Framework Specification

Sector Profile

Around 3.2 million people help to keep businesses running in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. This includes registered directors, company and chartered secretaries, general administrators, and specialist administrators who, in addition to general administration skills, also need sector-specific knowledge to fulfil job roles such as legal or medical secretaries.

Businesses face a number of challenges to replace those who leave or retire and to up-skill the existing workforce. Amongst these challenges are:

  • Technological Change: the continuing growth of sophisticated IT solutions which are now considered to be essential to effective administration;
  • Globalisation: the growth of worldwide communications, trade, and competition, which places a higher premium on language and cross-cultural skills;
  • Increasing Demand: although the overall size of the business and administration workforce is shrinking, probably due to the impact of technology, there is a high replacement demand.
  • Skills Shortages: many current business and administration vacancies are hard to fill, often because of skills shortages;
  • Routine Work: workers with a primarily administrative function are taking on other business functions, including research, management, and policy. This creates particular skills challenges, but will also result in a more capable, knowledgeable administrative workforce.

Administrators need a broad range of skills to work efficiently and to help increase business productivity. Skills shortages identified by organisations include a lack of office and administration skills, customer-handling skills, technical and practical skills, oral communication skills, and IT skills, all of which are covered within the Business Administration Apprenticeship framework.

Intermediate apprentices may work in roles such as administrators, office juniors, receptionists/medical receptionists, junior legal secretaries, or junior medical secretaries.

Advanced apprentices may work in roles such as administration executives/officers, administration team leaders, personal assistants, and secretaries, including legal or medical secretaries.

The Framework

This apprenticeship builds on the success of its predecessor by using employer-led, flexible qualifications which meet the changing skills needs of employers. It builds in softer skills such as communication, team working, interpersonal skills, and the ability to reflect on personal learning.

The framework will contribute to meeting the skills priorities for England set out in the “Skills for Sustainable Growth” report, by:

  • Providing flexible access to high-quality Level 2 and 3 skills programmes, which act as a real alternative to GCSEs and A levels for those who prefer this style of learning and achievement;
  • Incorporating skills to improve the general literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in England;
  • Using combined qualifications covering the technical and competence elements of the job, valued by employers, to help their businesses grow and remain profitable;
  • Developing apprentices’ Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, to build their confidence and creativity, improving their social and working lives;
  • Developing apprentice’s employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers whichever career they choose; and
  • Providing a career pathway into jobs and training at technician level and higher, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow.

Business & Administration ⇢

Define the Standards for Your Sector

Our NOS and frameworks have been developed to best represent the skills that you need in your sector. If you would like to join one of our sector-focused steering groups and ensure that training continues to work for your business, please contact us at

We are proud to work with

Instructus Skills is a pan-sector body that represents the training needs of over 11 million employees across the UK. From consultations to certification, we ensure that apprenticeships deliver the skilled workers that employers need.

In other words, we make apprenticeships work.