Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships are a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) initiative, providing work-based learning opportunities for learners in their senior phase of secondary education.

Arrangements for Foundation Apprenticeship Frameworks at SCQF level 6 in 2020-21

Internal Assessment Guidance 2020-21

Certification of Foundation Apprenticeships in 2019-20

Because Foundation Apprenticeships blend classroom and workplace learning - COVID-19 restrictions have meant it has been difficult to complete the work-based elements and assessments.

In partnership with Colleges Scotland, SDS and Universities Scotland, the following outcomes will apply, depending on your situation.

  1. If you completed and passed all elements of your Foundation Apprenticeship. You will receive a Foundation Apprenticeship certificate, which can be used for entrance to college and university courses.
  2. If you have passed the NPA/NC element by 11 September 2020, or have had no ‘fails’ recorded, you'll get SQA certification for the units and the NPA/NC. You will also receive a Letter of Recognition which is recognised by colleges and universities for course admissions.
  3. If you were not on track to achieve the Foundation Apprenticeship - because you did not achieve the NPA/NC or have failed some elements. You will only get SQA certification for the elements you passed, but will not get a certificate or Letter of Recognition.

Read the full Foundation Apprenticeships statement.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) information

What are Foundation Apprenticeships?

Foundation Apprenticeships are a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) initiative, providing new, work-based learning opportunities for learners in their senior phase of secondary education. It enables them to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while still at school.

Learners work towards a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects — their National 5 and Highers. They'll also spend part of the school week with a learning provider and with a local employer. They will work towards industry-recognised qualifications while developing skills and experience in the workplace.

If you are interested in offering or completing a Foundation Apprenticeship, please visit the SDS Apprenticeship website

What Foundation Apprenticeships are available?

Title Original code New code for candidates starting in 2020
Accountancy GN7T 46 GR6D 46
Business Skills GL8J 46 GR50 46
Civil Engineering GL51 46  
Creative and Digital Media GM69 46  
Engineering GL7C 46  
Financial Services GL53 46 GR6F 46
Food and Drink Technologies GN26 46  
IT: Hardware/System Support GL55 46 GR53 46
IT: Software Development GL54 46 GR54 46
Scientific Technologies GN14 46  
Social Services and Healthcare GL52 46  
Social Services: Children and Young People GL7A 46  

What qualifications/units will a learner work towards to achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Each Foundation Apprenticeship framework contains the following components:

  • A National Certificate (NC) or National Progression Award (NPA) – an industry recognised qualification which is taught within a classroom environment;
  • Selected Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) units or Diploma units – developed through National Occupational Standards, the units are completed within a work place environment.
  • Or SQA Customised units based on the same underpinning National Occupational Standards as the SVQ/Diploma units – developed to give a broader definition of ‘the workplace’ to offer more flexibility of delivery and assessment.
  • The Work-based challenge unit (J4YL 04) will be mandatory for candidates starting in 2020 in the following five Foundation Apprenticeships:
    • Financial Services (GR6F 46)
    • Business Skills (GR50 46)
    • Accountancy (GR6D 46)
    • IT: Hardware/Systems Support (GR53 46)
    • IT: Software Development (GR54 46)

Professional qualifications are also contained within the Accountancy and Food and Drink Technologies frameworks, which enable learners to gain industry specific skills within their apprenticeship.

Further information on the SDS Foundation Apprenticeship Frameworks.