Overview of the role

Building and testing simple, high-quality code for software.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found across every sector for example, Financial Services, Computer Gaming, Retail, Transport, Security and Defence in organisations ranging from large multi-nationals, public sector bodies and government projects developing multi-billion-pound software solutions to support key projects to small consultancy firms designing bespoke software solutions for clients.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to understand a client's requirements as provided in design specification and then build and test high-quality code solutions to deliver the best outcome.

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

For example, a software developer may work on Transport ticketing systems, traffic light control systems, customer-facing websites for journey planning and account management, internal websites for monitoring the status of train and road networks. Bespoke asset management systems.

In a computer gaming context, a software developer may work with a creative digital design team to give life to the teams ideas through the delivery of effective code to provide an attractive gaming experience that can give the product a commercial advantage.

In a retail context a software developer may work on delivering coding solutions to deliver online retail opportunities for businesses that provide a responsive and secure trading environment for customers to purchase goods and interact with the retailer.

Organisations use software to ensure that their operations become ever more effective and robustly reduce the incidence of downtime by building quality tested software solutions to give a better service. For example, in commercial organisations this can give them a competitive advantage by being able to analyse significant amounts of data quickly and efficiently to provide the business with information and management systems. This can save time and help the business spot profit making opportunities. For public sector bodies the right software solution can drive up performance and help target scarce resources more effectively and ensure that customer expectations are more likely to be met.

A software developer in a medium to large organisation will typically be working as part of a larger team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. In a smaller enterprise a software developer may be working as the only developer on a project but under direct supervision. A software developer will interpret design documentation and specifications provided by more experienced or specialist members of the team, such as a business analyst or technical architect.

In their daily work, a Software Developer interacts with internal and external parties including users/customers (to understand their needs and test the software developed through user testing) and team members from a range of specialist fields including designers, developers, engineers, analysts and project/delivery managers (to ensure the effective implementation of software solutions). A developer will typically be working as part of a larger team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. The developer will need to be able to interpret design documentation and specifications. The customer requirements will typically be defined and agreed by more experienced or specialist members of the team, such as a business analyst or technical architect.

A Software Developer is typically office-based however field-based research and testing may require periods of time working in the environments of the clients whose needs they are seeking to meet.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for developing software solutions across the full software development life cycle from research and development, through continuous improvement, to product/service retirement. They may work both autonomously and as part of wider teams, typically reporting to a more senior member of their team.

Typical job titles include:

Application developer Mobile application developer Software developer Web developer

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Take and interpret given software development requirements to estimate effort to deliver the work product to enable accurate costs to be established.

K1 K2 K3 K6 K7

S7 S11 S17

B1 B2 B8

Duty 2 Break software development activities down into logical units of work to enable sequencing and ensure the best possible structuring of activities to deliver a high quality product right first time.

K1 K3 K6 K7 K9

S1 S7 S8 S16 S17

B1 B2

Duty 3 Report progress accurately throughout the development life-cycle stages to ensure adequate audit trails of key worksteps such that the organisation can demonstrate how the product has been created for quality and commercial purposes.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K8



Duty 4 Identify and report any impediments to software development activities and propose practical solutions.

K7 K10

S7 S9

B1 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 5 Convert customer requirements into technical requirements, both functional and non-functional to ensure that customers' expectations are accurately reflected in the software products developed.

K1 K2 K3

S2 S9 S11 S12 S14 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8

Duty 6 Identify and select the most appropriate technical solution, taking into consideration coding best practice and appropriate quality standards.

K7 K9 K10 K11

S1 S8 S9 S11 S12 S16 S17

B5 B6 B8 B9

Duty 7 Communicate software development solutions to a range of internal or external stakeholders to ensure clear understanding of requirements and how they have been met or adjusted.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6


B1 B4 B6 B7

Duty 8 Consider security implications of proposed design to ensure that security considerations are built in from inception and throughout the development process.

K7 K8 K11

S1 S2 S3 S8 S11 S17

B5 B8

Duty 9 Write logical and maintainable software solutions to meet the design and organisational coding standards (Software Development Lifecycle -Implementation and Build phase).

K9 K11

S1 S2 S3 S8 S10 S11 S12 S16

B2 B3

Duty 10 Apply security best practice to the software solution throughout the software development life-cycle.

K7 K8

S8 S11 S12


Duty 11 Create and maintain appropriate project documentation to explain the development process and resources used.

K1 K3 K5 K8


B2 B3

Duty 12 Apply appropriate recovery techniques to ensure the software solution being developed is not lost (Software Development Lifecycle -Implementation and Build phase).


B1 B9

Duty 13 Implement appropriate change control to ensure that software development changes may be tracked and quality risks managed.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K8


Duty 14 Undertake unit testing of solutions, with appropriate levels of test code coverage, to identify and, where necessary, resolve issues (Software Development Lifecycle -Implementation and Build phase).

K9 K11 K12

S4 S5 S6 S7 S13


Duty 15 Perfom testing of the software solution to ensure a high quality output (Software Development Lifecycle -Test phase).

