Reference Number: ST0483
Details of the apprenticeship standard and occupational profile:
An “Emergency Service or NHS Integrated Urgent Care Contact Handler” responds to requests for specialist professional assistance from members of the public, colleagues, and employees from other organisations (all of these individuals are called “service users”).
The requests from service users could be received through a variety of communication methods, including the telephone (eg: 999 emergency or 111 urgent care calls), online applications, text messages and through social media. Some service users will be directly or indirectly involved in difficult and / or traumatic situations (eg: they may be in danger or unwell), and may display a variety of characteristics (eg:vulnerability, anxiety, confrontational).
The role of the Contact Handler is to communicate with the service users to ascertain their needs, provide reassurance and advice, and decide and take the appropriate course of action (following processes and procedures). As this action may require an immediate response by emergency service personnel, the Contact Handler has to act calmly and efficiently under pressure, ensuring computer systems are accurately updated.
A Contact Handler will normally work for a “blue light” organisation, for example, a Police, Fire or Ambulance Service or an NHS Integrated Urgent Care organisation. A Contact Handler will typically work shifts, which will include working some nights, weekends and bank holidays to provide a 24 hour service, 365 days a year. They will not generally have any formal line management responsibility.
Due to the nature of this role, a minimum age of 18 may be an employer requirement. The ability to converse clearly with service users is essential for this occupation, and in line with the “Code of Practice on the English Language requirements for public sector workers”, qualifications in English may be required by employers (for example, an organisation may require an English GCSE at grades A-C or equivalent). Any other entry requirements will be specified by an employer in the job advertisement and/or job description for the role.
|Duration of Apprenticeship||12 months (this does not include EPA)|
|EPA Components||1. Observations (x2)|
a. ‘Live’ Observation
b. Pre-recorded observations
2. Professional Discussion
Before going forward for End-point Assessment, the apprentice must:
The EPA period should only start once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, that is to say they have achieved occupational competence. In making this decision, the employer may take advice from the apprentice’s training provider(s), but the decision must ultimately be made solely by the employer.
Apprentices must not be put forward for their End-point Assessment before they are ready.
Further information can be found at the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) webpage –