During your apprentice's studies

Find out more about your responsibilities as an employer and those of your apprentice and the University of Surrey.

How it works

There are three parts to the apprenticeship:

  • Off-the-job training (programme of study at the University of Surrey)
  • On-the-job training (with you as the employer)
  • An end-point assessment at the end of the 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.

Your apprentice must spend at least 20 per cent of their contracted work hours in ‘off-the-job training'. See a full list of activities (PDF) that count as off-the-job-training and a common myth buster (PDF).

Monitoring attendance and progress

During your apprentice's studies, they will use an e-portfolio to keep a record of their off-the-job training and progress.

As part of the apprenticeship agreement and to help ensure success, we will provide your company with regular updates on your apprentice’s attendance and progress. These progress reviews take place around every 12 weeks and will involve you, your apprentice and a member of our 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 the apprentice is spending at least 20 per cent of their contracted work hours in off-the-job training. Where this occurs outside of the contracted work hours, your organisation must provide them time off in lieu. If they fall behind on the 20 per cent, that time must be made up. They must also log their off-the-job training through the e-portfolio to keep this record up to date.

Your apprentice must spend a maximum 80 per cent of their contracted work hours in ‘on-the-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 the apprentice’s on-the-job training and off-the-job training is successfully completed, together with your organisation, we’ll agree that the apprentice is 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 you, as the employer, have a right to select the EPA organisation from the register. Upon successful completion of the EPA, your apprentice will gain their apprenticeship status and a recognised qualification.

For more information please visit GOV.UK.

Your role as an employer

To ensure your apprentice is successful in the three parts of their apprenticeship (as above), you must:

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

Work contract and conditions

Your apprentice 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.

Find out further information on apprenticeship pay and conditions by visiting GOV.UK.

Apprentice and university responsibilities

Both your employee and us at the University of Surrey have additional responsibilities to help your apprentice succeed.

    Apprentices are responsible for:

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

    Changes in circumstances

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

    For non-levy-paying employers, any funds that have been overpaid may be paid back. Your account manager can support you to find a new apprentice.

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

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

      Off-the-job training

      Your apprentice’s 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 the apprentice’s 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 also 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.

      Support and facilities

      As a Surrey apprentice, your apprentice will 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.