Fast Track apprenticeship: policy

The Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme is not open for applications in 2019.

This guidance was withdrawn on

The Fast Track Apprenticeship programme is now closed.


Fast Track policy apprenticeship

Policy apprentices will work within teams to support the key phases of policy development, implementation and evaluation. The policy that you help to shape will influence the way people live their everyday lives. Alongside your exciting and challenging day job, you will be learning how policy is made and develop crucial skills and behaviours that will make you an excellent policy professional.

The Policy Fast Track Apprenticeship is a 2-year Level 4 higher apprenticeship with a salary between £19,500 and £27,000 (£22,000 minimum in London). It is a permanent position within a Government department.

Amanda Brooks, Champion of Apprenticeships in the Policy Profession, explains why a policy apprenticeship is so important for the Civil Service.

Civil Service Fast Track - Policy

What you’ll do

Policy Fast Track Apprentices will usually work as Policy Officers or Policy Advisers within a policy team.

Examples of what your role may include:

  • researching and understanding the political environment surrounding a policy
  • talking with communities and members of the public
  • gathering evidence to support the development and implementation of a new policy
  • keeping accurate records of the history of a policy to support evaluation
  • preparing and drafting information for senior officials, such as Government Ministers
  • assisting your team during the introduction of new legislation.

What you’ll learn

You’ll undertake the Level 4 Policy Officer Standard.

The learning programme will take around 2 years to complete and involves a combination of workshop-based learning, digital courses and one-to-one coaching support.

You’ll spend roughly 20% of your time on learning assignments and the remaining 80% of your time will be in your role, gaining valuable skills and experience.

Some study leave will be made available but there will be a requirement to undertake some study in your own time.

Where you’ll work

The Policy Fast Track Apprenticeship roles will be available in the following locations:

  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Croydon
  • Darlington
  • Exeter
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool/Bootle/Netherton
  • London
  • Manchester/Salford
  • Newport
  • Nottingham
  • Reading
  • Sheffield
  • Weybridge
  • York

Depending on which location you choose, policy apprentices work across the country in a range of departments including:

  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for Exiting the European Union
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Department for International Trade
  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Her Majesty’s Treasury
  • Home Office
  • Ministry of Justice.

What we’re looking for

We would like you to have:

  • good written communication skills
  • the ability to see the long-term and wider impact of your work
  • confidence in working with senior stakeholders and as part of a team
  • an interest in government, how policy is shaped and why this matters in everyday life
  • commitment to your own development and willingness to reflect on and improve your performance.

Entry requirements

You’ll need 5 GCSEs, at grade C and above, or the new grade 4 and above, including English Language and Maths, or equivalent, or expect to have these qualifications by 31 August 2019.

You’ll also need an additional level 3 qualification, which should include at least one of the below:

  • 2 x A-levels at grades D and above; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma grade PPP or above; or
  • Level 3 apprenticeship; or
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications of at least 48 UCAS points.

You’ll also need to check you meet the general entry requirements, such as age, nationality and residency.

After your apprenticeship

You will have many opportunities to further your career as both a civil servant and a policy professional. These include the opportunity to gain further qualifications, secure promotion and develop your leadership potential.

You will have a permanent role in the Civil Service, with plenty of further opportunities open to you. You may wish to progress within the Policy Profession and apply for other jobs, perhaps on promotion. You’ll also be eligible to apply without a degree for the Fast Stream. This is the graduate leadership development programme, which prepares participants for leadership roles within the Civil Service.

Published 24 January 2018