Implementing the Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Operations Management

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1 Implementing the Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Operations Management A National Apprenticeship Service approved Higher Apprenticeship development project Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is the project designed to deliver? The purpose of the project is to deliver 1,200 Higher Apprenticeship opportunities in the construction sector in England by March These opportunities will be delivered through the establishment of a network of regional/local Delivery Partnerships designed to meet the specific needs of construction employers. Delivery Partnerships will involve relevant employers and education providers with expertise in work-based learning delivery and construction 2. Who is leading this project, how is it managed and who are the key partners? Middlesex University is leading a national Consortium that includes CITB Construction Skills, The University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), the Lifelong Learning Network National Forum and The Mixed Economy Group of Colleges (MEG) to support, manage and coordinate activities with the partner organisations identified to deliver the Consortium project. 3. What will be delivered? A new Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Operations Management has already been developed, and is ready for delivery. It is Specification for Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE) compliant and approved by CITB-ConstructionSkills as the issuing authority. The Higher Apprenticeship is largely delivered through a Foundation degree Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management qualification that is designed to develop both the knowledge and competencies specified in the Higher Apprenticeship to a nationally consistent specification and standard. 4. Who is the Higher Apprenticeship designed for? The Higher Apprenticeship is specifically aimed at individuals who have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship and employees operating at craft levels who have the aspiration and ability to progress to an operations management role. It is also appropriate for adult learners returning to the industry with appropriate qualifications or experience and embraces CITB-Construction Skills diversity and equal opportunity aims. 5. What are the benefits of this Higher Apprenticeship? The benefits include the following: It is designed to prepare for a specific job in the Construction sector The role of Construction Operations Manager is a recognised job and this Higher Apprenticeship is specifically designed to enable more people to develop the knowledge and competencies required to undertake this role. There is a clear and specific employer demand and recruitment market - The Higher Apprenticeship and integrated Foundation degree qualification has been specifically developed at the request of CITB- ConstructionSkills acting on the requirements identified by the UKCG and other construction industry federations and associations. CITB-ConstructionSkills has forecast a need for 2,890 new construction 1

2 operations managers per annum nationally. It will also be of interest to SMEs that have a commitment to developing the higher levels skills and knowledge of their workforce. This Higher Apprenticeship is SASE compliant - The Higher Apprenticeship framework and integrated Foundation degree has been approved by CITB-ConstructionSkills Standards and Validation Group as SASE compliant. There are currently no other Higher Apprenticeships in the construction sector available for immediate implementation. This Higher Apprenticeship attracts CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants Scheme funding - There is financial support through the Grants Scheme for this project for employers who are registered with CITB- ConstructionSkills and eligible to claim grants. Further details will be available in the near future. The relevance and flexibility of the work-based Foundation degree The UKCG and other construction industry federations and associations specifically requested that the Higher Apprenticeship include a Foundation degree qualification as a means of establishing clear professional standards for operations managers in the sector. The Foundation degree is designed to deliver the knowledge and competency requirements of the Higher Apprenticeship. The work-based approach means that the balance between on-site and off-site delivery can be negotiated between employers and providers, in response to the specific needs of local employment settings. Progression to a level 6 Construction Operations Management qualification is built in and guaranteed The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) currently only includes levels 4 and 5 for Higher Apprenticeships. However, as the Foundation degree is at the heart of the Higher Apprenticeship this automatically builds in the requirement for progression to level 6. The Foundation degree Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management includes guaranteed progression opportunities for all successful Higher Apprentices to higher work-based qualifications such as BA(Hons) degree. The project will develop a specialist work-based Construction Operations Management level 6 qualification that builds on the CITB-Construction Skills approved Foundation degree. 6. Who will award the Foundation degree? The Higher Apprenticeship framework approved by CITB-ConstructionSkills includes the Foundation degree Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management, which is awarded by Middlesex University. Currently, this is the only Foundation degree that has been approved for delivery within the Higher Apprenticeship. However, as the project proceeds, the Consortium will support other HEIs and FECs with Foundation degree awarding powers in the development of framework compliant Foundation degrees that they will award. 7. What is the proposed structure and delivery pattern for the Foundation degree? The Foundation degree is comprised of 240 credits at levels 4 and 5 delivered typically over three years. The programme is constructed from 15 credit modules with the exception of the final work-based project module, which is 30 credits. All programme modules can be delivered through a combination of blended learning and work-based project activity. The full description of programme modules is available in the programme handbook but the areas covered by programme modules are as are as follows: Negotiated Work Based Learning Project modules Level Core/optional Credit Year 2

