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Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard: Tool Maker Pathway


Type: Full Time

Subject: Engineering and Motor Vehicle


Start Date: Please contact the Information Centre for start date information

Fee: Please contact the Information Centre for fee information

Course Length

42 months – additional time may be required to complete your independent End–Point assessment. You must have a contract of employment for the duration of your Apprenticeship programme.


This is a Level 3 Apprenticeship and is equivalent to A–Levels. Please note you will be working to A–Level standard for Maths and Science.

You may choose to progress onto a Higher/Degree Level Apprenticeships, you could also apply for full–time study at university.

Who is it for

Please only apply for this course if you already have a suitable employer to support you throughout your Apprenticeship. If you do not currently have an employer you can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies by visiting–vacancies

Toolmakers and Tool & Die Maintenance Technicians are predominantly involved in the highly skilled, complex and specialist detailed work of manufacturing and maintaining the engineering tooling used to produce components, products and assemblies. These products, assemblies and systems affect all of our daily lives, whether it be for travel such as (cars, planes, boats and rail) energy, defence, food, clothing, packaging and health including medical equipment, devices and implants such as joint replacements. This requires the application of a broad range of activities including the interpretation of Engineering drawings and technical instructions and the use of hand, machine and automated computer controlled machine tools and measuring equipment.

Technicians must comply with applicable legislation and organisational safety requirements and be expected to work both individually and as part of a manufacturing team, working with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work you undertake. You will need to be proactive in finding solutions to problems and identifying ways to improve the business.
As an Apprentice you will be expected to test and adjust the systems you have built or maintained ensuring tooling, jigs, fixtures and assemblies meet the required specification. This requires the application of a broad range of skills, knowledge and occupational behaviours across a range of engineering disciplines.

Other specialist pathways are also available at Peterborough Regional College these include: Machinist, Mechatronics Maintenance Technician; Product Design and Development Technician; Toolmaker and Tool and Die Maintenance Technician; Technical Support Technician, visit our course guide to find out more.

You can apply for an Apprenticeship if you are living in England, over 16 and not in full–time education. You must be in paid employment for the duration of your Apprenticeship, you cannot be self–employed or a volunteer. Employers must pay you the minimum Apprenticeship wage or more, for a minimum of 30 hours a week.

Interview Skills Assessment

All candidates will be invited to a pre interview with the Apprenticeship Recruitment Officers and will take part in an initial assessment for English and Maths. You may also be required to complete an aptitude test to assess your current skills.

We strongly recommend all candidates also complete a minimum of 2 weeks of work experience with their employer before to the start of the Apprenticeship to ensure the organisation meets your needs.

What will I need

Individual employers will set their selection criteria, but it is likely to include 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including English, Maths and Science or a Technology subject; a relevant Level 2 Apprenticeship; other relevant qualifications and experience; or an aptitude test with a focus on your current skills.

You will also require a suitably supportive employer who will guide you through your Apprenticeship. If you do not have an employer already you can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on our website ––vacancies/

We strongly advise you to complete a minimum of 2 weeks work experience with your employer before to the start of your Apprenticeship to ensure it is a suitable organisation for your needs.

What is covered

On this Apprenticeship you will learn core skills, knowledge and behaviours required for an Engineering Technicians, as well as specialist skills and knowledge that are require for your chosen pathway. 

Core skills, knowledge and behaviours include: 
Core Knowledge: 
• Understanding the importance of complying with statutory, quality, organisational and health and safety regulations
• Understanding the general engineering/manufacturing mathematical and scientific principles, methods, techniques, graphical expressions, symbols formulae and calculations used by engineering technicians
• Understanding the structure, properties and characteristics of common materials used in the sector.
• Understanding the typical problems that may arise within your normal work activities/environment
• Understanding approved diagnostic methods and techniques used to help solve engineering/manufacturing problems
• Understanding the important of only using current approved processes, procedures, documentation and the potential implications for the organisation if this is not adhered to
• Understanding and interpreting relevant engineering/manufacturing data and documentation in order to complete your job role.
• Understanding the different roles and functions in the organisation and how they interact.
• Understanding why it is important for an organisation to continually review their processes and procedures.

Core Skills:
• Obtaining, checking and using the appropriate documentation (such as job instructions, drawings quality control documentation)
• Working safely at all times, complying with health, safety and environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements planning and where applicable obtaining all the resources required to undertake the work activity.
• Undertaking the working activity correctly using the correct processes, procedures and equipment
• Carrying out the required checks (such as quality, compliance or testing) using the correct procedures, processes and/or equipment
• Dealing promptly and effectively with engineering/manufacturing problems within the limits of your responsibility using approved diagnostic methods and techniques and report those which cannot be resolved to the appropriate personnel
• Completing and required documentation using the defines recording system at the appropriate stages of the work activity
• Restoring the work area on completion of the activity and where applicable return any resources and consumables to the appropriate location.

