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  • Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

    Why an apprenticeship?

    Opening up new paths into healthcare...

    Are you looking to bring new skills and experiences into your organisation?

    Perhaps you employ them already? Apprenticeships are perfect for existing staff with drive, compassion and courage. For staff who care and who understand the challenges with healthcare.

    Or perhaps you’re looking to employ new staff, people with passion and potential who can grow in skill and knowledge on the job?

    With an apprenticeship, you can help both new staff and current employees take the next step in their healthcare career. Apprentices study whilst they work, putting academic knowledge to practical use, in order to fill gaps in skills and improve practice within your organisation.

    The cost of apprenticeships are typically met, in full or in part, through the apprenticeship levy or government funding for non-levy payers.

    Why a Nursing Associate?

    The Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship is a new way to deliver the high quality person-centred care that has been at the heart of nursing for centuries.

    Consider the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship if you want:

    • to develop a highly trained support role, providing effective, safe and responsive nursing
    • to support staff development with a Nursing & Midwifery Council-regulated foundation degree
    • to broaden the routes into working in healthcare, attracting more varied candidates who can start to make a difference in practice immediately.

    Programme information

    Apprenticeship title:
    Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

    Qualifications/ components:
    Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, English and Maths at level 2 (if not already held) and the End Point Assessment

    Available start dates:
    September 2018 | January 2019 | September 2019

    Teaching location:
    Oxford Brookes University: Marston Road site or Swindon Campus

    Course length:
    28 months

    The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) has agreed to regulate and support all these apprenticeships nationwide. Subject to approval once the NMC standards have been finalised. More details can be found here.

    For full application details, please see the 'How to apply/ entry requirements' section.

    • The Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship is an NMC regulated pre-registration qualification. The Nursing Associate is a highly trained support role which will help health care providers to deliver effective, safe and responsive nursing care in a wide range of health care settings.
    • Oxford Brookes hosts the Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery. It’s a unique collaboration within the UK, in which Brookes, NHS Foundation Trusts and researchers work together to drive best education and practice.
    • The School provides a wide range of vocational undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes in Oxford and Swindon. It works with a wide range of providers in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire for Swindon in hospital, community, private and voluntary sector settings.
    • Oxford Brookes is a modern university with a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. We offer excellent teaching facilities, including dedicated space for simulated learning within clinical skills suites.
    • Our teaching is strengthened by the involvement of services users and carers and expert lecturers from clinical practice.
    • We teach the skills for evidence-based practice and encourage apprentices to develop a problem-solving approach to clinical practice. We instil confidence in our apprentices to enable them to use their own clinical and professional judgement in order to influence practice.
    • We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rate and high graduate employability.

    The course runs for 24 months. Apprentices attend the University for one day a week and combine classroom study with their job role. Apprentices also complete 675 hours of a contrasting placements over the course of the apprenticeship. On completion of the foundation degree, apprentices are entered for the end point assessment. The end point assessment is undertaken in the workplace and comprises of an observation including question and answer session and a professional discussion.

    Days are organised as follows:

    • One day a week (Sept - July) attending taught sessions at either Marston Rd or the Swindon campus studying the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care.
    • Additional sessions in English and Maths with a partner College for apprentices who do not hold level two qualifications at the beginning of the course.
    • Workplace training and assessment within the apprentice’s usual place of work and, for a block of time, in a contrasting setting.

    On successful completion of the foundation degree, apprentices will be supported in work and through personal tutorial to prepare for the end point assessment.

    The Foundation Degree consists of units of study called modules. Apprentices will develop their understanding of core knowledge, skills and competencies through academic study. They will also have the opportunity to apply theory within their work setting and reflect on their work based practice through the programme.

    Study modules

    As our courses are reviewed regularly, the modules available may vary from those listed here.

