This revised version of this apprenticeship has been agreed and is available for information. It will be approved for delivery and replace the current version for new starts from 1 June 2024.

Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST0349
  3. Version: 1.2
  4. Level: 2
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 18 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 3 months
  7. Maximum funding: £13000
  8. Route: Engineering and manufacturing
  9. Date updated: 30/05/2024
  10. Approved for delivery: 27 April 2016
  11. Lars code: 94
  12. EQA provider: Ofqual
  13. Review:

    This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years.

Print apprenticeship summary

Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

Welding of metals in two welding positions, using at least 1 arc welding process, passing surface inspection.

Occupation summary

Welders join metals in a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, construction, defence, mining, marine and structural engineering. Welding contributes to the UK economy through the creation and repair of engineered goods and assets. Welders may be employed in any size of business from small companies to large multi-nationals. They work in a range of settings including fabrication shops, assembly yards, construction and building sites, factories and operational facilities requiring maintenance and upgrade. They can be employed by supply chain companies, the direct owner, or operators.

Welders are responsible for the production of welds using manual and mechanised arc welding processes to sector standards. They will weld using a minimum of two weld process and material combinations, with at least one process being manual welding.

Manual processes can include: manual tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW). Mechanised processes can include: submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor-mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW). 

Material groups include: carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steel, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys. Given their close similarity when welding, for the purpose of this standard, MIG and MAG welding will be deemed to be the same process.

The role requires production of welds in components covering two welding positions, in at least two joint layouts. These can be from butt (including seams), T-butt, fillet (including outside corners), buttering or cladding. Each welding process requires different welding equipment, assemblies, controls, skills and techniques, and represents a separate production process.

Welders work with people from other teams and functions, such as plate fabricators, steel erectors, steel workers, riggers, stores operatives, supervisors, inspectors, testing and quality control technicians. Their work may be checked to ensure continued quality of welding: this includes visual inspection and dimensional checks. It may also include non-destructive and destructive testing. They must ensure that the process and products meet quality standards and are produced to schedule. They must comply with health and safety regulations and procedures, including wearing personal protection equipment (PPE). They also need to meet environmental and sustainability regulations and procedures – reducing waste and recycling materials. They may work on their own or as part of a team. They work with minimal supervision and are responsible for the quality of their own work. They will typically report to a workplace supervisor. Welding operatives may need to work shifts and flexible work patterns. They may be required to work at height, and beside or over water. 

Typical job titles include:

General welder Weld setter Welding fabricator

Duties

  • Duty 1 Conduct safety checks of welding equipment and surrounding work areas
  • Duty 2 Receive and read welding data and documentation, engineering drawings and technical data
  • Duty 3 Identify, check and inspect materials to be welded and ensure they conform to quality standards. Report issues, such as incorrect grade, dimensions and thicknesses
  • Duty 4 Plan and prepare for welding activities. Ensure that consumables, work area and materials for use are correct. This applies to basic or complex welding tasks
  • Duty 5 Set up, operate and adjust welding controls for the welding equipment being used
  • Duty 6 Weld components to create an interim assembly or finished product
  • Duty 7 Inspect welds produced for dimensional and surface weld quality to ensure compliance prior to release
  • Duty 8 Identify, communicate and report issues affecting weld quality
  • Duty 9 Complete welding documentation at all stages of the work activity. For example, Production Control Cards
  • Duty 10 Restore the work area and equipment to a safe and reliable condition on completion of welding, including remediation and recycling
  • Duty 11 Ensure tools, consumables, unused materials and equipment are returned to a safe, clean and approved condition on completion of welding work

Apprenticeship summary

ST0349, welder level 2

This is a summary of the key things that you – the apprentice and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should read the EPA plan for the full details. It has information on assessment method requirements, roles and responsibilities, and re-sits and re-takes.

What is an end-point assessment and why it happens

An EPA is an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship. It will assess you against the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the occupational standard. Your training will cover the KSBs. The EPA is your opportunity to show an independent assessor how well you can carry out the occupation you have been trained for.

Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA.

The length of the training for this apprenticeship is typically 18 months. The EPA period is typically 3 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

When you pass the EPA, you will be awarded your apprenticeship certificate.

EPA gateway

The EPA gateway is when the EPAO checks and confirms that you have met any requirements required before you start the EPA. You will only enter the gateway when your employer says you are ready.

The gateway requirements for your EPA are:

  • achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, you must submit a portfolio of evidence

  • passed any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard

For the welder, the qualification required is:

AWS D1.1 Structural Welding - Steel: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

AWS D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminium: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

ASME Section IX, OR

ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welder, OR

ISO 14732 Welding personnel - Approval of welding operator, OR

BS4872 Specification for approval testing of welders when welding procedure approval is not required

Assessment methods


Multiple-choice test

You will complete a multiple-choice test. It will be closed book, meaning you will not have access to any books or reference materials.

The test will have 30 multiple-choice questions. You will have 60 minutes to complete it.



Practical assessment with questions

You will be observed by an independent assessor completing a set of tasks. It will last 6 hours. They will ask you at least 4 questions.


Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

You will have an interview with an independent assessor. It will last at least 45 minutes. They will ask you at least 6 questions. The questions will be about certain aspects of your occupation. You need to compile a portfolio of evidence before the EPA gateway. You can use it to help answer the questions.

The EPAO will confirm where and when each assessment method will take place.

Who to contact for help or more information

You should speak to your employer if you have a query that relates to your job.

