This apprenticeship is in the process of being revised or adjusted. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other apprenticeships being revised or adjusted are available in the revisions and adjustments status report. 

A temporary dispensation has been applied to the assessment plan version ST0855/V 1.1 for this apprenticeship.

The dispensation will remain live until all apprentices identified in the dispensation request have completed their EPA, including any resits and retakes, when it will then be withdrawn.

The end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) delivering the EPA for the apprentices will implement the dispensation as agreed by IfATE, supported and monitored by the relevant EQA provider (EQAP).  

The key changes are:

  • removal of the multiple-choice test
  • remapping of K7, K8, K10 and K11 to the observation where they underpin the skills assessed
  • remapping of K2, K5 and K16 to the interview where they underpin the skills assessed
  • remapping of K1 and K14 to the interview where they are directly assessed and supported by the portfolio of evidence

Overview of the role

Support the development, manufacturing, assembly, integration and testing of complex, high value space hardware and ground-based equipment.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the space sector, and specifically the "upstream" (manufacturing) area, which covers the design and production of satellites and the components and subsystems they comprise, along with production, operation and maintenance of highly specialised ground support equipment which does not fly in space but is used to support development and testing of satellites before launch.


The upstream element of the industry is part of the overall space sector and is related to but distinct from the "downstream" part of the sector, which is concerned with the exploitation of data from satellites for end-user applications including weather forecasting and telecommunications. Income for the whole UK space sector has grown significantly and the upstream segment has been the majority contributor to the overall growth of the sector. This growth and the future predictions means there will be a significant increase in demand for these specialist skills to support the UK Space manufacturing sector. Space is a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy supporting the development and increases in productivity of other key sectors (e.g. Agribusiness, Transport and Health, through improve data provision and communications). Government has committed funding to new developments supporting the upstream sector through investments to establish UK space ports, a satellite launch capability and an investment in the National Satellite Test Facility at Harwell. The broad purpose of the occupation is to support the development, manufacturing, assembly, integration and testing of complex, high value space hardware and ground-based equipment. For example, satellite mechanical structures, and subsystems for in-space power generation and distribution, spacecraft attitude control, thermal control, rocket propulsion, space communication, sensors, planetary landers, and associated support systems. Space technicians interpret drawings and specifications and formal procedures imposed by the employer and customers (for example Space Agencies) to plan and perform their work. They use sector specific techniques for many tasks, for example electronics board soldering, which is carried out using processes and standards developed specifically for space applications. They contribute to inspection and testing activities for mission-critical satellites and sub-assemblies, and support activities such as integration and testing of assemblies at space technology centres and launch sites overseas. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with line managers and supervisors, procurement officers, systems engineers, spacecraft subsystems experts, commercial and export managers, and the overall team working on a particular satellite or mission. They interact with customers (for example, space agencies and satellite operators) during site visits. Space technicians typically work in secure and controlled environments, workshops and development areas, as well as regular offices. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the quality and accuracy of the work they undertake within the limits of their personal authority. They adhere to statutory regulations and organisational health and safety requirements, and have an awareness of, and carry out work in compliance with, standards imposed by key customers (for example space agencies) and regulatory bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or The European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS).

Typical job titles include:

Advanced manufacturing technician Assembly Control and instrumentation engineering technician Electrical or electronic engineering technician Integration and test technician Materials and chemical engineering technician Quality and product assurance technician Satellite manufacturing Spacecraft mechanical engineering technician Spacecraft propulsion engineering technician

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirement is a minimum of 5 GCSE's Including English, Mathematics and Science-based subjects in C-A* or 4-9 except mathematics (B-A* or 6-9)

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Plan, prepare and carry out inspection, fabrication or assembly of spacecraft components and subsystems to meet required specification and quality requirements in appropriately controlled environments.

K2 K7 K8 K10 K11 K13 K14 K18

S1 S3 S5 S8 S9 S11 S12 S14 S15 S16 S19

B1 B2 B4 B6 B7

Duty 2 Deal with problems that occur within the activity (such as unexpected behaviour of a component or assembly, incorrect fitting of parts or missing procedural information in a process being undertaken) in line with responsibilities of the role in a structured and controlled approach.

K5 K9 K18

S5 S6 S8 S9 S12 S19

B1 B2 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 3 Complete documentation (such as Non Conformance Reports and Technical Build Records) at the appropriate stages of the work activity.

