Frameworks v Standards

All Apprenticeship frameworks will be replaced by standards by 2020.


What Are Frameworks?

Frameworks are used to assess Apprenticeships – which has been developed by sector bodies. We know what you’re thinking “what are sector bodies?”. Sector Bodies are organisations that act as members to contribute to the work of the ACP. These members include:

  • Association of Colleges (AoC)
  • Guild HE
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
  • Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Universities UK

Each framework contains pathways that are primarily qualification-focused. The main aim for these frameworks is to provide individuals with a competency-based qualification like an NVQ or a technical qualification such as a BTEC.

In these frameworks, apprentices are assessed throughout their apprenticeship. They will need to obtain a number of qualifications during their apprenticeship. Once they have completed a unit, they won’t necessarily need to demonstrate the skill again.

What Are Standards?

Standards are occupational-focused, they are not qualification led. The learning for these qualifications will happen during the apprenticeship. The apprentice will be assessed towards the end of their qualification, they will need to prove that they can carry out all aspects of their job.

Standards contain a list of skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to learn by the end of their apprenticeship.

If you wish to know more about the changeover from frameworks to standards please feel free to contact our Apprenticeship team on 01276 681248 or via email at