Social Services and Healthcare

Foundation Apprenticeship



This Foundation Apprenticeship gives pupils skills to prepare for a career in social services. It'll help them to:

  • learn to communicate with people who use care services

  • understand and support people's social and developmental needs

Examples of course units include:

National Progression Award (NPA)

  • Social services in Scotland

  • Safeguarding people


  • Develop your own knowledge and practice

  • Support the safeguarding of individuals

You can support pupils to aim for rewarding jobs where they can improve lives and help others. Possible care roles could include:

  • adult or children's nurse

  • care assistant

  • care home manager

  • residential support worker

  • social worker

Apprenticeship framework(s)

Successful candidates will achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF Level 6. This is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher.

SCQF qualification levels explained

Select Level 6 to see the framework document and qualification at that level.

Entry requirements

Pupils don't need formal qualifications for entry, but should have:

  • a good level of written and spoken English

  • the ability to work with others

  • communication skills

  • problem-solving skills

  • a commitment to the appropriate values

The pupil would select a Foundation Apprenticeship as a school subject choice. Then they'd go through a recruitment process arranged by the college, or other learning provider. It's great if you can get involved, too.

Pupils need to register with the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme before placement.

Progression and development

Pupils will get the skills, knowledge and competence to help them move on to:

  • a Modern Apprenticeship

  • more vocational training

  • further study at school or college

These will help them to prepare for working in a social services subject.

If you're looking to hire, Foundation Apprenticeships help you spot talented pupils. You can assess their skills on a longer term than a regular interview process would allow.

social services healthcare framework 432 x 288

How does it work?

In S5 pupils may complete an industry challenge project based on a care practice issue. They could spend up to 10 days learning about a care setting and the care practice issue.

In S6 each pupil must complete a work placement of about 1 day a week. That helps them build the evidence needed to complete the units from the SVQ. We recommend that placements are in community care or in daycare for adults or older adults.

Cost and funding

There’s no financial cost to you as an employer because the learner is still at school. But investing your time can bring rewards, with access to talented young people in your workplace.

How long will it take?

It can take 1 year or 2 years. Pupils study a Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their school subjects, usually over S5 and/or S6.

What's next

Fill out our contact form and we'll connect you with your local learning provider who can talk to you about working with Foundation Apprenticeships.