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Degree Apprenticeships – FAQs for Apprentices/Potential Apprentices

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been created to assist anyone interested in undertaking an architect and/or architectural assistant degree apprenticeship. They are designed to outline ARB’s current position on this emerging mode of study for the sector.

 

We will add to the FAQs and update them as institutions and the Board’s policies evolve in relation to the area.

Degree apprenticeships are an employer led mode of study, with employment a fundamental aspect of any apprenticeship scheme. In the first instance, you and your employer will need to contact the institution offering the apprenticeship you wish to enrol on. This is a first port of call to address entry requirements, apprenticeship structure/content, employment contracts, and funding.

We refer you to the Institute of Apprenticeship (IfA) website for specific details on the architectural assistant (here) and architect (here) standards and end point assessments (EPAs).

For further information about the Institute for Apprenticeships and its policies in relation to degree apprenticeships, please see here. The Office for Students (OfS) has also published information for apprentices which you can find here.

1. What is a degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are a relatively new initiative, backed by the government, which should enable someone to achieve ARB prescribed qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 levels while being employed in the field of architecture. They involve employers, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and regulators/professional bodies working together to develop a common apprenticeship standard and end point assessment.

Not all UK architecture qualifications are prescribed by ARB for the purposes of admission to the UK Register of Architects. You can find details of degree apprenticeships and other qualifications prescribed (recognised) by ARB for the purpose of joining the UK Register of architects on our website here.

 

2. Do I need to be employed before enrolling on a degree apprenticeship scheme?

Yes, degree apprenticeships are employer led, and employment is a fundamental aspect of any apprenticeship scheme. In the first instance, you and your employer will need to contact an institution offering the apprenticeship provision that you would like to enrol on and, once agreed, you will enter into a tripartite agreement between you, your employer and the institution itself.

For further information please see the Institution for Apprenticeship website here.

 

3. What degree apprenticeships are being developed for individuals wishing to train as architects? How do they align with ARB’s registration requirements?

Two degree apprenticeships have been developed for individuals wishing to train as architects. They are as follows:

  • A level 6 Architectural Assistant apprenticeship which is intended to encompass a Part 1 qualification; and
  • A level 7 Architect apprenticeship which is intended to encompass a Part 2 qualification and a Part 3 qualification

Under the Architects Act 1997, ARB has the responsibility for “prescribing” the qualifications and practical experience required for entry on to the UK Register of Architects. The General Criteria and Graduate Attributes at the appropriate levels describe the subject material that must be covered by students gaining qualifications that are “prescribed” by ARB at Part 1 and Part 2 levels. The Professional Criteria at Part 3 set out the additional knowledge, skills and experience that an individual is expected to have in order to register and practise in the UK.

The level 6 Architectural Assistant Apprenticeship Standard refers to the ARB Criteria for “prescription” at Part 1; and the ARB Criteria for “prescription” at Part 2 and Part 3 are referred to within the level 7 Architect Apprenticeship Standard. For a degree apprenticeship, both the ARB Criteria and the requirements within the Apprenticeship Standard must be met.

There will be no difference in the requirements to register for graduates of a degree apprenticeship scheme as opposed to those who graduate from ‘traditional’ qualifications, i.e., an individual must hold prescribed qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as well as satisfying ARB’s practical training requirements.

More information about the ARB Criteria can be found on our website here. Further information on ARB’s practical training experience requirements, can be found on our website here.

 

4. How do the ARB practical training requirements align with the architectural assistant and architect apprenticeships?

There will be no difference in the practical training experience requirements for students/apprentices on a degree apprenticeship scheme as opposed to those on ‘traditional’ qualifications. Students/apprentices on the architect apprenticeship will need to bear in mind ARB’s practical training experience rules, e.g., all apprentices must have at least 24 months of recorded practical training experience, signed off by a Professional Studies Adviser (PSA), prior to taking the final Part 3 examination and at least 12 of the 24 months’ experience should have been undertaken in the two years, immediately prior to taking the Part 3 examination.

You may also wish to note that if a qualification is officially designated as a part-time qualification and an apprentice works for at least 20 hours a week, an apprentice should be able to include some or all of this time in practice towards the practical training experience requirements (provided all other requirements are met). If a qualification is designated as full-time this is not possible but apprentices may be able to include time spent in practice during summer holidays subject to approval by a PSA.

For more information on PSAs please see here.

 

5. Can I study the architectural assistant and/or architect apprenticeships part-time?

This will depend on how each institution wishes to offer its degree apprenticeship provision and we suggest that you consult our map of prescribed (recognised) qualifications for more information. As noted above, apprentices on a part-time apprenticeship qualification who work at least 20 hours a week should be able to use some of their practical training experience towards our 24 months requirement in this area.

 

6. I already have a ‘traditional’ Part 1 qualification. Can I complete the architect apprenticeship to achieve qualifications at Part 2 and at Part 3?

Yes, the Architect Apprenticeship has been developed to encompass Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications, and to satisfy ARB’s practical training experience requirements.

If you already hold a ‘traditional’ Part 1 qualification, upon successful completion of the Architect Apprenticeship you should be eligible to join the UK Register of architects.

 

7. Does the architect apprenticeship constitute a combined Part 2 and Part 3 qualification?

No, they remain separate. The Architect apprenticeship will have an identifiable exit award at Part 2 as well as a separate Part 3. An apprentice must have been awarded a Part 2 qualification before progressing through ‘the Gateway’ and progressing towards the end point assessment, i.e., Part 3 qualification.

 

8. Will the degree apprenticeships comply with the requirements of the EU Professional Qualifications Directive?

The current Board policy is that all qualifications prescribed (recognised) by ARB at Part 1 and Part 2 should comply with the requirements of Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2006/36/EC) and that all ARB-prescribed Part 2 qualifications should be notified for listing under Annex V of the Directive*.

These policies will also apply to degree apprenticeships prescribed at Part 1 and Part 2 and degree apprenticeships at these levels will need to comply with Article 46 (or Article 47) of the Directive.

ARB is not aware of any regulatory barriers at this time but we will discuss the position more fully with the European Commission as we learn more about the models of provision that are being developed and will update these FAQs accordingly in due course.

* On the understanding that it will be underpinned by a Part 1 qualification.

If you have a query we haven’t covered in the above, please contact us at Qualifications@arb.org.uk and we will come back to you.