Core behaviours
• Personal responsibility, resilience and ethics – comply with health and safety guidance and procedures, be disciplined and have a responsible approach to risk, work diligently at all times, accept responsibility for managing time and workload and stay motivated and committed when facing challenges. Comply with any organisational policies/codes of conduct in relation to ethical compliance.
• Work effectively in team – integrate with the team, support other people, consider implications of your action on other people and the business
• Effective communication and interpersonal skills – open and honest communicator, communicating clearly using appropriate methods, listening to other and have a positive and respectful attitudes
• Focus on quality and problem solving – follow instructions and guidance, demonstrating attention to detail, follow a logical approach to problem solving and seek opportunities to improve quality, speed and efficiency
• Continuous personal development – reflect on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seek opportunities to develop, adapt to different situations, environments or technologies and have a positive attitude to feedback and advice.

You will also be required to learn specific skills and knowledge that are related to Tool Maker Apprentices.

Specialist Knowledge:
• Understand mathematical techniques, formula and calculations in a Toolmaking environment
• Understand the structure, properties and characteristics of common materials used for the manufacture and repair of tooling, Moulds, Dies and jigs and fixtures • Understand the safe operation, correct selection and the application of a range of hand tools used for toolmaking and die maintenance, including grinders, drills, stones etc.
• Understand the safe operation and operating principles of a range of complex and often state of the art workshop machinery (such as CNC lathes, milling, grinding and erosion machining centres, drilling and welding equipment)
• Understand how to set up and operate the machinery/equipment efficiently and effectively
• Understand the principles of how the relevant tools, dies, jigs and fixtures being manufactured/maintained function, the operating sequences, the purpose of individual components/systems and how they interact
• Understand the application of pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical and electronic systems as applied to various moulding, injection, pressing and similar associated machinery.

Specialist Skills:
• Read and interpret relevant data and documentation used to produce and/or maintain tool and die components, assemblies and systems
• Apply methods and techniques to produce, assemble, disassemble repair and/or maintain tools, dies, jigs and fixtures as applicable to the employer requirements • Manufacture components (such as tooling, dies, jigs and fixtures)
• Undertake testing to confirm correct operation, and of the effectiveness of repairs and maintenance activities carried out.
• Undertake equipment/asset care and/or Preventative Planned Maintenance processes and procedures
• Carry out complex fault diagnosis and repair activities covering the following technologies as applicable to the tool, die, jig and fixture environment: – Maintaining mechanical equipment – Maintaining fluid & pneumatic power equipment – Maintaining electrical & electronic equipment – Maintaining process control equipment
• Contribute to the business by identifying possible opportunities for improving working practices, processes and/or procedures.

Apprentices are expected to attend college for 3 Days a week in Yr 1 / 2 Days a week in Yr 2 / 1 Day a week in Yr 3 as part of 20% off–the–job training. Additional off–the–job training hours are expected to be completed within the workplace, however you may be asked to complete tasks at home via Google Classroom and One–file.

Please note you may also be asked to complete additional English and Maths qualifications as part of the Apprenticeship programme.

How is the course assessed

Apprentices will be assessed on the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for the Engineering Technician Standard.

All Apprentices will be required to achieve the following qualifications:
• Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Foundation Competence)
• Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Competence) – Toolmaker, Tool and Die Maintenance
• Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Knowledge)

You will also be assessed throughout your Apprenticeship by the course tutors whilst at college and have a skills Assessor available through the length of the Apprenticeship to guide and support you. You will have to submit coursework and assignments for the work covered at college and also provide evidence of the work you are doing in the workplace to bring you up to the correct level of competency to enable you to be put forward for the end–point assessment.

What can this course lead to

Completion of the Apprenticeship is designed to be recognised by relevant Professional Engineering Institutions at the appropriate level of professional registration (EngTech).

You may choose to progress onto a Higher/Degree Level Apprenticeships, full time learning programme or a range of further employment opportunities.

This standard has been designed to satisfy the requirements for Professional Registration as Engineering Technician (EngTech) as define by the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK–SPEC).

Are there any additional costs

Learners may need to purchase a uniform and/or equipment depending on the employer.

Other details

Reality check: 
As a Tool Maker you may be expected to do shift work. Your environment can be noisy and dirty. Standard tasks for Apprentices in the first 6 months of the Apprenticeship will include watching what skilled Tool Makers are doing and learning the basic skills in the toolroom/machine shop environment. An Apprentice will work on average 37 hours a week however this may vary throughout the year dependent on seasonal trends and workloads. Engineering Apprentice average salary varies between £12,000 and £28,000 a year depending on skills and experience. The course is a combination of academic knowledge – you will be working to A–Level standard for Maths and Science, and valuable hands on experience. If you are considering a pathway to university this course would be a suitable stepping stone however it would also allow you to build your understanding from the shop floor which is invaluable for many employers.

As an employed status Apprentice you will:
• Earn a wage – the national minimum wage for Apprentices is £4.15 an hour, although many Apprentices earn more than this. Please note you must be a paid employee of the business, you cannot be self–employed or a volunteer.
• Have a contract of employment – this must be given to you at the start of your employment.
• Get paid holidays – these will be detailed in your contract of employment.
• Receive training – it is crucial to the success of your Apprenticeship that your employer supports you with regular training. The Apprenticeship standard states you must complete a minimum of 20% off–the–job training which can also include training at Peterborough Regional College and training within the workplace. You will also be expected to build a portfolio and complete tasks on One–file and Google Classrooms.
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