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V&A Staff © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

V&A Staff © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Undertaking a work-based learning programme or an apprenticeship is the perfect way to develop your skills and expertise, gaining first-hand experience on the job and learning from industry professionals. The V&A's suite of vocational programmes is designed around the skills and knowledge required for the specialist roles within the cultural heritage industry.

The work-based learning team at the V&A deliver a range of vocational programmes to both V&A employees and employees of cultural heritage organisations in the UK and internationally, including early careers professionals.

The V&A is involved in several ‘Apprenticeship Trailblazer’ groups, working with museums, galleries, libraries and other arts and heritage organisations to develop new apprenticeship standards to support training and development in the sector. Still in the development phase, many of these are likely to be approved for delivery in 2019.

Our work-based learning programmes fall into 4 main categories:
  • V&A and Icon Conservation & Collections Care Technicians Diploma
  • Cultural Heritage qualifications
  • Libraries, Archives & Information Services qualifications
  • Apprenticeships

V&A and Icon Conservation & Collections Care Technicians Diploma

The role of a technician working within the cultural, heritage and creative industries is enormously varied. Specialist knowledge of objects is required in order to move, install, pack and transport them safely and effectively. This work-based diploma covers the wide range of skills and knowledge required to work as a technician with museum collections, historic artefacts and works of art.

Further information can be found here: Conservation & Collections Care Technicians Diploma.

Contacts

Laura Lewis-Davies
Apprenticeships and Trainee Programmes Manager
Tel: 0207 942 2155
Email: l.lewisdavies@vam.ac.uk

Ray Chan
Training & Development Business Co-ordinator
Tel: 0207 942 2940
Email: r.chan@vam.ac.uk

Chris Burton, apprentice at Orleans House Gallery © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Chris Burton, apprentice at Orleans House Gallery © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cultural Heritage Qualifications

The V&A is an accredited training provider delivering qualifications awarded by the nationally recognised awarding body, BIIAB.

The Cultural Heritage suite of qualifications contains a wide range of optional units allowing learners to build a portfolio of work around a variety of roles including:

  • Collections Management
  • Learning and Interpretation
  • Marketing and Fundraising
  • Visitor Experience
Learners can also select a range of these if their role spans their organisation more broadly.

Level Qualification
Fee
Level 2
Supporting Cultural Venue Operations (Certificate)
£3,000
Level 3
Cultural Venue Operations (Certificate)
£3,000
Level 2
Cultural Heritage (Certificate)
£3,000
Level 3
Cultural Heritage (Diploma)
£3,500
Level 5
Cultural Heritage (Diploma)
£3,500

All prices are exclusive of VAT which is charged at 20%.

For more details about work-based learning programmes please contact Laura Lewis-Davies.

For more information about the delivery of the programmes please see the Frequently Asked Questions section towards the bottom of this page.

Learning in the workplace:

The logical structure of [my qualification] meant that I could gather all of the experience and document it whilst carrying out my job.

(The qualification) is divided up into units, so it was possible to work on the areas that were most relevant at any one time. There are a set of optional units that allowed me to look into areas that are traditionally outside my job description and interact with other departments.

Collecting evidence allowed me to see my job and its role in the museum from a different perspective and to gain confidence and job satisfaction in the process. The resulting folder (rather than being solely a document to gain an award) is invaluable and a personal record of any experience and on the job development.

Ria Kirby, V&A Technician

Libraries, Archives & Information Services Qualifications

The Libraries, Archives & Information Services qualifications are available at two levels, both focusing on the specialist skills required for working in a library, archive or information services environment. Learners have the option to also study a variety of topics further including, amongst others:

  • Local Studies
  • Family History
  • Palaeography
  • Engaging with the wider community
LevelQualification
Fee
Level 2
Libraries, Archives and Information Services (Certificate)
£3,000
Level 3
Libraries, ArchivesandInformationServices (Diploma)
£3,500

All prices are exclusive of VAT which is charged at 20%.

For more details about work-based learning programmes please contact Laura Lewis-Davies.

For more information about the delivery of the programmes please see the Frequently Asked Questions section towards the bottom of this page.

Apprenticeships

The V&A has a successful and well-established Apprenticeship Programme, supporting apprentices across the cultural heritage sector. 

Apprenticeship frameworks are available to both levy and non-levy paying organisations. This means that levy paying-organisations can pay for the tuition fees from their levy pot, and non-levy organisations can have 90% of their tuition fees paid for by the Government.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship gives learner the opportunity to work for a real employer, earn a real salary and benefit from real training whilst gaining valuable workplace skills and experience.

