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Apprenticeships FAQs

Maths and English Functional Skills

1. Why am I being asked to do Functional Skills?

Great question! For you to enrol onto an apprenticeship, the Government requires all learners to complete Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths. There are exemptions however, so read on for more information.

2. What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills are a way for learners to demonstrate real-life, everyday usage of English and Maths through an approximately 1-hour test.

It is a very straightforward, supported and short part of your apprenticeship that has a flexible assessment date but must be completed prior to going through Gateway to your End Point Assessment. We recommend completing your Functional Skills in the first three to six months of your apprenticeship, so you already have these certificates ready as part of your portfolio of evidence.

We automatically enrol all our learners onto Functional Skills training if we don’t have exemptions evidence on file for you. If you do have education evidence, please provide that to us as soon as possible.

3. Can I be exempt?

Yes - we follow ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) guidelines regarding Functional Skills exemptions. Common documents used for exemption are: 
- UK English or Maths

4. I have higher education but it’s not in Maths or English – can this exempt me?

If you have these, please get in touch and we can assist with individual cases. Examples include a Physics degree for Maths exemption.

5. My education certificates are from outside the UK. Can I use them for exemption?

You can, but first you’d need to apply to NARIC which has a cost associated with it that you’d be responsible for. Check the NARIC FAQs below for more info.

6. Are Functional Skills the same as Initial Assessments?

No, Functional Skills and Initial Assessments are entirely separate tests. Though they cover similar content, the purpose of these assessments differs significantly so please complete both as required.

NARIC / Qualifications from abroad

1. My education certificates are from outside the UK. Can I use them for exemption?

ESFA currently does not accept many documents achieved outside of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales) as evidence of exemption from Functional Skills.

You can use this ESFA document to see if you can qualify for an exemption. Please get in touch if you’re still not sure.

You can also apply to NARIC to have your certificates recognised by the ESFA as acceptable evidence of exemptions.

2. I want to apply for NARIC – do I inform you? 

Please show us the certificate you are using before you apply for NARIC. This is to check we can accept your document once NARIC have recognised it. We would need to keep a copy of your  documents as well as the NARIC certificate on file.

3. NARIC charges me a fee, can I claim that money back?

Arch does not compensate learners who choose to use NARIC and you would need to selffund.

Initial Assessments

1. How do I log in/what’s my centre number?

Use the email your received from passport@hoddereducation.co.uk to create an account. Your username is your email address and you will be prompted to create a password when you log in. You do not need a centre number at any point to log in.

2. I can’t find my registration email from Hodder education – what do I do?

Have you checked your spam/junk folder? Or could this email have been blocked by your IT settings? If not, please drop us an email at enrolments@archapprentices.co.uk and we can send a new registration email out to you.

3. What assessments do I need to complete?

Please complete L1 and L2 in English and Maths. There is no time limit to this task, so please take your time to consider each question carefully before hitting submit.

4. Why is this part of my apprenticeship?

To enrol onto any programme, the Government requires a learner to have undergone an Initial Assessments in English and Maths. The aim of this is to measure what level you are currently working at and ensure your apprenticeship programme is the correct level for you.

5. Are Initial Assessments the same as Functional Skills?

No, Functional Skills and Initial Assessments are entirely separate tests. Though they cover similar content, the purpose of these assessments differs significantly so please complete both as required.

6. What are the Diagnostic Tests?

Depending on your score, you will be prompted to take a diagnostic test. These tests will help your Learning & Development Coach (LDC) gain a clear picture of what areas you may need additional support in and will be able to generate some study materials on the platform for you.

7. What do the deadlines on the Dynamic Learning page mean?

Please ignore all deadlines given on the Dynamic Learning page as these are not our deadlines. We are currently working to remove these from the page to avoid any confusion.

8. Is there some way to practice before taking the initial assessment?

No, however there’s no time limit on the assessment so please take as much time as you need to work through each question.

Enrollment Form

1. What is this document?

The enrolment form enables us to make sure you are eligible, and that this apprenticeship is right for you. This will help us understand your current level of knowledge, skills and behaviours in relation to the programme you’ve applied for. This can also highlight any areas where you may want some extra support, so please be as detailed as possible.

2. I can’t find the email with the link to the document – how do I access this?

You should have received an email titled ‘Confirm your apprenticeship eligibility’. In this email, you will find a link and login details to access the document. If you still can’t find this email, please reach out to us.

