Legal apprenticeships: off-the-job training
This week the trainee solicitor blog caught up with Kiran Kajendran, paralegal apprentice, to find out about the BPP study day.
I am a second year paralegal apprentice and it is a requirement of the apprenticeship (and all apprenticeships) that we spend 20% of our working week off-the-job training.
Our training is provided by BPP University and our study day (or BPP day as we call it) happens on a Monday.
So what do we actually do on a Monday, you may wonder?
Our Mondays are spent mostly preparing for and attending our BPP law lectures. These lectures take place via online classrooms hosted on Adobe Connect. The preparatory material for our weekly lecture is found on BPP’s learning portal aptly named the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
We also have a number of face-to-face days with our tutors which take place in BPP’s London Holborn campus. On these days we get a more in-depth understanding of our modules and the assessments ahead of us.
At the end of each module we either sit a written assessment or submit a piece of coursework. Over the two years of our Paralegal Apprenticeship we will complete three written exams and submit three pieces of coursework along with our portfolio. Our portfolio showcases our work place learning and whether or not we have met the competency criteria laid out in our Job Role Analysis.
Having completed all six of our BPP modules and our portfolio, BPP will submit and pass along our information to the end point assessor (CILEx) to allow us to take our End Point Assessment (EPA). The EPA comprises two written examinations and an interview about our portfolio.
Once we complete this stage and pass our EPA we would receive a Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education from BPP and a Level 3 Paralegal qualification from CILEx.
Now I have explained what we do on a Monday, you may be wondering, “How does one cope with working and learning side by side?”
While it is challenging to keep case law and legislation memorised alongside the pressures of the ‘day job’ Tuesday to Friday, working and learning does give you the chance to put into practice what you have learned and consolidate our knowledge in both the work place and our area of study.
It also helps that our online lectures are recorded and uploaded to the VLE so can be used to revitalise and refresh the memory when needed.