Medical Statistician Apprenticeship

UK Medical Statistician Level 7 Apprenticeship Scheme

PSI volunteers are working hard to develop and get approved a Medical Statistician Level 7 (MSc integrated) Apprenticeship Scheme.

For an apprenticeship scheme to be approved by the government, you need a “Standard” which describes the occupation, duties, knowledge, skills and behaviours expected and an End Point Assessment  (EPA) which describes how the scheme would work in practice and how the scheme is examined. It is the duty of the training provider to work with the employer on when the training will be provided and how it is delivered.  This is agreed before the employer selects a training provider.  The latest draft of these documents for the proposed Medical Statistician Level 7 Apprenticeship can be found here:

Click to download

Click to download

A summary of the scheme is provided below.  As of February 2021, the proposed standard and EPA are undergoing government review, however, prior to the government approving the scheme, we need at least 2 universities to provide a quote for provision of the training, and 1 university to provide a quote to be the end point assessor, and we need 1 commitment from a university that they agree in principle to being the end point assessor organization.  We are working with the universities to try to partner with them, however if you have a university contact who you think could help with this, please contact: Jim.Saul@covance.com  

 

How can you help? 

Universities would find it easier to commit to being a training provider if they knew how many apprentices they are likely to get enrolled each year.  To enable PSI to estimate this, please complete this questionnaire on behalf of your company.

 

Duration of the apprenticeship

Full-time apprentices will typically spend 30 months on-programme prior to the “gateway”. All apprentices must spend a minimum of 20% of on-programme time undertaking off-the-job training with the remaining 80% working on-the-job for the employer.

Before starting EPA:

  • the employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard
  • Achievement of 120 credits of the MSc integrated degree in Medical Statistics from the on-programme apprenticeship, formally confirmed prior to the gateway progression. (The final 60 credits of the MSc degree will be attributed to the EAP).
  • apprentices must have achieved English and Mathematics at Level 2

After the gateway there will be two EPA methods to be completed typically within 6 months overseen by the employer.   1: Work based project report with presentation and questioning and 2: Professional interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence.

 

End-point assessment 1: Work based project report with presentation

Apprentices will carry out a project over 4 months including creation of an electronic written report with a maximum word limit of 12,000. The employer should supervise this and ensure the apprentice has sufficient time (minimum 50 working days) and the necessary resources, within this period, to plan and undertake the project.   The project involves the apprentice completing a significant and defined piece of work that has a real business benefit.

The project needs approval by the EPA organization prior to starting, and may be based on any of the following:

  • a specific problem, such as the application of statistical methods to specific disease areas
  • a recurring issue, using statistics to analyse data in a better way
  • an idea or opportunity, such as a new data type or new experiment or design

Following completion of the project report, apprentices will submit and present a presentation to the independent assessor.  The presentation will provide an overview of the apprentice’s project and any project outputs. This will be followed by questioning by the independent assessor. The presentation and questioning must last for a total of 45 minutes, typically being a presentation of 20 minutes and questioning lasting 25 minutes. The independent assessor will ask a minimum of 8 questions.

 

End-point assessment 2: Professional interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence.

The apprentice will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence which they have developed during their on-programme training period detailing their on the job experience. It will typically contain 12 discrete pieces of evidence aligned to the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) defined in the standard. Evidence sources may include items like: workplace documentation (for example SAS/R code and output for analyses completed), technical writing (for example, Protocols, Statistical analysis plans, reports, posters or papers), evidence of sample size calculations, or study design rationale. The apprentice will be interviewed on the content by an independent assessor asking a series of questions to assess their competence against the KSBs. The interview must last for 60 minutes and have a minimum of 6 questions.

 

Funding options and who is this for?

Apprentices can be new or current employees.  As an employer, you will be able to log into the “apprenticeship service account”, choose the Medical Statistician apprenticeship, choose a training provider, agree a price and payment schedule and pay for the training and assessment with funds through your apprenticeship service account.  Note: Funds will enter this account if your company declare the apprenticeship levy to the HMRC. If you aren’t eligible to pay the levy, then with co-investment, you will pay 5% of the apprenticeship costs outstanding balance for that month and the government will pay the remaining 95% up to the funding band maximum.  Please see the following for more detail around funding: Government guidance on managing apprenticeship funds  and How apprenticeship levies work

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