3. How long do I have to complete the document? 

Please complete in no more than three working days. If you have been asked to complete this sooner than 3 days, feel free to get in touch to find out why.

Apprenticeship Agreement and Commitment Statement

1. What is this document?

The first document (Apprenticeship Agreement) in the Adobe file will be your Apprenticeship Agreement, which is your agreement with your employer. We are required to retain a copy of this as the training provider, but we are not required to sign it. 

This second document (Commitment Statement) document details the Employer, Apprentice, and Training Provider responsibilities and commitment towards the successful completion of the chosen Apprenticeship. These must be completed and signed prior to starting on your learning journey.

2. I can’t find the email with the link to the document – how do I access this? 

No worries. The document is first sent out to your named line manager - only once they have signed it will it come through to you and the document is automatically sent from this email address: echosign@echosign.com

3. How do I fill an Adobe Sign document?

Here is a quick video of a Commitment Statement being signed on Adobe.

Or read how here:
Once the document is open you will see a yellow prompt balloon at the left side of the current field you are filling in. Each time you complete a field, please click this balloon and it will take you through the document.

The final part of the document is the ‘Click to Sign’ (this pops up at the bottom of the page). This only appears once all fields are actioned and a signature has been added. After you click you will be re-directed to a new page that confirms the document is complete.

4. Some of my details have changed – what do I do?

Please let us know as soon as possible and we can update your records. We will then send out an updated version of the document.

5. What’s the deadline?

Great question, it’s very important to get this document back to us before your welcome webinar date, so the sooner the better! Our team can then start processing your details - which means quicker access to apprenticeship benefits such as discount cards.

Welcome Webinar

Joining us for the welcome webinar is your first opportunity to meet with course mates, ask questions and to get an in-depth view of the course. Please make sure you can attend the full session and let us know as soon as possible if there’s an unavoidable reason you can’t be there.

You will receive an email with the subject ‘Your Apprenticeship Welcome Webinar!’ which has:

• A link to the webinar
• Date & time of the webinar
On the day you have your welcome webinar, you will also need to complete your Welcome Activities to formally begin your apprenticeship. You can find these on your ePortfolio located on the VLC (Virtual Learning Campus). Find more details in the section below!

VLC (Virtual Learning Campus)

The VLC is where you'll find vital information about your apprenticeship and where you will complete the necessary tasks to officially start your apprenticeship.

This is also where you will record and evidence your progress and learnings throughout your apprenticeship, as well as interact with your fellow course mates.

What do I need to do on the day of my Welcome Webinar (induction day)?

Just log in and complete these 2 sections:
• Getting Started
• Take the First Step

What’s the deadline on my induction day activities?

These tasks are how we officially record the start of your apprenticeship with the ESFA, so it’s really important to do these on the day of your Welcome Webinar.

If you don’t finish these, this could lead to a delay in starting your apprenticeship and current documents would become invalid. If you are having any issues, please get in touch and we can help.

My email has changed/line manager has changed – what should I do?

Drop us an email and we can update this for you.

End of onboarding process - what's next?

Congratulations on completing your apprenticeship onboarding! You’ll now be working with your LDC (Learning and Development Coach) and fellow apprentices to complete your course. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Here’s what coming next:

• LDC (Learning & Development Coach) will be in touch in the next 2-4 weeks to setup your first visit
• A personalised study calendar will be provided in the next 2-4 weeks (not relevant for all courses, your LDC will let you know if you should have this)
• A course map is available on the ‘Getting Started’ module on your VLC (not relevant for all courses, your LDC will let you know if you should have this)
• You’ll be able to register for a discount card

LDC (Learning & Development Coach)

Who is my LDC & what is their role?

2-4 weeks after your start date (day of your webinar & written on your Commitment Statement) your LDC will introduce themselves via email and setup a time for your first visit.

Your LDC is your guide through your entire apprenticeship programme journey, from now all the way up to and through your End Point Assessment.  

Discount card info

As part of the apprenticeship community, you’re eligible for some discounts! Whichever discount card you decide to get, you may be asked for:

UK PRN (Provider Reference Number) – 10046797
Your ULN (we can provide this if you don’t have it)

Some of the available discounts:
Tfl Discount Card
Apprentice Xtra