This apprenticeship has been retired

This is not the latest approved version of this apprenticeship. View the latest version

The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.    


The Observation may be replaced by evidence of practice, validated by an expert witness statement and assessed through a Q&A session with the external assessor of up to 30 minutes.

Overview of the role

Helping customers buy products or services from retail organisations such as department stores, garden centres, high street chains, supermarkets and online and mail order businesses.


Reference Number: ST0327

Details of standard


The main purpose of a retailer is to assist customers when they purchase products and services, which requires a good understanding of the stock being sold, the variety of ways customers can shop and the ability to process payments, for example, using a till. Retailers must be passionate about delivering a quality service that always aims to exceed customers’ expectations. Therefore, retailers enjoy direct contact with a wide range of people and are motivated by completing a sale and knowing a customer is happy with their purchase. They can work in a variety of shops and other retail establishments: small boutiques, large high street chains, supermarkets and well-known department stores are just some examples. More specialist retailers include funeral services, garden centres, delicatessens and people who work in remote environments for example in telephone, on-line and mail order retail. Regardless of the type of products and services being sold, a wide representation of employers from across the retail industry have defined this standard and agreed that the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices must have to do their job are the same.


Knowledge and Understanding (Know it)

Skills (Show it)

Behaviours (Live it)


Know the customer profile of the business, appropriate methods for communicating with customers e.g. face to face and remotely, what customers’ purchasing habits are, how to support and increase sales, encourage customer loyalty and achieve repeat business

Positively interact with customers, using business relevant methods for example face to face or on-line, to support and increase sales by providing useful information and service

Adopt an approachable and friendly manner, interacting with customers in line with the style of the business, showing a genuine interest in meeting their needs and actively seeking feedback to improve own quality of service provision


Know the vision, objectives and brand standards of the business and how to contribute towards their success

Establish a good rapport with customers, serve them in line with brand standards and promote the values of the business in all work activities

Demonstrate personal drive and a positive regard for the reputation and aim of the business


Understand the principles of operating commercially and supporting the overall financial performance of the business for example by aiming to exceed targeted sales and reduce wastage and returns

Deliver a sales service that meets customers’ needs and balances the financial performance of the business for example working towards sales targets, following procedures relating to packing of goods and dealing with returned products

Act credibly and with integrity on all matters that affect financial performance


Know how the business positions itself in order to increase its market share and compete against its main competitors for example its unique selling points, its straplines, promotions and advertising campaigns

Influence customers’ purchasing decisions by providing accurate guidance on product and price comparisons and sharing knowledge on local offers and variances

Take an interest in the position of the business within the wider industry


Know how to identify and determine individuals’ situation and needs and how to respond in the most appropriate way in line with the business culture (for example the difference in how a branded goods retailer would communicate to their customers would be very different from an individual that retails a funeral service, or someone that needs to convey highly technical product information)

Use effective methods of communication that achieve the desired result, according to the purchasing process e.g. face to face, via the telephone or on-line

Take a positive interest in customers, actively listening or taking due care to understand written or on-line communications and respond appropriately

Sales and Promotion

Understand the sales opportunities that exist across the year within the business and industry and the need to know customers’ buying habits during these periods, seasonal product / service knowledge, and stock requirements at different times of the year

Use a variety of sales techniques when providing customers with information that are appropriate to the business and actively sell the benefits of seasonal offers for example, through in-store or on-line promotions

Pro-actively seek ways of enhancing sales whilst being sensitive to the needs of the customer and encourage team members to do the same

Product and service

Know information on the brands, products and services as required by the business (for example in large retailers a general knowledge of a range of products and services may be needed, but in specialist outlets a detailed knowledge on the technical specification of a product and the aftercare service may be necessary)

Help match products and services to customers’ needs and increase the amount they spend for example through the sale of associated products and services

Confidently demonstrate a belief in the  products and services the business offers

Brand reputation 

Know and understand the importance of brand and business reputation and what can affect it

Respond to situations that threaten brand and business  reputation in line with company policy and alert the relevant person if a threat is identified

 Uphold and personally demonstrate a positive brand and business reputation at all times


Understand how increase sales through product placement by utilising ‘hot spots’ and recognising the relationship between sales and space


Actively use techniques to optimise sales through effective product placement, ensuring product displays remain attractive, appealing and safe to customers

Make recommendations for merchandising as necessary to enhance sales and customer satisfaction 


Know how to maintain appropriate levels of the right stock to meet customer demand, taking into account planned marketing activities and expected seasonal variations and the conditions they must be stored in

Maintain appropriate levels of the right stock to meet customer demand, ensure it is kept in the correct condition (for example correct temperature, environment, packaging), and minimise stock loss through accurate administration, minimising wastage and theft


Take ownership and responsibility to identify stock issues and take action to address them


Know how to operate technology such as customer payments and understand how changing technology, for example social media, digital and multichannel tools, support the sale of products and facilitates an effective and efficient service to customers


Use technology appropriately and efficiently in line with company policy, to support sales and service ensuring that maintenance issues are dealt with promptly


Embrace the use of technology, use it responsibly and take an interest in new developments, for example in social media, that could support the business


Know how to support and influence the team positively, recognising how all colleagues and teams are dependent on each other to meet business objectives

Support team members to ensure that the services provided are of a high quality, delivered on time and as required Demonstrate pride in own role through a consistently positive and professional approach, and be aware of the impact of personal behaviour within the team


Understand how personal performance contributes to the success of the business for example the sale of products and services, increasing sales and achieving customer loyalty


Challenge personal methods of working and actively implement improvements

Take responsibility for own performance, learning and development, striving to accomplish the best results and take a flexible and adaptable approach to work 

Legal and governance


Recognise and understand legislative responsibilities relating to the business and the products and/or services being sold (for example the importance of food safety for food retailers), the importance of  protecting peoples’ health, safety and security, and the consequences of not following legal guidelines


Comply with legal requirements to minimise risk and inspire customer confidence; minimising  disruption to the business and maintaining the safety and security of people at all times


Work with integrity in an honest and trustworthy manner putting personal safety and that of others first


Understand how to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and recognise how local demographics can impact on the product range of the business

Put people at ease in all matters helping them to feel welcome and supported and provide them with information that is relevant to their needs

Operate in an empathic, fair and professional manner


Know how to take responsible decisions to minimise negative effects on the environment in all work activities


Minimise the effect of work activities on the environment through managing wastage and loss according to business procedures


Demonstrate personal commitment to minimising the effect of work activities on the environment and make recommendations for improvement if identified


A minimum of 12 months


This apprenticeship provides an ideal stepping stone into specialist, team leading, supervisory or first line management roles within retail and higher level training and apprenticeships


This standard is set at level 2


The apprenticeship will be reviewed every three years, the first review scheduled for October 2017, unless there is evidence of significant industry change which employers agree warrants
earlier amendment

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Status: Retired
Level: 2
Reference: ST0327
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 03/03/2019
Approved for delivery: 11 May 2016
Route: Sales, marketing and procurement
Minimum duration to gateway : 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £5000
LARS Code: 101
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: The Co-operative Group, Ryman, John Lewis plc, Tesco Stores Ltd, Asda, Goulds, Dorchester Ltd, The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), AS Watson UK, B&Q, Boots UK Ltd, Screwfix Ltd, Debenhams plc, Greggs

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 Standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band revised. 29/05/2023 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 £4000 04/03/2019 28/05/2023 Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 11/05/2016 03/03/2019 Not set

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