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Overview of the role

Build, provide or repair telecom services for commercial or residential customers on the UK's National Telecom Access Network.

Telecoms field operative

Reference Number: ST0832

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the UK telecom sector. The broad purpose of the occupation is to build, provide or repair telecom services for commercial or residential customers on the UK's National Telecom Access Network. Working on the copper and fibre connections to 4G & 5G services, homes and businesses from the local telephone exchanges. The connections deliver telephone, internet, data and TV services to households and businesses.. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a number of different customers depending on their role. The customer could be a communication provider with whom the end customer has a contract for a telecom service e.g. Sky, Talk-Talk, BT, PlusNet. In this role the technician could also interact directly with the service providers’ customers – these could be residential or office based. The majority of time in the role will be spent working outside in all kinds of weather. Depending on the specific role the employee could be working on telecom equipment in a telephone exchange, at height, in underground networks, in residential properties and business properties, at the side of the road and in any other places where a telecom service is required.. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for maintaining, repairing, upgrading, protecting and installing telecoms services on the UK’s National Telecom Access Network. This field-based role will require the individual to work under supervision, alone or as part of a team as required. Their work is allocated to them on a daily basis either from their line manager or a work allocation centre via an electronic device. The output and the quality of their work is audited by their line manager or an external auditor on a regular basis. In this role they do not have management responsibility for anyone. New entrants will be joining a large network of more than 20,000 operatives nationwide.

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include Trainee Engineer Copper, Trainee Engineer Fibre, Fibre Jointer, Copper Jointer, External Network Cabler Field Installation Engineers, Network Infrastructure Engineer, Nationwide Cable Network Field Force Engineer, Telecoms Customer Service Engineer, Access Field Technician, Business Connections Field Engineer, Installations Technician, Overhead Installation Operative, Telecommunications Installation Technician.

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Contributing to the installation of the UK’s super-fast fibre Telecoms network including cable installation, recovery of older products, jointing and splicing new cables, installing new access connection points or cabinets and the installation of overhead fibre services.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K10 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S10 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 2 Maintaining and repairing the UK’s National Telecom Access Network including fault identification, major cable breakdowns and rectification of copper or fibre products.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 3 Providing and installing infrastructure to upgrade mobile services supplying masts for 4G and future roll out of 5G networks.

K2 K3 K5 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S7 S9 S10 S12

B2 B4 B5

Duty 4 Identify and use the appropriate calibrated digital testing equipment for copper or fibre products.

K3 K9 K10

S2 S3 S4 S6 S7 S8

Duty 5 Using risk assessments and safe systems of work to keep self and others safe, recognising high-risk situations and bringing work to a stop in a safe manner when necessary, seeking assistance when in doubt.

K6 K7 K8

S1 S5 S6 S9 S10


Duty 6 Communicate effectively with the end user, listening and understanding issues to faults or service, demonstrating the working service providing clear explanations as to how to get the best performance from their products.

K4 K11 K12 K13 K15


B1 B5

Duty 7 Use digital task management software to work remotely, downloading and completing tasks and managing risks.

K4 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15

S3 S11 S13

B1 B5

Duty 8 Working on and around live copper and fibre cables that provide numbers of customer, identify working circuits and understanding the implications to the customers of loss of digital services.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K9 K10

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S8 S9 S10 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 9 Provision of new telecom services in business and residential properties such as phone, a range of broadband products, TV connections, private circuits and business systems or services.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K11

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5




K1: The principles of OFCOM and government targets for broadband coverage for the UK.

K2: The UK telecom network including different types of fixed-line such as copper, full fibre network and mobile broadband in the UK.

K3: The identification and connection of telecom cables; the services and products they are associated with.

K4: Service Level Agreements (SLA) and the impact of failing to meet these.

K5: Running telecom cables in a range of environments such as overhead, underground, in customers’ premises, business premises, exchanges and public areas. (Following industry standards.)

K6: Employer health, safety and environmental policies and procedures and where to locate these to refer to. Keeping self, colleagues, customers and members of the public safe in line with legislation.

K7: The safety at street and road works code of practice.

K8: Risk assessments, method statements and their application to the role.

K9: Fault-finding and problem-solving in the telecom network including the different types of testing involved on various points of intervention and the tools and techniques needed to locate issues.

K10: The principles of testing, checking and installation. The completion process including signing off completed work and demonstrating service where required.

K11: Customer service, understanding the differing needs and priorities of various customers. Adapting communication style to interact with customers or members of the public in a range of situations.

K12: Escalation channels and the correct escalation process including when, how and to whom.

K13: Task management systems, how to access and interpret the information critical to completing tasks, including the importance of keeping records up to date and keeping to expected completion times.

K14: Network records and associated information, and how these can aid the task being worked on: address details, distribution points, nodes, size/capacity, connection points, exchange details.

K15: GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and how they impact the role.


S1 Carry out a risk assessment before starting work activities. Follow method statements.

S2 Identify the structure and composition of telecom network cables.

S3 Work from and interpret telecom network plans to identify plant or location.

S4 Work on and in various connection points in the telecoms network.

S5 Work in a safe manner and follow correct procedures when entering and working in the telecoms network in various environments, including overhead and underground.

S6 Select and use the appropriate equipment on a telecom network.

S7 Install and test components of the telecom network.

S8 Fault-find and problem-solve on the telecom network.

S9 Maintaining safety standards whilst working towards the task objectives.

S10 Use personal protective equipment in a safe and appropriate manner.

S11 Use a variety of communication methods to interact with third parties to give/receive information accurately, in a timely manner in order to deliver the best possible experience.

S12 Identify and take appropriate actions when working around other utilities services.

S13 Working as an individual or as a member of a team to achieve defined goals.


B1: Deliver a polite, courteous professional service to all customers and members of the public whilst safeguarding customer welfare and recognising vulnerability.

B2: Prioritise the safety of self and others.

B3: Self-motivated and able to work alone or as part of a team.

B4: Be organised and apply effective time management to meet deadlines.


English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to take the tests for 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: 2
Duration (months): 15


This standard will be reviewed after three years.

Crown copyright © 2021. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0832
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 13 May 2020
Route: Construction
Typical duration to gateway : 15 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £7000
Trailblazer contact (for apprenticeship standard content and trailblazer membership queries only): David.White@BT.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: BT, Openreach, MJ Quinn, Telent, Morrison Utility Services, Kelly Group, KN Group, Cityfibre, Gigaclear, Hyperoptic.com, Virgin, CableCom Training, CTTS

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Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 13/05/2020 Not set Not set