Offering different routes into the profession is increasingly important as a means of promoting a diverse workforce and CIEEM is pleased to have supported the development of three new apprenticeships which are now available to employers and potential apprentices.

Every apprenticeship needs a published standard (which sets out what the apprentices must know, understand and be able to do by the end of the apprenticeship) and an End Point Assessment Plan which sets out how the apprentice will be assessed to decide whether or not they have met the Standard and are awarded their apprenticeship. Standards and End Point Assessment Plans are developed by groups of employers to ensure that the apprenticeships will meet the needs of the employers and therefore be successful in terms of providing opportunities for apprentices.

CIEEM’s role has been to support the work of the group, where appropriate, and to make sure that the standard and end point assessment map across to the Competency Framework so that successful apprentices can move smoothly into the next appropriate membership grade.

The Level 7 Ecologist Apprenticeship has been finalised and has now been published by the approving body, the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education. A Level 7 apprenticeship is aimed at graduates or those with graduate-level knowledge and understanding. Apprentices have three options for the type of apprenticeship: Ecological Consultant; Ecological Scientist or Landscape Ecologist. The duration of the apprenticeship will typically be between 12 and 36 months and on completion apprentices will have an apprenticeship as well as a Master’s level degree in an ecological discipline relevant to their job role.

The Level 6 Environmental Practitioner Apprenticeship has also been approved. This apprenticeship is broader in that it covers a range of environmental practitioner roles, including natural environment management, and consequently the Employers Group has been supported by a number of professional bodies including CIEEM, IES, IEMA and CIWEM.

The duration of this apprenticeship will typically be 3-5 years as it effectively incorporates Levels 4 and 5 as well. The apprenticeship equates to an undergraduate environmental science / environmental management degree so candidates will be assessed for the degree award first before undertaking (if successful) their apprenticeship assessment.

This apprenticeship is currently being offered by the following universities and further information can be found on their websites:

Kingston University

University of Bolton

University of Brighton

Coventry University 

University of the West of England 

Keele University 

The Level 4 Countryside Ranger Apprenticeship has been launched by the National Trust, Natural England, National Park authorities, Canal and River Trust, RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Dorset Council to help individuals wanting to progress within countryside management.

This apprenticeship is open to people of all ages and academic backgrounds who have some prior experience and knowledge gained from working in our countryside management industry either in a paid or voluntary capacity.

It typically takes 26 months to gain competence in all the knowledge, skills and behaviours and then up to 6 months to complete the End-Point Assessment.

CIEEM is one of the training providers involved with the level 4 countryside ranger apprenticeship, alongside Bridgwater & Taunton College, Warwickshire College, Lantra, and the Countryside Management Association.

If you are able to offer an Ecologist or Environmental Practitioner apprenticeship you can advertise it for free on our website – please contact for more information.

Now that these apprenticeships are underway CIEEM is also interested in developing a Level 7 apprenticeship for Environmental Manager and Level 3 and 4 apprenticeships covering a range of ecological and environmental roles.