s reflective review of experience is a core learning opportunity, including the evaluation of failure and success in the place of work.  This rich driver for the curriculum needs to be embedded as a central plank in workshops and seminars.  This often leads to discussions around the potentially sensitive subject matter.

There are relevant sections in the Student Charter, The Apprenticeship Commitment Statement and Ethical principles for major research projects, which begin to define levels of trust and confidentiality. As Learning, Teaching and Assessment move online, it is critical to continue the sharing and evaluation of experience with clear expectations regarding trust and confidentiality between Apprentice peers and with staff.

Therefore, there is a call for a further expression of ethical behaviour in relation to WBL discourse and which might be stated at the outset of specific conversations, or in relation to the expectations for a whole module.

Proposed Confidentiality Statement for Work-Based Learning:

  • Students (Apprentices) and staff will engage in peer to peer learning in good faith.
  • Students (Apprentices) will take all due care not to share sensitive, or confidential information without first concealing the identity of all relevant parties. This includes informal discourse and submissions for assessment.
  • Where necessary, the submission of work will indicate which parts of the submission are to be treated as sensitive.
  • All participants will treat any discussions, submissions of work, sharing of case studies, or expression of opinion (etc.) with respect.
  • Any matters that are highlighted, or could be considered as confidential and/or include commercially sensitive information about an individual, a participant, stakeholder or an organisation will not be shared beyond their immediate purpose in the educational setting.

BESE is currently reviewing the Apprenticeship Commitment Statement and the proposed Statement of Intent (above) is under consideration.

In Practice

Timetabled interactive sessions are being recorded to ensure multiple options for engagement. The University does not recommend the recording of breakout sessions.  The recording and sharing of larger discussions need to be undertaken with reference to clear expectations.

Use the pause function of Zoom recordings to create safe spaces and put students at ease and let the class know if you start recording again.

When preparing to run sessions, include reminders in your slides to pause and restart sessions.  This can help achieve recorded sessions free of sensitive topics and enable Apprentices to engage in discourse with confidence and trust.
Back to top of page

Balancing Flexibility with Compliant Attendance

What is Different for Apprentices?

The design of online delivery will need to be responsive to the employer’s voice.  Closed course provision might exhibit more consistent cohort engagement, but there will still be variability from different functions and offices of the client organisation. Open delivery will demand flexible options for engagement as employers govern the movement, access to workplace experience and flexibilities for their Apprentice employees in response to their organisation’s priorities.  See the generic University guidance on delivering sessions synchronously on campus and online as well as recording sessions to post for non-attendees.

Whilst employer responsiveness and flexible modes of engagement are welcomed, it is important to set clear expectations about minimum levels of engagement using clear and directive communications to Apprentices where necessary. The University is required to ensure that Apprentices are benefitting from and recording 20% Of-The-Job-Training, taking place within contracted working hours (Link to BESE site).

For the design of future delivery (short and medium-term) the University will need to take into account emerging trends and varied sector drivers and to remain competitive against funding bands.  In this context, the Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning Steering Group has developed interim guidance on Minimum Face-to-Face (F2F) delivery.

In Practice

  • When attendance is expected, this should be clearly communicated as mandatory for attendance monitoring purposes and the follow-up actions for non-synchronous participation clearly communicated for those who simply cannot attend (on-campus or online).
  • Module Leaders are responsible for collecting mandatory attendance data as set out in the Attendance Baseline Process, Appendix 7 of the Apprenticeship Delivery Guide. From 2020-21, this should be done using the JISC Ap.
  • Module Leaders should also review the last date of engagement of learners by accessing Blackboard download statistics, EesySoft Course Reports. Along with monthly attendance records, module leaders should identify any engagement issues for the Apprenticeship Course Leader to discuss with the Work-Based Learning Coach so they can agree with interventions.
  • 20% Off The Job Training is recorded in various ways at present, typically in Pebblepad E-portfolios. During 2020/21, the University will be moving to record 20%OTJT using E-Track and reporting in MAYTAS.

Back to top of page