You should speak to your training provider if you have any questions about your training or EPA before it starts.

You should receive detailed information and support from the EPAO before the EPA starts. You should speak to them if you have any questions about your EPA once it has started.


Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

Welders join metals in a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, construction, defence, mining, marine and structural engineering. Welding contributes to the UK economy through the creation and repair of engineered goods and assets. Welders may be employed in any size of business from small companies to large multi-nationals. They work in a range of settings including fabrication shops, assembly yards, construction and building sites, factories and operational facilities requiring maintenance and upgrade. They can be employed by supply chain companies, the direct owner, or operators.

Welders are responsible for the production of welds using manual and mechanised arc welding processes to sector standards. They will weld using a minimum of two weld process and material combinations, with at least one process being manual welding.

Manual processes can include: manual tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW). Mechanised processes can include: submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor-mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW). 

Material groups include: carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steel, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys. Given their close similarity when welding, for the purpose of this standard, MIG and MAG welding will be deemed to be the same process.

The role requires production of welds in components covering two welding positions, in at least two joint layouts. These can be from butt (including seams), T-butt, fillet (including outside corners), buttering or cladding. Each welding process requires different welding equipment, assemblies, controls, skills and techniques, and represents a separate production process.

Welders work with people from other teams and functions, such as plate fabricators, steel erectors, steel workers, riggers, stores operatives, supervisors, inspectors, testing and quality control technicians. Their work may be checked to ensure continued quality of welding: this includes visual inspection and dimensional checks. It may also include non-destructive and destructive testing. They must ensure that the process and products meet quality standards and are produced to schedule. They must comply with health and safety regulations and procedures, including wearing personal protection equipment (PPE). They also need to meet environmental and sustainability regulations and procedures – reducing waste and recycling materials. They may work on their own or as part of a team. They work with minimal supervision and are responsible for the quality of their own work. They will typically report to a workplace supervisor. Welding operatives may need to work shifts and flexible work patterns. They may be required to work at height, and beside or over water. 

Typical job titles include:

General welder Weld setter Welding fabricator

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Conduct safety checks of welding equipment and surrounding work areas

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K15

S1 S2 S4 S5 S19

B1 B2 B3

Duty 2 Receive and read welding data and documentation, engineering drawings and technical data

K10 K13

S2 S17 S19

B3

Duty 3 Identify, check and inspect materials to be welded and ensure they conform to quality standards. Report issues, such as incorrect grade, dimensions and thicknesses

K3 K9 K11

S2 S3 S5 S7 S8 S19

B3 B4

Duty 4 Plan and prepare for welding activities. Ensure that consumables, work area and materials for use are correct. This applies to basic or complex welding tasks

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K18 K21

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 5 Set up, operate and adjust welding controls for the welding equipment being used

K4 K5 K6 K7 K12 K14

S5 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 6 Weld components to create an interim assembly or finished product

K8 K12 K13 K14 K15

S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 Inspect welds produced for dimensional and surface weld quality to ensure compliance prior to release

K13 K15 K20

S13 S14 S19

B3

Duty 8 Identify, communicate and report issues affecting weld quality

K10 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K19 K20

S7 S13 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20

B3

Duty 9 Complete welding documentation at all stages of the work activity. For example, Production Control Cards

K1 K10

S1 S2 S17 S19

B1 B3

Duty 10 Restore the work area and equipment to a safe and reliable condition on completion of welding, including remediation and recycling

K2 K11 K18 K19 K22

S15 S17 S19

B1 B2 B3

Duty 11 Ensure tools, consumables, unused materials and equipment are returned to a safe, clean and approved condition on completion of welding work

K1 K18 K22

S1 S15 S17 S19

B2 B3

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Awareness of health and safety regulations, standards and guidance and impact on role. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH). Fire safety. Health and Safety at Work Act. Safety equipment: guards, signage, fire extinguishers. Safety signage. Slips, trips, and falls. Working in confined spaces. Working at height. Manual handling. Back to Duty

K2: Safe systems of work, hazards and risks, isolation and emergency stop procedures, situational awareness. Back to Duty

K3: Material properties for welded materials: carbon steels, austenitic stainless steels, duplex stainless steels, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys and associated heat treatments. Back to Duty

K4: Welding power sources: invertor, rectifier, transformer, alternating and direct currents and positive and negative polarities. Back to Duty

K5: Ancillary equipment: cabling and their assembly, interconnecting communications cables, torches and tongs. Back to Duty

K6: Welding gases and equipment: cylinder colours, regulators, storage. Back to Duty

K7: Manual and mechanised welding processes and techniques. Back to Duty

K8: Welding positions and progressions. Back to Duty

K9: Welded joints: types, preparation, permanent and temporary backing. Back to Duty

K10: Technical documentation requirements. Job specifications, drawings, manufacturer's instructions and manuals, quality documents. Back to Duty

K11: Material preparation and removal methods using both powered and non-powered tools. Back to Duty

K12: Control of weld settings. Back to Duty

K13: Weld visual inspection, dimensional tolerances and alignment of the welded component. Back to Duty

K14: Causes and prevention of welding defects and distortion. Back to Duty

K15: Common faults and issues within the welding environment. Problem solving techniques. Back to Duty

K16: Verbal communication techniques. Back to Duty

K17: Equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Back to Duty

K18: Impact of the activity on the environment. Efficient use of resources. Recycling, re-use and efficient disposal of waste. Back to Duty

