COVID-19 FAQs for Foundation Apprentices

We've pulled together some of the most common questions about the impact of COVID-19 on Foundation Apprenticeships.


How do I contact my careers adviser? 

Although your local careers centre is currently closed in line with the government COVID-19 advice, you can still get careers advice.  

Careers advisers are available over the phone or online. If you want to speak to your school careers adviser, you can call your local centre and ask for them by name.  

Call your local careers centre or visit

How should I respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? 

We encourage everyone – providers, employers and apprentices – to follow Government guidelines on Coronavirus.  

The Scottish Government’s latest information and advice is available online Public health advice can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform. 

If you are feeling anxious or stressed, you can find advice on looking after your mental well-being, please see Well-being Support. 

You may also be experiencing personal issues such as bereavement, addiction or domestic abuse.  You can find information on a wide range of topics, including the support available to you if you have been affected by any of the issues, at BBC Action Line.

How do I find out if my apprenticeship is affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

We understand that many apprentices are feeling unsettled at the moment and you’ll be worried about not being able to attend your placement or school.    

We advise contacting your learning provider (college or training centre). They’ll let you know of any changes to the delivery of your apprenticeship and academic study. They’ll also have information about any learning or work you can access online or remotely and how you can use this time to continue to progress through your apprenticeship. You should also get in touch with your school.  

I can't find any vacancies. What are my options?

Why not consider an Pathway Apprenticeship

If you've recently left school, are unemployed and not receiving benefits, a Pathway Apprenticeship could help you to prepare for the world of work. You'll gain an industry-recognised qualification and accelerate your progression into future employment of further apprenticeship opportunities.

If you're completing your FA in summer 2020

What certification will I receive for my Foundation Apprenticeship? I am worried that I was not able to complete the full award due to COVID-19.

If you have completed all group awards and units of your Foundation Apprenticeship will, as normal, receive the Foundation Apprenticeship certification along with the Scottish Qualification Certificate that records all your achievement.   

If you have completed the National Certificate Award or National Progression Award part of your Foundation Apprenticeship and have not failed any units taken, you will receive a Scottish Qualification Certificate. It will list your achievements and a joint SQA/SDS Letter of Recognition will confirm you were on track to receive the FA .  

Colleges and universities will accept the letter of recognition for entry applications and admission – you can find the specifications for Foundation Apprenticeship admissions for colleges and universities on the Foundation Apprenticeships area  

UCAS has confirmed that the Letter of Recognition will gain the full UCAS Tariff score. To achieve this, you should select the relevant Foundation Apprenticeshipwithin their UCAS application.

Learners who have completed and passed other units of their Foundation Apprenticeship will gain certification from SQA for those achievements. 

If I receive a Letter of Recognition how will this be viewed by colleges and universities?

A Letter of Recognition will be recognised by all colleges and universities for entry applications and admission – you can find the specifications for Foundation Apprenticeship admissions on the Foundation Apprenticeships area

If I have a Letter of Recognition will I be able to continue the work-based learning parts of my Foundation Apprenticeship in the future?

Yes, if you want to complete the outstanding learning of the full FA Award in 2020/21 you will be supported by SDS and learning providers to complete it where possible.

How long is the Letter of Recognition valid for? i.e. will I be able to use this in future years if I defer College/University etc

The Letter of Recognition will always be recognised. This means, for example, that it will be accepted in future years, should you wish to defer entry into a college or university.

Can I be accepted for a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship if I have a Letter of Recognition?

Yes. SDS will support your progression to a related Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship and you can pick up the learning and assessment from where you left off prior to the disruption caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

What would I put on my CV, if I was due to finish my FA in June 2020 but couldn’t because of COVID-19?

SQA will confirm all elements that you have achieved from taking the Foundation Apprenticeship and these can be included in your CV. If you are awarded the FA Certificate and/or the Letter of Recognition, Modern Apprenticeship providers, colleges and universities will treat these as eligible entry requirements.

What should I do if I didn't receive the results I expected?

If you didn't get the results or certification you were expecting, please contact your school or learning provider as soon as possible. 

You can also speak to an adviser by calling our Results Helpline. It opens on Tuesday 4 August. 

Find out more by visiting My World of Work. 

Why have I not received a letter of recognition?

In order to be eligible for the Letter or Recognition, you must have met the criteria. If you believe you should have received a Letter of Recognition, please contact your school or learning provider to discuss this further.

There are results missing from my Foundation Apprenticeship certificate

All results are submitted to SQA by the school or learning provider where you undertook the qualification, please contact your learning provider directly to discuss this further.  

Going into Year 2 or starting an FA

Will I be able to continue into the second year of my Foundation Apprenticeship?

Yes. SDS is working with everyone involved in delivering Foundation Apprenticeships to make sure there’s necessary adaptations in place for anyone undertaking their second year Your school and learning provider will keep you up to date with all arrangements. 

Can I still apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Yes. Expressions of Interest and Foundation Apprenticeship applications are being accepted and followed up by learning providers, schools and local authorities. Speak to your teachers and careers advisers to help with any aspect of this. You should apply for your Foundation Apprenticeship through, or directly to the local Learning Provider. 

How will the work placements be able to go ahead during the COVID-19 situation?

We will follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on safe working practices and suitable work- based learning opportunities. We are working with SQA and others to look at how Foundation Apprenticeships are delivered and assessed to make sure anything put in place meets the standards expected. 

How will my senior phase timetable include Foundation Apprenticeships if I only attend school on certain days per week?

Your school will explain the new arrangements so you can continue to study the most suitable senior phase qualifications for you. Your careers adviser can also help you to consider your learning and career pathways and help you to develop your career management skills. 

What will my Foundation Apprenticeship be like? Will it include face to face and online/ remote learning?

The aim is for every Foundation Apprenticeship to be delivered using a mix of face to face and on-line/ remote learning activities. Your school and learning provider will guide you through a detailed outline of the course requirements and how these will be delivered. This will be tailored to meet your needs with a personalised learning agreement. 

For teachers

How will Foundation Apprenticeships feature within Insight Benchmarking Tool?

Insight Tariff data is captured via an uplift from SQA systems from the SG Benchmarking Team.  This procedure will be adapted to ensure that it captures both those in receipt of the FA Certification and those in receipt of the Letter of Recognition.  Both cohorts will attract the existing tariff agreed against each framework.