K3 K9 K12 K14

S1 S2 S6 S7 S8 S9

B1 B2

Duty 4 Review processes and procedures to identify improvements to quality and efficiency of e.g. products and processes, including the generation of engineering change requests.

K5 K9 K12

S1 S6 S7 S8 S9 S14 S17 S19

B2 B3 B6

Duty 5 Contribute to definition of spacecraft and subsystem integration, validation, verification and qualification plans, procedures and presentation of test results to support correlation including space-specific testing such as vibration, thermal vacuum and electromagnetic compatibility testing.

K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K10 K12 K14 K18

S1 S2 S5 S6 S8 S9 S19

B1 B7

Duty 6 Carry out integration and testing activities at subsystem and spacecraft, launch vehicle and ground level (for example, performing a functional test of a communications subsystem; participating in the installation of a subsystem within the complete spacecraft; monitoring of subsystems during comprehensive system testing).

K1 K3 K4 K6 K7 K15 K16 K17 K18

S3 S9 S10 S12 S15 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B4 B5

Duty 7 Operate equipment, subsystems and systems (such as analysis tools, ground support equipment and flight assemblies) in compliance with written operational procedures.

K4 K6 K15 K17

S3 S4 S9 S12 S16

B5 B6

Duty 8 Build and test precision components and assemblies such as electronics boards, deployment mechanisms and fuel cooling pipework to design specifications.

K7 K8 K11 K13 K15 K17

S3 S10 S11 S12 S15


Duty 9 Carry out inspection activities on equipment, components and systems (for example, use of microscopes to inspect electronics assemblies; helium leak testing of thermal vacuum chambers, thermal cycling and optical alignment).

K2 K9 K10 K14 K17

S1 S3 S8 S9 S10 S13 S15 S16

B1 B2 B7

Duty 10 Monitor, test, fault find, and maintain manufacturing plant and equipment (such as thermal vacuum chambers, composite layup systems, and soldering stations) and carry out scheduled service activities on production infrastructure.

K2 K7 K10 K11 K14 K16 K17

S4 S12 S13 S16 S17 S18

B2 B4 B7



K1: Spacecraft systems including power, attitude control, thermal, communications, data handling and propulsion. Back to Duty

K2: Engineering mathematical techniques and scientific principles, methods, graphical expressions, symbols, formulae and calculations including: reference frame definitions, tolerancing, torque settings. Back to Duty

K3: Relationships between customers, partners and suppliers in the international space engineering and manufacturing sector. Back to Duty

K4: Space system assembly, integration and test procedures, processes, techniques and tools such as vibration, thermal vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility. Back to Duty

K5: Purpose of approved processes, components, parts and materials lists and verification control documentation. Back to Duty

K6: Ground support equipment and systems including electrical and electronic test equipment and mechanical handling equipment. Back to Duty

K7: Mechanical, electrical and electronic analysis and testing principles, including space industry specific test standards. Back to Duty

K8: Properties, handling and application of space qualified materials including Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) precautions. Back to Duty

K9: Quality and product assurance principles in space projects. Back to Duty

K10: Principles, processes and techniques for thermal vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, shock, vibration and acoustic testing. Back to Duty

K11: Principles of additive manufacturing for application in space including powder quality and repeatability of build. Back to Duty

K12: Configuration and document management control processes including issue control, incorporation of change and end item data pack. Back to Duty

K13: Adhesives, bonding, soldering and fastening techniques required to meet space qualification standards. Back to Duty

K14: The space environment including thermal, vacuum, radiation, atomic oxygen and launch operations. Back to Duty

K15: Precision and uncertainty in measurement systems, including limitations and appropriate use. Back to Duty

K16: Vacuum and pressurised systems and measurement. Back to Duty

K17: Disciplines and handling in cleanliness and contamination controlled environments. Back to Duty

K18: Application of risk assessment at point of work. Back to Duty


S1: Prepare and complete documentation including work instruction, build and change records, risk assessments and non-conformance reports in compliance with applicable space industry processes and standards. Back to Duty

S2: Contribute to technical reviews such as assembly, integration and test readiness, and non-conformance reviews. Back to Duty

S3: Assemble, integrate and test at equipment, subsystem and system level. Back to Duty

S4: Support and maintain ground support systems for spacecraft and subsystems. Back to Duty

S5: Interpret outputs from manufacturing software such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) and Product Data Management or Product Lifecycle Management (PDM, PLM). Back to Duty