K19: Principles of good team working. Back to Duty

K20: Non-destructive testing (NDT). Back to Duty

K21: Personal protective equipment (PPE). Back to Duty

K22: Principles and practices of restoring the work area on completion of welding. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Apply health and safety procedures including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Back to Duty

S2: Collect and use information - text and data. For example, manufacturer's instructions, manuals, job instructions, drawings and quality control documentation. Back to Duty

S3: Prepare welding materials and work area: sourcing, checking and protecting. Back to Duty

S4: Prepare welding machines or equipment and safety protection measures, for example, check calibration and maintenance dates, inspection for cable damage. Back to Duty

S5: Check and use or operate tools and equipment. Back to Duty

S6: Set, modify and monitor welding controls, for example, current, arc voltage, wire feed speed, gas flow rates, polarity, mechanised tractor units. Back to Duty

S7: Identify issues and actions required. Escalate issues or concerns. Back to Duty

S8: Use manual processes and equipment to remove material before and after welding. Back to Duty

S9: Weld using processes, for example, tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor-mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW). Back to Duty

S10: Adapt welding technique to weld different material groups, for example, carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steels, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys. Back to Duty

S11: Weld materials in different joint configurations, for example, butt, T-butt, fillet, cladding or buttering. Back to Duty

S12: Adapt welding techniques to weld materials in different positions, for example, down-hand, horizontal-vertical, horizontal, vertical-up, vertical-down, overhead, inclined. Back to Duty

S13: Identify surface defects. Back to Duty

S14: Apply visual inspection, dimensional and alignment checks. Back to Duty

S15: Restore the work area on completion of the welding activity, for example, clean equipment and machinery, tidy the work area, return excess resources and consumables. Back to Duty

S16: Communicate verbally with others, for example, internal and external customers, colleagues, supervisors and managers. Back to Duty

S17: Follow procedures in line with environmental and sustainability regulations, standards and guidance. Segregate resources for re-use, recycling and disposal. Back to Duty

S18: Follow equity, diversity and inclusion procedures. Back to Duty

S19: Follow work instructions - verbal or written. Back to Duty

S20: Apply team working principles. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Puts health and safety first. Back to Duty

B2: Considers the impact on the environment when using resources and carrying out work. Back to Duty

B3: Takes ownership of given work. Back to Duty

B4: Adapts to changing requests. Back to Duty

Qualifications

English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Other mandatory qualifications

AWS D1.1 Structural Welding - Steel: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

Level: 2

AWS D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminium: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

Level: 2

ASME Section IX, OR

Level: 2

ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welder, OR

Level: 2

ISO 14732 Welding personnel - Approval of welding operator, OR

Level: 2

BS4872 Specification for approval testing of welders when welding procedure approval is not required

Level: 2

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

V1.2

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the welder apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

Welder apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

A full-time welder apprentice typically spends 18 months on-programme. The apprentice must spend at least 12 months on-programme and complete the required amount of off-the-job training in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

The EPA should be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 3 months.

The apprentice must complete their training and meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA. The EPA will assess occupational competence.

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the apprenticeship provider and assessment register (APAR).

This EPA has 3 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are below.

Assessment method 1 - multiple-choice test:

  • fail
  • pass

Assessment method 2 - practical test with questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 3 - interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail
  • pass

The result from each assessment method is combined to decide the overall apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the apprenticeship:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme - typically 18 months

The apprentice must:

  • complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) outlined in this apprenticeship’s standard
  • complete training towards English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules

  • compile a portfolio of evidence

  • complete training towards the qualification listed in the welder apprenticeship standard

The qualifications required are two welder approval certificates to any of the following standards:

AWS D1.1 Structural Welding - Steel: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

AWS D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminium: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

ASME Section IX, OR

ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welder, OR

ISO 14732 Welding personnel - Approval of welding operator, OR

BS4872 Specification for approval testing of welders when welding procedure approval is not required

End-point assessment gateway

The apprentice’s employer must be content that the apprentice is occupationally competent.

The apprentice must:

  • confirm they are ready to take the EPA
  • have achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • have achieved two welder approval certificates to any of the following standards

  • AWS D1.1 Structural Welding - Steel: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

  • AWS D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminium: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

  • ASME Section IX, OR

  • ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welder, OR

  • ISO 14732 Welding personnel - Approval of welding operator, OR

  • BS4872 Specification for approval testing of welders when welding procedure approval is not required

The welder approval certificates must be current (completed in the 6 months prior to EPA or revalidated in the 6 months prior to EPA) and match with the two welding processes that are going to be selected for the EPA.

For the interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, the apprentice must submit a portfolio of evidence.

Gateway evidence must be submitted to the EPAO, along with any organisation specific policies and procedures requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment - typically 3 months

The grades available for each assessment method are below

Multiple-choice test:

  • fail

  • pass

Practical test with questions:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail

  • pass

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

Re-sits and re-takes
  • re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • re-sit timeframe: typically 2 months
  • re-take timeframe: typically 3 months

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA is taken in the EPA period. The EPA period starts when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements have been met and is typically 3 months.

The EPAO should confirm the gateway requirements have been met and start the EPA as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

Gateway should only start once the employer is confident that the apprentice is occupationally competent. That is, they are deemed to be working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard and ready to undertake an EPA. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider, but the employer must make the decision. The apprentice will then enter the gateway.

