Apprenticeship standards and frameworks

Apprenticeship standards and frameworks provide details of the skills, knowledge and behaviours apprentices need to acquire in order to qualify in their chosen field. Awarding organisations need to agree these standards and CITB, as the Sector Skills Council for construction, plays a role in co-ordinating this work.

The way these standards are organised and monitored varies across the UK. Details for each country can be found below.

Apprenticeship standards in construction in England follow a pattern of vocational training meeting Gateway requirements (including English and Maths). This is then followed by practical and knowledge tests to complete the apprenticeship.

For information on apprenticeship standards in England (also called 'Trailblazers') please visit the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) website. The IFA gives details on how to develop standards, assessment plans and apprenticeships, and holds all the approved apprenticeship standards for England. Under each entry you can see the trade, the date the standard was approved, what level, the length of the qualification and the maximum amount of funding you can receive for training an apprentice at this level.

Statement on the closure of apprenticeship frameworks

CITB in its role as the Issuing Authority for Construction Apprenticeships developed under the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards England (SASE), has decided not to proceed with the planned closure of a number of apprenticeship frameworks at the end of July 2019. This has been done in response to information received from the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) about the readiness of some End-Point Assessment (EPA) organisations to deliver certain construction related Apprenticeship Standards.

CITB’s primary concerns in taking this decision are to ensure that individual candidates are not disadvantaged and that the end-point assessments delivered ensure a quality outcome for learners and industry.

The table below provides a summary of the previous plans for the closure of frameworks, and any changes to this position.

Apprenticeship Standard titleApprenticeship Framework being replacedPrevious statusLatest update to status
ST0264 Carpentry and Joinery Level 2 Wood Occupations Site Carpenter, Bench Joiner at Intermediate (Level 2) closed 31 December 2018 Remains closed
ST0263 Advanced Carpentry and Joinery Level 3 Wood Occupations Site Carpenter, Bench Joiner at Intermediate (Level 2)  
closed 31 December 2018 Remains closed
ST0271 Steel Fixer Level 2 Steelfixing Major Projects Intermediate (Level 2) closed 31 December 2018 Remains closed
ST0267 Lifting Technician Level 2 Lifting Technician (Level 2) closed 31 December for Mobile, Tower and Crawler Crane  
Remains closed
ST0095 Bricklayer Level 2  – resubmitted June 2019 Trowel Occupations Intermediate (Level 2) (Bricklayer) scheduled for July
Remains open
Framework Trowel Occupations Advanced (Level 3) (Bricklayer) scheduled for closure on 31 December 2019 Remains open
Under development Plastering Intermediate (Level 2) scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
Framework Plastering Advanced (Level 3) scheduled for closure on 31 December 2019 Remains open
ST0295 Painter and Decorator Level 2
Painting & Decorating Intermediate (Level 2) scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
Framework Painting & Decorating Advanced (Level 3) scheduled for closure on 31 December 2019 Remains open
ST0359 Scaffolder Level 2
Scaffolding Intermediate (Level 2) scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0053 Highways maintenance Skilled Operative
Highways Maintenance Intermediate (Level 2) scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0504 Floorlayer Level 2
Floorlaying Intermediate (level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0368 Wall and Floor Tiler Level 2
Wall and Floor Tiling (level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0461 Formworker Level 2
Formwork Intermediate (Level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0375 Tunnelling Operative Level 2 Tunnelling Intermediate (Level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0268 Piling Attendant Level 2 Piling (Level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
ST0513 Groundworker Level 2
General Construction Operative Intermediate (Level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open
Framework Maintenance Operations (Level 2 and Level 3) Had not been scheduled for closure Remains open
ST0203 Fitted Furniture Installer Level 2
Fitted Interiors Intermediate (Level 2) Scheduled for closure on 31 July
Remains open

CITB will continue to work closely with IFATE, employer trailblazer groups, training and end-point assessment organisations to agree a timeline for the closure of each framework as new standards are approved for delivery.

In line with our previous commitments, we will ensure that providers are given at least 6 months notice of any planned closures.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has stated that all frameworks (where they have not already been closed by Issuing Authorities) will be withdrawn by them 2020 to 2021 academic year, as they expect that employers and providers will have completed the transition by this date.

See Withdrawal of apprenticeship frameworks guidance 

Training specifications to support apprenticeship standards

CITB works with employer development groups to develop training specifications which support the new standards in England. These documents provide the detail of the skills and knowledge that an apprentice must gain and demonstrate before their End-Point Assessment.

View and download these specifications

Further information about moving from frameworks to standards

The move in England from framework apprenticeships to the new standards-based apprenticeships affects how apprenticeships are assessed. The new apprenticeship standard focuses on assessing the apprentice at the end of their apprenticeship journey when they are expected to be most accomplished and able to demonstrate competence in performing the occupational role. This move towards the end-point assessment for final certification of competence moves the focus away from the framework approach of on-going assessment throughout the apprenticeship.

The Sector plan report shows all apprenticeship standard (trailblazer) activity for construction and the built environment. It includes:

  • a summary
  • a table of apprenticeships ready for delivery
  • current apprenticeships in development
  • future development activity.

Download the Sector plan report (PDF, 218KB)

Modern aprenticeships in Scotland

In Scotland, approved frameworks are based on the modern (level 2 and 3), technical (level 4) and professional (level 5) apprenticeships. These have been developed to help meet the skill priorities of the construction industry in Scotland by: 

  • continuing to provide qualifications required by employers to help their business grow
  • providing a flexible entry route to attract applicants from under-represented groups
  • including literacy, numeracy, problem solving and employability skills to develop the confidence of apprentices to take them throughout their working life which are incorporated within the framework
  • following Skills Development Scotland's guidance for Sector Skills Councils.

See a complete list of frameworks for modern apprenticeships at all levels on the Skills Development Scotland website.

Apprenticeship frameworks in Wales

There are frameworks for - foundation (level 2), apprenticeship (Level 3) and Higher (Level 4 and above) in:

  • Construction Building
  • Construction Civil Engineering
  • Construction Specialist
  • Construction Technical and Professional.

The apprenticeship at Foundation (Level 2), Apprenticeship (Level 3) and Higher (Level 4 and above) has been developed to help meet the skills priorities of the industry and for Wales.

Find information on apprenticeship frameworks that meet the national standards for Wales at Apprenticeship framework online

Apprenticeship frameworks in Northern Ireland

CITB Northern Ireland works with the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland to develop frameworks for apprenticeships in construction at Level 2, Level 3 and above.

See frameworks as published on the NI Direct Government website

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