S6: Solve problems using procedures and methodologies commonly applied in the space engineering sector, such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle, 8-Disciplines (8D), Ishikawa fishbone diagrams. Back to Duty

S7: Contribute to the definition of space engineering process improvement plans. Back to Duty

S8: Use internal and external quality management systems including Non-Conformance Reports (NCRs), production documentation, and published standards applicable to space engineering and manufacture such as EN9100, ISO9001. Back to Duty

S9: Read, extract and interpret technical documentation (such as work plans or project plans, schedules, drawings, test plans, specifications, production data, quality reports, costing data, statistical information, assembly instructions and requirements) drawing accurate conclusions and making informed decisions, seeking clarification where required. Back to Duty

S10: Perform electrical and electronic measurement and testing using equipment such as voltmeters, spectrum analysers, oscilloscopes. Back to Duty

S11: Perform appropriate joining techniques for example using adhesives, bonding, plating, soldering and fastening, following procedures for space quality standards. Back to Duty

S12: Carry out assembly and functional testing of products such as electronics boards and mechanical assemblies, to design specifications and space industry standards. Back to Duty

S13: Inspect electrical, mechanical or electronic equipment for quality assurance purposes. Back to Duty

S14: Use CAD software to create 3D models and part drawings to enable manufacture of components for spacecraft systems and ground support equipment. Back to Duty

S15: Apply space industry procedures in facilities such as cleanrooms, workshops and testing facilities (for example, ECSS-Q-ST-70-50C: Particles contamination monitoring for spacecraft systems and cleanrooms) in compliance with legislative and company health, safety and environment requirements. Back to Duty

S16: Measure, test and analyse, using instruments such as pressure gauges, micrometers, balances and non-contact approaches. Back to Duty

S17: Use and maintain vacuum and pressure systems for space applications (such as environmental test chambers, pressure-fed propulsion systems, and gas supply lines for manufacturing & testing) including associated processes and documentation such as piping and instrumentation diagrams. Back to Duty

S18: Use and maintain cryogenic systems for space applications (such as propulsion, subsystem thermal control and ground support activities) including associated processes and documentation, in compliance with legislative and company health, safety and environment requirements. Back to Duty

S19: Communicate using verbal and written methods such as for formal and informal presentations, written reports and electronic dissemination, adjusting approach to take account of equality and diversity considerations, and listen to others. Back to Duty


B1: Takes personal responsibility and is resilient. For example, disciplined and responsible approach to risk, works diligently regardless of how much they are being supervised, accepts responsibility for managing their own time and workload and stays motivated and committed when facing challenges. Back to Duty

B2: Focuses on quality and problem solving. For example, demonstrates attention to detail and seeks opportunities to improve quality, speed and efficiency. Back to Duty

B3: Committed to continuous personal improvement. For example, reflects on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seeks opportunities to develop, adapts to different situations, environments or technologies and has a positive attitude to feedback and advice. Back to Duty

B4: Is responsible and accountable. For example, is present in the workplace at the required times, completes all assigned tasks and takes responsibility for the duties assigned to the role. Shows a desire to succeed, approaches difficult or challenging problems with enthusiasm, shows initiative and supports the success of the team and organisation. Back to Duty

B5: Performs through co-operation and works effectively in teams. For example, has a clear understanding of role; voluntarily engages in open communication with team colleagues and line management; identifies individual contributions that can be made to reach collective goals; supports meetings and work sessions on request. Adopts a positive attitude to working with others, and supports discussion with facts and logic, and considers implications of their actions on other people and the business. Back to Duty

B6: Interacts appropriately with stakeholders. For example, works to understand stakeholder requirements and perspectives, and can present work positively and with confidence. Back to Duty

B7: Uses a safety first approach in order to comply with legislative and company health, safety and environment requirements. 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:

  • IET for Engineering Technician
  • IMechE for Engineering Technician
  • Royal Aeronautical Society for Engineering Technician

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: ST0855
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 25/04/2023
Approved for delivery: 24 August 2020
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 48 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £19000
LARS Code: 594
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Airbus Defence & Space Ltd, University of Leicester, BAE Systems PLC, Thales Alenia Space UK, Nammo Westcott Ltd, Reaction Engines Ltd, Oxford Space Systems

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 End-point assessment plan revised 25/04/2023 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 24/08/2020 24/04/2023 Not set

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