The apprentice must meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

They must:

  • confirm they are ready to take the EPA
  • have achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • have achieved two welding approval certificates to any of the following standards:

  • AWS D1.1 Structural Welding - Steel: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

  • AWS D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminium: Certification: American Welding Society, OR

  • ASME Section IX, OR

  • ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welder, OR

  • ISO 14732 Welding personnel - Approval of welding operator, OR

  • BS4872 Specification for approval testing of welders when welding procedure approval is not required

The welder approval certificates must be current (completed in the 6 months prior to EPA or revalidated in the 6 months prior to EPA) and match with the two welding processes that are going to be selected for the EPA

  • submit a portfolio of evidence for the interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should only contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed during the interview. It will typically contain 8 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence must be mapped against the KSBs. Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested.

Evidence sources may include:

  • workplace documentation and records, for example:
    • welder approval certificates
    • welding procedure sheets
    • production control cards
    • inspection reports
  • workplace policies and procedures
  • witness statements
  • annotated photographs
  • video clips with a maximum total duration of 10 minutes; the apprentice must be in view and identifiable

This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.

The portfolio of evidence should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance, for example, witness statements, rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.

The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the interview. The independent assessor should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the interview. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

Gateway evidence must be submitted to the EPAO, along with any organisation specific policies and procedures requested by the EPAO.

Order of assessment methods

The assessment methods can be delivered in any order.

The result of one assessment method does not need to be known before starting the next.

Multiple-choice test

Overview

In the multiple-choice test, the apprentice answers questions in a controlled and invigilated environment. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

  • it can assess knowledge
  • it is easy to administer
  • it can be conducted remotely and administered to multiple apprentices at the same time, potentially reducing cost

Delivery


The multiple-choice test must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The test can be computer or paper based.

The test will consist of 30 multiple-choice questions.

Multiple-choice questions must have four options, including one correct answer.

The apprentice must be given at least 2 weeks’ notice of the date and time of the test.

Test administration

The apprentice must have 60 minutes to complete the test.

The test is closed book which means that the apprentice cannot refer to reference books or materials whilst taking the test.

The test must be taken in the presence of an invigilator who is the responsibility of the EPAO. The EPAO must have an invigilation policy setting out how the test must be conducted. It must state the ratio of apprentices to invigilators for the setting and allow the test to take place in a secure way.

The EPAO must verify the apprentice’s identity and ensure invigilation of the apprentice for example, with 360-degree cameras and screen sharing facilities.

The EPAO is responsible for the security of the test including the arrangements for on-line testing. The EPAO must ensure that their security arrangements maintain the validity and reliability of the test.

Marking

The test must be marked by an independent assessor or marker employed by the EPAO. They must follow a marking scheme produced by the EPAO. Marking by computer is allowed where question types support this.

A correct answer gets 1 mark.

Any incorrect or missing answers get zero marks.

The EPAO is responsible for overseeing the marking of the test.

Assessment location

The apprentice must take the test in a suitably controlled and invigilated environment that is a quiet room, free from distractions and influence. The EPAO must check the venue is suitable.

The test can take place remotely if the appropriate technology and systems are in place to prevent malpractice.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting with employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.    

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.  

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the test:

  • assessment materials for independent assessors and markers which includes:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • test specification
    • sample test and mark schemes
    • live tests and mark schemes
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation and moderation.

Practical test with questions

Overview

In a practical assessment with questions, an independent assessor observes the apprentice completing a task or series of tasks set by the EPAO. The EPAO decides where it takes place. The assessment environment must closely relate to the apprentice’s natural working environment. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

  • this is a practical role, which can be demonstrated through completing tasks
  • it allows for consistency of opportunity for apprentices to demonstrate their competence against the mapped KSBs
  • it assesses KSBs holistically and objectively
  • it is a valid assessment because it involves direct testing under controlled conditions

Delivery

The practical test with questions must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the practical test with questions.

The independent assessor must only observe a maximum of four apprentices at a time to ensure quality and rigour. They must be as unobtrusive as possible.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks' notice of the . practical test with questions

The practical test with questions must take 6 hours.

The independent assessor can increase the time of the practical test with questions by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to complete a task or respond to a question if necessary.

The practical test with questions may take place in parts but must be completed over 1 working day. A working day is typically considered to be 7.5 hours long. The reason for this split is to allow the apprentice to move between locations to set up different equipment and provide flexibility in delivery of the assessment process.

The EPAO must manage invigilation of the apprentice during the assessment, to maintain security of the EPA, in line with their malpractice policy. This includes breaks and moving between locations.

The independent assessor must explain to the apprentice the format and timescales of the practical test with questions before it starts. This does not count towards the assessment time.

The independent assessor must observe the following during the practical assessment:

General:

  • follow health and safety regulations, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • using information from welding documentation
  • obtaining and checking materials
  • checking tools and equipment
  • preparation of welding machines including the fitting of all cables and gases if required
  • use of hand or power tools to carry out material preparation
  • production of manual or mechanised welds
  • the use of two different welding processes, for example: tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor- mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW)
  • the use of two different materials, for example: carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steel, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys
  • the welded joints
    • a minimum test piece length when manually welding plate is 200mm; the examination length is 150mm
    • for orbital pipe welding a minimum of one test piece is required for pipe with an outside diameter (OD) of 50mm or above, a minimum of two test pieces are required for pipe OD's between 20 and 50mm, three test pieces will be required for pipe OD's below 20mm
    • a minimum test piece length when using a tractor-mounted welding process is 400mm; the examination length is 350mm
  • the material used must be a minimum of 5mm and a maximum of 15mm in thickness for manual processes, a minimum of 1mm and a maximum of 20mm for orbital TIG or PAW and a minimum of 5mm and maximum of 25mm for MIG, MAG, FCAW and SAW mechanised processes
  • Restore the work area on completion of the activity

Apprentices must complete two of the following three activities

Activity 1: Manual welding

Prepare, set up and weld a butt joint in the horizontal (PC,2G) position

Activity 2: Manual welding

Prepare, set up and weld a T fillet in the vertical (PG, PF, PH, PJ or 3F,5FF) position

Activity 3: Mechanised welding

Prepare, set up and weld plate or pipe using an orbital or mechanised tractor welding unit

Specification tolerance

Activity 1 and 2: Manual welding

The distinction criteria only need to be met once if both manual welding activities are chosen but a pass must be achieved in the second to secure a distinction.

