The official apprenticeship jargon buster

Careers advice

Attending meetings where colleagues or managers use terms you don’t understand can be unnerving- especially as an apprentice in a new environment.

Relax! We have your back.

At Impact Futures, our mission is to make your apprenticeship accessible from day one – and that includes the specialist language or ‘jargon’ used throughout the apprenticeship.

The following list breaks down key terms you may encounter in the workplace and throughout your apprenticeship to prepare you for your future career.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of EU regulation that came into force in the UK in 2018, ensuring that organisations complied with their legal duty to protect personal data. The regulations ensured data anonymisation, deletion of data, and notifying someone if their data has been leaked.

The introduction of GDPR marked an increase in the severity of punishments for non-compliance, meaning organisations could be subject to serious penalties.

Employees who have access to or handle certain types of information may be expected to complete GDPR training when they begin their role.

Following the British exit from the European Union, GDPR laws in the UK were no longer applicable. As a result, The UK combined GDPR with other regulations like the updated Data Protection Act to form a UK specific data protection regulation known as UK GDPR.

2. Risk Assessments

“A risk assessment is necessary before conducting the activity.”

Risk assessments are undertaken to observe where potentially dangerous events can happen in an environment or activity and to identify measures that need to be taken to avoid risk.

Apprentices must be vigilant and aware of risks, particularly when responsible for the welfare of others in their role.

3. Upskilling

“Apprenticeship training programmes and further education can support you with upskilling and development”

Upskilling is the process of building your skillset and gaining demonstrable qualifications.

Upskilling can be carried out informally through on-the-job training or formally through undertaking an apprenticeship - which is a paid, fully funded, and nationally recognised way to enlarge your skillset.

Upskilling benefits both the employer and the employee by increasing work satisfaction, workplace performance, and employee retention.

4. Customer-Focused

“This project must be customer-focused.”

Customer focus involves putting the customer at the centre of what you do: a task targeted at making the customer happy and satisfied.

5. Off-the-job training

“Off-the-job training is a key component of an apprenticeship training programme.”

Off-the-job training is learning away from normal work that contributes to your apprenticeship.

Examples vary, but could include attending a staff meeting, an event, or undertaking research to learn more about how to complete an assigned task.

Apprentices should commit 20% of their time to off-the-job learning and then keep a record of how long it took and the details of the activity.

6. Safeguarding

“Our office follows safeguarding measures to protect vulnerable groups.”

Safeguarding is a broad term that refers to measures that need to be taken to protect vulnerable groups and identify where there may be a risk of exploitation or harm. This is particularly important in roles that require apprentices to work directly or indirectly with children or vulnerable adults. In such roles, you will be given training on safeguarding and your responsibilities.

7. SEO 

“It is important for our company to invest in SEO.”

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an integral part of the marketing industry; SEO focuses on shaping businesses’ web pages and content to increase website traffic and to show prominently in search engine results.

Important for Digital Marketing apprentices in particular, SEO is a key area in an increasingly virtual business landscape where organisations rely on their online presence and advertising.

8. ICT

“The candidate’s knowledge and experience of ICT must be extensive.”

There are few industries that don’t require Information Communications Technology (ICT) to function effectively in 2021, so its importance to both apprenticeships and your career path cannot be overstated.

In an increasingly interconnected and technologically advanced world, it is vital to be fully trained for your role; an apprenticeship that provides qualifications or experience in ICT or digital skills will make you stand out from the crowd in the modern job market.

Impact Futures offer a range of digitally-focused apprenticeships and short courses that will give you a competitive edge in the employment market.

9. EPA

“Your EPA will test the skills, behaviour and knowledge learned during an apprenticeship.”

An end-point assessment (EPA) occurs at the end of an apprenticeship and is designed to test the skills, knowledge, and behaviours that the apprentice has learnt throughout their programme.

If the EPA is passed, the apprentice is awarded their apprenticeship standard certificate.

10. SEN

“The child has SEN, so we must adjust their learning plan.”

SEN stands for special educational needs. A child with SEN has a disability or individual difference that affects their ability to learn in the same manner as other children. A SENCO is a Special Educational Needs Coordinator- it is their responsibility to coordinate the provision for children with special educational needs or disabilities in schools.

Find out more about how Impact Futures can support you with apprenticeships and training.


Got any questions?

We’re all about making an impact, be that individuals making an impact through their day-to-day work, or by organisations making their impact on our economy.

As a national training provider, we make this impact throughout the UK, with expertise in childcare, healthcare, clinical and business skills apprenticeships.

If you have any questions, whether it be about this article or anything else, complete the form below, call us on 01753 596 004, or email us.

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