This apprenticeship has been retired

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Overview of the role

Producing tailored clothes that are cut and made to a unique pattern for an individual.

Bespoke tailor and cutter

Reference Number: ST0055

Details of standard


Bespoke tailor and cutter                       

Higher Apprenticeship: Level 5

Bespoke tailors and cutters produce tailored garments that are cut and made to a unique pattern for an individual. Many of the skills are carried out by hand in order to produce a garment that fits precisely to a customer’s requirements. Bespoke tailoring forms the heart of the British menswear and womenswear industry and has an international and iconic reputation.

Bespoke tailors and cutters have practical skills in bespoke garment manufacture and pattern construction. This Apprenticeship Standard is comprised of mandatory core skills and knowledge with a choice of specialising in either tailoring or cutting as a career path.

The skills involved in bespoke tailoring cover a wide area of expertise that includes craft, technical, creative and design. These skills are fundamental to the bespoke tailoring industry and ultimately have to be employed with great precision, to high standards of excellence and within realistic time constraints.

Job titles: Bespoke tailor and bespoke cutter

Green job titles: Sustainable bespoke tailor and Sustainable bespoke cutter




A bespoke tailor or cutter will be able to:


A bespoke tailor or cutter will know and understand

Skills & work practices

  • Follow clear instructions from relevant colleagues precisely.
  • Follow and maintain work procedures.
  • Select, use and store equipment and materials for example correct storage of patterns, purchasing materials and stock control.
  • Identify and minimise hazards and risks in the workplace through safe working practice.
  • Make the most efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials.
  • Develop good communication skills with all staff in the company.
  • How to interpret instructions based on a customer’s requirements.
  • Effective use of equipment and safe working methods.
  • Bespoke terminology and its use in the workplace.
  • The need for standards of workmanship to be achieved.
  • Prepare materials and trimmings.
  • Be able to identify the origins of specific branded cloths used in the bespoke tailoring industry and use appropriately.
  • Recognise faults in cloth and trimming.
  • The characteristics of a variety of fabrics and their suitable application to construction.
  • How heritage supports textile brands in the bespoke industry.
  • How traditional manufactured cloth processes meet British and European standards and are fit for purpose.
Cultural heritage
  • Explore the history and heritage of Savile Row styling of bespoke garments in order to advise customers.
  • The heritage and culture of bespoke and its relevance and influence on today’s luxury market.




A bespoke tailor will be able to:


A bespoke tailor will know and understand

Garment Construction

  • Develop a good working relationship with the cutter in order to receive the cut and trimmed garment bundle.
  • Be able to canvas a coat by hand and prepare garment for the first fitting baste.
  • Disassemble a garment and amend construction as per cutters instructions
  • Prepare garment for second customer  fitting having completed all alterations as instructed by the cutter.
  • How to make bespoke coats (jackets) trousers, waistcoats and skirts.
  • The fitting and reassembling instructions in order to support the company’s workflow procedures.
  • How to baste these garments through the adjustments process to final finishing, pressing and completion
  • How to maintain a flow of production ensuring quality standards that meet the customer specifications.
Finishing & pressing
  • Complete the final alterations
  • Hand make the buttonholes.
  • Hand finish the garment inside and out.
  • Press and prepare the garment for the final customer fitting
  • Number and log each garment.
  • The need for high standards of workmanship to be achieved.
  • The balance between maintaining the quality of finish and the time and cost to the company.




A bespoke cutter will be able to:


A bespoke cutter will know and understand

Work practices
  • Prepare materials and trimmings for the garment.
  • Have overall responsibility for the outcome of the finished garment.
  • Organise purchasing of materials and stock control.
  • Cloth characteristics and their behaviour.
  • The importance of developing a good working relationship with the tailor.
  • The importance of timely workflow to the company.
  • The principles of garment construction for a range of garments such as jackets, trousers, waistcoats and overcoats.

Identifying and responding to customer requirements

  • Liaise with the customer to ascertain their individual requirements.
  • Measure the customer and analyse any figure variations that need to be addressed.
  • Carry out a number of appropriate fittings.
  • How to measure an individual customer in order to create their pattern.
  • How different figure variations should be corrected.
  • The need for customer satisfaction with a luxury garment.

    Preparation of

    component garment parts

Preparation of component garment parts

  • Construct patterns.
  • Lay out patterns, mark in cloth.
  • Cut cloth and prepare bundle ready to give to the tailor.
  • How to produce economical lays to company standards.
  • The importance of correct ticketing and instructions.

Communication skills

  • Carry out effective bespoke selling and after care.
  • Discuss and advise on style of garment and cloth selection for specific use.
  • Work as part of a team within a company.
  • Diplomacy and effective communication skills.
  • The role of the cutter the interface between the customer and the tailor.
  • A range of styles and fashion trends and suitability of style to individual customers.


Bespoke tailors and cutters will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Adherence to appropriate Health & Safety procedures within the workplace.
  • A commitment to maintaining high standards of precision and excellence as appropriate to the craft.
  • A focus on the requirements of the customer.
  • An ability to work effectively both individually and as part of a team.
  • A strong work ethic and commitment in order to meet the standards required.
  • A recognition and appreciation of equality and diversity in the workplace.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements but typically candidates will be proficient in complex stitching and making processes. Apprentices will need to achieve Level 2 English and Maths.


Typically 2 years. The timescale may reduce if an apprentice can demonstrate sufficient practical skills on entry. This standard will be reviewed in 3 years.

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Status: Retired
Level: 5
Reference: ST0055
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 18/10/2023
Approved for delivery: 3 February 2016
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway : 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £15000
Options: Cutter, Tailor
LARS Code: 72
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Henry Poole, Anderson & Sheppard, Dege and Skinner, Gieves and Hawkes, Chittleborough and Morgan, Norton and sons, Welsh and Jeffries, Richard Anderson, Meyer and Mortimer, Kathryn Sargent, Davies & Son, Lutwyche

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Occupational standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band revised. 18/10/2023 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery. The funding band for this standard has been reviewed and remains at £15,000. (2018-10-03) 03/02/2016 17/10/2023 Not set

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