  • weld meets the minimum specified length
  • welds must be free from cracks, lack of fusion, end crater shrinkage pipe, stray arc marks, continuous undercut, cold lap, burn through or melt through
  • plate alignment: Pass: alignment is within + or - 10 degrees, Distinction: alignment is within + or - 5 degrees
  • intermittent undercut maximum depth less than 1.5mm: Pass less than 25% of the total weld length, Distinction less than 20% of the total weld length
  • cap height or excess fillet leg length: Pass shall be between 0 and7mm, Distinction 0 and 6mm
  • weld seam variation: Pass no more than 6mm along the length of the weld, Distinction no more than 4mm along the length of the weld

Activity 3: Mechanised welding

  • due to the tolerance of the finished welding being determined by the welding program rather than the operator the mechanised option shall only achieve a pass or fail. The criteria for determining a pass or distinction shall be determined by the manual practical test.
  • weld meets the minimum specified length
  • welds must be free from cracks, lack of fusion, end crater shrinkage pipe, stray arc marks, continuous undercut, cold lap, burn through or melt through
  • plate alignment: Pass: alignment is within + or - 10 degrees
  • intermittent undercut maximum depth less than 1.5mm: Pass less than 25% of the total weld length
  • cap height or excess fillet leg length shall be between 0 and 5mm
  • weld seam variation no more than 5mm along the length of the weld

These activities provide the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The independent assessor must ask questions.

The purpose of the questions is:

  • to seek clarification where required
  • to assess the level of competence against the grading descriptors

Questioning can occur both during and after the practical assessment. The time for questioning is included in the overall assessment time. The independent assessor must ask at least 4 questions. To remain as unobtrusive as possible, the independent assessor should ask questions during natural stops between tasks and after completion of work rather than disrupting the apprentice’s flow. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in line with the EPAO’s training.

The independent assessor can ask follow-up questions to clarify answers given by the apprentice. These questions are in addition to the above set number of questions for the practical test with questions.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The independent assessor must assess the practical assessment and responses to questions holistically when deciding the grade. 

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the KSBs observed
  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved

Assessment location

The practical test with questions must take place in a simulated environment selected by the EPAO for example, the EPAO’s or employer’s premises. The simulated environment must relate to the apprentice’s natural work environment. Equipment and resources needed for the practical test with questions must be provided by the EPAO, who can liaise with the employer to provide these.

Additional venue requirements that must be in place include:

  • adequate power supply
  • segregation and separation of material types, for example, carbon steel and stainless steel
  • appropriate risk assessments, fire risk assessments
  • local extraction and ventilation (LEV)
  • enclosed or partially enclosed welding booths or workstations

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO must maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting with employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. 

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of tasks and questions in the case of re-sits and retakes, to minimise predictability.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the practical test with questions:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation and moderation.

Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Overview

In the interview, an independent assessor asks the apprentice questions. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

  • it assesses KSBs holistically and objectively
  • it allows for the assessment of KSBs that do not occur on a predictable or regular basis
  • it allows for assessment of responses where there are a range of potential answers
  • it can be conducted remotely, potentially reducing cost

Delivery

The interview must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the interview.

  • teamwork and communication
  • equity, diversity and inclusion
  • environment and sustainability
  • faults, issues and escalation procedures
  • welding defects

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks' notice of the interview.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the supporting documentation.

The apprentice must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the interview.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence however, the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The interview must last for 45 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the time of the interview by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 6 questions. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in line with the EPAO’s training. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The interview must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO for example, the EPAO’s or employer’s premises.

The interview can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

The interview should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO must maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting with employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation and moderation.

Grading

Practical test with questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Health and safety
K21 S1 B1

Applies health and safety procedures in compliance with regulations, standards and guidance including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). (K21, S1, B1)

 

Explains why it is important for themselves and the business to follow health and safety procedures and prioritise health and safety. (S1, B1)

 

Preparation for welding operation
K10 K11 S2 S3 S4 S5 S8 S19

Collects and uses information from technical documents and follows work instructions to meet the needs of the task. (K10, S2, S19)

Prepares the work area and materials for the task to be undertaken in line with the job instructions to confirm material type, specification, condition and preparation. (S3)

Conducts safety checks on the welding machine or equipment, inspecting for cable damage and equipment calibration in line with operating procedures. (S4)

Checks and uses or operates tools and equipment to carry out material preparation and material removal before and after welding in line with operating instructions or manufacturers’ guidelines for the task. (K11, S5, S8)

 

 

None

Undertake welding operation
K7 K8 K12 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 B3

Sets, monitors and modifies the welding controls during the welding operation in line with the job instructions. (K12, S6)

