Apprenticeship or Diploma?

See which course type is the right fit.


Apprenticeships are formal, daily, paid, on the job training paired with teaching and learning sessions provided by your tutor. Apprenticeships have specific Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours identified by the Institute for Apprenticeships that must be demonstrated and evidenced at End Point Assessment.

​These qualifications are led by employers, as they must contribute to the overall course cost, and are tailored to fit to the learner and their workplace. The remaining amount is funded by the Government. How this is paid depends on whether the employer is a levy or non-levy payer.

  • Government Funding
  • Employer led
  • Maths and English required
  • Duration minimum 1 year
  • 20% Off the Job required
  • Apprentices must be paid in line with minimum wage guidelines
  • End Point Assessment required

All apprentices must work towards achieving a level 1 or level 2 in maths and English if they have not already done so. The level required depends on the level of apprenticeship. This is an essential, integral part of the funding rules.

Apprentices must be in learning for at least a year and a day. They and their employer must agree to, and evidence, that they have spent 20% of their contractually paid hours building their knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the apprenticeship standards.

Norton Webb have industry specialist tutors that will guide the apprentice through the course. The apprentice must meet with their tutor, either face to face or virtually, at least every 4 weeks, and be able to demonstrate the progression that they have made during this time, and work towards achieving all components of the apprenticeship by the end date.

Employers are regularly involved in the apprentice’s course successes at Progress Review meetings which take place every 10-12 weeks. These three-way meetings allow all parties to celebrate achievements and agree the next focal areas.

Apprenticeships are made up of multiple components which are certified upon full completion:

  • Apprenticeship Standard
  • Diploma (if relevant)
  • Functional Skills Maths (if needed)
  • Functional Skills English (if needed)

All apprenticeships have an End Point Assessment with a third-party awarding body to ratify that the standards have been met.

Health and Social Care employers can submit a claim to the Workforce Development Fund for eligible, completed apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships for Employers

Apprenticeships for Learners

* Unless the apprentice is aged 16-18, or 19-14 with an EHCP, at the start of the apprenticeship, and is employed by an organisation with less than 50 employees. Please contact us for full details.


Diplomas are vocational qualifications designed to support an individual in development of their knowledge and skills in the workplace.

There is no requirement for learners to evidence achievement of maths and English, however, they must be able to complete the work in English to a suitable standard. This is to meet awarding body requirements.

The diploma is made up of Knowledge and Skills criteria can be completed in or out of the workplace, however, there will be elements that require the tutor to observe the learner in the workplace to ensure all criteria have been evidenced.

  • Not usually Government funded
  • Learner or Employer led
  • No Maths and English qualification required
  • Completed at own pace
  • No 20% Off the Job
  • No End Point Assessment

Our tutors provide 10 face-to-face or online sessions with the learner to teach and guide them through the course, but progression is made at the learner’s own pace.

Achievement is signed off by our Internal Quality Assurance team for certification and checked at annual External Quality Assurance visits by the awarding body.

The regulatory framework supporting diplomas used to be the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), this was withdrawn in 2015 and replaced by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Diplomas for Employers

Diplomas for Learners