Apprenticeship toolkit

Monitoring and recording individual progress

When it comes to inspections, apprenticeship providers will need to provide evidence of learning gain and individual progress measured against starting points and based on the rate of learning, acquisition of knowledge and skills and whether apprentices have achieved their individualised, challenging targets.

“Regardless of the format of an apprenticeship programme, our inspectors want to see that apprentices know something new, can do something better, are able to work on their own, and can make independent decisions as a result of their training and learning”

Chris Jones, HMI specialist adviser on apprenticeships at Ofsted (Apprenticeships: what are Ofsted inspectors looking for? in FE Week 5 March 2017)

There are many advantages that efficiency, cost and reliability benefits that technological solutions can bring to this process:

  • Data captured once can analysed and used in many ways speeding up the data analysis process and minimising errors
  • Data from different sources can be aggregated to provide a comprehensive overview and used to monitor progress against set targets (for example, initial assessments, qualifications on entry, e-ILP data, evidence of achievement stored in e-portfolios, numeracy and literacy achievements, formative assessment, feedback, national data etc).
  • Different user profiles allow live access to information according to role
  • Online and cloud-based systems facilitate prompt and timely access to feedback for apprentices and facilitate live reporting for tutors and managers
  • Automated alert routines against expected targets can be set to flag up achievements ahead of schedule or missed targets allowing responsive interventions

Top tips from providers include:

  • Having one centralised system is key to success in monitoring progression
  • Identify and record anticipated key progress points and assessment schedules
  • Establish clear and consistent data input protocols
  • Invest in staff training to ensure they know the importance of capturing and recording data in a timely manner and can use the systems proficiently
  • Ensure apprentices and staff are aware of targets and that apprentices know what they need to do to achieve these, and by when
  • Promote dialogue around feedback and ensure employers, tutors and learners are all able to contribute
  • Encourage learners to take ownership of their learning – dashboard systems with information, support and guidance can empower apprentices
  • Centrally monitor progression data and the data flows that support this on a regular basis (daily/weekly)

Examples of effective practice

The Real Apprenticeship Company developed an end-to-end web portal called ‘The Real Academy’ that collates every aspect of apprenticeship, employer and programme data for funding, inspection and programme requirements.

Nova Training has developed an e-ILP within its own bespoke e-portfolio system. As soon as the apprentice, assessor and employer agree the programme of learning, the system starts to track progress, turning the ILP into a live record of the learner journey.