Centre for Academic Practice

Professional Development

Academic Professional Apprenticeship Level 7 (APA)

What is the APA?

This course prepares you for your academic role of research, teaching and enterprise. Successful completion of the course leads to HEA Fellowship and the APA Certificate. Your role as an academic at Loughborough University or a lecturer at Loughborough College requires you to be competent in your research, enterprise and teaching activities and this course will be supporting you and equipping you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to be a successful academic at Loughborough.

The course is a mixture of blended learning: self-study through learning from ‘Off-the-Job’ opportunities in your School and the course alongside independent learning in preparation for the Level 7 End Point Assessment (EPA) requirement. You will be introduced to reflective cycles and documents to support you evaluating and developing your academic practice.

Course details:

Duration: 24 months

Level: 7 (equivalent to bachelor’s or master’s degree)

Training provider: Loughborough University

Entry requirements: 

New academic starters to Loughborough University will be contacted by a member of the Centre for Academic Practice team to identify if the Academic Professional apprenticeship (APA) is the correct path for you to take, this is dependent on your previous experience and qualifications gained. Other requirements are:

  • You must have been living in England (or EEA for the last three years), (there are some exceptions which will be looked at individually)
  • You must not be in full time education
  • You must accept a contract of employment offered after a recruitment and selection process (this is a University requirement)

We will need a copy of your CV and passport which will form part of your “evidence pack”, a Government requirement which is held in a secure electronic folder with minimal staff access. 

What are the learning outcomes?

Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

Course Learning Outcome

UKPSF Dimensions

Descriptor 2

APA Standard

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the core elements of academic practice and the subject-specific context including teaching, digital fluency, research and enterprise, and the interconnections between them

K1

K2

K3

K4

V3

D2ii

D2iii

CK3     CK5

CS3     CS8

TSK2

TSK4

  1. Critically evaluate current research and theoretical underpinnings of learning and teaching, in general and in specific subject areas

A5

K5

V3

D2v

D2vi

CK6

CVB4

TSK1

  1. Demonstrate self-reflection and originality in applying the professional values inherent in effective academic practice, including respect for individual learners, equality and diversity practices, ethical principles in research, widening participation

V1

V2

D2iii

CS6

CVB1

TSK5

  1. Debate the national and international context in which universities operate and the implications for academic and professional practice

K6

V4

D2ii

D2iii

CK7

CVB5

 

Skills and other attributes:

(a) Subject-specific cognitive skills

On successful completion of this course participants should be able to:

Course Learning Outcome

UKPSF Dimensions

Descriptor 2

APA Standard

  1. Demonstrating an in-depth understanding of teaching and subject specific knowledge at an academic level appropriate to the teaching carried out

K1

K6

D2ii

CK1

CVB2

TSK3

  1. Critically appraise teaching methods, assessment and feedback in their subject area and at different levels in academic programmes

K2

K3

K5

D2ii

D2v

CK8

TSK5

  1. Critically discuss how they may measure student learning gain and ensure a holistic curriculum experience through their programme design

K3

K5

V3

D2ii

D2v

CK2

CK10

TSK5

  1. Make informed choices concerning the use and value of learning technologies within their academic programmes

K4

V2

V3

D2iv

D2iii

CK5

CS8

TSK4

  1. Appraise the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice on their student development

K6

V2

D2ii

 

CK4

CVB3

 

(b) Subject-specific practical skills

On successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

Course Learning Outcome

UKPSF Dimensions

Descriptor 2

APA Standard

  1. Design, plan and evaluate learning activities and programmes of study appropriate to discipline, level of study and student cohort

A1

A4

D2i

D2iv

CK1

CS1

TSS1

  1. Teach and support student learning effectively in their subject area, incorporating appropriate learning technologies

A2

A4

D2i

D2iv

CK2      CS2

CS8     TSK2

  1. Design and conduct fair and valid assessments and provide effective feedback

A3

D2i

D2iv

CS5

TSS3

  1. Apply appropriate methods to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching, and to devise and implement measures to enhance their practice

K2

K5

D2i

D2iv

CK6     CK10

CK11   TSK5

TSS2

  1. Ensure that teaching, research and enterprise are integrated beneficially within their academic practice

V3

V4

D2i

D2v

D2vi

CS4

TSK1

TSS4

 

(c) Key transferable skills

On successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

Course Learning Outcome

UKPSF Dimensions

Descriptor 2

APA Standard

  1. Interact and communicate effectively with colleagues on academic matters, offering and receiving feedback in a professional and respectful manner

V1

D2iii

CS7

CS9

CVB7

CVB8

  1. Enhance their practice through reflection on experience, using evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development

A5

V3

D2iii

D2v

D2vi

CK8

CK11

TSS4

TSK2

  1. Display effective interpersonal skills including effective oral and written communication, listening, and networking skills

V1

D2iii

CS7

CS9

CVB6

  1. Incorporate new ideas and try different strategies, applying critical thinking and creativity to resolve problems and enhance practice.

