Overview of the role

Designing, installing, maintaining and supporting communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in large and small businesses, in all sectors, and within public, private, and voluntary organisations. Network Engineers are a key occupation in most organisations which are increasingly dependent on their digital networks.

Organisations of all types are increasingly applying digital technologies across all their business functions to maximise productivity. Large organisations will have sophisticated complex systems whilst smaller consultancies offer support to clients on a contract basis.

For example, a Network Engineer may work within a network of hotels to ensure that the booking system functionality and performance is maintained and customer access to courtesy systems such as Wi-Fi are managed appropriately for performance.

In a large infrastructure project, a Network Engineer may work in a team to ensure that significant project milestones are reached in delivering network services both within the project and by servicing the project teams with reliable network capability to enable them to deliver that project successfully.

Large communications organisations use Network Engineers to service world-leading global networks at the cutting edge - adapting and evolving with changes to new technologies to give customers the very best digital experience from delivering major communications installations to monitoring nationwide networks.

The demand for people who can manage, build, maintain virtual and physical networks is increasing. This is because of technological developments such as, 5G and Cloud. The broad purpose of the occupation is to install computer networks, maintain them, and offer technical support to users where necessary.

A Network Engineer provides networks and systems to deliver the objectives of varied organisations. They will make sure that systems are working at optimum capacity and problem solve where they are not. To be able to do this effectively a Network Engineer must interpret technical information and understand organisational requirements and expectations. They support delivery of legislatively compliant solutions to challenges in network and infrastructure.

Network Engineers deal with both hardware and software issues. They are a key part of putting things right quickly when networks fail, and they communicate problems that they have identified with network integrity or performance rapidly to ensure service is resumed and downtime minimised. Network Engineers help customers both technical and non-technical to install computer networks, maintain them, and offer technical support to users where necessary.

Network Engineers can be customer facing or internal. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with management within organisations, team members, staff, clients, customers, and suppliers. They may interact face to face or remotely by using a range of technologies. They may be working independently or collaboratively as part of a team. They will be aware of their organisational escalation routes and understand their role in their team.

The work of a Network Engineer is office-based, although they may need to work across different sites depending on the size of the organisation and their network. When working as a consultant a Network Engineer may spend a lot of time at clients' offices and on large installations, which may mean spending time away from home or their usual work base.


Typical job titles include:

Desk based engineer Dynamic network engineer Field based engineer Infrastructure engineer Network administrator Network architect Network engineer Systems engineer

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Install, configure, and test appropriate network components or devices securely to well-defined specifications whether physical or virtual

K2 K4 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20

S1 S2 S4 S18

B1 B2 B6

Duty 2 Acquire and analyse network performance data to monitor network activity

K1 K3 K4 K6 K14 K15 K17 K19

S3 S5

B1 B2 B6

Duty 3 Optimise and maintain the performance of network systems or services in line with well-defined specification whether physical or virtual

K2 K3 K4 K6 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18

S11 S12

B1 B2 B6

Duty 4 Investigate and problem solve to address technical performance issues in networks to return the network to successful operation and escalate as necessary

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K19 K20 K21


B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B8

Duty 5 Undertake upgrades to a network including physical or virtual systems

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21



Duty 6 Interpret written requirements and technical specifications in relation to delivery of network systems and services

K2 K5 K6 K7 K14 K16 K21


B2 B4 B6

Duty 7 Maintain accurate logical records in line within organisational policy when carrying out network tasks

K1 K14 K15 K21

S9 S13

B2 B3 B5

Duty 8 Use operational data to manage weekly work schedule in an efficient and cost effective way

K5 K6


B1 B2 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Consider the impact and risks when implementing network changes in line with work activities and escalating as required by organisational policies

K1 K4 K5 K6 K7 K16 K19 K21

S8 S19

B2 B4 B8

Duty 10 Communicate technical network requirements effectively and professionally with a range of stakeholders ensuring stakeholder relationships are maintained

K5 K6 K16

S7 S16

B4 B5 B8

Duty 11 Practice continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development

K5 K6 K16

B1 B7

Duty 12 Incorporate considerations of the requirements of the wider digital context in which they operate to ensure that network engineering activities are carried out effectively

K1 K5 K6 K7 K16


B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 13 Ensure all network engineering activity complies with organisational policies, technical standards, Health and Safety legislation, data security requirements, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality

K5 K6 K16 K21


B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 14 Deliver and manage a high quality service under pressure

K6 K7 K21

S6 S7 S13 S14 S16 S19

B4 B5 B6 B8



K1: the causes and consequences of network and IT infrastructure failures Back to Duty

K2: the architecture of typical IT systems, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, voice, cloud and applications Back to Duty

