Apprentice Guidance

Apprentice 10-step plan – Your Pre-Entry Checklist

The following 10-step plan is designed to help you quickly access information on how to enter the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 before you register online:

    1. Check you are eligible to enter the Awards. Entries will only be accepted from employers and apprentices, based in England with SASE compliant Apprenticeships (Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England). Please read the Terms and Conditions of Entry 2014 for further information.
    2. Your entry will be judged using your employer’s address details. Your application will be allocated to the Regional stage judging panel based upon the postcode you provide on your application form. If you are selected as a Regional finalist you will be invited to attend an event being held in one of the 12 regional areas across England.Please make sure you enter the details of your normal place of work. This is the base where you mainly work from and may be different to the organisation’s Head Office.
    3. Choosing the category to enter. To enter you must either be currently undertaking the level of qualification applicable to your chosen category or have completed that level within the last 12 months, i.e. since 1 March 2013. If you completed more than 12 months ago and continue to proactively champion Apprenticeships today, you might consider applying for the City & Guilds Apprenticeship Champion of the Year. Stronger entrants have usually completed more than 50% of their current Apprenticeship and able to provide more evidence in their answers.
    4. Download the category guidance – The Apprentice category guidance and Apprenticeship Champion category guidance provide an overview of the main questions you will be asked in the online application, including advice on what the judges are looking for in your answers and what information must be included.
    5. Optional – listen to the presentation from a recent Information Workshop. If you missed the Information Workshop in your area please click on the link to view the Information Workshop Presentation.
    6. Notify your employer that you will be asking them to provide a reference. As part of the entry process your employer will be asked to provide an online reference – you need to ensure you allow them enough time to do this ahead of the closing date. The category guidance (mentioned in step 4) shows you the referee’s question and information on what they should consider including in their response.
    7. Use your word count wisely. Using the downloaded Category Guidance (mentioned in step 4) consider and then plan your responses to each of the questions with a specific word count. Applications now allow you to attach a supporting document to help evidence the claims made in your responses. Use a chart, table or graph to help demonstrate metrics such as statistics, quantifiable information and comparative data. Remember to provide a base line to show how your programme has progressed. The upload facility should not be utilised for items such as certificates, prospectus documents or training materials.
    8. Remember this is an opportunity to promote yourself. Judges are looking for exemplars who showcase the difference they have made to the organisation they work in. They will be using the following criteria to score your application:  Commitment: Demonstrates commitment to your personal development and progression.

Contribution:Shows outstanding contribution to your workplace – in particular, areas or projects where you have exceeded expectations.

Success:Demonstrates inspirational levels of achievement and attainment

Please try and provide the Judges with specific and tangible examples of your personal achievements, perhaps using brief case studies and including appropriate supporting information.

Remember that if you are awarded as a Regional winner, your application automatically passes through to the final and will be competing with the country’s elite to become a National Winner. After the regional announcement you will have one week to enhance your application before it goes through to the National Stage judging panel.


    1. Prepare in advance. When completing your entry please keep in mind the following key dates:
      • Friday 28 March 2014 at 5.00pm – closing date for all entries
      • Friday 30 May 2014 – status of application announced following assessment stage
      • Friday 27 June 2014 – Regional finalists announced
      • Early September 2014 – Regional winners announced
      • Monday 27 October 2014 – National Finalists announced
      • Thursday 13 November 2014 – National Winners announced


  1. Visit our Awards Q&As; if you have further queries prior to entering. Alternatively contact our Helpline on 0800 954 8896 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm) or email