Acorn answers the most frequently asked questions for apprentices Acorn answers the most frequently asked questions for apprentices

Please find below a list of questions often asked by our learners.  The answers will give you advice and information to help you understand more about Acorn and the training and development services we provide.

If you have any further questions, call our Customer Service Centre on 01633 674 555 or contact us here >

  • What is Acorn Learning & Development?

    Acorn Learning & Development is one of Wales' fastest growing Training Providers, delivering Apprenticeships across Wales and Management Development programmes across England and Wales with both national clients and SMEs.
  • What can Acorn do for me?

    If you are looking for a skill-based career or just want to know what options are available for you then we can give you advice on Apprenticeships in your area. We currently support young people in the retail, hospitality and catering, administration and customer service sectors. If you are employed / unemployed we can support you with work-based learning towards a nationally recognised qualification.
  • What is an NVQ / Credit qualification?

    An NVQ / Credit qualifications (national vocational qualification) is a competence-based qualification comprising of a number of units. For example, NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration is made up of sixteen units, all of which are mandatory to achieve a full qualification. It is possible however, to achieve units towards a full qualification if a candidate wished to be trained and qualified for specific units. In this case, the certificate would list the units in which the candidate had been successful. NVQs / Credit qualifications can help you prepare for work or help your career development. Getting an NVQ / Credit qualification shows you can do a job to national standards and have the up-to-date skills employers are looking for. You don't have to sit through hours, days, weeks or even years of a course, and there are no exams at the end. NVQs / Credit qualifications are about putting learning into practice. Another benefit is that NVQs / Credit qualifications are flexible - you can do an NVQ / Credit qualification as part of your normal job through open learning and private study.

    There are five levels that range from competent performance at a very basic skill to competent performance at a senior management level. The levels are as follows:

    Level 1 - a candidate would be competent in a range of work activities, which are routine; the candidate would require supervision.

    Level 2 - a candidate would be competent in a significant range of work activities some of which are not predictable or routine. A degree of autonomy is given; the candidate would not require super vision.

    Level 3 - a candidate would be competent in quite a broad range of activities, which would cover a variety of contexts. The work would be complex; the candidate would be supervising other staff.

    Level 4 - a candidate would be competent in a broad range of work activities, which are technical and require significant responsibility; the candidate would be managing other staff.

    Level 5 - a candidate would be competent in a significant range of complex techniques across a wide range of unpredictable contexts; the candidate would be managing or co-managing an organisation.

    There are no limits to the number of NVQs you can do, but they will depend on where you are working.

    You don't need any formal qualifications to follow an NVQ / Credit qualification programme and there is no set time. It will depend on how much time you can allocate to the work. As a rough guide the normal time to complete the NVQ / Credit qualification would be about 9 to 12 months.

  • What if I already have a job?

    If you are already employed, the funding body in your area may support you to achieve a work-based qualification. Contact us to find out what support you can expect.
  • What is on an apprenticeship framework?

    The Apprenticeship programmes are based on national standards. To achieve an apprenticeship qualification learners will need to complete an NVQ Essential Skills, Knowledge Certificates and Employment Rights and Responsibilities.
  • How will my learning programme be delivered?

    All learning will take place in the working environment. You will be visited monthly by your allocated advisor who will support you on a one-to-one basis. You will also receive on-the-job support from the placement for the specific underpinning knowledge
  • How is the programme / course set up?

    You work towards your NVQ / Credit qualification by achieving separate units as you do your job. Each unit counts toward your NVQ and because there is no time limit you can build up your NVQ / Credit qualification over a period of time. The training takes place in the workplace, as you learn 'on the job', and our advisors will visit you at least monthly to support you through the programme.
  • How long is the programme / course?

    There is no set time. It will depend on how much time you can allocate to the work. As a rough guide the normal time to complete the NVQ / Credit qualification would be about 9 to 12 months.
  • How will it affect my career / job prospects?

    Getting an NVQ / Credit qualification qualification will improve your career/job prospects as it shows you can do a job to national standards and have the up-to-date skills employers are looking for. Experience in a work-based role will always be taken into account by potential employers.
  • How will I be assessed?

    Learners are required to show they are competent in all the performance criteria, across a range of variables and that they have acquired the underpinning knowledge in the work place. You will build a portfolio of evidence and be assessed (observed) carrying out your day-to-day duties against the standards set.