Course Information

Who is the course for?

The Higher Apprenticeship is an excellent natural route for those who have already undertaken an Intermediate or Advanced Apprenticeship. It’s a great opportunity to build on and develop skills and knowledge at a high level. It will provide a range of transferrable skills to enable learners to identify ways to innovate and provide high quality care.

The Higher Apprenticeship was designed following extensive consultation with social care employers. It is for those in a managerial or business development role in adult social care, or for those who require a high level of knowledge or specific specialism.

This qualification is for those already working in the social care sector. Learners must be in a managerial position or role to meet the knowledge and learning outcomes as no role play or simulations can be used for this award.

From 1 September 2014 this 90 credits qualification is the required component for learners registered on the Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management (England only). It can also be accessed as a stand-alone Diploma.

What does the course involve?

The wide ranging Diploma covers the skills and knowledge needed to work and develop knowledge in a wide range of work-based settings. It is flexible to suit all fields across the health and social care sector.

The qualification only applies to jobs in adult social care, and has two pathways; a general pathway and a specialist pathway.

Learners will gain sector recognised qualifications and develop specialist skills whilst working alongside experienced peers in the workplace. The Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management (England) is a mix of skills development and knowledge and combines work-based learning with the potential for further work related study at university.  

  • General Pathway: the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services – a combined competence and knowledge qualification 
  • Specialist Pathway: a Level 5 university Diploma. The university Diploma incorporates the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services and further university modules on areas related to the learner's job role

What makes this course special?

A credit-based system: the QCF (Qualifications Credit Framework) is the way of recognising skills and qualifications. It does this by awarding credit for units (small steps of learning) and enables learners to gain or add onto new or existing qualifications or can offer a work-based solution to specialised learning.

Placements/Work Placements

This competency–based qualification is designed to be assessed in the candidate’s work-place as they undertake their normal work role. The evidence must at all times reflect the policies and procedures of the workplace as informed by current legislation, the relevant codes of conduct and service standards for the sector.

Entry Requirements

  • An appropriate role in the health and social care sector
  • Initial assessment and skills scan

What are the assessment methods?

  • Direct observation
  • Oral questioning
  • Case studies
  • Assignments
  • Projects

How long is the course?

The Diploma can be studied flexibly at any time during the year, with an expectation that it will be completed within 24 months of starting.

What are the College attendance requirements?

Attendance at College is not required as the qualification is delivered within the workplace. Current awarding body guidance is seven hours independent study per week.

Are there any additional costs for the course?

In most cases there are no additional costs for this course.

What are the progression options?

The Higher Apprenticeship offers career progression routes into more senior roles and further academic study at university.

For those who would like to advance further in their career, they may want to take a further qualification or singular unit credits that can help them work in a specialised area.

Awarding Body

City and Guilds.

Further Information