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Level 3 Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship Standard

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Type: Full Time

Subject: Business Administration, Management and Professional

Level:

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

Fee: Please contact the Information Centre for fee information

Course Length

18 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.

Level

This is a Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard and is equivalent to A Levels.

There is the opportunity to progress onto a Higher Level/Degree Apprenticeship upon successful completion of the independent End–point assessment.

Who is it for

APPLICATIONS FOR 2020/21 NOW OPEN!
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 www.peterborough.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprenticeship–vacancies

Do you enjoy customer service and want to progress your knowledge and skills?
Are you looking to further develop a career in customer service or upskill for an existing role?

The main purpose of a Customer Service Specialist is to be 'professional' for direct customer support within all sectors and organisation types. In this role you will be an advocate for customer service and will be a referral point for dealing with more complex and technical customer requests, complaints and queries. As Customer Service Specialist you will often be the escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems and you will become an expert in the organisations products and/or services. You will utilise both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out the role, gathering and analysing data and customer information that helps to influence change and improvements in service delivery. This role could be in many types of environments including contact centres, retail, web chat, service industries or any customer service point.

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 based on your current skills.

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

What will I need

Individual employers will set selection criteria, but it is likely to include 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 and above including English and Maths; a relevant Level 2 apprenticeship; other relevant qualifications and experience; or an aptitude test with a focus on IT Skills.

You will also require a suitable 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 – https://www.peterborough.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprenticeship–vacancies/

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

What is covered

Knowledge: 
• Business knowledge and understanding – continuous improvement and change management, wider organisation impact, business strategy and leadership styles
• Customer Journey knowledge – customer journeys, understanding reasons for escalation, business processes and commercial factors.
• Customer Insight (Knowing your customers and their needs) – internal and external customer profiles and behaviours, customer communication, customer loyalty and retention.
• Customer service culture and environment awareness – business environment and culture, external environment and culture, organisation structure and industry best practice.


Skills:
• Business focussed service delivery – continuous improve and decision making, problem solving and business focussed solutions.
• Providing a positive customer experience – maintaining positive relationships and managing challenging and complicated situations to determine mutually beneficial outcomes
• Working with your customers/Customer Insights – analyse customer types to anticipate potential needs and expectations
• Service improvements – analyse the end to end service experience and make recomendations to help affect change

Behaviours and Attitudes:
• Developing self – taking ownership of personal goals, maintaining up to date industry knowledge and skills, and demonstrating an adaptable and flexible approach
• Commitment – taking ownership for actions to resolve customer issues, using a proactivity and creativity to work collaboratively with other colleagues.
• Presentation – demonstrating brand advocacy, sharing good practice and ensuring own personal approach reflects the organisations brand positively

You will also complete a work–based portfolio showcasing the skills you have learnt on the course in a work–based environment, as well as an End–point assessment in the last 2–3 months of the programme.

As an Apprentice you will be expected to attend college 1 day a month as part of your ongoing 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

As well as being assessed continually throughout your apprenticeship course, all apprentices are required to complete an End–point Assessment in order to complete their qualification.

The EPA is conducted independently to your employer and Peterborough College and is designed to test whether you have gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outline in the Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship Standard. You will be graded according to your individual performance.

Throughout the duration of your apprenticeship you will complete a number of assessments, only when these have been completed can your assessor and employer agree to put your forward for the 'Gateway'. This gateway allows you to focus on and prepare for your EPA in order to complete your apprenticeship. During this time your employer will be expected to support you to prepare for your EPA through regular training.

Throughout the apprenticeship it is your responsibility with the help from your employer, assessor and college tutors to ensure you are ready for your final independent EPA.

More information about your EPA will be given to you by your Assessor at the Apprenticeship Sign Up.

What can this course lead to

Successful learners can progress onto a higher/degree level apprenticeship, continue to work within the business environment, gain promotion or learners could progress to university.

Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level. Should you choose to progress on a customer service career path, you may be eligible for further professional membership including management.

Other details

Reality Check: 
Working in a business environment, it is important that as an Apprentice you are professional both in your manner and dress, especially in a customer service role, where you may be the first person a customer talks to when they walk into the company. Some offices are based in industrial sites or business parks on the outskirts of Peterborough and you will need to think about how you will travel to work and the costs.

An Apprentice will work on average 30–37 hours a week, this may vary throughout the year dependent on seasonal trends and workloads.

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 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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