Off the Job Training

Steps to help you determine whether an activity counts as off-the-job training:

Key Facts:


Off-the-job training must make up at least 20% of the apprentice's contracted hours, over the total duration of the apprentice's planned training period.


Off-the-job training can be delivered in the apprentice's normal workplace or at an external location.


Progress reviews and on-programme assessments do not count towards 20% off-the-job training, as they do not deliver new knowledge, skills and behaviours.


If need, English and Maths training must be on top of the 20% off-the-job training requirement.

Myth vs Fact

"My apprentice will spend a lot of time away from the workplace."

  • Apprenticeships are about upskilling an individual. Reaching occupation competency takes time. Many employers and apprentices have praised the positive effect off-the-job training has on their productivity and apprentices feel valued by the significant investment in their training.

  • Off-the-job training must be away from the apprentice's normal working duties and must teach them new knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to their specific apprenticeship.

  • It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as a part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five or as a block release.

  • You may already have existing training programmes or materials you can use to deliver elements of the apprentice's off-the-job training.

"Off-the-job training must be delivered by a provider in a classroom, at an external location."

  • This is not true. Off-the-job training can be delivered in a flexible way. This can be at the apprentice's usual place of work, or at an external location. It can include for example, the teaching of theory, practical training and writing assignments.

  • Providers have developed a range of delivery styles to suit employer and apprentice needs. Employers should work with them to decide when and where off-the-job training should take place and who is best placed to deliver it.

"I need to document all of the apprentice's off-the-job training."

  • A commitment statement must be in place from the beginning of the apprenticeship, setting out the training content an apprentice will receive and which elements count towards the off-the-job training. The apprentice's evidence pack needs to demonstrate what training has been delivered against the commitment statement.

"English and maths counts towards the 20% requirements for off-the-job training."

  • This is not true: English and Maths does not count towards 20% off-the-job training.

  • Apprenticeships are about developing occupation competency and they are designed on the basis that the apprentice already has the required Level 2 of English and Maths. Training for English and Maths must be on top of the 20% off-the-job training requirements.

"Off-the-job training can be done in the apprentice's own time."

  • An apprentice is a work-based programme so all off-the-job training must take place within the apprentice's paid contracted hours. If planned off-the-job training is unable to take place, it must be rearranged. Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside paid hours, but this must not be required to complete the apprenticeship.

Brought to you by National Apprenticeship Service

You can find further details about off-the-job training including best practice examples in the apprenticeship funding rules and the apprenticeships off-the-job training guidance on the GOV.UK