Types of Apprenticeships:

A key element of apprenticeship is structured OJT. While most occupations include at least some on-the-job learning, it often happens informally and without much structure. By adopting the registered apprenticeship approach, you are committing to providing every apprentice with opportunities to learn a pre-determined set of skills. How you do this—and how you report it to the Office of Apprenticeship in your state—depends on the model you select. There are currently three options available, as described in Figure 2, below.

Time-Based Competency-Based Hybrid
Apprentices complete a required number of hours in OJT and RTI Apprentices progress at their own pace—they demonstrate proficiency through assessments, but are not required to complete a specific number of hours. Apprentices complete OJT within a range of hours and successfully demonstrate proficiency in predetermined competencies.


Programs that choose the Time-Based Model must develop a Work Process Schedule, which identifies the skills and processes an apprentice must learn and the number of hours of OJT the apprentice must complete in each skill. For instance, a machinist apprentice in a Time-Based program may be required to complete 1000 hours of training in the operation of machine tools. Most apprenticeable occupations have Work Process Schedules on file with the Office of Apprenticeship that would spell out suggested skills and related training hours; these can be modified to meet the demands of your company.

Programs that choose the Competency-Based Model must develop Core Competency Requirements, which identify the competencies an apprentice must master and the assessment or credentials they must complete in order to demonstrate their proficiency. In this model, the number of OJT hours is not prescribed, allowing an apprentice to move more quickly through the program or to spend more time to acquire a skill as needed.

Hybrid programs typically develop a Work Process Schedule similar to the Time-Based Model, but will also indicate when an apprentice must complete an assessment to demonstrate proficiency.


Advantages of a Competency Based Apprenticeship System

Source: NIMS Competency-Based Apprenticeship Implementation Guide

  • Recognition of a journeyworker certification can more clearly communicate the level of skills attained and mastered
  • An apprentice can focus on mastering skills within an occupation at his or her own pace
  • An apprentice can move to the next skill level or achieve journeyworker status upon demonstration of the required competency
  • Programs can be designed to facilitate upward and/or lateral mobility by including competency standards in diverse skill areas within the training occupation
  • Cost savings can be achieved by reducing the amount of time needed for the training of some apprentices.

Next Button Back Button