Skip to main content

Guidance on apprenticeship frameworks and pathways including qualifications, funding values and development.

First published:
23 July 2020
Last updated:

What are they?

In Wales an apprentice will follow an approved Welsh Apprenticeship Framework. They ensure an apprentice has the relevant knowledge, skills and qualifications.

Frameworks are available in 23 sectors. Each framework provides the pathways available and contains the following:

  • entry requirements (what you will need to start an apprenticeship in a particular field)
  • levels available within the sector and progression options
  • examples of job roles 
  • qualifications you will gain after successfully completing an apprenticeship
  • average length of time it takes to complete an apprenticeship by level 
  • any additional learning to support the apprenticeship

Apprenticeship pathways

Pathways are options or routes available within the framework and are based on specific occupations or job roles. They provide the apprentice with options to support their career choices.

Our framework summaries outline the main elements of a framework. 

All apprenticeship frameworks must meet the statutory requirements set out in the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in Wales (SASW).


Our apprenticeship frameworks include:

Qualification Details
An occupational competency qualification This assesses the required skills to undertake the job. It is relevant to the chosen field or occupation.
A technical knowledge qualification  This assesses the required theory and knowledge for the job role. It is skill, trade or occupation specific.
Essential Skills Wales qualification

This includes: 

  • numeracy and communication
  • digital literacy skills if applicable to the sector or job roles

Please note that this may not be relevant to all frameworks.

Other qualifications or requirements As specified for the particular occupation.

Our apprenticeship qualifications are regulated by Qualifications Wales.         

Each qualification is:

The CQFW can help you understand and compare qualifications.

Apprenticeship qualifications also follow National Occupational Standards (NOS).

Framework funding values

Each of our published apprenticeship frameworks has a value. The cost is based on the amount of credits it takes to deliver and achieve the training. Values are subject to change due to the nature of our contracting arrangements.

Calculating the value of an apprenticeship allows you to:

  • see the value of your return on investment as an Apprenticeship Levy payer
  • provide you with a value of the training received through an apprenticeship

Framework development

Apprenticeship frameworks must meet the needs of the economy, industry or skills sector.

Development includes:

  • changes and reviews to existing frameworks or pathways
  • creation of a new apprenticeship route

A review or new development must consider and incorporate the following:

  • information published by the Regional Skills Partnership’s Plans
  • stakeholder and industry engagement
  • relevant qualification(s)
  • demand and need from employers
  • alignment to our apprenticeship policy

The framework development process consists of 4 stages:

  1. producing a project plan
  2. consulting with stakeholders (including employers and training providers) to produce an evidence report
  3. producing a draft framework to be quality assured
  4. producing a final framework to submit to the issuing authority

All frameworks are commissioned by the Welsh Government in consultation with the Wales Apprenticeship Advisory Board.

Use our framework revision form to request changes to an existing framework.

Apprenticeship framework issuing authority

We are the issuing authority for apprenticeship frameworks. This means that we quality check, approve and publish apprenticeship frameworks. 

The issuing authority provides a final quality measure to:

  • test compliance with Specification of Apprenticeship Standards Wales
  • confirm Welsh Apprenticeship Advisory Board recommendation is in place
  • publish the frameworks   

Welsh certifying authority

When an apprentice completes their chosen apprenticeship they will receive  a certificate. The certificate is issued by the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISS).

We pay the Federation for each certificate issued.