04 June 2018 - Ambulance service given thumbs up from OFSTED Teaching and learning standards for apprentices at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) have been given positive feedback from regulator, OFSTED. The ambulance service changed the way it provides training to apprentices in May 2017 when it became an employer provider meaning it was able to deliver its first regulated qualification in-house. NWAS was randomly selected as the first new NHS employer provider in the country to receive an early monitoring visit and was found to be making ‘reasonable progress’ across all three monitoring areas in a report published in May. In the report senior leaders at the trust were found to have a “clear workforce strategy and operational plan” to ensure that apprentices “receive good-quality education and training to enable them to perform their job roles to a high standard.” Apprentice recruitment was found to be “rigorous,” with all of those recruited from May 2017 still on the apprenticeship. Most apprentices are “make good progress” and “achieve the targets set for them,” the report said. Currently, 145 apprentices are enrolled onto the Level 4 Associate Ambulance Practitioner (AAP) apprenticeship, to become emergency medical technicians. Michael Forrest, Deputy Chief Executive for NWAS, said: “We are extremely pleased with the comments from the report and very proud of the fantastic progress that our new apprentices are making, many of which are now gaining first-hand experience by working as part of an emergency ambulance crew. “There is still work to do to ensure that we continue to improve but the findings of this report gives us assurance that we are headed in the right direction.” The visit was undertaken as part of a series of monitoring visits to a sample of new apprenticeship training providers that are directly funded through the apprenticeship levy. The Associate Ambulance Practitioner (AAP) apprenticeship involves 14 weeks of classroom based learning followed by emergency driver training before learning on the job by working in practice as part of a frontline ambulance crew for the remaining nine months. On completion of the programme, apprentices will become qualified Emergency Medical Technicians.