Why you should log your 20% off-the-job hours

Have you ever considered why it is essential for you to log your 20% off-the-job training as an apprentice? 

Maybe you think it isn’t important and it is just another task that you have to find time to complete? This is a rhetorical question since you will have to find time to do it anyway.

How great is it to be able to reflect on the new skills you are learning whilst you log your off-the-job hours? This time has been given to you by your employer to learn new skills and behaviours associated with your job role. Why run the risk of failing your course because you haven’t taken the time to log all of the hours of hard work you have put into your training and list the new incredible skills you have developed?

This time taken away from your day job is designed to set you up for success in achieving gateway and your final end-point assessment. You don’t have to be physically away from work; the hours only need to be separate from your everyday role. Being meticulous about logging these hours is essential for you to achieve your apprenticeship and, therefore, your goal of becoming qualified.

It is good practice to complete a training log to remember all of the valuable things you learn on your apprenticeship journey. 

This can then be reviewed by your tutor to establish whether you have any gaps in your knowledge and skills so that they can work with you to address any shortfalls. Your tutor should have shared with you the types of activities that count towards your 20% off-the-job hours. A few of these can include:

  • Researching and writing assignments
  • Revising for your end of point assessment (EPA)
  • Attending online training sessions

You could also develop a reflective log that gives you some private time to write down your thoughts about your new knowledge and skills and work out how you will put these into practice. You may want to share some of the skills you are developing with other people in your team.

As part of your training log, try breaking the overall number of hours needed into a monthly target so that you can add these up as you go along. This way, you will be able to see if you are achieving your target. Remember, 20% off-the-job is the minimum you will need to achieve overall success at the EPA and using a log to track your progress is an excellent discipline to adopt.

You have an excellent opportunity to study for your apprenticeship. 

Your employer has invested time and money to enable you to progress your career. They have even given you time off to study! By logging the hours you are taking to learn, you can track your progress and work towards your EPA, knowing that you have everything covered to show that you are occupationally competent in your chosen career. 

Take the time to make your apprenticeship work for you, record the steps you have taken along the way to success and take pride in the new knowledge and skills you are gaining.


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Great news, our new website is live!

After weeks of research, planning and many hours of hard work, we are proud to announce the launch of our new website.

Our goal is to provide visitors with an easier way to learn about our unique suite of innovative and ambitious National Training Programmes, funded by the Levy for Teachers and Quality Professionals in Further Education and Skills.


Our current and prospective clients can find helpful information about our programmes on the homepage of our new website. We have also included further information for employers, a webpage to provide clarity on apprenticeship funding and how this applies to your organisation and a link to the blog section on our homepage, so that you can keep up with the latest Teaching Matters news.

Our Pledge

We endeavour in the pursuit of developing the highest standard of Teachers, Leaders and Quality Professionals in the Further Education and Skills sector. Our Teaching Matters Coaches, Lecturers and Support Team work around the clock to deliver programmes that develop Trainee Teachers and Quality Professionals to be more employer-focused and inform their working practices. Our Quality Practitioner Level 4 Apprenticeship is a personal highlight of our programme offering to develop individuals skills as a quality professional through training with a national network of quality experts. Throughout the apprenticeship, individuals will develop a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours and learn:

  • How to contribute to the formulation of the quality strategy
  • The management of learner and employer satisfaction activities
  • Deployment of quality policies and governance
  • How to guide teams to improve quality, competence and performance
  • To plan and conduct audits and other assurance activities
  • How to develop quality control plans for outstanding practice
  • To guide the use of methods and tools to improve quality performance
  • To solve problems such as non-conformance and overcoming challenges
  • Practical application of quality risk management and mitigation

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We have included an integrated social media button to our Teaching Matters LinkedIn profile to foster improved communication with our clients. We will constantly update our website content with helpful information, blogs, opinion pieces, testimonials and much more.

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We hope you find the new website fresh and modern; we worked hard to make sure it contains valuable information to assist you with your enquiries and needs. If you have any questions on any of our programmes, contact us via the enquiry form linked below or call 01454 617 707.

Rethinking Teacher Training in Further Education

As colleges and training providers face the challenges of responding to a post-Covid-19 world and the development and delivery of the skills that are going to achieve the ambitions of the Build Back Better agenda, it has never been more critical to invest in the skills and training of teachers and trainers in further education (FE). Teaching staff need the skills, confidence, and commitment to advance learners’ skills, aspirations, careers, and high quality, expertly informed teacher training is crucial to this.

The recently published Skills White Paper makes a compelling case for supporting outstanding teaching and ensures that initial teacher education in FE is driven by quality, attractive and accessible training routes. Therefore, colleagues new to teaching in FE and serving teachers needing to upskill need to have access to contemporary programmes of teacher training that build the knowledge, skills and behaviours that ensure outstanding classroom practice.

Therefore, here at FE Associates (FEA), we launched the first national Level 5 Learning and Skills Teacher Apprenticeship Standard, bringing teachers from across the sector to learn and develop collaboratively and confidently. Through our new  Teaching Matters division, this new innovative approach to teacher development in further education focuses on building the skills of dual professionals through the expertise of leading teaching and learning experts such as Deborah McVey and Annie Pendry, who work with trainees to hone their teaching skills through the development of a national community of teaching practice.

In addition, individualised coaching support provided by leading practitioners, many of whom with current inspection experience, ensures trainees are supported by those at the forefront of quality assurance and improvement.

Many levy paying sector employers are not fully utilising their apprenticeship levy, so this is a golden opportunity for colleges and training providers to build their talent pipeline, drive excellence, and utilise their levy.

The development of FEA’s Teaching Matters division and the introduction of the nationally offered Level 5 Apprenticeship Standard for trainee teachers in FE is the brainchild of FEA Commercial Director Dave Sykes, who commented: “All of us at FEA are passionate about driving the quality of teaching and learning across the sector. We have a well-established track record in training and development and Teaching Matters, and apprenticeship delivery was very much a natural progression for us at FEA.”

Donna Clifford, Programme Director, considers the Teaching Matters Level 5 Apprenticeship Standard unique. It identifies the opportunities trainees have to learn from true experts alongside teachers from across the sector and the chance to gain a view informed by a wide range of practice.

Since launching Teaching Matters and securing a place on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, the Teaching Matters offer has been extended to include a sector-specific Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard for Quality Practitioners and a broader range of teacher development programmes.


If you have any questions about Teaching Matters programmes, contact us via the enquiry form linked below or call 01454 617 707.


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