Anyone living in England, over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply to be an apprentice.

You can find out more here: Become an apprentice.

What does an Apprenticeship involve?

An apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme lasting 1 year and 1 day. The year ahead is mapped out between the Apprentice, line manager and Assessor so everyone knows what to expect.

20% of the Apprentice’s time must be spent on ‘off the job training’. This doesn’t mean day release to college, but a combination of e-Learning via the V&A’s e-Portfolio system, learning logs, project work and assignments, one-to-one sessions with an Assessor, job shadowing and industry visits.

We deliver currently deliver apprenticeship frameworks for the V&A and other organisations. For current vacancies, please see below.

The apprenticeships currently available for delivery by the V&A’s work-based learning team are:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Cultural Venue Operations (Level 2)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Cultural Venue Operations (Level 3)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Cultural Heritage (Level 3)
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Libraries, Archives & Information Services (Level 2)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Libraries, Archives & Information Services (Level 3)

Apprenticeship Vacancies

There are currently no apprenticeship vacancies.

Contacts

Laura Lewis-Davies
Apprenticeships and Trainee Programmes Manager
Tel: 0207 942 2155
Email: l.lewisdavies@vam.ac.uk

Ray Chan
Training & Development Business Co-ordinator
Tel: 0207 942 2940
Email: r.chan@vam.ac.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I do a Work-Based Learning programme?

Completing a work-based learning programme, shows to your current and potential future employers that you are competent in your role and demonstrates an interest in continuous professional development, improving your employability.

Will it stop me from doing my job?

No. In fact, the programme should complement your job by demonstrating your current level of competence.

How long will it take?

You can work at your own pace. The time it takes for you to complete your programme may be affected by your workload, your commitment, your employer’s commitment and how easy it is for you to access the evidence you are required to meet. As a guide:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate: 6-12 months depending on the average number of units you are required to submit
  • Level 3 Diploma: 9-12 months depending on the average number of units you are required to submit.
  • Level 4 Diploma: 12-18 months depending on the average number of units you are required to submit.

What do the different levels mean?

  • Level 2 is the equivalent level to GCSE
  • Level 3 is the equivalent level to A-Level
  • Level 4 is the equivalent level to a foundation degree, or the first year of a degree
  • Level 5 is the equivalent level to the second year of a degree
  • Level 6 is the equivalent level to a degree
  • Level 7 is the equivalent level to a post-graduate qualification or Masters

Many of the new apprenticeship standards are being developed at the higher level, such as Level 6 Registrar (Creative & Cultural), Level 7 Conservator and Level 7 Curator.

Is there an upper age limit for completing a Work-Based Learning programme?

No! Work-based learning happens throughout your career.

How will I be assessed?

  • You will have an e-Portfolio where you will be set tasks, projects and assignments to support your professional development in your current role.
  • You will keep a Learning Log to reflect on your development and identify areas for further learning.
  • You will also be encouraged to undertake job shadowing and industry visits, including to the V&A where possible.
  • Your Assessor will work with you on a one-to-one basis and assess you using the 5 key assessment methods:
    • Observation – your Assessor visits, sees you in action and writes an Observation Report
    • Witness Testimony – a colleague sees you in action and writes a Witness Testimony describing your performance
    • Reflective Account – you write a monthly Learning Log reflecting on what you’ve been doing in work
    • Work Product – you upload a piece of work or document you’ve completed accompanied by a Reflective Account explaining the process
    • Professional Discussion – you and your Assessor have a discussion about a particular topic or project

Can I fail an on-programme assessment?

No! On-programme assessment is an ongoing process throughout any work-based learning programme and apprenticeship framework, where you build a portfolio of evidence demonstrating your knowledge and competence. Work-based learning programmes are a marathon not a sprint, so you do need to keep up to date with your assignments and not leave everything until the last minute.

The new apprenticeship standards which are being developed contain an ‘end point assessment’ which is carried out by an independent end point assessment organisation. It is possible to fail an end point assessment, however you will have the opportunity to practise your skills and knowledge throughout your programme. Currently none of our apprenticeships contain end point assessment.

What prior knowledge and experience do I need?

Balancing the demands of your work-based learning programme with your existing workload is hard! Learners need to be:

  • interested in the sector
  • motivated to succeed in completing the programme
  • prepared to be well organised
  • willing to learn and apply what they have learnt in the workplace
  • willing and able to communicate effectively with a range of people
  • ICT literate

When can I start?

The V&A work-based learning programmes work on a roll-on-roll-off model, which means you can start at any time (agreed between you, your line manager and the organisation) and you’re not confined to the start of the academic year.

International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

Find out more