    Programme Outline – Year 1:

    Study Skills for Foundation Degrees - the module introduces the study skills required to successfully complete all components of the foundation degree in Health and Social Care including teamwork, presentation skills and academic writing. Models of reflective practice are introduced for apprentices to use when compiling their Work-Based Learning Portfolio.

    Work-Based Learning (WBL) 1 - this is the first of four double WBL modules that are taken in the workplace. It encourages examination the apprentices care practice, to begin to embed practice in theory and to engage in any new role requirements the apprentice might have.

    Science for Health and Social Care - an underpinning of knowledge for safe and effective delivery of care regardless of setting. This module introduces and reinforces an understanding of the major physiological systems, their normal workings and frequently encountered potential abnormalities that may occur for those requiring health or social care.

    Specialist Care Skills Therapeutic Caring - this is the first of two specialist skills modules in which the apprentice learns new skills, refines current skills, and experiments with alternative ways of performing skills effectively and efficiently, within a safe environment (skills labs on campus).

    Work Based Learning 2 - the second of four double WBL modules that build on previous learning and practice. It encourages apprentices to consider specific aspects of health and social care needs and how to deliver them in practice. It allows the apprentice, under the guidance of the employer, to gain and demonstrate new role-specific skills.

    Applied Social Science for Health Care Professionals - this is a shared module accessed with pre-registration students, providing an introduction to a study of major psychological and social influences on human behaviour in the context of health and social care. The module aims to enable apprentices to link behaviour, and the development of self, both psychologically and socially, to an understanding of health, health behaviour and aspects of health and social care delivery.

    Programme Outline – Year 2:

    Social Policy and Welfare Systems - an advanced module that builds on elements of the Year 1 basic module Applied Social Science and the WBL modules. It equips the apprentice with knowledge and understanding of local and national policies which influence the delivery of health and social care. It allows the apprentice to appraise and evaluate the place of policies on the overall promotion of wellbeing for the community.

    Specialist Care Skills Therapeutic Caring 2 - the second of two specialist skills modules which build skills and understanding of supporting theories for delivery of care.

    Work Based Learning 3 - an advanced, level 5, WBL module building on the previous theory modules and WBL modules. It will aid further identification of role-specific skills for the apprentice. The module builds on and makes use of previous learning and concurrent learning in other modules..

    Applying Evidence to Practice - an advanced theory module which reaffirms the principle of basing decisions about the planning and delivery of care on available, suitable evidence. It will allow you to explore critically the evidence base of one aspect of care delivery in your own practice area.

    Legal and Ethical Aspects of Care - this module includes: an exploration of professional conduct; an introduction to some of the more common legal aspects that arise in health and social care; the issues around ethical aspects of care delivery and recognised similarities and variations in different settings of care delivery.

    Work Based Learning 4 - topics include: self-management of workload; recognising legal and ethical issues that arise within health and social care; multi-professional / multi-agency working; personal development as a care worker; finding and using specialist subject literature..

    End Point Assessment

    On successful completion of the modules above and the required work based practice in the apprentices usual and a contrasting setting, the apprentice will be entered for the End Point Assessment (EPA). The EPA will be conducted by an independent organisation agreed by the employer and the University.

    The EPA comprises:

    An observation- - the observation is undertaken by the independent assessor in the apprentice’s workplace and must last for 60 minutes. The apprentice will be observed in providing nursing care to an individual, a succession of individuals or a group of individuals.

    A professional discussion - the use of professional discussion based on two scenarios will assess the apprentice’s skills, knowledge and behaviours. The apprentice must be able to relate the scenarios to their practice. The apprentice will have no prior knowledge of the content of the scenarios. The professional discussion takes place between the independent assessor and the apprentice and lasts for 90 minutes in total.

    Programme changes

    On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

    Tuition Fees

    Apprenticeship fee 2018/19: £7,500 annually total cost (£15,000).

    Please note that the cost of tuition for this programme must be met by the employer. Where reassessment or retakes are required, the employer will be liable for additional costs.

