Apprenticeship Enrolment FAQs

Apprenticeship Enrolment FAQs

You’ll need to provide evidence of prior qualifications. Otherwise, it may result in sitting your Functional Skills qualification even if you have achieved your maths and English GCSE’s. You can request additional certificates by contacting your college or school.

Functional Skills are designed to refresh your knowledge in maths, English and ICT. Functional Skills is within your programme time frame, with no additional time added.

You can email the below to request your certificate:

General certificate requests (NVQ’s and Diplomas) -

Apprenticeship standards where you have completed an End-point Assessment – or 0117 314 2800

Please bring a birth certificate or a passport with visas (if required). If you are an EU national, a simple ID card will suffice.

Functional Skills Initial Assessment

If you have any problems with logging onto the BKSB platform please contact the enrolment support team at 0117 374 2479 or

The results of the Initial Assessment determine your Functional Skills level and helps to develop your training plan. Each apprenticeship will have a minimum Functional Skills level to start the programme, and a minimum level to complete the apprenticeship.

Your Lifetime Regional Trainer will use your initial assessment score to support you in any areas of English and maths you need as part of your apprenticeship. The initial assessment score is a key step in your learning journey and may lead to a Functional Skills qualification or further development of your skills.

Every learner needs to complete Initial Assessment before enrolment. If you have achieved grade C/4 or above at GCSE or already completed Functional Skills Level 2, you won’t need to complete Functional Skills as part of your apprenticeship. However, you’ll still need to complete Initial Assessment to tailor the programme to fit your English and maths requirements.

Functional Skills are assessed in levels ranging from Pre-Entry to Level 2. Each apprenticeship will have a minimum standard of Functional Skills required to enrol on the programme.

Apprenticeship Level Minimum Initial Assessment Result Required
Level 2 Entry Level 2
Level 3 Entry Level 3
Level 4+ Level 1

If you do not meet your required level for enrolment, you can retake your initial assessment. Make sure you’re in a quiet and calm environment to achieve your best result.

If you are still under the required level by the time of your enrolment meeting, then you will not be able to start your apprenticeship. You can continue to practice your maths and English by using the diagnostic section of the BKSB website or through starting a college course.

You can then revisit your apprenticeship when you have a better chance of completing the programme.

Completing an apprenticeship requires a minimum standard of Functional Skills. If your initial assessment results are below this minimum standard, you’ll complete a Functional Skills qualification alongside your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Level Functional Skills Level
Level 2 Complete Level 1 and attempt Level 2
Level 3 Level 2
Level 4+ Level 2

You’ll receive a range of support to upskill your Functional Skills to the required level, tailored to the level of support you require. Delivery varies from face-to-face specialist support to distance learning through dedicated virtual classrooms.

  • Initial Assessment is at target level: Independent learning through Lifetime’s digital learning platform.
  • Initial Assessment is one level below target: Virtual classroom support.
  • Initial Assessment score is two levels below target: One-to-one English and maths tutor support.

This will depend on the outcome of your initial assessments but will generally be between four to nine months. The suggested completion time will increase if you require more time to upskill to reach the required level.

  • Initial Assessment is at target level: Four months delivery
  • Initial Assessment is one level below target: Six months delivery
  • Initial Assessment score is two levels below target: Nine months delivery

If you have previously achieved an equivalent qualification then you won’t have to complete Functional Skills. If you hold the equivalent of a grade C or above in maths or English then you will not be required to complete level 2 Functional Skills. Similarly, if you hold the equivalent of a Grade E-D then you will be exempt from completing level 1 Functional Skills only.

You’ll need to provide evidence of the qualification to your regional trainer in the form of a copy of your certificate. If you cannot provide evidence of your previous English and maths qualification you will likely have to undertake Functional skills as part of your apprenticeship.

You should discuss your previous qualifications with your Regional Trainer who can then confirm whether you will have to complete Functional Skills.

Learning Style Initial Assessment with Cognassist

The Cognassist Initial Assessment is a 30-minute online test which identifies any additional learning needs or areas of strength. The assessment helps Lifetime understand how you function as a learner so that your training is tailored to your unique learning style and needs.

