Health (Healthcare Support Services) (England)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR04380
Issue number: 23
Issued: 21 December 2018

Download framework

Health (Healthcare Support Services) (England)
(PDF document 2.84 MB)

Issued by
Skills for Health

Contact name: Anne Clarke
Telephone number: 0117 9221155
Please download the framework for email contact information.


An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. On completion of the Apprenticeship, an apprentice will be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the health sector.

About the health sector:
The health sector comprises those working in the NHS (public sector) as well as voluntary and private healthcare providers and employs over 2 million people. The range of roles within the sector is very varied and the NHS careers site lists in the region of 300 different jobs. Individuals are likely to stay within the health sector for the majority of their working lives although they are also likely to change between different job roles and different employers as their career progresses.

Whilst all roles in the health sector are open to both male and female applicants, a large proportion of the health sector workforce is female. This is due in part to the flexible terms and conditions many employers offer but also varies from role to role. As a whole the workforce within the health sector tends to reflect the population within the local community it serves. As the UK population as a whole becomes older and lives longer so does the healthcare workforce. Widening participation policies apply and health sector employers recruit accordingly and may use their apprenticeship schemes as a means to address some of these issues.

There is a range of challenges for the health sector as a whole: an ageing population creates higher demand for services and ongoing care; patients have a greater choice of which services and treatments they access; and the current economic climate means that budgets are tight. Apprenticeships are one of the many ways in which employers within the health sector are seeking to address some of these increasing pressures. A qualified and competent support workforce is vital to the patient experience and to the smooth running of services.

About this framework:
This framework supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients and addresses specific outcomes of the Skills for Health Sector Skills Assessment 2011. -sector-skills-assessment-2011.html

Skills for Health is committed to engaging with employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the development of Apprenticeship frameworks. Engagement and consultation is through meetings including face to face and teleconferences and e-consultation. Consultation ensured that employer views are reflected in this framework on the minimum duration, the on and off the job Guided Learning Hours, the inclusion of ICT functional Skills and the use of a qualification to meet the requirements for ERR and PLTS.  Apprentices will learn new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out real work as part of the healthcare team.  Each apprentice is employed under terms and conditions laid out in an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and apprentice (applicable to all apprenticeships that commence after 6 April 2012) and are paid at least the applicable rate under the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage.

About the role:

Support workers tend to have delegated responsibility for a range of tasks which enables the Health Professionals (eg nurses, doctors, allied health professionals) and the wider healthcare team to fulfil their own roles more effectively.

Healthcare Support Services play a vital part in the smooth running of healthcare services. Individuals undertaking this framework may have a wide range of job roles eg porter, housekeeper/housekeeping assistant, catering manager /assistant, medical records supervisor/clerk, estate manager/worker, etc (this list is not exhaustive). The combined qualification within the framework has been designed in consultation with representatives from the sector so that it is flexible enough to cater for such a broad range of roles.

These are rewarding support roles with a direct impact on patient experience. They also offer an ideal entry route to a wide range of NHS careers.

Download framework

Health (Healthcare Support Services) (England)
(PDF document 2.84 MB)