K3: the techniques for systems performance and optimisation Back to Duty

K4: diagnostic techniques and tools to interrogate and gather information regarding systems performance Back to Duty

K5: organizational procedures to deal with recording information effectively and in line with protocols Back to Duty

K6: Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and their application to delivering network engineering activities in line with contractual obligations and customer service Back to Duty

K7: their role in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Back to Duty

K8: the purposes and uses of ports and protocols Back to Duty

K9: devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI and, or, TCP or IP layers Back to Duty

K10: the concepts and characteristics of routing and switching Back to Duty

K11: the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies Back to Duty

K12: wireless technologies and configurations Back to Duty

K13: cloud concepts and their purposes Back to Duty

K14: functions of network services Back to Duty

K15: the different types of network maintenance Back to Duty

K16: how current legislation relates to or impacts occupation Back to Duty

K17: troubleshooting methodologies for network and IT infrastructure Back to Duty

K18: how to integrate a server into a network Back to Duty

K19: the types of security threats to networks and IT infrastructure assets Back to Duty

K20: how to use tools to automate network tasks Back to Duty

K21: approaches to change management Back to Duty


S1: apply the appropriate tools and techniques when securely operating and testing networks Back to Duty

S2: install and configure the elements required to maintain and manage a secure network Back to Duty

S3: implement techniques to monitor and record systems performance in line with defined specifications Back to Duty

S4: maintain security and performance of the system against known and standard threats Back to Duty

S5: apply the appropriate tools and techniques to identify systems performance issues Back to Duty

S6: apply the appropriate tools and techniques to gather information to troubleshoot issues and isolate, repair or escalate faults Back to Duty

S7: communicate outcomes of tasks and record in line with organisational procedures and SLAs including adherence to customer service standards Back to Duty

S8: upgrade, apply and test components to systems configurations ensuring that the system meets the organisation’s requirements and minimises downtime. This should include backup processes Back to Duty

S9: record task details whether face-to-face, remote or in writing in line with ogranisational requirements Back to Duty

S10: interpret information received from a manager, customer or technical specialist and accurately implement the defined requirements Back to Duty

S11: monitor, identify and implement required maintenance procedures Back to Duty

S12: implement techniques to optimise systems performance in line with defined specifications Back to Duty

S13: organise and prioritise clients or stakeholders’ requests in line with SLAs and organization processes Back to Duty

S14: explain their job role within the business context to stakeholders to enable a clear understanding on both sides of what their remit is and convey technical constraints in appropriate language considering accessibility and diversity implications Back to Duty

S15: operate securely and apply the appropriate process, policies and legislation within their business responsibilities Back to Duty

S16: communicate with a range of stakeholders taking into consideration the organisations cultural awareness and technical ability Back to Duty

S17: apply the appropriate level of responsibility when planning and prioritising work tasks Back to Duty

S18: apply the relevant numerical skills (Binary, dotted decimal notation) required to meet the defined specifications Back to Duty

S19: ensure compliance of network engineering outputs with change management processes Back to Duty

S20: select the appropriate tools and comply with organisation policies and processes when upgrading systems Back to Duty


B1: work independently and demonstrate initiative being resourceful when faced with a problem and taking responsibility for solving problems within their own remit Back to Duty

B2: work securely within the business Back to Duty

B3: work within the goals, vision and values of the organisation Back to Duty

B4: take a wider view of the strategic objectives of the tasks or projects they are working on including the implications for accessibility by users and diversity Back to Duty

B5: works to meet or exceed customers’ requirements and expectations Back to Duty

B6: Identifies issues quickly, investigates and solves complex problems and applies appropriate solutions. Ensures the true root cause of any problem is found and a solution is identified which prevents recurrence Back to Duty

B7: Committed to continued professional development in order to ensure growth in professional skill and knowledge Back to Duty

B8: Work effectively under pressure showing resilience 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:

  • BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for Register of IT Technicians (RITTech) level 4

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



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

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0127
Version: 1.2
Date updated: 21/02/2023
Approved for delivery: 12 November 2014
Route: Digital
Typical duration to gateway: 30 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £17000
LARS Code: 1
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: IBM, Accenture, BA, BT, Capgemini, Cisco, Fujitsu, HP, John Lewis, Lloyds, Microsoft, NCA, The Royal Signals, Telefonica, The Test Factory, Virgin Media, Visa, BCS - Chartered Institute of IT

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 Standard, funding band and end-point assessment plan revised 01/06/2021 Not set Not set
1.1 The funding band for this standard has been reviewed as part of the apprenticeship funding band review. The new funding band is £17000 04/03/2019 31/05/2021 Not set
1.0 Retired 12/11/2014 03/03/2019 Not set

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