Overview of the role

Using world class equipment and software to provide timed deliveries and collections to homes and businesses.

Express delivery operative

Reference Number: ST0103

Details of standard

Occupation: Express Delivery Operative, Level: 2, Programme duration: The apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete*.

Role: The dramatic growth of internet shopping and the use of portable ICT devices have transformed the occupations involved in express delivery services. Using world class equipment and software to provide timed deliveries and collections to homes and businesses; postal workers, couriers and express delivery drivers have a high level of individual responsibility for their working day and delivery route. They may be on foot using trolleys or required to use a vehicle such as a pedal cycle, motorbike, van or lorry. They are an ambassador for the industry, their brand and the goods they carry. They provide a high level of customer service which may include real time tracking of deliveries or the installation of electrical and other goods. They maintain excellent communication throughout the delivery chain from collection to delivery point and dealing correctly with failed deliveries and returns. All Apprentices are required to gain and maintain all of the knowledge set out in this Standard, irrespective of their current or initial job role and duties.













Technical Operations

Range of express delivery services offered to domestic and business customers; concept of ‘the last mile’, deliveries of all types of goods, care of perishable items, collections and returns across multiple brands, services, concept of reverse logistics

Learn and maintain UK geographic and local road network knowledge to plan and check routes. Road map reading, use of satellite navigation and postcodes to locate addresses

Brand presentation related to delivery transport, uniform and sender especially where multiple brands are carried

Operating policies and instructions relating to click and collect drop points, collections and returns. The principles of customer service and service delivery

Hardware and software used to plan and manage deliveries and collections including hand-held devices to verify and record deliveries and provide real time tracking

Numeracy required to calculate load weights, dimensions , pricing schedules, assessing the dimensions of internet- generated returns

Principles of commercial and common contract law as applied to express delivery businesses. Principles and laws relating to self-employment in express delivery services 

The Laws and Regulations applying to traffic, transport

operations, and to specific goods e.g. hazardous goods

How personal health and lifestyle impacts on ability to work safely and efficiently. The elements of an appropriate, balanced diet and the range of exercises and fitness regimes or techniques that will ensure and maintain fitness for work

Legal and safe procedures, including the manufacturers’ instructions for installing electrical and other goods when these are part of delivery services

Deliver goods to customer premises; load and unload goods in a safe way that ensures the safety and condition of the goods and correctly relates to the delivery schedule

Plan and track progress against a schedule, using equipment where required e.g. scheduling software, satellite navigation

Interpret delivery/ collection schedules; follow route instructions and company policies and instructions related to collections, deliveries, failed deliveries and returns 

Consistently meet customer expectations, respond to customer’s needs and identify ways to improve customer service 

Verify delivery or collection of goods. Use manual and ICT systems to confirm delivery and collection and to authorise or make payments for goods where required

Comply with the law and with contracts to provide express delivery, postal and courier services 

Work safely in accordance with employment law and traffic law. Where required, operate vehicles to DVSA standards to ensure safety of others and a green environmental impact, minimising fuel use, noise and congestion.

Operate equipment provided to move, collect and deliver goods and when required use any systems and ancillary equipment in compliance with company instructions

Comply with legal and regulatory requirements relating to express

delivery services and where required, with a contract from a client company

Uses diet, exercise and fitness techniques appropriate to job role

Where required to carry out basic installation of goods, use correct manual handling techniques and use correct tools and equipment in compliance with manufacturers installation instructions

Acts as a company ambassador 

Shows pride in work: integrity, aims for excellence, time management 

Engages positively with colleagues and clients 

Strives to improve service quality 

Is proactive in working with colleagues to resolve problems which might affect deliveries and collections 

Takes personal responsibility for the environmental impacts of express delivery, postal and courier services and strives to reduce those impacts 

Is mindful of the needs of pedestrians and other road users

Adopts a healthy lifestyle, eats an appropriate, balanced diet and takes regular exercise to ensure and enhance own health and fitness to work


The business models for express delivery services; employed and self- employed couriers, types of contract and payment processes used by companies

Where costs occur in the business process

Work in a way that minimises business costs while meeting customer requirements

Acts with integrity and honesty in all financial dealings, astute in work activities and acts credibly


Health and safety and specific security regulations related to goods carried and how these impact on duties

The principles of safe manual handling and the correct use of trollies and lifting equipment

The potential environmental and air pollution hazards associated with express delivery, postal and courier services in urban and rural environments

National legislation and own organisations policy with regard to safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults

Comply with rules and regulations relating to the movement and handling of items, handling goods correctly using lifting and other equipment where appropriate

Apply safeguarding policy whenever deliveries involve young persons or vulnerable adults

Maintain the health, safety and security of self, colleagues and customers during deliveries

Carry out appropriate daily equipment or vehicle checks and rectify or report faults

Shows concern about the safety of self, customers and the wider public

Follows      organisations      security      policies                    during deliveries

Follows safeguarding policies during deliveries to young persons or vulnerable adults

When riding or driving vehicles, adopts a defensive driving approach


Principles of initial risk assessment of load prior to commencing duties. Dynamic risk assessment during deliveries

Apply dynamic risk assessment principles to plan and respond to changing circumstances e.g. footpath closures, road diversions, incidents and accidents

Is calm under pressure and focused on solutions not problems



On completion of this Standard, express delivery service apprentices may progress to more senior duties. These may involve supervising, team leading, training or mentoring colleagues or to senior express delivery management roles through further apprenticeships or degree apprenticeships. They may also become self-employed courier drivers which may lead them to create and manage a business and employ others or may move into operational and management roles related to the manual or automated sortation of goods and packages.

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeships.


Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 English and Maths prior to taking the end point assessment.


This Apprenticeship is supported by the Institute of Couriers (IOC) and Apprentices will automatically be eligible for Associate Membership of this industry professional body as the programme will provide sufficient knowledge and sector experience to satisfy the requirements for IOC entry.


The Standard will be reviewed after 3 years

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 www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0103
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 31/05/2022
Approved for delivery: 17 August 2018
Route: Transport and logistics
Minimum duration to gateway : 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £4000
LARS Code: 338
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: APC, Bibby, CitySprint, Diamond Logistics, Delivered, DPD, DX, Fedex, GLH, Gnewt, Hermes, Point to Point, Rush, Swift Group, TNT, UK Mail, Yodel

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 17/08/2018 Not set Not set

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