This apprenticeship has been retired. Although this apprenticeship has been retired, the occupation remains on the Occupational Map for potential use as the basis of another technical education product.

This apprenticeship has been retired

Overview of the role

Leading on complex Electronic Systems projects from conception through the whole design-implement-operation life cycle to obsolescence.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the Electronic Systems sector.  Electronic Systems are found in all parts of the economy: consumer electronics, automotive, defence, healthcare/medicine, digital/media/communications, robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the manufacturing industries.   

The broad purpose of the occupation is technical engineering leadership of complex Electronic Systems projects from conception through the whole design-implement-operation life cycle to obsolescence.  They initiate and lead technical change, deliver innovative solutions, direct resources, manage teams and mentor junior colleagues in all areas related to Electronic System projects. 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders. Internally these would include members of inter-disciplinary project teams, engineers from other disciplines, general managers and the senior leadership of their organisation. Externally they would include customers, suppliers, academia, certification organisations, professional bodies, trade associations and regulatory authorities. Typically, they work in an office environment but they could also work in a manufacturing or test facility and at customer sites.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for making important engineering decisions relating to Electronics Systems, mitigating technical risk and controlling engineering resources.  The Electronic Systems Principal Engineer operates with considerable autonomy, as an acknowledged expert and will most likely have experience across all project lifecycle phases. They are fully accountable to senior executives, depending upon the size of the organisation, for schedule, budget and personnel management aspects of significant projects and for managing trade-offs between technical and other factors. They are responsible for ensuring complex technical solutions are robust, innovative and in line with customer expectations. They may hold formal delegated authority for engineering decisions within their organisation. They are concerned with the development of other engineering and technical staff involved with Electronic Systems.

Entry requirements

The Standard is designed for post-graduate engineers. Typically, the minimum academic entry qualification required will be a Bachelor's degree (BEng or BSc) at 2:2 Hons standard in Electronic Engineering or a closely related discipline, or equivalent. Employers will set their own entry requirements in terms of experience.

Occupation duties

Duty Criteria for measuring performance KSBs

Duty 1 Use scientific methodology to apply understanding and knowledge in order to deliver Electronic Systems projects that meet customer requirements

Quality of projects to time and cost constraints

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S3

B2 B3

Duty 2 Keep abreast of advances in technology, developments in the Electronics sector and new regulatory and compliance requirements

Solutions reflect technological advances and are compliant with regulations

K1 K3 K4 K5

S1 S3

B1 B3

Duty 3 Translate customer aims and objectives into requirements, clear specifications and Electronic Systems design solutions

Technical solutions meet specifications and are to customer satisfaction

K2 K5 K6

S1 S2 S3 S5


Duty 4 Undertake critical evaluation and creatively produce innovative engineering solutions for Electronic Systems

Quality of technical solutions to time and cost constraints

Solutions reflect technological advances and are compliant with regulations

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S3 S5

B1 B3 B6

Duty 5 Participate in technical “what if” scenario discussions and use systems thinking to make engineering decisions within own sphere of responsibility for Electronic Systems and delegated authority

Outcome of technical discussions produce effective solutions

K1 K2 K4

S1 S2 S5

B2 B4

Duty 6 Chair technical meetings including design reviews for Electronic Systems

Meetings and design reviews achieve objectives

K1 K2 K4

S1 S2 S5

B2 B4

Duty 7 Identify, analyse and understand technical risks in order to mitigate them and to ensure positive risk outcomes for all stakeholders

Risks are managed appropriately and in line with company policy

K4 K5 K6

S1 S3

B2 B6

Duty 8 Provide technical leadership and manage their team to ensure Electronic Systems work is undertaken safely, sustainably and ethically

Successful delivery of team objectives

K5 K6

S4 S5 S6 S7 S8

B2 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Plan tasks and manage resources effectively to ensure that engineering activities and Electronic Systems projects are completed efficiently and, as far as possible, within budget and schedule

Activities delivered in line with agreed time/cost/performance parameters

K3 K5

S4 S5 S7

B1 B4 B6

Duty 10 Actively contribute to a culture of best practice knowledge sharing and exploitation in order to develop longer-term capability and expertise within the Electronic Systems function and across the wider engineering discipline

Quality of and quantity of ideas and proposals for improvements

K1 K3 K5

S3 S6

B3 B4 B6

Duty 11 Act as a role model and undertake continuing professional development

Evidence of self-development though CPD and other learning activities

K4 K6

S6 S7 S9

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 12 Provide technical and behavioural guidance to mentor and develop less experienced engineering colleagues

Successful development of individual and team capability and performance

K1 K4 K5

S7 S8

B4 B5



K1: Advanced concepts in specialist areas of Electronic Engineering such as Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems, Microelectronics, Real Time Computing, Analogue Electronics, Nano Technologies, Control Systems, Photonic Technologies, Radio Frequency and Wireless Communications Back to Duty

K2: How to apply theoretic understanding to analyse complex problems in both existing and emerging Electronic technologies to deliver innovative engineering solutions Back to Duty

K3: State of the art techniques, tools and methodologies used in the design, realisation, verification and testing of Electronic Systems Back to Duty

K4: Regulatory and compliance frameworks, international standards, codes of practice and protocols relevant to Electronic Systems Back to Duty

K5: Wider socio-economic factors, organisational context and wider business environment. Back to Duty

K6: Legal and commercial aspects relating to Electronic Systems, for instance Intellectual Property and patents Back to Duty


S1: Evaluate complex technical information relating to Electronics to draw rational conclusions and to make informed engineering decisions Back to Duty

S2: Apply systems thinking and methodology to problem solving in Electronics Back to Duty

S3: Assess impact of external changes and technological developments in Electronics Back to Duty

S4: Organise and plan engineering projects and tasks within agreed constraints and quality standards Back to Duty

S5: Manage budgets and control technical resources Back to Duty

S6: Communicate effectively and professionally with all levels Back to Duty

S7: Develop and maintain effective working relationships and is able to interact and influence a range of internal and external stakeholders Back to Duty

S8: Lead teams and manage staff Back to Duty

S9: Apply effective time management techniques and be able to multi-task whilst meeting deadlines Back to Duty


B1: Self-motivated and is able to work independently Back to Duty

B2: Able to take responsibility for their actions, demonstrates resilience and acts with integrity Back to Duty

B3: Be a reflective engineering practitioner, who is committed to their own personal learning and professional development Back to Duty

B4: Works collaboratively; an enabler who willingly shares knowledge and experience Back to Duty

B5: Promotes diversity, inclusion and equality Back to Duty

B6: Complies with relevant Codes of Conduct and exercises responsibilities in a safe, sustainable and ethical manner Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Engineering Council and the IET for Chartered Engineer level

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Retired
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0681
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 13/12/2023
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £14000
LARS Code: 475
Employers involved in creating the standard: GE Aviation (Chair), ARM, Cadence, Dialog Semiconductors, EDA Solutions (SME), Embecosm (SME), IXYS, Leonardo, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce, Qualcomm.

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Retired 03/07/2019 13/12/2023 Not set

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit

Is this webpage useful?

Thank you for your feedback

Tell us about your experience