Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Find out how apprenticeships will continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This publication was withdrawn on

The temporary flexibility that allowed employers and training providers to initiate and report a break in learning in certain scenarios ended on 31 March 2022.

Information about funding for training and assessing apprentices in England can be found in the apprenticeship funding rules.

Guidance on delivering high-quality apprenticeships is available for providers and end-point assessment organisations.

Information on the flexibilities and discretions to end-point assessment introduced by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is available on their website.

Applies to England



This guidance is for:

  • apprenticeship providers
  • employers
  • assessment organisations
  • apprentices

It describes:

  • the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • how and when apprentices can safely train and take assessments in the workplace, educational and assessment settings
Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 19 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the fact that the government is no longer advising people to work from home if they can and to reflect the ending of the temporary suspension of the requirement for level 2 apprentices to attempt level 2 FSQs.

  2. Updated to reflect an extension to all end-point assessment flexibilities and discretions, and to clarify the guidance on the temporary suspension of the requirement for Level 2 apprentices to attempt Level 2 FSQs.

  3. Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 8 December 2021, we have updated the guidance to reflect the government recommendation to work from home if you can.

  4. Added an extension to IfATE discretions and flexibilities to end-point assessment. Removed the apprentices on furlough section as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has ended. Removed the section on temporary flexibility permitting end-point assessment prior to FSQ achievement as it has ended.

  5. Updated to reflect the change in the return to the workplace which will apply to apprentices as part of Step 4 of the roadmap; updated links and references to the redundancy support service for apprentices; updated to reflect ending of flexibility permitting end-point assessment prior to functional skills qualification achievement; and updated to reflect an extension of the temporary policy on suspending the requirement for Level 2 apprentices to attempt Level 2 functional skills assessment.

  6. Updated as from 17 May all apprentices in higher education can return to in-person teaching and learning.

  7. Added information to confirm all apprentices in HE can return to in-person teaching and learning no earlier than 17 May. Amended a date in the functional skills qualification section. Removed out-of-date information on the exam support service.

  8. Converted to HTML and updated guidance to reflect the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and remove advice relating to pre-March 8 2021.

  9. Updated to show eligible apprentices can now start their EPA before they achieve their functional skills qualifications, if they have been prevented from doing so by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

  10. Updated the 'Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' document.

  11. Added a new version of 'Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' with updated information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship.

  12. Added guidance on remote provision following the new national restrictions and end-point assessment. Updated guidance on ‘Training and assessment in the workplace and educational settings’.

  13. Updated to incorporate guidance on tier 4 and phased returns.

  14. We have added information about managing national and local restrictions. This guidance makes it clear that apprenticeship training and assessment can continue to be delivered under national restrictions and all local restriction tiers.

  15. Updated with information about the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the national restrictions guidance, the package of support available for those who have been made redundant on or after 15 October, and functional skills.

  16. Added a link to the new national restrictions from 5 November guidance.

  17. Amended information on 'Local outbreaks'.

  18. Updated information on routine funding audits. Added resources about redundancy for employers and apprentices and information on the use of face coverings.

  19. Updated guidance to include the temporary flexibility to allow apprenticeship certificates to be sent to an alternative address and the end point assessment (EPA) flexibilities that are extended until the end of the year.

  20. Updated to confirm that from 13 July providers can welcome back 19+ apprentices into educational settings, that the flexibility to suspend level 2 functional skills for level 2 apprentices has been extended, and more information on support for redundant apprentices.

  21. Updated with information on which apprentices should be prioritised in the offer of face-to-face training from 15 June, and details of the flexibility that enables apprentices to take end-point assessment ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualification results.

  22. Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.

  23. Updated information on furloughed apprentices, end-point assessment, functional skills apprentices and qualification certification.

  24. Updated with new information on continuing training and end point assessment for furloughed apprentices, and pausing new funding audits.

  25. First published.