Trailblazer Group revisions to the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Standard

The Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Standard is being revised by the Trailblazer Group in line with the new NMC Standards

The timescales are tight for these changes as the revised Standard must be in place for March 2019. Many of you will have staff entering Nursing Associate Apprenticeships or will be considering this, so I hope the below information is helpful. I will be at the Hospice UK Conference running a session on Apprenticeships if you would like to know more.

  • The NMC Register opens on 29th Jan 2019 for Nursing Associates!
  • The Trailblazer group revising the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Standard comprises employers, the NMC, the RCN and a number of HEIs involved in delivery. It is led by Sam Donohue from Health Education England and Angelo Varetto from Skills for Care.
  • Time is tight for submission of the Standard for approval by the Institute for Apprenticeships as the NMC will not legally allow any programmes to run that are not NMC approved from end July 2019. HEIs will need to seek NMC programme approval once the Standard is revised between March 2019 and July 2019 and register to offer the End Point Assessment which is likely to be integrated within the Standard (I can explain this if you contact me.)
  • Targets for Nursing Associates are a challenge for HEE – it is expected that between 5,000 and 12,000 individuals will start the Nursing Associate programme in the next year or so.
  • The RN Apprenticeship has been revised in line with new NMC Standards and has been submitted to the Institute of Apprenticeship for approval which is hoped for in 2019.
  • Current NA or RN Apprentices on the current standard continue.
  • Sam Donohue confirmed the rigour of the HEE monitoring of all NA Apprentices on the current standard so they can gain NMC registration post qualifying
  • Fewer hours are now required by NMC for new Nursing Associate Standard (this won’t affect Apprentices on current Standard).
  • The NMC Require a  Foundation Degree to be embedded within the NA Apprenticeship as the qualification
  • The entry requirements for the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship will reflect those specified by the NMC (see NMC documents on this website)Entry requirements must also conform to those for Apprenticeship regulation in terms of English and maths.
  • The open consultation period for you to view and comment upon the NA Apprenticeship Standard will be short – 2 weeks only – and likely to be from w/c/ 29th October (yes, they know that is half term for some….)
  • The IFA will feedback on their decision to approve/request amends on NA Standard within 6 weeks of receiving the submission – this will be AFTER the amends from the public consultation have been actioned
  • Observation of NA practice must be included in End Point Assessment. Logistics are tough due to volume to be assessed
  • The End Point Assessor needs to be independent and not have been the NAs mentor or educator and will be working through an End Point Assessment Organisation
  • QAA will be the external quality assurance body for End Point Assessment
  • Ofsted will inspect the delivery of the NA Apprenticeship, NMC also regulate  HEIs. The ESFA monitor funding! The regulation burden is a heavy one!
  • HEE are considering a placement tariff for NAs


Written by

Sally Garbett


16, October 2018


About the Author

Sally Garbett

Sally Garbett

Education and Apprenticeship associate, St Christopher's Hospice

Sally Garbett is the Apprenticeship lead and Vocational Programmes Manager at St Christopher’s where her role is to manage and develop apprenticeships and the vocational education and qualifications offered to external and internal staff. Sally has been involved in Apprenticeships since 1995 and most recently in the development of the healthcare standards, including the Nursing Associate role. Prior to working for St Christopher’s Sally was a freelance consultant and has over twenty five years' experience in qualification development, regulatory activities and delivery. She is also a licensed and qualified user of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to develop teams and individuals.

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