Takes responsibility for the task and produces welds using the selected processes, ensuring that all welds meet the pass specification tolerances for the manual welding and the pass specification tolerance of the mechanical welding. (K7, S9, S10, S11, B3)

Adapts techniques to weld materials in different positions to meet the task requirement. (K8, S12)

 

Produces a weld that meets the distinction specification tolerance. (K7, S9, S10, S11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visual inspection
K13 S14

Applies visual, dimensional and alignment checks of the completed welds in line with the job instructions. (K13, S14)

None

Restoration of work area
K22 S15

Restores the work area on completion of the welding operation in line with company procedures. (K22, S15,)

 

Explains the importance of ensuring the work area is restored to the original state on completion of the welding operation. (K22, S15)

Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Teamwork and communication
K16 K19 S16 S20 B4

Explains how they communicate with others using verbal communication techniques, in a way that is suitable for the context and supports task completion. (K16, S16)

Describes how they apply team working principles and adapt to changing requests to meet their team's work goals. (K19, S20, B4)

 

EDI
K17 S18

Describes how they follow and support equity, diversity, and inclusion in their work in line with organisational practices. (K17, S18)

Environment and sustainability
K18 S17 B2

Describes how they consider the environment when using resources and carrying out work to ensure efficient use of resources to reduce environmental impact.

Describes how they identify and segregate resources for re-use, recycling and disposal in line with company procedures. (K18, S17, B2)

Faults, issues and escalation procedures
K15 S7

Explains how they identify common faults and issues that happen during welding operations and how to escalate these issues and concerns. (K15, S7)

 

Welding defects
K14 S13

Explains how to prevent distortion in the weld and how they identify common welding defects caused during the welding operation. Explains the causes of defects, and how to mitigate against their occurrence during welding operations. (K14, S13)

Health and safety
K2

Explains safe systems of work, hazards and risks and the need for situational awareness within their role. Describes isolation and emergency stop procedures. (K2)

 

Multiple-choice test

Grade Minimum marks required Maximum marks required
Fail 0 20
Pass 21 30

Overall EPA grading

Performance in the EPA determines the overall grade of:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the practical test with questions and interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence in line with this EPA plan.

The EPAO must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade.

If the apprentice fails one assessment method or more, they will be awarded an overall fail.

To achieve an overall pass, the apprentice must achieve at least a pass in all the assessment methods. To achieve a distinction the apprentice must achieve a distinction in the practical assessment and a pass in the other two assessment methods.

Grades from individual assessment methods must be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA overall.

Multiple-choice test Practical test with questions Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Any grade Fail Fail
Pass Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

If the apprentice fails one assessment method or more, they can take a re-sit or a re-take at their employer’s discretion. The apprentice’s employer needs to agree that a re-sit or re-take is appropriate. A re-sit does not need further learning, whereas a re-take does. The apprentice should have a supportive action plan to prepare for a re-sit or a re-take.

The employer and the EPAO should agree the timescale for a re-sit or re-take. A re-sit is typically taken within 2 months of the EPA outcome notification. The timescale for a re-take is dependent on how much re-training is required and is typically taken within 3 months of the EPA outcome notification.

Failed assessment methods must be re-sat or re-taken within a 6-month period from the EPA outcome notification, otherwise the entire EPA will need to be re-sat or re-taken in full.

Re-sits and re-takes are not offered to an apprentice wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

The apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of pass for a re-sit or re-take, unless the EPAO determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities

Apprentice

As a minimum, the apprentice should:

  • complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the apprenticeship standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules and as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • prepare for and undertake the EPA including meeting all gateway requirements

Employer

As a minimum, the apprentice's employer must:

  • select the EPAO and training provider
  • work with the training provider, where applicable, to support the apprentice in the workplace and to provide the opportunities for the apprentice to develop the KSBs
  • arrange and support off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the apprenticeship standard and is ready for EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is prepared for the EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan
  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA in a timely manner, including who, when, where
  • provide the EPAO with access to any employer-specific documentation as required for example, company policies
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows appropriate opportunity for the apprentice to meet the KSBs
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete the EPA
  • ensure that any required supervision during the EPA period, as stated within this EPA plan, is in place
  • ensure the apprentice has access to the resources used to fulfil their role and carry out the EPA for workplace based assessments
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt

EPAO

As a minimum, the EPAO must:

  • conform to the requirements of this EPA plan and deliver its requirements in a timely manner
  • conform to the requirements of the apprenticeship provider and assessment register
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP)
  • understand the apprenticeship including the occupational standard and EPA plan 
  • make all necessary contractual arrangements including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • develop and produce assessment materials including specifications and marking materials, for example mark schemes, practice materials, training material
  • maintain and apply a policy for the declaration and management of conflict of interests and independence. This must ensure, as a minimum, there is no personal benefit or detriment for those delivering the EPA or from the result of an assessment. It must cover:
    • apprentices
    • employers
    • independent assessors
    • any other roles involved in delivery or grading of the EPA
  • have quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent assessment and maintain records of internal quality assurance (IQA) activity for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes
  • appoint independent, competent, and suitably qualified assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan
  • appoint administrators, invigilators and any other roles where required to facilitate the EPA
  • deliver induction, initial and on-going training for all their independent assessors and any other roles involved in the delivery or grading of the EPA as specified within this EPA plan. This should include how to record the rationale and evidence for grading decisions where required 
  • conduct standardisation with all their independent assessors before allowing them to deliver an EPA, when the EPA is updated, and at least once a year 
  • conduct moderation across all of their independent assessors decisions once EPAs have started according to a sampling plan, with associated risk rating of independent assessors 
  • monitor the performance of all their independent assessors and provide additional training where necessary 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to all relevant stakeholders 
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the apprenticeship
  • arrange for the EPA to take place in a timely manner, in consultation with the employer
  • provide information, advice, and guidance documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA
  • confirm the gateway requirements have been met before they start the EPA for an apprentice
  • arrange a suitable venue for the EPA
  • maintain the security of the EPA including, but not limited to, verifying the identity of the apprentice, invigilation and security of materials
  • where the EPA plan permits assessment away from the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary
  • confirm the overall grade awarded
  • maintain and apply a policy for conducting appeals

