Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship

The role of a customer service practitioner is to deliver high quality products and services to the customers of their organisation. Your core responsibility will be to provide a high quality service to customers which will be delivered from the workplace, digitally, or through going out into the customer’s own locality. These may be one-off or routine contacts and include dealing with orders, payments, offering advice, guidance and support, meet-and-greet, sales, fixing problems, after care, service recovery or gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction. You may be the first point of contact and work in any sector or organisation type.

Your actions will influence the customer experience and their satisfaction with your organisation. You will demonstrate excellent customer service skills and behaviours as well as product and/or service knowledge when delivering to your customers. You provide service in line with the organisation’s customer service standards and strategy and within appropriate regulatory requirements. Your customer interactions may   cover a wide range of situations and can include; face-to-face, telephone, post, email, text and social  media

The course is aimed at students aged 16 and over who wish to complete an Apprenticeship in a specific vocational area. These qualifications will appeal to workers and employers in many industries, including  contact centres, tourism and hospitality, retail, financial services and local government.

Information for Applicants

What knowledge and skills are covered?

Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship units may include:

  • Knowing Your Customers
  • Understanding your organisation
  • Meeting regulations and legislation
  • Systems and resources
  • Your role and responsibility
  • Customer Experience
  • Product and Service knowledge

Skills

Interpersonal skills, communication, influencing, personal organisation, dealing with customer conflict and challenge.

Behaviours / Attitude

Developing self, Being open to feedback, Team working, Equality – treating all customers as individuals, Presentation – dress code, professional language, “Right first time”.

How will I be supported?
This is a practical course where students are expected to provide evidence through workplace activities and guided assignment work. In addition to this,
Regular progress reviews throughout the programme which will also include your employer

What award will I achieve?

Apprenticeship in Customer Service at level 2 .
Opportunities to achieve functional skills up to level 2 (where GCSE’s at Grade 3 or above have not been achieved)

What are the entry requirements?

Apprentices will be required to have or achieve level 1 English and Maths and to have taken level 2 English and Maths tests prior to completion of their Apprenticeship.
Candidates should be working in a customer service or customer facing role. They will need to be committed to their study and be responsible for their own learning.

How often do I have to attend college?

One day per month (over a 12 week period), with one hour weekly online learning for the technical knowledge on the other weeks. Attendance is closely monitored by your tutor and your employer will be informed of any absence as excellent attendance is required in order to achieve the qualification. If functional skills are required you will be required to attend weekly until achieved the framework requirements.

How will I be assessed?

This is a practical course where students are expected to provide evidence through workplace activities and guided assignment work. In addition to this there will be an end point assessment which may include the following methods: discussion/written work/exam /products of your work.

What can I do next?

Senior practitioners could move on to Customer Service Level 3 or Business Admin, team leading or supervisory management apprenticeships depending on role.
Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

There is no doubt that excellent customer service gives “competitive edge” for organisations. Development of customer focused staff who are able to support the business in a professional way, supporting your image and brand. Trained staff also help to ensure; efficiency, repeat business and customer recommendations in line with legislation and requirements.

Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in: A loyal, motivated work force and increased productivity by developing staff skills and expertise

Value for money: A cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation

Cost saving: We can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs

A recognised professional qualification in customer service can be built into the course which your apprentice will bring back to the business, providing value for money and a return on investment in their career as well as bringing back up to date knowledge from college.

Typical job roles this standard can apply to:

Any customer facing staff (or those in large organisations when international or interdepartmental “customer” interactions occur).

What will this cost my business?

Since April 2017 the way that government funds apprenticeships in England has changed. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3 million are required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy monthly via HMRC.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships through providers who are registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

From April 2017 all existing apprenticeship frameworks and new apprenticeship standards (often referred to as trailblazer standards) will be allocated to Government funding bands.

Funding bands determine the maximum amount of money that Government will contribute for the training delivery and end-point assessment of each apprenticeship. All approved apprenticeship standards have already been allocated to funding bandings with maximum funding caps.

If you take on an apprentice who is between 16 and 18 years old at the start of their apprenticeship, you will receive a payment to help meet the extra costs of employing them. This will be paid to you through the training provider in two £500 instalments at 3 months and 12 months  if the apprentice continues in learning beyond this point.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 10% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account. Where there are no longer funds in this digital account the Government will co-invest 90% of the funding with the levy paying employer being the asked to contribute the remaining 10% on a monthly basis.

Levy paying employers can estimate their funding contributions through the use of the free Funding Apprenticeship Systems calculating tool.

The agreed funds will be taken from the employer’s digital account to pay the training provider, up to a maximum amount of funding allocated by Government to that particular apprenticeship.

For non-levy paying employers the Digital Apprenticeship Service will not be available until at least 2018. They will need to discuss and agree a price with their training provider.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

One day per month (over a 12 week period), with one hour weekly online learning for the technical knowledge on the other weeks. Attendance is closely monitored by your tutor and your employer will be informed of any absence as excellent attendance is required in order to achieve the qualification. If functional skills are required you will be required to attend weekly until achieved the framework requirements.

How is the apprentice assessed?

This is a practical course where students are expected to provide evidence through workplace activities and guided assignment work. In addition to this there will be an end point assessment using any types of assessment methods eg: discussion/written work/exam /products of your work – tbc at the time.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work- based tasks.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Apprenticeships – What we can offer

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are expert at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical tutors.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

Apprenticeship Reform Events

Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship
LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationBetween 15 - 18 months
CampusColchester Institute
Start DateStarting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year however the start-date for attending college for training, where required, will be communicated post-employment and sign-up
Fee(s)Employer Contribution: £400
Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee.
Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.