K9 K11 K12

S4 S5 S6 S13

B3 B8 B9

Duty 16 Deliver a suitably documented deployable solution to the customer for their use (Software Development Lifecycle -Deploy phase).

K1 K2 K3 K5

S2 S8 S9 S10 S15


Duty 17 Support delivery of one or more software deployment phases, such as trials and final release, to ensure that software developer outcomes are deployed correctly.

K2 K5 K6 K8

S5 S6 S10

B1 B4 B7

Duty 18 Provide support during software trials and after final release to ensure that customers understand and can correctly apply the product, and risks are mitigated.

K2 K5

B4 B9

Duty 19 Respond appropriately to given Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure that time and resources invested in software development activity are allocated appropriately to deliver good customer service.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8


B1 B6 B8 B9

Duty 20 Apply suitable 'bug fix', appropriate to the severity and priority of the software development issue identified.


S4 S7 S13


Duty 21 Practice continuous self learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development.

B1 B3 B8 B9



K1: all stages of the software development life-cycle (what each stage contains, including the inputs and outputs) Back to Duty

K2: roles and responsibilities within the software development lifecycle (who is responsible for what) Back to Duty

K3: the roles and responsibilities of the project life-cycle within your organisation, and your role Back to Duty

K4: how best to communicate using the different communication methods and how to adapt appropriately to different audiences Back to Duty

K5: the similarities and differences between different software development methodologies, such as agile and waterfall. Back to Duty

K6: how teams work effectively to produce software and how to contribute appropriately Back to Duty

K7: software design approaches and patterns, to identify reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems Back to Duty

K8: organisational policies and procedures relating to the tasks being undertaken, and when to follow them. For example the storage and treatment of GDPR sensitive data. Back to Duty

K9: algorithms, logic and data structures relevant to software development for example:- arrays- stacks- queues- linked lists- trees- graphs- hash tables- sorting algorithms- searching algorithms- critical sections and race conditions Back to Duty

K10: principles and uses of relational and non-relational databases Back to Duty

K11: software designs and functional or technical specifications Back to Duty

K12: software testing frameworks and methodologies Back to Duty


S1: create logical and maintainable code Back to Duty

S2: develop effective user interfaces Back to Duty

S3: link code to data sets Back to Duty

S4: test code and analyse results to correct errors found using unit testing Back to Duty

S5: conduct a range of test types, such as Integration, System, User Acceptance, Non-Functional, Performance and Security testing. Back to Duty

S6: identify and create test scenarios Back to Duty

S7: apply structured techniques to problem solving, debug code and understand the structure of programmes in order to identify and resolve issues Back to Duty

S8: create simple software designs to effectively communicate understanding of the program Back to Duty

S9: create analysis artefacts, such as use cases and/or user stories Back to Duty

S10: build, manage and deploy code into the relevant environment Back to Duty

S11: apply an appropriate software development approach according to the relevant paradigm (for example object oriented, event driven or procedural) Back to Duty

S12: follow software designs and functional or technical specifications Back to Duty

S13: follow testing frameworks and methodologies Back to Duty

S14: follow company, team or client approaches to continuous integration, version and source control Back to Duty

S15: communicate software solutions and ideas to technical and non-technical stakeholders Back to Duty

S16: apply algorithms, logic and data structures Back to Duty

S17: interpret and implement a given design whist remaining compliant with security and maintainability requirements Back to Duty


B1: Works independently and takes responsibility. For example, has a disciplined and responsible approach to risk and stays motivated and committed when facing challenges Back to Duty

B2: Applies logical thinking. For example, uses clear and valid reasoning when making decisions related to undertaking work instructions Back to Duty

B3: Maintains a productive, professional and secure working environment Back to Duty

B4: Works collaboratively with a wide range of people in different roles, internally and externally, with a positive attitude to inclusion & diversity Back to Duty

B5: Acts with integrity with respect to ethical, legal and regulatory ensuring the protection of personal data, safety and security. Back to Duty

B6: Shows initiative and takes responsibility for solving problems within their own remit, being resourceful when faced with a problem to solve. Back to Duty

B7: Communicates effectively in a variety of situations to both a technical and non-technical audience. Back to Duty

B8: Shows curiosity to the business context in which the solution will be used, displaying an inquisitive approach to solving the problem. This includes the curiosity to explore new opportunities, techniques and the tenacity to improve methods and maximise performance of the solution and creativity in their approach to solutions. Back to Duty

B9: Committed to continued professional development. 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.

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: ST0116
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 14/07/2021
Approved for delivery: 12 November 2014
Route: Digital
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £18000
LARS Code: 2
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Fujitsu, Exclaimer , FRFL, Risual, Lloyds Bank, Autotrader, DEFRA

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard, funding band and end-point assessment plan revised. 01/06/2021 Not set Not set
1.0 Retired. The funding band for this standard has been reviewed and remains at £18000. (May-2018) 12/11/2014 31/05/2021 Not set

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