3 Skills for Work-based Higher Education 4 Core 15 1 Personal Learning and Thinking Skills 1 4 Core 15 1 Construction Technologies 1 4 Core 15 1 Science and Materials 4 Core 15 1 Construction Management 4 Core 15 1 Site Surveying 4 Core 15 1 Building Services 4 Optional 15 2 Sustainable Construction 4 Optional 15 2 Computer Aided Design (CAD) 4 Optional 15 2 Learning from Professional Courses 1 4 Optional 15 2 Personal Learning and Thinking Skills 2 5 Core 15 2 Law and Contracts 5 Core 15 2 Construction Technologies 2 5 Core 15 2 Environmental Technologies 5 Core 15 2 Facilities Management for Construction Managers 5 Optional 15 3 History of Architecture 5 Optional 15 3 Advanced Materials 5 Optional 15 3 Learning from Professional Courses 2 5 Optional 15 3 Project Management 5 Core 30 3 Accreditation of prior and experiential learning modules Level Core/optional Credit Year Review of Learning 1 4 Optional 15 1 Review of Learning 2 5 Optional 15 2 NB: learners select 2 from the 4 option modules at each level excluding Review of Learning modules What are the other requirements of the Higher Apprenticeship? The other requirements are as follows: Functional Skills in English and Maths at Level 2 - If these qualifications have already been achieved then it is not necessary to repeat them. A number of qualifications are acceptable as are qualifications gained overseas and in Scotland when equivalence is clear. Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) - This is a generic programme delivered at all levels. It is not credit based and the assessment requirements and training specification which must be used is specified by CITB-ConstructionSkills. If Higher Apprentices have completed this at previous levels they will not be required to repeat it. Health and Safety - This legislation is included within the knowledge and competency components of core modules within the Foundation degree. Personal Learning and Thinking Skills These skills are integrated within the Foundation degree but achievement is also separately assessments. Equality and Diversity - This is addressed through the Equality and Diversity Policy of CITB- ConstructionSkills and outlined in the Higher Apprenticeship framework. 8. What is a Delivery Partnership? 3

4 The Consortium will coordinate and support the creation of Delivery Partnerships. Each Delivery Partnership will include employers, one or more provider organisation and the awarding body. Delivery Partnerships may be built around existing relationships between providers and employers that involve the delivery of Advanced Apprenticeships in Construction related areas where this includes opportunities for significant progression to the Higher Apprenticeship. In addition, where possible CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academies will be aligned with Delivery Partnerships so that project training agreements signed by employers include Higher Apprenticeship opportunities. 9. What will Delivery Partnerships do and who does what? Employers will undertake the following activities: Identify and support Higher Apprentice employees (aligned where possible with CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academy projects) Identify Workplace Mentors to support Higher Apprentices Engage with regional/local provider organisations to negotiate and agree appropriate delivery patterns for Higher Apprentices including the specifics of work-based projects Support the engagement by Higher Apprentices in agreed and appropriate work-based projects Agree to pay fees to regional/local providers for the delivery of the Higher Apprenticeship/Foundation degree (NB: CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants Scheme funding will be claimable for each Higher Apprentice) Provider organisations will undertake the following activities: Engage with identified regional/local employers (aligned where possible with CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academy projects) Recruit regional/local Higher Apprentices (aligned where possible with CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academy projects) Manage delivery/deliver the Higher Apprenticeship/Foundation degree (supported by Middlesex University) Carry out assessment (in accordance with validating body requirements). Provide information, advice and guidance (IAG) (in accordance with the requirements of the Foundation degree and Higher Apprenticeship and supported by Consortium developed resources) Support Workplace Mentors in their formative assessment role (in accordance with the requirements of the Foundation degree and Higher Apprenticeship and supported by Consortium developed resources) Undertake quality assurance and enhancement procedures (as required by the validating body). Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL)/Mentoring (in accordance with the requirements of the Foundation degree and Higher Apprenticeship and supported by Consortium developed resources) Map/develop local progression routes. 10. What geographical areas will Delivery Partnerships cover? The eventual aim is to be able to support the establishment of Delivery Partnerships across all regions of England. Delivery Partnerships will, where possible, be aligned with CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academy projects. CITB-ConstructionSkills currently have 23 National Skills Academy projects and have a target for a total of 43 to be in place by the end of

5 11. Against what criteria will Delivery Partnerships be selected? The following criteria will be adopted: Employer demand and engagement based on Construction Skills and industry association intelligence and contacts Alignment with identified CITB-ConstructionSkills National Skills Academy projects Significant existing Advanced Apprenticeship provision in construction of provider organisations Evidence of previous experience and track record of construction employer engagement of provider organisations Evidence of higher level construction sector capacity and expertise of provider organisations Evidence of higher level work-based delivery expertise of provider organisations Evidence of previous experience and track record of collaborative development projects of provider organisations 12. What kind of support will Delivery Partnership get? Delivery Partnerships will be provided with the following support: The financial resource to support the appointment of a Delivery Partnership Manager either recruited or seconded to coordinate activities and communications between employers, providers and the Higher Apprenticeship Consortium. Specific tailored staff development workshops for individual or groups of provider organisations to support learning, teaching and assessment delivery of the Higher Apprenticeship and Foundation degree. On-line information, advice and guidance materials to support the delivery of the Higher Apprenticeship and Foundation degree. The provision of learning resources to support learning, teaching and assessment delivery, including a Programme Handbook and other on-line learning resources such as an APEL initial assessment tool. Support and briefing materials for Workplace Mentors including an on-line handbook to support the formative assessment of competencies through work-based projects. The Consortium will work with UVAC and MEG to support their College and HEIs members who are in Delivery Partnerships The Consortium will work with CITB-ConstructionSkills to support the promotion of employer engagement with the Higher Apprenticeship and Foundation degree including coordination with National Skills Academies for Construction where appropriate. 5

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