Apprenticeship Off The Job Training Explained

The definition of ‘off-the-job training’ is set out in the eSFA apprenticeship funding rules and is reproduced below:-

“Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an English apprenticeship. It is training which is received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship referenced in the apprenticeship agreement. By normal working hours we mean paid hours excluding overtime.

“It is not on-the-job training which is training received by the apprentice for the sole purpose of enabling the apprentice to perform the work for which they have been employed. By this we mean training that does not specifically link to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship.”


The apprenticeship funding rules state that off-the-job training can include the following:

Is the person signed up for the apprenticeship programme?

  • The teaching of theory (for example lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training)
  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and participation in competitions
  • Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.

“If it is unclear whether an activity is off-the-job training is there an easy way to check?”

Yes, there are four key tests:

  • Is the person signed up to the apprenticeship programme?
  • Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship?
  • Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours? 
  • Is the learning taking place in the apprentice’s normal working hours? 

If the answer to all four questions is ‘yes’ then the activity can be regarded as off-the-job training.

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