On update from CIfA on development of archaeology apprenticeships in England:


Apprenticeship standards development

In England, work has progressed on the development of Trailblazer Apprenticeships through three Historic England convened working groups. The groups have overseen the development of apprenticeship standards covering archaeology, conservation and historic environment advice. The archaeology working group is chaired by CIfA and includes representatives from several ROs including MOLA, Oxford Archaeology, Cotswold Archaeology, Albion Archaeology, Wessex Archaeology and Salford Archaeology. It has focussed on two areas, the development of an entry level (Level 3) Archaeological Technician apprenticeship and a higher level (Level 7) Archaeological Specialist degree apprenticeship. Both standards have now been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and can be seen at www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/archaeological-technician/ and www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/archaeological-specialist/

Assessment plans

As well as the apprenticeship standard setting out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for the role, each apprenticeship has an assessment plan which details how they will be assessed. Assessment plans are also required to be approved by the IfATE and an apprenticeship can only be approved for delivery once both sets of documents are in place.

The assessment plan for the Level 3 Archaeological Technician has now been approved and formally published. The plan for the Level 7 Archaeological Specialist was approved earlier this year subject to amendments which have now been submitted and we hope that this apprenticeship will also be formally published shortly.

Training providers

The last piece in the jigsaw is to identify training providers and assessment providers to deliver the off-job training element of the apprenticeship and the final assessment. CIfA is in the process of registering to become an assessment provider and we have been working alongside colleagues at Historic England to identify training providers. We have had some very useful discussions with several further education colleges who currently include archaeology in their provision, most recently with Strode College which has indicated that it would be able to develop the necessary content for apprenticeships to start in January 2020. Strode College is also working with Historic England on the training provision for a Level 4 assistant historic environment advisor apprenticeship https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/historic-environment-advice-assistant/ which has also now been formally approved and published.

Next steps

The process of developing apprenticeships has been long and, at times, tortuous as the working groups have navigated a number of changes of policy and direction, with overall responsibility shifting from the Department for Business, Industry and Skills to the Department for Education and finally to the Institute for Apprenticeships. However, with the prospect of the first apprentices starting in just over 6 months time, we’re now looking forward to working with ROs to ensure that those that wish to take on apprentices are supported through the process. Apprenticeships can be used for upskilling existing staff as well as training new recruits and more information about how to recruit and support apprentices will be circulated shortly but if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Kate at kate.geary@archaeologists.net.