Assistant Practitioner in Health and Social Care

Key information

Award FdSc Assistant Practitioner in Health and Social Care
Duration 2 years full-time, 3 years part-time
Study hours 30 hours per week (full-time)

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The Assistant Practitioner in Health and Social Care apprenticeship is ideal for support workers in healthcare who are recognised as having the potential to progress in academic study.

This higher level apprenticeship programme has been mapped to National Occupational Standards, including the Care Certificate Framework. It has been developed to ensure that employers can choose profession specific pathways including nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy or radiography.

Areas of study

Download the programme specification (PDF)

About the apprentice

This course would suit support workers in healthcare who are recognised as having the potential to progress in academic study. Apprentices will have a professional attitude and value base, and will have shown the potential for managing themselves and other staff within challenging situations.

The ideal candidate will be working at least 30 hours a week, and committed to studying above their contracted hours at levels 4 and 5. They will be able to attend university one day per week, or alternatively for weekly blocks of study, supported with extensive work-based learning.

Individuals who successfully complete the Assistant Practitioner Programme will be guaranteed an interview for nursing or allied professions if they wish to progress to BSc (Hons) degree.

Employer and Apprentice of Hillcroft Nursing Home discuss their experiences of the Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care

Further information

How to apply

To apply for the apprenticeship, the employer and the individual must submit a joint application form. Please contact us at for the application form and further guidance

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Entry requirements

Government funding rules require that an apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK, must be in employment, paid at least the legal minimum wage and have a written and signed agreement for the apprenticeship with their employer. The minimum duration periods for an apprenticeship set in each Apprenticeship Standard, is based on an apprentice working a minimum of 30 hours per week. Where the apprentice works fewer than 30 hours, the minimum duration of the apprenticeship must be increased on a pro-rata basis.

Funding for the apprenticeship is provided through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and is paid in the following way:

  • Levy paying employers with sufficient funds in their digital account – 100% funding
  • Non Levy payers - 90% ESFA funding, 10% Employer co-funding. Non-levy paying companies will be asked to pay their 10% of the full cost of the apprenticeship at the start of the programme

All candidates must be employed in a role related to the subject matter of the Degree Apprenticeship and be sponsored by their employer. Funding for this apprenticeship is provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) who will pay two-thirds of the student fees and the employer who will pay the remainder of the fees plus a salary to the apprentice. All Degree Apprentices must be interviewed, assessed and offered a position by an employer before being admitted to the apprenticeship. Although the university may receive direct applications and filter these applications before passing them to prospective employers, some apprentices may apply directly to an employer.

Either way, after acceptance by an employer, the University of Cumbria will require a formal application, which it will assess according to the programme entry criteria.

Employer selection criteria

  • to be working in a health and social care setting at least 30 hours per week (full-time) and pro rata for part time apprentices
  • supported by an employer and Line Manager;
  • have a qualification in English and Maths to GCSE levels A to C or Functional Skills Level 2, or be willing to work towards these within the first 9 to 12 months of commencing the programme
  • NVQ 3 or equivalent portfolio of evidence

Where will the training be delivered?

The work-based competencies will be met within your current area of work.

The university sessions can be delivered from our campuses in Carlisle, Lancaster, Workington (Energus), Barrow or, by negotiation, in the workplace.

Teaching and assessment

The programme is studied over 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time. Work-based learning will be combined with taught university sessions. This will be one day a week in university and four days in clinical placement, or this can be adapted to weekly teaching blocks dependent on the needs of the employer.

Assessment types 

  • Work-based competencies
  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Multiple Choice Exams
  • OSCE’s

Apprentices will gain:

  • 120 credits at level 4
  • 120 credits at level 5

Contact us

If you have any questions about our apprenticeship programme, get in touch.

Phone (Employers): 03331 302907
Phone (Apprentices): 03333 635636

student with laptop