Information Technology - level 3 apprenticeship framework

This framework sets out the standards and criteria you must meet to complete the apprenticeship programme and receive your apprenticeship certificate for level 3 information technology (IT). This is the only level 3 training in this skill acceptable for the receipt of apprenticeshipsni funding.

About the framework

This framework specifies the standards and the criteria for the delivery of a level 3 apprenticeship framework to achieve qualified status within the IT industry.

If you successfully complete the framework you'll be awarded a level 3 qualification showing recognition as a qualified person within the IT industry.   

Mandatory outcomes

Achievement of a level 3 apprenticeship in IT will be assessed by verification through the appropriate awarding body.

You must complete both a competence-based and a knowledge-based qualification, comprising of the units required for your chosen pathway.

Mandatory essential skills

To successfully complete the apprenticeship, you must achieve the following essential skills qualifications or already hold a recognised equivalent:

  • application of number – level 2
  • communication – level 2

However, any qualifications you already have are assessed against the framework requirements and may result in an exemption from the above.

Competency and knowledge qualifications – pathway options

The apprenticeship contains two pathways:

  • software development
  • networking infrastructure

You must complete both the knowledge-based qualification and one of the competency-based qualifications from the list below.

Knowledge-based qualification:

*The units taken in this qualification will differ depending on the chosen pathway.  See the pathway options section below for a list of pathway units.

Competency-based qualifications:

Eligibility and entry to the programme

You must be a new employee, or an existing employee taking on a new role to take part in the programme.

The level 3 IT apprenticeship is suitable for applicants who have achieved a minimum of five grade Cs at GCSE or an equivalent level.

The employer and training contractor will also do an initial assessment to determine an applicant’s capability to achieve a level 3 standard.

You may also progress from a level 2 ICT apprenticeship framework, or be considered based on previous experience in the sector.

Employers may apply their own additional criteria at the recruitment stage.

See also the DfE operational requirements.

Duration

Apprenticeship duration can vary and will be agreed between the apprentice, training provider and employer.

Assessment

The competency-based section of the qualification will be assessed in both the learning provider’s premises and in the apprentice’s workplace. This assessment should be conducted by trained competency assessors.

The knowledge-based section of the qualification will normally be assessed in the learning provider’s premises, and will include a mix of examinations and coursework.

Related knowledge

All pathways must include mandatory induction. Employee rights and responsibilities (ERR) must be covered and confirmation of completing ERR must be included with the request for the apprenticeship certificate.

Responsibilities

It's the training contractor/ college's responsibility to make sure the requirements of this framework are delivered in line with apprenticeshipsni operational requirements

The apprentice must be employed from day one on the programme.

Pathway options

The 11 units to be taken for the chosen pathway are shown below.

Software Development Apprenticeship

  • unit one - Fundamentals of IT (Exam)*
  • unit two - Global Information (Exam)*
  • unit three - Cyber Security (Exam)*
  • unit six - Application Design (Coursework)*
  • unit nine - Product Development (Coursework)*
  • unit 21 - Web Design and Prototyping (Coursework)*
  • unit 17 - Internet of Everything (Coursework)*
  • unit eight - Project Management (Coursework)**
  • unit 13 - Social Media and Digital Marketing (Coursework)**
  • unit 14 - Software Engineering for Business (Coursework)**
  • unit 22. - Big Data Analytics (Coursework)**

Networking Infrastructure Apprenticeship

  • unit one - Fundamentals of IT (Exam)*
  • unit two - Global Information (Exam)*
  • unit three - Cyber Security (Exam)*
  • unit four - Computer Networks (Coursework)*
  • unit nine - Product Development (Coursework)*
  • unit 12 - Mobile Technology (Coursework)*
  • unit 17 - Internet of Everything (Coursework)*
  • unit eight Project Management (Coursework)**
  • unit 18 - Computer Systems – Hardware (Coursework)**
  • unit 19 - Computer Systems – Software (Coursework)**
  • unit 20 - IT Technical Support (Coursework)**

* These units will normally be completed and assessed in the learning provider’s premises.

**These units will be completed and assessed in the workplace.

Delivery structure

To prepare you for your role in the workplace, training contractors may choose, with the employer’s agreement, to provide an initial focused period of directed training (bootcamp).

In this bootcamp period you would attend directed training three days per week for five weeks.  Your employment must commence before the start of the bootcamp, and no additional funding is available to training contractors opting for this delivery model.

You will gain competency and skills in core IT areas, which may include optional* industry approved qualifications in:

Software development apprenticeship:

  • MTA software development fundamentals**

Networking infrastructure apprenticeship:

  • CISCO IT essentials**
  • MTA Windows 10 OS fundamentals**

* Optional qualifications are not funded by DfE

**These qualifications may be achieved during the initial focused training session / ‘bootcamp’ phase of the apprenticeship.

Following the initial focused training session, you would revert to the established pattern of one day directed training per week, with the remaining four days spent with the employer.

Further information

The content of this framework (framework number 429 issue 4: 12/20) has been developed between the Department for the Economy and the ICT Sectoral Partnership (working with Belfast Metropolitan College).  For further information, contact:

Level 3 apprenticeship frameworks

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