A Software Development Technician typically works as part of a software development team, to builds simple software components, whether web, mobile or desktop applications to be used by other members of the team as part of larger software development projects. They will interpret simple design requirements for discrete components of the project under supervision. The approach will typically include implementing code, which other team members have developed, to produce the required component. The Software Development Technician will also be engaged in testing that the specific component meets its intended functionality.
Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include 5 GCSEs (especially English, mathematics and a science or technology subject); other relevant qualifications and experience; or an aptitude test with a focus on IT skills.
On Programme Assessment
Technical knowledge and understanding is assessed on programme through Ofqual-regulated Knowledge Modules. These must be passed before the end point assessment can take place.
End Point Assessment
The final, end point assessment is completed in the last few months of the apprenticeship. It is based on a portfolio – presented towards the end of the apprenticeship, containing evidence from real work projects which have been completed during the apprenticeship, usually towards the end, and which, taken together, cover the totality of the standard, and which is assessed as part of the end point assessment
a project – giving the apprentice the opportunity to undertake a business-related project over a one-week period away from the day to day workplace
an employer reference
a structured interview with an assessor – exploring what has been presented in the portfolio and the project as well as looking at how it has been produced.
The end point assessment includes an assessment of all the requirements of the standard, including, competencies, knowledge and behaviours. It takes place in the final few months of the apprenticeship, using four assessment methods:
Summative portfolio | Synoptic project | Employer reference | Interview
The use of a variety of assessment methods in the final end point assessment ensures that the assessment of each apprentice is based on their performance and reflects accurately the quality of their work and the application of skills, knowledge and behaviours specified in the standards. Taken together, these components of the final end point assessment build a cumulative picture of performance against the standard, enabling the independent assessor to make a holistic judgement about how well the apprentice meets or exceeds the standard.
Grading takes place at the end of the apprenticeship, following the end point assessment. The output is a single grade: pass, merit or distinction, for the entire apprenticeship.
Grading is done by the independent assessor, based on a holistic view of the apprentice’s work and as evidenced through each of the methods of end point assessment. The assessor will assess each of the project and the portfolio in advance of the interview, will review the employer reference, and will note
- any initial assessment conclusions
- questions to explore at interview to test these initial conclusions
Whilst the assessor may have some sense of the likely or potential grade, this initial and partial assessment conclusion is not communicated as the grading decision cannot be made before all the evidence has been assessed, including the evidence gained at the interview. The interview enables the outputs from the project and the portfolio to be explored in more detail – in terms of what was produced and how it was produced, and to address the questions previously identified and to validate, test and amend initial assessment conclusions.