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must: 

  • be independent, with no conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider, specifically, they must not receive a personal benefit or detriment from the result of the assessment
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the occupation
  • have the competence to assess the EPA and meet the requirements of the IQA section of this EPA plan
  • understand the apprenticeship’s occupational standard and EPA plan
  • attend induction and standardisation events before they conduct an EPA for the first time, when the EPA is updated, and at least once a year
  • use language in the delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the apprenticeship
  • work with other personnel, where used, in the preparation and delivery of assessment methods
  • conduct the EPA to assess the apprentice against the KSBs and in line with the EPA plan
  • make final grading decisions in line with this EPA plan
  • record and report assessment outcome decisions
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO
  • comply with external quality assurance (EQA) requirements

Training provider

As a minimum, the training provider must: 

  • conform to the requirements of the apprenticeship provider and assessment register
  • ensure procedures are in place to mitigate against any conflict of interest
  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard
  • deliver training to the apprentice as outlined in their apprenticeship agreement
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning
  • ensure the apprentice is prepared for the EPA
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA

Marker

As a minimum, the marker must:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO 
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider
  • mark test answers in line with the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures 

Invigilator

As a minimum, the invigilator must: 

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO 
  • not invigilate an assessment, solely, if they have delivered the assessed content to the apprentice 
  • invigilate and supervise the apprentice during tests and in breaks during assessment methods to prevent malpractice in line with the EPAO’s invigilation procedures 

Reasonable adjustments

The EPAO must have reasonable adjustments arrangements for the EPA.

This should include:

  • how an apprentice qualifies for reasonable adjustment
  • what reasonable adjustments may be made

Adjustments must maintain the validity, reliability and integrity of the EPA as outlined in this EPA plan.

Internal quality assurance

Internal quality assurance refers to the strategies, policies and procedures that an EPAO must have in place to ensure valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions.

EPAOs for this EPA must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities table.

They must also appoint independent assessors who:

  • have recent relevant experience of the occupation or sector to at least occupational level 3 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector

Value for money

Affordability of the EPA will be aided by using at least some of the following:

  • completing applicable assessment methods online, for example computer-based assessment
  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • assessing multiple apprentices simultaneously where the assessment method permits this
  • using the employer’s premises

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship is not aligned to professional recognition.

KSB mapping table

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Awareness of health and safety regulations, standards and guidance and impact on role. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH). Fire safety. Health and Safety at Work Act. Safety equipment: guards, signage, fire extinguishers. Safety signage. Slips, trips, and falls. Working in confined spaces. Working at height. Manual handling.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K2

Safe systems of work, hazards and risks, isolation and emergency stop procedures, situational awareness.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K3

Material properties for welded materials: carbon steels, austenitic stainless steels, duplex stainless steels, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys and associated heat treatments.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K4

Welding power sources: invertor, rectifier, transformer, alternating and direct currents and positive and negative polarities.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K5

Ancillary equipment: cabling and their assembly, interconnecting communications cables, torches and tongs.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K6

Welding gases and equipment: cylinder colours, regulators, storage.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K7

Manual and mechanised welding processes and techniques.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K8

Welding positions and progressions.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K9

Welded joints: types, preparation, permanent and temporary backing.

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K10

Technical documentation requirements. Job specifications, drawings, manufacturer's instructions and manuals, quality documents.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K11

Material preparation and removal methods using both powered and non-powered tools.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K12

Control of weld settings.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K13

Weld visual inspection, dimensional tolerances and alignment of the welded component.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K14

Causes and prevention of welding defects and distortion.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K15

Common faults and issues within the welding environment. Problem solving techniques.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K16

Verbal communication techniques.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K17

Equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K18

Impact of the activity on the environment. Efficient use of resources. Recycling, re-use and efficient disposal of waste.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K19

Principles of good team working.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K20

Non-destructive testing (NDT).

Back to Grading
Multiple-choice test
K21

Personal protective equipment (PPE).

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
K22

Principles and practices of restoring the work area on completion of welding.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Apply health and safety procedures including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S2

Collect and use information - text and data. For example, manufacturer's instructions, manuals, job instructions, drawings and quality control documentation.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S3

Prepare welding materials and work area: sourcing, checking and protecting.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S4

Prepare welding machines or equipment and safety protection measures, for example, check calibration and maintenance dates, inspection for cable damage.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S5

Check and use or operate tools and equipment.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S6

Set, modify and monitor welding controls, for example, current, arc voltage, wire feed speed, gas flow rates, polarity, mechanised tractor units.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S7

Identify issues and actions required. Escalate issues or concerns.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S8

Use manual processes and equipment to remove material before and after welding.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S9

Weld using processes, for example, tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor-mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW).

