About Finding an Employer
You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.
If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship while you continue to look. We can offer you advice on how to successfully secure an apprenticeship with an employer.
A Customer Service Practitioner plays an important role within a business organisation, delivering high quality products and services to their customers. Employers recognise the key role customer-facing staff play in determining the quality of the customer experience and increasing customer loyalty. As a Customer Service Apprentice, your exact duties will depend on your employer but may include: communicating effectively with customers face to face, in writing, digitally, or by telephone; resolving problems and improving customer relations; promoting products and services; keeping records, meet-and-greet; gathering customer feedback to measure customer satisfaction. This type of work requires strong communication, negotiation and flexibility skills. You may be the first point of contact for your organisation, and with your transferrable skills, work in any sector or organisation type.
Am I ready to start?
Entry criteria varies upon your employer, but a good level of secondary education is expected and that you have maths and English Grade 4 and above. If you don't have these we will work with you to achieve them. Employers also look for skills like motivation, good interpersonal skills, good communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to learn and will set their own specifications depending on the role.
How does an Apprenticeship Work?
As an apprentice you will be employed by your organisation and in conjunction with Harlow college, after an initial assessment, an assessment plan for the duration of your apprenticeship will be agreed. This will cover all of the skills, knowledge and behaviours you need to study throughout your Apprenticeship programme.
Evidence will be collected and uploaded to a digital platform, OneFile, and your progress will be monitored and reported on regularly. You will spend a minimum of 20% of your time carrying out off-the-job learning. Workplace visits will be carried out by your dedicated assessor to assess your competence whilst carrying out your job role.
To cover the requirements for the Standard, assessment will be evidenced through a variety of methods: observation, product, learner statement, case studies, witness testimony, professional discussion and projects along with attending classroom sessions.
You must demonstrate competence within your job role and complete all of your learning and development to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours required within the Standard. When competent you will take an End Point Assessment.
Before you can take your End Point Assessment you must have completed a Showcase of evidence from the workplace and have achieved Level 1 English and maths and have worked towards Level 2.
You will need to pass an End Point Assessment which consists of your Showcase, which will be independently marked, a practical observation and a professional discussion, which are conducted by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation.
What does the course involve?
Customer Service combined qualification
You must demonstrate competence within your job role to meet the aims and objectives of the business and criteria set out in the qualification standards, as well as the knowledge required to meet customer service principles. Delivery will be located at Harlow College, through distant learning and within your workplace. Unlike vocational qualifications the competence elements are designed to be assessed in the workplace. Some units will be achieved through written assignments and/or on-line multiple choice tests.
Functional Skills, English, Maths
These skills include English and Maths, which are essential for people in order to function effectively within a business environment. You will work towards level 2, where GCSE A-C or equivalents have not previously been achieved.
ERR (Employer Rights and Responsibilities)
This part of the framework is achieved through a dedicated unit or an on-line workbook and covers the nine national outcomes in relation to ERR. It covers the knowledge and understanding of employee statutory rights and responsibilities, which are covered by employment law, to include the Equality Act, Employment Rights Act and Health and Safety at Work Act. You must show your understanding of your employer's procedures and how to get further advice and information.
PLTS (Personal learning and thinking skills)
This is achieved as part of the main qualification through class sessions and evidence provided. PLTS covers six areas of independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self-management and effective participation.
How and when will I study?
Teaching will take place at Harlow College, through distant learning and within your workplace. You will spend at least 20% of your time learning off-the-job.
The duration of the course is dependent on prior attainment and can range from 12 months to 18 months. You will attend College for 1 day a week and you will be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.
The apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete before your take your End Point Assessment.
Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?
With support, guidance and opportunities in the workplace you can progress onto:
- The next level apprenticeship standard in Customer Service, the Customer Service Specialist, or other apprenticeships – particularly where customer service is an important part of the job such as Business Administration, Retail, Hospitality and Travel & Tourism
- Further education to undertake customer service, business related or other qualifications
- A Higher Apprenticeship including Leadership and Management
- After training, a career path could include customer relationship manager, customer service executive officer, customer service delivery co-ordinator, receptionist, customer service team leader, customer service supervisors/manager, senior customer service supervisor, marketing services manager
- You'll be paid at least the current apprenticeship minimum wage rate while training but many organisations pay more, especially as your progress.
Got a job?
You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.
If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.
Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.
An apprenticeship comprises two parts:
- Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
- 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.