A5

V3

D2iii

D2v

D2vi

CK9

CK12

TSS5

What qualifications will I need and why?

The Educational and Skills Funding Agency requires that every apprentice provides evidence of Functional Skills Level 2 (GCSE level) Maths and English. Copies of these certificates are required for your evidence pack.

If you studied in another country and did not take GCSEs then we will take advice from NARIC about equivalent qualifications, and this will be discussed with you.

In the absence of suitable certification, you will be required to take a Functional Skills assessment and we will guide you helpfully through this process if required.

Is there an Apprenticeship contract?

Yes, this is covered in the initial meeting before you start the apprenticeship programme, along with other key documents which are required by the Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and form part of your evidence pack. We will be in touch to plan this in and send you any information we require before the meeting.

Documents:

Apprenticeship Agreement – this is the apprentice contract, a copy will be made available to the two signatories

Registration form – this is sent to you before the initial meeting to try and gather certain information in preparation for the meeting

Initial Needs Assessment (INA) - this is sent to you before the initial meeting where we ask you to rate your current level of expertise against certain criteria

Commitment Statement – this is a live document which requires review and is signed by the apprentice, probation advisor and course mentor

Checklist and Declaration – needed to confirm certain information to make sure the University has the correct information as evidence for ESFA.

Will I need to attend modules/units as part of the APA?

Part of the programme requires you to attend group sessions. These can be included in your Off the Job (OTJ) hours (and comprise roughly 10% of the OTJ requirement). These sessions are part of four units which cover a variety of areas beneficial to academic probationers, and they will guide you through the programme ready for the End Point Assessment.

Unit 1 Learning and Teaching at Loughborough

Unit 2 Communication and Digital Literacy Capabilities

Unit 3 Research and Enterprise

Unit 4 Enhancing Learning and Teaching

What assessments or observations will I need to complete as part of the APA?

Observations: There are two types of observation, formative and summative. Four should be completed during the programme, normally one of each within each academic year. This will help you to show progression and be able to reflect more easily. Once completed you must submit these onto Learn. For more informaiton on observations please go to our webpage, which you can access by clicking here.

Assessments: These are taken for each unit and will be covered during the sessions, you must submit these onto Learn.

This will form part of your End Point Assessment content.

 

Which systems will I be using?

We have two main systems that are used as part of the APA programme:

Learn – is used to provide you with all the information you need for the APA along with submitting your assessments and observations.

Co-tutor – is used to store documents and meeting notes that are relevant specifically to you.

 

OneDrive – is used initialy before you start the programme and for any documentation that requires a signature. This is another data repository for some apprentices. 

 

What is Off the Job (OTJ) training?

The definition of ‘off-the-job training’ is set out in the ESFA apprenticeship Funding Rules.

 

“Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an English apprenticeship. It is training which is received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship referenced in the apprenticeship agreement. By normal working hours we mean paid hours excluding overtime.

 “It is not on-the-job training which is training received by the apprentice for the sole purpose of enabling the apprentice to perform the work for which they have been employed. By this we mean training that does not specifically link to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship.”

 

A minimum of 20% off the Job (OTJ) training is part of the programme, and you will be required to keep a careful record of your OTJ training and map this against the APA standards. We have a spreadsheet that you should log this information onto and each month upload onto your Co-Tutor file.

 

What can be included in OTJ training?

“The teaching of theory (for example: lectures, role playing,

simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training),

 

“Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and

participation in competitions,

 

“Learning support and time spent writing assessments /

assignments.”

More information in relation to this can be found on our TCP100 Learn page Off-the-Job sandbox, which you can access by clicking here.

What meetings will I need to attend?

Individual meeting – one will occur for each Unit (usually one hour) with your course mentor, who will put the notes from this meeting onto your Co-Tutor file.

Tripartite meeting – as part of the APA there are three meetings each year which you will need to organise with your course mentor and probation advisor, your course mentor needs to be present to cover the APA part. Once attended the notes need to be sent to both mentors before being uploaded by you onto Co-Tutor.

End Point Assessment (EPA) - as part of the programme a final assessment must be completed. From the start of the programme you will be putting together what is required for this, with a discussion electronically with our EPA.

What support is there?

At the start of your Apprenticeship, you will be supported by both a Probation Advisor and Course Mentor.

  • Your Probation Advisor will be responsible for helping you organise the work-based training that will allow you to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship role and to complete your portfolio. They are required to have attended the Universities Academic Probation Advisor Training workshop (if done prior to… they will need to organise with Sarah Turner a meeting to cover any new content for this workshop) you can click here to access any available dates through my.HR
  • Your Course Mentor will be an experienced member of staff who will guide you through the programme and provide support if you were to experience difficulties.
  • There is also a responsibility from the University to provide support throughout the programme which is covered in detail in the commitment statement.

 

Contact details:

If you have any questions, please contact the Apprenticeship team:

Email: apa@lboro.ac.uk

Phone: 01509 228382

To meet the team click here