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Network Engineer

Note: This page is relevant to the current Standard version.  If you are looking for an older version, please see link at the bottom of the page.

Apprenticeship Overview

A level 4 apprenticeship, for individuals who will be designing, installing, maintaining, and supporting communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

Network Engineers are found in almost every sector: the public and private sectors, voluntary organisations, large multi-national companies, and smaller independent enterprises. It is a key occupation in most organisations which are increasingly dependent on their digital networks. 

Typical duration to gateway (excluding EPA period):  30 months.

Maximum funding:  £17,000.

Entry Criteria 

Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this might include GCSEs, A levels, a level 2 apprenticeship or other relevant qualification.

Key information

No Knowledge Modules or Vendor Qualifications

There are no mandated knowledge modules or professional vendor certification for this apprenticeship standard. Although you may want to utilise professional vendor certification that has been mapped to the knowledge components listed in the apprenticeship standard, you will not be able to use apprenticeship funding to pay for the certification.

Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours

All knowledge, skills and behaviours will be assessed by the two different assessment methods: simulation assessment and questioning (AM1) and professional discussion underpinned by portfolio (AM2).


EPA Gateway

In addition to the employer’s confirmation that the apprentice is working at or above the level in the occupational standard, the apprentice must have completed the following gateway requirements prior to beginning end-point assessment (EPA).

Achieved English and Mathematics Level 2

For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and Mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.

Simulation assessment and questioning

No requirements.

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio

A selection of the best pieces of evidence gathered by an apprentice during their apprenticeship. The evidence should demonstrate how an apprentice has carried out specific work tasks mapped to the assessment criteria and knowledge, skills and behaviours listed in the assessment plan for AM2.


Network Engineer EPA

The EPA consists of two assessment methods.

Assessment Method 1 (AM1) – Simulation Assessment and Questioning

Two simulation assessments (network failure and network optimisation) in a virtual lab environment taken over two consecutive days, then on a separate day 45 minutes of questions with an Independent Assessor on the lab activity evidence.

There will also be a questioning session based on the lab activity evidence with an independent assessor which will last 45 minutes.

Assessment Method 2 (AM2) - Professional Discussion Underpinned by a Portfolio

A 60-minute two-way discussion underpinned by the portfolio, which involves both the independent assessor and the apprentice actively listening and participating in a formal conversation.


Apprentices must pass both assessment methods (1 & 2), which can be taken in any order, to successfully complete their apprenticeship. Grades awarded are fail, pass, merit, or distinction. Apprentices will receive their grade ten working days after completing their final assessment method.


Link to Apprenticeship Standard

Link to Assessment Plan

Link to qualification specification

Link to relevant older Standard:

Level 4 Network Engineer

Register your organisation and apprentices with us to access our EPA preparation materials.

If you would like to know more about our products...

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