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S10

Adapt welding technique to weld different material groups, for example, carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steels, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S11

Weld materials in different joint configurations, for example, butt, T-butt, fillet, cladding or buttering.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S12

Adapt welding techniques to weld materials in different positions, for example, down-hand, horizontal-vertical, horizontal, vertical-up, vertical-down, overhead, inclined.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S13

Identify surface defects.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S14

Apply visual inspection, dimensional and alignment checks.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S15

Restore the work area on completion of the welding activity, for example, clean equipment and machinery, tidy the work area, return excess resources and consumables.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S16

Communicate verbally with others, for example, internal and external customers, colleagues, supervisors and managers.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S17

Follow procedures in line with environmental and sustainability regulations, standards and guidance. Segregate resources for re-use, recycling and disposal.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S18

Follow equity, diversity and inclusion procedures.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S19

Follow work instructions - verbal or written.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
S20

Apply team working principles.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Puts health and safety first.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
B2

Considers the impact on the environment when using resources and carrying out work.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B3

Takes ownership of given work.

Back to Grading
Practical test with questions
B4

Adapts to changing requests.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Practical test with questions

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Health and safety
K21
S1
B1

Personal protective equipment (PPE). (K21)

Apply health and safety procedures including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). (S1)

Puts health and safety first. (B1)

Preparation for welding operation
K10 K11
S2 S3 S4 S5 S8 S19

Technical documentation requirements. Job specifications, drawings, manufacturer's instructions and manuals, quality documents. (K10)

Material preparation and removal methods using both powered and non-powered tools. (K11)

Collect and use information - text and data. For example, manufacturer's instructions, manuals, job instructions, drawings and quality control documentation. (S2)

Prepare welding materials and work area: sourcing, checking and protecting. (S3)

Prepare welding machines or equipment and safety protection measures, for example, check calibration and maintenance dates, inspection for cable damage. (S4)

Check and use or operate tools and equipment. (S5)

Use manual processes and equipment to remove material before and after welding. (S8)

Follow work instructions - verbal or written. (S19)

None

Undertake welding operation
K7 K8 K12
S6 S9 S10 S11 S12
B3

Manual and mechanised welding processes and techniques. (K7)

Welding positions and progressions. (K8)

Control of weld settings. (K12)

Set, modify and monitor welding controls, for example, current, arc voltage, wire feed speed, gas flow rates, polarity, mechanised tractor units. (S6)

Weld using processes, for example, tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma arc welding (PAW), manual metal arc (MMA), metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), flux cored arc welding (FCAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), tractor-mounted metal inert or metal active gas (MIG or MAG), tractor-mounted flux cored arc welding (FCAW), tractor-mounted or orbital tungsten inert gas (TIG), tractor-mounted or orbital plasma arc welding (PAW). (S9)

Adapt welding technique to weld different material groups, for example, carbon steel, low alloy steel (3-7% alloy content), high alloy ferritic or martensitic steel (>7% alloy content), austenitic stainless steel, duplex stainless steels, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium and aluminium alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, copper and copper alloys. (S10)

Weld materials in different joint configurations, for example, butt, T-butt, fillet, cladding or buttering. (S11)

Adapt welding techniques to weld materials in different positions, for example, down-hand, horizontal-vertical, horizontal, vertical-up, vertical-down, overhead, inclined. (S12)

Takes ownership of given work. (B3)

Visual inspection
K13
S14

Weld visual inspection, dimensional tolerances and alignment of the welded component. (K13)

Apply visual inspection, dimensional and alignment checks. (S14)

None

Restoration of work area
K22
S15

Principles and practices of restoring the work area on completion of welding. (K22)

Restore the work area on completion of the welding activity, for example, clean equipment and machinery, tidy the work area, return excess resources and consumables. (S15)

None

Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Teamwork and communication
K16 K19
S16 S20
B4

Verbal communication techniques. (K16)

Principles of good team working. (K19)

Communicate verbally with others, for example, internal and external customers, colleagues, supervisors and managers. (S16)

Apply team working principles. (S20)

Adapts to changing requests. (B4)

EDI
K17
S18

Equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. (K17)

Follow equity, diversity and inclusion procedures. (S18)

None

Environment and sustainability
K18
S17
B2

Impact of the activity on the environment. Efficient use of resources. Recycling, re-use and efficient disposal of waste. (K18)

Follow procedures in line with environmental and sustainability regulations, standards and guidance. Segregate resources for re-use, recycling and disposal. (S17)

Considers the impact on the environment when using resources and carrying out work. (B2)

Faults, issues and escalation procedures
K15
S7

Common faults and issues within the welding environment. Problem solving techniques. (K15)

Identify issues and actions required. Escalate issues or concerns. (S7)

None

Welding defects
K14
S13

Causes and prevention of welding defects and distortion. (K14)

Identify surface defects. (S13)

None

Health and safety
K2

Safe systems of work, hazards and risks, isolation and emergency stop procedures, situational awareness. (K2)

None

None

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: BAE Systems Maritime Submarines, Doosan Babcock, Alstom, Pall Europe, Liebherr, Graham Engineering Ltd, Hudson-Swan Engineering Ltd, TEi Ltd, Billington Structures Ltd, H Young Structures Ltd, William Haley, Engineering Ltd, The Welding Institute, British Constructional Steelwork Association, SEMTA, ECITB, Manufacturing Technology Centre

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 Funding band revised 01/06/2024 Not set Not set
1.1 Retired 24/06/2022 31/05/2024 Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 27/04/2016 23/06/2022 Not set

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