Making the 20% Off-the- Job Learning Rule Work for the Business

A significant part of the new trailblazer Apprenticeships and probably the
most talked about ‘funding rule’ is the 20% ‘off-the-job learning’

This is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal
day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an
Apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the
Apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of
their normal working duties, and does not include training which takes
place outside the Apprentice’s paid working hours.

The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the
apprenticeship framework or standard and could include:

“The teaching of theory (for example, lectures, role playing, simulation
exercises, online learning, manufacturer training).

“Practical training; shadowing; mentoring; industry visits and attendance
at competitions.

Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.”

Off-the-job training does not include:

“English and maths (up to level two) which is funded separately

“progress reviews or on-programme assessment required for an apprenticeship
framework or standard

“training which takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours”

Whilst the above description by the ESFA is broad and potentially open to
misinterpretation; further guidance has been released recently to help
build a more practical understanding of this requirement.

As an approved Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO), Adalta recommend
that the provider agrees with the Employer a programme plan of learning
that defines and quantifies the time that make up the 20%.

A starting point is agreeing the length of the programme and calculating
how many hours are required to meet ‘20%’; this provides a framework from
which to structure and develop a programme of learning. For example, an
18-month programme for an Apprentice working 37 hours per week works out at
approximately 28 hours per month; taking care, of course to ensure that the
minimum programme duration has been met.

The next stage is to agree what ‘off-the-job learning’ activities will help
the Apprentice to meet the requirements of the Standard. Examples of
learning activities may include:

  • Workshops
  • Professional management qualification
  • Online learning
  • Work-based project(s)
  • Professional discussions
  • Self-guided learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring

An important consideration in our experience is to explore which learning
activities are more effective in meeting the ‘knowledge’ requirements of
the Standard and which are more conducive to meeting the ‘skills/ behaviour
requirements of the Standard. This should result in a careful blend of
learning that is defined, aligned to the outcomes of the Standard and

Apprentices are required to evidence that they have met the outcomes of the
Standard. However, often the learning activities themselves do not produce
the evidence needed. Therefore, providers may also need to identify a range
of assessment methodologies and tools that will help to produce specific
evidence to demonstrate how the Apprentice has met the knowledge, skills
and behavioural requirements of the Standard.

From an end point assessment perspective, it is important that the
Apprentice’s portfolio of evidence signposts which piece of evidence
correlates with which aspects of the Standard. Your AAO should be able to
provide guidance on how to practically structure and manage evidence.

For further details on how Adalta Development support approved providers in
delivering management apprenticeships, please contact