(at end of programme) equivalent to A Levels
18 – 24 months duration
depending on prior learning
Funding available for training
supported by training provider
Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship (Wales)
Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team focusing on laboratory skills for the manufacture of ATMPs.
A laboratory technician may carry out both routine and one off laboratory testing and perform a variety of technical support functions across the organisation Working safety and ethically is paramount and many companies operate under highly regulated conditions because of the need to control the quality and safety of products Laboratory technicians are expected to work both individually and as part of a laboratory team, able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work that is undertaken.
Typical job roles may include: Analytical Support Chemist, Technical Support Scientist, Microbiology Support Scientist, Process Development Technologist, Laboratory Assistant, Senior Laboratory Technician, Technical Specialist, Quality Control Laboratory Assistant, Laboratory Co-ordinator, Technical Laboratory Assistant, Laboratory Analyst, Laboratory Research Assistant.
- The NVQ is an occupational competence qualification that will assess learners knowledge and skills to work as a laboratory technician within a range of environments.
- The qualification contains mandatory units covering generic knowledge and skills including health and safety, and efficient working relationships.
- Optional units cover areas such as testing, sampling, stock control, preparing resources and equipment, and providing technical support.
- There are no prerequisites to achieve these qualifications other than experience and training within the workplace.
Certificate in Laboratory Skills:
- Laboratory Health, Safety and Environmental Practices (4 credits) Guided learning time 27 hours
- Managing Operations within the Laboratory (3 credits) Guided learning time 21 hours
- Advanced Laboratory Procedures (8 credits) Guided learning time 60 hours
2 Optional Units:
- Biological and Biochemical Laboratory Techniques (5 credits) Guided learning time 42 hours
- Chemical laboratory techniques (5 credits) Guided learning time 42 hours
Other skills and assessment:
- Essential Skills Wales in Application of Number, Communication and Digital Literacy.
- Assessment is usually written and practical exercises including a 2.5 hour exam
- The course will be delivered on one day a week face to face learning in dedicated facilities either on the Deeside site of Coleg Cambria in North Wales or Coleg y Cymoedd in the South.
- Typically apprentices will hold Level 2 qualifications providing the apprentice with the relevant knowledge and skills to start the apprenticeship, with an understanding of the industry in which they are going to work.
- Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to endpoint assessment.
- For those with an education, health and care plan, English and maths minimum requirement is entry Level 3.
- At the end of this apprenticeship apprentices will have achieved a Technical Certificate in Laboratory Skills and a National Vocational Qualification
- Following successful completion of endpoint assessment the apprentice will operate as a Laboratory Technician.
- The apprenticeship is aligned with professional registration at RSciTech with Science Council.
Training provider analysis
This is a new apprenticeship standard that was designed by Life Sciences Employers and approved for delivery in 2019.
Training provider analysis across Higher Education revealed a number of universities that are specialising in different areas of Advanced Therapies including University of Leeds, University College London, University of Manchester and Aston University. Each provider has a different focus from biopharmaceutical drug development, molecular aspects of cell and gene therapy, manufacturing, design of clinical trials and the regulatory environment.
The Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community can support employers setting up the individual apprenticeships with relevant universities, depending on your area of specialist need, and pull the research scientist cohort together.