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Apprentice Voice – Gathering apprentice feedback

SDS has changed the way we gather feedback from apprentices.


SDS previously collected feedback about training from Foundation (FA), Modern (MA) and Graduate (GA) apprentices through set piece online surveys. These were sent to apprentices at a certain point during their training and after they had left training (regardless of whether they had completed their training or not).

Our Evaluation and Research team has created a new automated rolling approach for surveying all apprentices, which will be more efficient, robust, and will provide better value for money.

Apprentice Voice (Real Time Apprentice Insights) surveys

The automated rolling surveys will be issued to all apprentices (FAs/MAs/GAs) when they reach three specific points in their apprenticeship:

  • The in-training survey will be sent to apprentices around six months after their start date. The survey will include questions about how they found out about their apprenticeship, why they decided to start it, their perceptions of quality of training and their satisfaction with training.
  • The leavers survey will be sent to apprentices around three months after they leave, to understand post training destinations and immediate outcomes/benefits. This will also be sent to people who leave training early and do not complete their training to try to understand more about why they did not complete.
  • The short-term outcomes survey will be sent to apprentices around 15 months after leaving to understand short-term outcomes/benefits. Again, this will be sent to those who complete and also those who leave their training before completing.

The surveys are linked to FIPS which tells us when an apprentice has reached the specific point in their apprenticeship to be sent the survey. Apprentices will be sent an email with their personal link to the survey.  The surveys are completed online and will be accessible on all devices including smart phones and tablets. Each survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. As a thank you for completing the survey, apprentices can enter into a prize draw to win £100 of retail vouchers.

Benefits of taking part

SDS’ previous approach to surveying apprentices could provide us with only a ‘snapshot’ of apprentices’ views at a particular time. The new surveys are ‘rolling’ and sent out whenever apprentices reach certain dates.

The new automated rolling approach will provide a bigger volume of data which will allow more in-depth analysis, including looking at changes over time.  As with previous surveys, the results will be published on SDS corporate site.   

Providers can embed this information within induction and review processes, highlighting to apprentices that they will receive surveys throughout their training and also after they have left.


If you have any questions or comments about the surveys please email the SDS Evaluation and Research team

Results of these surveys will be available in the SDS publication library in the coming months. You can find previous survey results in our publication library