Becoming an apprentice

Apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers. Find out more about this affordable route into training.

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Apprenticeships offer structured training with an employer and lead to nationally recognised, NMC-approved qualifications.

How does an apprenticeship work?

Apprentices are released by their employer to study an NMC approved nursing, midwifery or nursing associate programme, at an education institution, and to train in a range of practice placement settings.

All students on apprenticeships will need to complete an NMC-approved programme and achieve our education standards. Whilst on the apprenticeship, they will continue to be paid by their employer.

Where to find an apprenticeship scheme

If you already work in a health or care setting, you may wish to talk to your employer about any opportunities that might be available.

Other places to look include NHS organisations, which advertise current vacancies. Search NHS Jobs  and Find an apprenticeship.

The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers also lists of training providers are offering each apprenticeship standard. 

Or you could contact your local training provider.

How to apply for a place on an apprenticeship scheme

You will need to have met the minimum requirements for entry onto the apprenticeship programme.

The requirements are set by individual employers and their education providers, so you should check what those are for any apprenticeship vacancy you wish to apply to.

Once you secure a position as an apprentice,  your employer will release you to study part-time at a university or education institution approved to deliver the relevant nursing, midwifery or nursing associate apprenticeship programme.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to you. The cost of the apprenticeship will be paid by your employer, who draws on their apprenticeship levy

Also bear in mind that if you already have prior experience and learning, you may get some recognition of this through Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. 

This is a process run by some education institutions, at their discretion, and means the apprenticeship could take less time to complete. Contact them directly to find out more and discuss your options.

Completing your apprenticeship

All apprentices need to take an independent assessment at the end of their training, which makes sure they have achieved the required skills.

This is known as an end point assessment (EPA).

The EPA is separate to any qualifications or other assessment that you may undertake during your qualification.

Your employer will put you forward for an EPA once they’re confident that you’re ready.

As the EPA is separate to the qualification, we do not require students to have completed their EPA to register, only their qualification.

Related guidance

Find out how we quality assure apprenticeships

If you're thinking of applying to deliver an apprenticeship route, there are a number of different issues to consider beforehand:

Your programme must meet the requirements set out by the Institute for Apprenticeships Institute for Apprenticeships.

You need to be on the register of apprenticeship training providers Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

Show evidence of commitment from an employment partner that you intend to work with. Ensure that you are approved to deliver an NMC approved programme, as outlined in our Quality Assurance framework Quality Assurance Framework (2018).

If you are already an NMC approved education institution and wish to deliver an apprenticeship route for a programme that is not NMC approved, you will need to submit a programme approval request through our QA delivery partner.

Please read our detailed guidance on how we quality assure apprenticeships


If you're thinking of employing apprentices to train as nurses, midwives or nursing associates, you'll need to liaise with an education institution that already delivers NMC approved programmes or intends to do so.

What happens next?

The education institution will need to provide us with a rationale as outlined within the  Quality Assurance Framework (2018) and QA Handbook (2018), and once we've reviewed it, we'll refer it to our QA delivery partner to arrange the next steps.

It's important that you, the employer, (what we also call practice learning partner) and the education institution, decide when you're ready to seek NMC approval.

Our QA delivery partner will respond to requests from education institutions to indicate when they would like their approval event to take place. Many education institutions have decided to defer their approval events until after April 2019, when the new Nursing Degree Apprenticeship and Nursing Associate standards should be published.

Cost to employers

The cost of the apprenticeship is borne by an employer with the help offunding levieswhich are used to support students’ education and training.

Related resources

Read our detailed guidance on how we quality assure nursing degree apprenticeships.

Check out the Institute for Apprenticeships guide toRunning apprenticeships.