Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can anyone develop a framework?

Yes anyone can develop a framework. However, whilst it is not mandatory for framework developers to work with framework experts in Sector Skills Councils and Standard Setting Bodies to develop a framework, they are keen to work with other developers to:

  • share their expertise, research and knowledge about the sector and of the SASE/SASW
  • explore the potential for adapting existing frameworks to meet their needs
  • support developers with the development of new frameworks.

Developers who wish to develop their frameowrk without help can do so.

All non-Issuing Authority developers will need to complete the Expression of Interest form on this website. This will assign the proposed framework, or change to a framework to an Issuing Authority and enable Issuing Authorities to register developers and send them log in and password information.

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2. How do you gain access to the framework development part of this website?

For security reasons, Issuing Authorities must allocate log in details and passwords to developers. This is done through the Expression of Interest form on this website and also means that your framework can be sent to an Issuing Authority once it has been developed.

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3. Can an EXPRESSION OF INTEREST to develop a framework be declined by an Issuing Authority?

Yes, but only if the expression of interest would lead to the duplication of an existing framework and the Issuing Authority and the developer have agreed not to proceed.

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4. How long does it take to develop and issue a framework?

It depends on how much time proposers, developers and Issuing Authorities are able to commit to the development of the framework. Timescales will usually be agreed between the partners during the development phase and these will need to take into account the availability of qualifications to be used in the framework.

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5. What evidence is required to demonstrate demand for an Apprenticeship?

Evidence would need to be based on research which shows how the Apprenticeship can contribute towards meeting skills needs for the occupation or job role and include a projection of take up or a commitment to take on apprentices. Support from employers, federations and associations for new qualifications and for the Apprenticeship framework itself will be required. Awarding Organisations will need to know how much commercial demand there is likely to be for a new qualification before they develop them.

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6. What happens if a framework needs to be developed for a sector which crosses over into the “footprint” of another Issuing Authority?

An example of this is in the area of Laboratory Technicians, where people are employed in Engineering Science, Bioscience and Education and in chemical, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil, gas, petroleum and polymer production. A framework has been developed by Cogent on behalf of other sectors.

It is of course possible for organisations to work together to develop a framework.

Issuing Authorities will need to agree at the outset who will be the Issuer as there can only be one Issuing Authority for a framework. However, they will still work in partnership on the framework to agree the content.

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7. Can the same competence qualification be used in more than one framework?

No, not in England. A competence qualification can only be used in one framework, otherwise a framework will be considered to duplicate an existing framework. The framework will not be issued as it will not meet the requirements of the SASE.

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8. What happens after a framework has been issued?

The website automatically alerts the funding agencies in England, Wales (and Northern Ireland) that it has been issued and can now be put forward as eligible for public funding and a start date agreed.

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9. If a framework is issued will it always be funded?

Not necessarily. It depends on the skills priorities for England and for Wales. Talk this through with the Issuing Authority before the development stage.

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10. Can an Issuing Authority decline to issue a framework?

Yes, usually on the basis that the framework does not comply with the SASE or SASW and/or has not been quality assured.

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11. How is a framework revised and how often?

When frameworks are issued they contain a date by which the framework must be revised. Frequency of revision will be determined by expiry dates of qualifications and other key developments or requirements affecting the sector such as emerging skills gaps, technology changes, new legislation and changes in working practices.

A framework developer can revise frameworks they have previously created. Once revised, the system will archive the previous framework and create a new Issue number e.g. if the framework was Issue 1 then the revised framework will be Issue 2

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12. Why are the requirements of Apprenticeship frameworks different across the UK

Frameworks are designed to meet the skills needs of each Country; however, they are all designed to meet the same objective which is to develop a knowledgeable, skilled and occupationally competent workforce. They all contain literacy and numeracy skills, competence, technical skills and knowledge, an understanding about the company, the sector, careers opportunities and the employee’s responsibilities and rights.

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13. How can employers get involved with framework development?

Employers can propose ideas for frameworks to Issuing Authorities or they can sit on advisory or consultation groups to agree the content of frameworks.

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14. I would like to take on an apprentice. How can I find out more?

If you would like to find out more about taking on an Apprentice, click here for Apprenticeship information for England and here for Wales

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15. What support is available for new framework developers?

Sector Skills Councils and Standard Setting Bodies employ experts in framework development. They can advise on the process, what goes into a framework or signpost you to other experts who can help.

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