Academic Professional Apprenticeship Level 7

Students looking at books

What is the Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA)? This course prepares you for your academic role of research, teaching and enterprise. Successful completion of the course leads to Fellowship of Advance HE 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.

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 Lecturer (R,T,E contracts) starters to Loughborough University will be contacted by a member of the Enhanced 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.


On successful completion of this course, participants should be able to meet the following learning outcomes:

Other requirements

  • 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”, which is a Government requirement; this is held in a secure electronic folder with minimal staff access.

What qualifications will I need and why?

The Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) 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. 

If you are not meeting the criteria to be funded by ESFA (levy), you will follow the same programme as those who are levy, buthave an internal EPA at the end and receive a course attendance certificate from Loughborough 

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 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. 


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

Commitment Statement – this is a live document which requires regular review and is signed by the apprentice, academic adviser 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 new lecturers, 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. These observations will help you to show your development and progress and will help you to be able to reflect more easily on your practice and future developments. Once completed you must submit these observations onto Learn - TCP100. For more information on observations please go to our webpage, which you can access by clicking here. 

Assessments: There is a small assessment alongside each unit; these form part of your End Point Assessment submission.  

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. 

OneDrive – is used initially 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 Learn. Each month, around 27.5hrs is required.  

What can be included in OTJ training? 

- The learning of theory (for example: subject material for your lectures, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training) 

- Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits andparticipation in competitions 

- Learning support and time spent writing/reading for 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 meetings – one will occur for each Unit (usually one hour) with your course mentor, and together you will produce objectives that you record in TCP100. 

Tri-Partite meetings – as part of the APA there are three meetings each year which you will need to organise with your course mentor and academic adviser; your course mentor needs to be present to cover the APA part. Once attended the meeting minutes need to be sent to both mentors before being uploaded by you onto Learn TCP100. 

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. If you are non-levy, you will still complete an internal End Point Assessment.  

What support is provided?

At the start of your Apprenticeship, you will be supported by both an Academic Adviser and Course Mentor. 

- Your Academic Adviser 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 University’s Academic Adviser training (if completed prior to the APA course starting in 2019 at the University, 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 us

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