Framework Minimum Duration

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Cris Hale 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • jakewhite

    Hi all,

    I’ve seen there are quite a few posts regarding Apprenticeship Duration however I wondered if anyone can provide me with guidance on the duration rule.

    Funding rules state: “…apprenticeship training is one year unless the framework …requires it to be longer.”

    AFO Framework states a recommended duration of 18 months.

    We have an employer who would like to provide Apprenticeships but at a maximum duration of 12 months. Can apprentices be enrolled on a 12 month programme where the Apprenticeship has a recommended duration of 18 months?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



    Martin West

    Hi Jake,
    I would say no as the employer has to accept that the duration specified in the framework may apply before they can enter into an Apprenticeship agreement.



    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for getting back to me. Yes I agree with what you are saying and 18 months is what we have always agreed and enrolled apprentices on.

    The issue I have is this specific wording in the framework:

    “Minimum recommended duration of programme is 18 months”

    “The duration of the Apprenticeship is expected to reflect that set out by employers in the
    relevant Apprenticeship Framework document, but at the very least must meet the minimum
    duration requirement announced by NAS.”

    The employer believes that the above statements in the framework are a grey area and there is no exact wording stating that the apprenticeship is “required” to have an 18 month duration.

    Many thanks,




    we’ve had similar and think that if we go significantly below the recommended duration, it would be because the learners have significant prior learning. We would therefore have to reduce the cost of the apprenticeship to justify the shortened duration.


    Cris Hale

    Hi Jake,

    We have always delivered frameworks at a length of 12 months, including those which recommended more (Advanced Business Administration, and most likely Management) and neither Ofsted not the SFA have had any issue. I think the most important thing is that the hours are put in and the learning is of adequate quality.

    Hope that helps,




    if you check the funding rules the minimum for a Standard is 372 days, and 366 days before the apprentice can be put through the gateway – which only allows 7 days (including weekends) to arrange and get the apprentice through the End Point Assessment – so 12 months will not work


    Cris Hale

    Hi Andrew,

    That’s true, but the duration requirements for frameworks appear to be unchanged from before May.


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