Level 4 Healthcare Science Apprenticeship


The Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology provides Level 4 Apprenticeships and BTEC Diplomas for Ophthalmic Healthcare Science Associates. This is a Health Education England approved programme for ophthalmic support staff.

The role of a qualified Ophthalmic Healthcare Science Associate is to undertake a range of patient investigations and diagnostic procedures that contribute to the diagnostic and treatment management decisions of senior ophthalmic staff. At present the majority of staff performing these tests have no accredited qualifications. The introduction of apprenticeships with BTEC Diploma is an important step in ensuring the quality and safety of care delivered to ophthalmic patients.

The Apprenticeship allows learners to complete the BTEC Diploma in Healthcare Science whilst having 20% off the job training.


The typical duration of the Level 4 Healthcare Science apprenticeship is 104 weeks (2 years).

What’s Included:

BTEC level 4 Healthcare Science Diploma – AHPO have designed the apprenticeship offer to be specific to the practice of ophthalmology

There are 21 Units (125 Credits) to be completed on the apprenticeship.

Assessors with extensive knowledge and experience in ophthalmology

A comprehensive ePortfolio

eBooks for AHPO learner use only

iPad provided

How will learning take place:

Learning will take place through 20% off the job training and also on the job training.

Off the job refers to the time taken to develop technical skills and knowledge across a range of contexts. It can be seen as time away from ‘the immediate pressures of the job’, and may include the following (non-exclusive) activities:

  • Individual and group teaching
  • Coaching
  • Guided study
  • e-learning
  • Feedback and assessment

On the job refers to the time taken to develop the practical skills applied in the context of a job role. It can be seen as the time you spend being guided whilst undertaking normal activities as part of your job role, and which provide opportunities to learn, develop and practice skills.

20% Off the job training:

As an apprentice you are eligible to 20% off the job training (OTJT).

OTJT is taken during working hours and must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard. OTJT could include the following;

  • Teaching of theory
  • Practical training
  • Learning support
  • Team meetings

To find out more about OTJT following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-off-the-job-training

Functional skills:

It is a requirement that apprentices on a level 4 apprenticeship complete the apprenticeship with Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English.

We recommend that before starting your apprenticeship you have Level 2 functional skills in Maths and English – or equivalent.

Don’t worry if you haven’t – we can help you to achieve these by the end of your apprenticeship via remote or classroom based functional skills courses.

How learners are assessed:

You will be allocated an assessor when you commence the apprenticeship.

To achieve the qualification you must provide sufficient evidence to show you perform your work to agreed national standards. You will need to collect a variety of evidence within your ePortfolio.

Your assessor may ask you to provide any of the following for sources of evidence:

  • Assignments
  • Presentations
  • Workplace observation
  • Questioning
  • Work Products
  • Professional discussions
  • Recognition of prior learning
  • Witness statements
  • Reflective accounts


When all outcomes have been achieved, your e-portfolio will be passed onto the internal quality assurer for final verification.

You will then go through the assessment gateway process and undertake an End Point Assessment with an independent End Point Assessment organisation.

The EPA comprises of 3 elements deigned to assess your competence: Observation, Professional Practice Test and Professional Discussion. The EPA is graded.

On successful completion of the EPA you will receive certification.

Apprenticeship Process:

How do I enrol?

To apply for the Level 4 healthcare Science apprenticeship please fill in the contact form or email contact@ahpo.net.