Trailblazer apprenticeships

Trailblazer apprenticeships are the new standards for apprenticeships. They are developed by employers to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed in each occupation and improve the quality of apprenticeships.

This new standard is designed to replace the previous Higher Apprenticeship level 4 in England.

The new Apprenticeship levy comes into force in April 2017, and in essence means that any company with a salary bill of over £3M, will contribute a levy 0.5% . There are quite a few rules around, and there are also some refunds, and the more complex details can be found on websites like the and the Apprenticemakers website that explain this in more detail.

Essentially you will build up a fund that the government adds to, to pay for training and assessments for apprenticeships. It is estimated this will raise over £3 Billion a year, and lead to Apprenticeships becoming an important part of a company, as organisations aim to recover those funds against training activities.

Project Management Apprenticeship

The Association of Project Managers is part of a Trailblazer employer group, led by Sellafield Ltd, which has developed the new Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship Standard at level 4, which has been available since January 2017.
The Associate Project Manager apprenticeship standard has a typical two year duration. The standard includes the APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) as an on-programme assessment.
There is a broad range of work experience, across many sectors available to project management apprentices. The IPMA Level D qualification provides the Level 4 apprentice with a cross industry recognised qualification. It has been welcomed by industry, and has been endorsed by the Employer Development Group (EDG) to continue as an integral component of the Associate Project Manager Trailblazer.
The end-point assessment is designed to enable apprentices to demonstrate that they are fully conversant in the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of individuals at this level. It is designed to provide assessors with a holistic view of the apprentice, and to allow them to assess to what extent the apprentice meets or exceeds the apprenticeship standard.

The Associate Project Manager apprenticeship

The Associate Project Manager apprenticeship includes the APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) (IPMA Level D, SCQF Level 7) which is a knowledge-based qualification that allows candidates to demonstrate understanding of all elements of project management.

Download the Assessment plan for the new Associate Project Manager Standard

Download the Associate Project Manager Standard

Download the Guidance for Trailblazers


There are a number of options available to implement the Project Management apprenticeship, over 18 or 24 months, with all the required training and assessments, taught by experts using theory and practical work, with a great support package through the training process.

With the APM becoming a fully chartered body, recognition of Project Management has never been higher, and the ability to study further once the apprenticeship is complete to gain further recognition.

Contact us

If you are interested in Project Management Apprenticeships and offsetting that against your levy payments, then get in touch with us today to find out more about how this will work.

We can combine small numbers of apprenticeships across a number of companies, or run a dedicated in-house programme regardless of your numbers.

Please email for further information or call 01270 626330 and we will send you further materials explaining the levy, and the structure and syllabus of the Apprenticeship.


Trailblazer apprenticeships are Apprenticeship standards designed by trailblazer group for a specific job role.

Trailblazers are currently available in England. If you are a learner or employer located in Scotland or Wales the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management at level 4 is the programme available. This includes the EAL Level 4 Diploma in Project Management.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management was originally launched by APM in 2012, however, this has been replaced in England by the Associate Project Manager Trailblazer standard at level 4, as of January 2017.

You need to be 16 or over and living and working in England.

You will need to have achieved a minimum of grade C or above in at least 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics, and hold a minimum of 120 UCAS points, or equivalent.

Organisations who recruit for Apprenticeship vacancies will have their own requirements.

It is a partnership of employers who develop an apprenticeship standard.

Employers provide trailblazer apprenticeships.