The Cognassist tool was developed by experts in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Cognassist has eight sections, one for each of the cognitive domains of the brain. Once completed the software analyses the results and identifies any additional learning needs within each domain.

The eight cognitive domains assessed are:

  • Executive function
  • Literacy
  • Non-verbal memory
  • Visual perception
  • Numeracy
  • Visual information processing speed
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Verbal memory

You will need to complete the assessment on a computer with internet access and cannot complete the assessment on a tablet or mobile phone. If you don’t have access to a computer, just let us know and we will arrange for you to complete the assessment during your enrolment meeting.

Answers to the questions are averaged, it doesn’t matter if you get the odd answer wrong. However, it is important that you read the instructions before each section so you know how to answer each part and use the trial attempt before starting.

You can’t use a calculator or have help completing the Cognassist initial assessment because this will affect the results. The assessment should be a true reflection of your areas of strengths or areas in need of support.

Let us know that you don’t have access to a computer and we will arrange for you to complete the assessment during your enrolment visit.

Unlike the initial assessments completed in maths and English, there is no minimum entry level required for the Cognassist assessment. The purpose of the Cognassist initial assessment is to identify where you require further support in order to tailor the delivery of the apprenticeship to your needs.

The Cognassist platform also provides some great resources to aid your apprenticeship and any future learning you embark on.

General Questions about Apprenticeships

The law states a wage cannot be lowered due to a team member taking on an apprenticeship course, unless initially hired as an apprentice. If you’re an existing staff member your wage cannot be lowered to the apprenticeship wage when signing up to a work-based learning apprenticeship.

Off-the-job training is defined as any activity that is not part of an apprentice’s day-to-day role which supports your apprenticeship training.

Off-the-job training must make up at least 20% of an apprentice’s normal working hours. This is a requirement for all apprenticeships and gives you dedicated time to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by your programme.

Most off-the-job training occurs naturally from the programme and does not need to be completed off site or in large blocks of time.

Off-the-job training examples may include:

  • Visiting another branch to understand different processes.
  • Shadowing a colleague.
  • Attending training on new company procedures, services, or systems.
  • Completing in-house training about the supply chain or produce.
  • Attending internal training on company values and vision.
  • Learning about software such as Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Writing up any assignments which form part of the apprenticeship.

You will be visited by your Regional Trainer every four to six weeks. This will be a mixture of face-to-face visits in the workplace and remote learning over the phone or skype.

Throughout your apprenticeship you will have access to the Mylife learning platform where you can access your learning resources and activities.

The government has introduced a minimum length of one year for apprenticeships. The minimum length allows a realistic timeframe for you to learn and demonstrate new skills and knowledge.

The minimum length of your programme considers your working hours, off-the-job training, and modules to be completed. It gives you the time required to put your new skills into practice for observation and collect evidence for your progression.

We want you to be as prepared as possible to give you the best chance of passing your End-point Assessment or Framework.

Before or during your apprentice induction meeting you will complete a knowledge, skills and behaviours analysis conversation. This will allow your trainer to make sure you’re on the right programme for your development. The discussion will give you an insight into the programme modules and allows the trainer to understand your current knowledge level.

This allow your trainer to tailor the programme and training plan to support you in gaining the knowledge for the next progression steps.

The End-point Assessment is a period of up to three months where you test the knowledge, skills, and behaviours developed on the programme. You enter the End-point Assessment stage once you, your manager, and your trainer agree you are ready to achieve a passing grade. Grades include fail, pass, merit, and distinction.

The End-point Assessment consists of three to four individual components finalising your apprenticeship standard. This is designed to allow you to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and behaviours you have learnt throughout your apprenticeship.

End-point Assessment is performed by an independent assessor, and may include:

  • A multiple-choice test.
  • Work-based observations.
  • A business project.
  • A professional discussion.

You can retake your full End-point Assessment once and retake an individual component up to two times. This is dependent on having enough time during your completion deadline.

The maximum grade you can achieve during a retake is a pass.

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