Designing a curriculum from scratch can be an exciting project. But how can you do this in a way that’s consistent across apprenticeship standards and your curriculum teams, whilst remaining flexible to employer and apprentice needs?
Here’s some tips to get you thinking.
Consistency across standards
Start by asking yourself:
- Is the employer/apprentice experience the same across standards?
- In what ways might there be consistency between:
- Delivery models and methods
- Standardisation within a single sector area and across sectors
- Support for apprentices with wellbeing / additional learning needs
- How much of the programme is core and how much is “bespoke” to the individual
- The delivery of mandatory requirements
- The development of transferrable skills within English, Maths and Digital
- Does your documentation and processes allow for curriculum design across all standards or are they too focused on one standard? Can they be adapted?
- Can your IQA team sample curriculum plans consistently to check requirements are being met for apprentices, employers, the apprenticeship standard and funding rules?
Consistency across teams
Who will contribute to the curriculum design process with each team, how will they do it and when? For example:
- Share how the role works within their organisation
- Identify available on- and off-the-job opportunities
- Identify new areas where the apprentice might extend their KSB’s through role activities or wider projects
- Supporting and mentoring
- Share how the apprenticeship will fit within their role
- Identify where they feel on- and off-the-job opportunities could work
- Explain any learning or wider support needs
- Identify prior experience and qualifications
- Pick up on career ambitions and aspirations
- Understand the KSB’s the apprentice has through experience or qualifications
- Map out the required KSBs against a curriculum design plan
- Overview on- and off-the-job development opportunities
- Be clear on what elements of the apprenticeship standard need to be covered
- Select the best delivery models and activities
You’ll need to identify which elements of your curriculum can or can’t be adapted for each apprenticeship. This is important to make sure programmes are tailored but also consistent.
- Delivery methods
- Staffing / mentoring
- Specific knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements
- Mandatory qualifications or certification
- Gateway requirements
What is the final sign-off process?
- Does anyone need to check your curriculum design?
- Is there an authorised person to agree the plan is deliverable? If so, who?
What is the timing for curriculum design sign-off?
- Where does this sit in your overall application, initial assessment and induction process?
- Has time been allowed for changes by any of the stakeholders?
Who is involved in the final sign-off outside your training provider?
- Other departments
There are tools different tools you can use to check the consistency and quality of your curriculum across standards and teams. Here’s a few ideas:
- Standardised templates – allows consistent documentation of curriculum plans, checking that all areas have been considered e.g. review points, learning support
- Staff training – to cover the steps involved and embed the process (see Masterclass option below)
- Sampling – IQAs are well placed to sample curriculum plans to check requirements are being met and quality is maintained across all standards.
- Team meetings – getting different curriculum teams together to work on the design process, explore different approaches and share best practice is a great place to start.
Join our Masterclass in apprenticeship curriculum design
We host interactive online Masterclass’s to help you hone your skills as a curriculum developer. Over a 3.5-hour interactive online session, Chris Cherry will take you through a step-by-step example of how to deconstruct a standard and build the curriculum from the top down – giving you a model you can use for the standards you deliver.
Keep an eye out here for our next Masterclass in Curriculum Design