During your studies

Find out more about your responsibilities as an apprentice and those of your employer and the University of Surrey as set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

How it works

There are three parts to your apprenticeship:

  • Off-the-job training (programme of study at the University of Surrey)
  • On-the-job training (in employment)
  • An end-point assessment at the end of your programme.

The majority of our apprenticeships are taught through a blend of virtual online and face-to-face learning. The face-to-face block learning is at our campus in Guildford, located by Heathrow and Gatwick airports and 34 minutes from central London.

You must spend at least 20 per cent of your contracted work hours in ‘off-the-job training’. See a full list of activities (PDF) that count as off-the-job-training.

Monitoring your attendance and progress

During your studies, you must use an e-portfolio to keep a record of your off-the-job training and progress.

As part of the apprenticeship agreement and to help ensure your success, we will provide your employer with regular updates on your attendance, experience and progress. These progress reviews take place around every 12 weeks and will involve you, your employer and a member of faculty staff. These can happen face-to-face, over the phone or online.

We are obliged by the government to record and provide evidence that you are spending at least 20 per cent of your contracted work hours in off-the-job training. Where this occurs outside of the contracted work hours, your employer must provide time off in lieu. If you fall behind on the 20 per cent, that time must be made up.

You must spend a maximum 80 per cent of your contracted work hours in ‘on-the-job training’ completing work that is relevant to the apprenticeship as set out in the apprenticeship standard.

For more information, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Once your on-the-job training and off-the-job training is successfully completed together with your employer, we’ll agree that you’re ready to take the EPA. This is known as the ‘Gateway’.

Completing the EPA

The formal assessment of an apprenticeship happens at the end of the programme through the EPA. The EPA can vary dependant on the programme of study, but can include:

  • Practical assessments
  • Interviews
  • Projects
  • Written and/or multiple choice tests
  • Presentations or sales pitches.

It’s organised by us and the costs for sitting it once are included in the overall cost of the apprenticeship.

The government has a list of approved EPA organisations for each standard and the employer has a right to select the EPA organisation from the register. Upon successful completion of the EPA, you will gain your apprenticeship status and a recognised qualification.

For more information please visit GOV.UK.

Your role as an apprentice

To ensure you are successful in the three parts of your apprenticeship (as above), you are responsible for the following:

  • Your own learning development, including submitting assignments on time
  • Preparing and engaging in regular reviews of your progress
  • Behaving in a professional manner and adhering to the health and safety requirements in your job role and at the University
  • Working in collaboration with Surrey and your employer to enable your own learning, development and progression
  • Logging your off-the-job training
  • Complying with our rules and regulations.

Change in circumstances

If you require a break from your apprenticeship or want to end it before completion, you and your employer must notify the University, and your employer must stop payments through their Digital Apprenticeship Service portal.

Access support and facilities

As a Surrey apprentice, you’ll have access to most of our student services. Our Stag Hill campus has:

  • Bars
  • A nightclub
  • Coffee shops
  • Restaurants
  • An outdoor gym

Surrey Sports Park, one of the most highly-regarded university sports facilities in the country is also just a 10-minute walk away.

We also have a dedicated student hub, MySurrey Hive, and our Centre for Wellbeing can offer free support with health, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Employer and university support

Both your employer and us at the University of Surrey have a duty of care to help you to achieve in your apprenticeship.

Employers must:

  • Allow you to complete your off-the-job training during contracted work hours
  • Ensure that you meet the off-the-job training requirement throughout the year
  • Provide time off in lieu for any off-the-job training that you take outside of contracted work  hours
  • Ensure your on-the-job training enables you to gain the skills and knowledge set out in the apprenticeship standard
  • Get involved and contribute to regular apprenticeship  progress reviews
  • Provide a mentor or line manager
  • Support your development by providing regular feedback on your job performance
  • Ensure you have access to IT facilities in order to conduct all aspects of the virtual online learning.

Work contract and conditions

You must also be offered the same conditions as other staff working at similar grades or in similar roles including:

  • Paid holidays and paid leave
  • Sick pay
  • Any benefits and additional support.

For further information on apprenticeship pay and conditions visit GOV.UK.

As the training provider, here at Surrey we are responsible for:

  • Ensuring you meet ESFA funding eligibility throughout the apprenticeship
  • Ensuring your employer complies with ESFA funding rules throughout the apprenticeship
  • Completing a detailed Initial Needs Assessment in conjunction with you and your employer to confirm what knowledge, skills and behaviours you already possess that would be covered in the apprenticeship
  • Gathering evidence that you meet our entry requirements and those of the apprenticeship standard
  • Providing apprenticeship contracts for you and your employer to sign
  • Providing you with additional learning support when required
  • Delivering high quality off-the-job training and assessments (excluding the EPA)
  • Monitoring your performance in the off-the-job and on-the-job training, through regular progress reviews
  • Responding to any concerns or issues you or your employer may have
  • Providing  dedicated support for employers with their Digital Apprenticeship Service levy account
  • Making arrangements with independent EPA organisations for the EPA.

Off-the-job training

Your off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard and could include:

  • Theory such as lectures or online learning
  • Practical training such as shadowing and mentoring
  • Written assessments or assignments.

It does not include English and mathematics up to level two, progress reviews, on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship standard or any training that is required to be completed outside of your paid working hours.

The University is obliged by government to monitor the off-the-job training to ensure it occurs during contracted work hours and where it does not, that the employer provides time off in lieu accordingly. We are also obliged to monitor that the on-the-job-training is meeting the work-based learning as set out in the apprenticeship standard. The government stipulates that we must take action where an employer does not ensure that this occurs.