Apprentices learning off-the-job

Off-the-job training for degree apprentices

Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement of a degree apprenticeship and all apprentices and their employers must ensure that it is properly evidenced and recorded.

It's designed into each apprenticeship, allowing apprentices to step back from their day-to-day work to spend time learning and reflecting on their development.


Off-the-job training a glance

  • Off-the-job training is time spent gaining the knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with the chosen apprenticeship standard and takes place during the apprentice’s contracted working hours but away from their day-to-day duties. 
  • The Government requires that all apprentices spend a minimum of six hours a week (of their contracted working hours) undertaking off-the-job training. However, our programmes typically require more than the minimum hours.
  • Off-the-job training is a combination of activities delivered by the university and those planned within the workplace.
  • The university outlines each apprentice’s off-the-job training requirement in their training plan and establishes their employers support prior to starting on programme, as well as supporting them to record and evidence their hours.

What counts as off-the-job training?

 Off-the-job training can take many forms but must meet the following criteria:

  • Directly relevant to the chosen apprenticeship standard
  • Developing new knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • Takes place during the apprentices contracted working hours

The off-the-job training for each of our apprenticeship programmes is designed to best reflect the needs of the employers and apprentices. Some off-the-job training may be delivered on our campus, however, many of our programmes consist of blended learning and may involve off-the-job training that can be carried out, during working hours, at home or in a dedicated area in the workplace.

Examples of activities that constitute off-the-job training (provided they contribute to the development of the apprenticeship's knowledge, skills, and behaviours) include:

  • Attendance at lectures (both online and in-person)
  • Online learning
  • Working on coursework or assignments
  • Self-directed reading or research
  • Relevant continual professional development activity
  • Work-based projects where apprentices can develop relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • Other methods of teaching theory or knowledge (e.g seminars, simulation exercises, role playing, etc)
  • Shadowing others
  • Networking events and conferences
  • Mentoring

How long do apprentices spend training off-the-job?

Apprentices working full-time (over 30 hours a week) must spend the equivalent of a minimum of six hours a week undertaking off-the-job training - as detailed in the apprenticeship funding rules.

As the degree apprenticeships at the University of Nottingham are level 6 and 7 (bachelors and masters level) the majority of programmes will require a commitment in excess of six hours. It is important for both the apprentice and their employer to be familiar with the off-the-job training requirements of their apprenticeship programme.  The off-the-job training hours for each apprentice is calculated and shared with them and their employer during the onboarding process and outlined in their specific training plan.   

The off-the-job training hours are different for each programme, all with varying amounts of university contact time that flows throughout the duration of the apprenticeship programme, including typical university holiday periods.  


Active learning must take place and be recorded at least every four weeks. This means that apprenticeship programmes do not follow the typical structure of the university academic year. 


The off-the-job training requirement is calculated using the apprentice’s normal working hours over the planned duration of their apprenticeship (excluding their end-point assessment (EPA)). Apprentices will not be able to complete their apprenticeship until they have recorded the required amount of off-the-job training.

Please refer to apprenticeship programme webpages for further details on each programme’s delivery model.

What happens if an apprentice undertakes apprenticeship work or off-the-job training outside of their normal working hours?

Apprentices can log this as normal, but where apprentices undertake any apprenticeship work or off-the-job training outside of normal hours their employer must either pay them for the additional hours or give them time off in lieu.

Next steps

For a more detailed breakdown of off-the-job training specific to your chosen apprenticeship programme or to discuss how to factor off-the-job training into your apprentice’s working week please contact our Degree Apprenticeships Team.