    Apprenticeship funding and the levy

    Levy paying employers can pay for the cost of training and assessment (up to £15,000) using the apprenticeship levy.

    For more information about levy funding and options for non-levy payers visit

    Questions about fees?

    Contact Student Finance on:

    +44 (0)1865 483088

    Or email the finance team.

    Employment/ job role requirements

    Over the course of the two-year programme, the apprentice should be employed as a Nursing Associate Trainee. Over the course of their employment, the apprentice should have work-based opportunities which will allow them to successfully complete the apprenticeship. Typically a Nursing Associate will:

    • deliver high quality, compassionate care under the direction of a Registered Nurse (or other registered care professional) with a focus on promoting health and independence;
    • work as part of a healthcare team delivering care that focuses on the direct needs of the individual;
    • carry out specific delegated clinical and care tasks and responsibilities to a high standard and competency;
    • work with a practice supervisor to take responsibility for developing own clinical competence, leadership and reflective practice skills within the workplace, on placements and through the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship;
    • develop the ability to work without direct supervision by the end of the course, at times delivering care independently in line with the individual’s plan of care, within the parameters of practice of the Nursing Associate role, accessing clinical and care advice when needed.

    Academic entry requirements

    Apprentices should hold either a work based level 3 qualification relevant to health and care such as an advanced apprenticeship or a level 3 NVQ or other vocational/A-level qualifications.

    If an apprentice does not hold level 2 English and Maths qualifications prior to the start of the apprenticeship programme, they must complete it during the programme. An initial assessment will be conducted to ensure the apprentice is well equipped to complete the programme. An alternative programme may be recommended if the candidate would benefit from completing some further study at level 2 or 3 before joining the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship.

    Interviews and assessments to check suitability

    The delivery team will meet with candidates the employer would like to put forward to ensure that the programme is a good fit in terms of their previous experience, prior attainment and the apprentices career aims. If the candidate would benefit from completing some further study at level 2 or 3 before joining the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship, then an alternative programme will be recommended.

    If enrolment has been agreed, then continuation on the programme will be contingent on satisfactory clearances.

    DBS Checks

    Brookes takes all safeguarding issues seriously. All apprentices must undergo a DBS check - organised by the employer - before the start of the programme.

    Accredited Prior Learning

    If an apprentice holds any relevant qualifications in a health related subject at level 4 or 5 this will be taken in to consideration and modular exemptions will be applied as appropriate.

    How to apply

    Employers should contact the Oxford Brookes University Apprenticeship team. The team will conduct an initial assessment to ensure the apprenticeship will be suitable for proposed candidates and will meet the employer’s requirements.

    When contracts including the commitment statement have been agreed, Oxford Brookes University will complete the signup process with the employer and apprentice.

    Supporting 20% off the job training

    • Apprentices are typically employed on a contract of at least 30 hours, so should have time for off-the-job training for an average of 6 hours per week.
    • Off-the-job hours can be delivered in blocks or weighted differently at different times of the year.

    Employment rules

    An apprenticeship lasts for the duration of the apprenticeship training. The minimum duration is a year and a week. The employer should have an apprentice agreement in place with the apprentice.

    The employer will also need to comply with Education and Skills Funding Agency rules about apprentice wages as set out in the Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for employers.

    Requirements specific to this Apprenticeship

    The employer is required to support the apprentice throughout their training and development; conduct reviews to monitor progress and determine when the apprentice is competent and ready to attempt the End Point Assessment.

    The Nursing Associate Apprentice must be supervised within the work place, remaining in the line of sight of a supervisor who can intervene immediately if required. Direct supervision should be maintained until they are assessed as being safe to undertake the directed activities alone.

    There is a requirement for Nurse Associate Apprentices to undertake placements in contrasting settings for 675 hours. Employers will be required to release their apprentices to undertake these placements and may be asked to offer contrasting placements to others.

    UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

    +44 (0)1865 484945