Business Administration Apprenticeships

Apprentices with one of the Big Hoot Owl

The Business and Administration apprenticeship is aimed at those interested in working in administration, secretarial and PA roles. Administrative staff provide essential support to doctors, scientists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

There is a wide choice of roles and places to work. For those who enjoy dealing with patients and their relatives, there is the option to work as a receptionist in a clinic or a clerk on a ward. Alternatively, there is the option to work in offices that have no patient contact such as finance, IT or medical secretaries. In the NHS, good record-keeping and administration can save lives. Doctors and other healthcare professionals need fast access to patients’ notes to make vital decisions about treatment.

“I would definitely recommend this programme to any young individual because this 12 month programme has changed my life. This experience has introduced a lot of exciting opportunities for me and Aspire continuously supports me on further courses to develop my skills for the future career that I desire.” Tamara Morris, Apprentice Human Resources

Tamara Morris - Human Resources

Sarah Hill - Neurophysiology


What type of roles are available?


Clerks are employed throughout the health service. In some clerical roles you will have a lot of contact with patients and relatives, in others none at all. You might work:

  • in an office, doing general tasks such as filing and photocopying
  • in a clinic, arranging appointments and checking patients in
  • on a ward, helping to admit and discharge patients.

Medical record-keepers

As the NHS moves from paper to electronic records, medical record-keepers are more vital than ever. You will look after highly confidential clinical notes. You’ll have to ensure the records are completely secure but at the same time have them readily available to those treating patients.

Medical secretaries

In this role you will deal with correspondence, making appointments, handling patients’ queries and liaising with other healthcare staff. You’ll develop familiarity with medical terms.


As part of the front-line team, the receptionist is the first point of contact for many patients and visitors. You could work in one of many different areas, such as A&E, outpatients or a GP’s surgery. You might make appointments, check patients in and arrange transport, probably using a computer system.

Secretaries / typists .Your role will vary, depending on where you are based and how your office is organised.

Switchboard operators / telephonists

Like a receptionist, you will be an important first contact for patients and their families, who might be anxious or upset. You will also take urgent calls from GPs and other healthcare staff in the community.


Qualified and unqualified staff are employed in finance departments. At junior levels, you might handle invoices or run a payroll system. As a senior staff member, you could be involved in financial analysis, planning and reporting, management accounting and negotiations over funding.

Human resources

You will be involved in recruitment, complaints and grievance procedures and in bringing in new local and national employment policies. An increasingly important part of your job would be to help employees benefit from the NHS’s work-life balance policies. You will work closely with health unions and professional bodies

You can read more about the careers here.

Career progression

Did you know over 90% of our apprentices remain with the NHS after they have completed their apprenticeship?

There are plenty of opportunities to take further qualifications and move on in your administration career in the NHS. You could stay in administration, perhaps by becoming a team leader or supervisor. You could go on to become an administration manager. You could move into other wider healthcare roles, too. If you like figures, you could use your skills and experience to move into finance. Or if you’re keen on IT you could move into informatics.

With experience and qualifications, there is also the chance to work towards a management qualification. This could lead to a range of different management roles within the NHS such as administration management or GP practice management.

Click here to visit the Health Careers website where you can read more about the different administration careers in the NHS. 

The qualification

The course you will study is the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration

The qualification is made up of three parts:

  • Diploma in Business and Administration/Customer Services
  • Award in Functional Skills Maths and English
  • Award in ICT

All of these must be completed and passed to gain the qualification

The diploma is made up of the traditional NVQ which is a work related competence based qualification. It reflects the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively, and show that you are competent in your area of work. The Technical Certificate is the classroom based element that will enable you to build knowledge, understanding and skills that are appropriate to your job.

The Award in Employment and Personal Learning Skills in Health looks at employers rights and responsibilities and your own personal development including; manage own learning, participate through team leading, using research skills to solve problems


You will be assigned an assessor who will support you throughout your qualification. Some parts of the qualification will be assessed through written work while others parts of the qualification will be assessed in your workplace. Your assessor will work with you to plan the best way assess you.

While you are attending training sessions during the first 12 weeks of your apprenticeship, you will need to complete a piece of homework every week. Your assessor will arrange times to assess you in the workplace. Your assessor will also give you feedback so that you know what and what you need to work on.

How to apply

You can apply through the National Apprenticeship Service website or via the NHS Jobs Website. Applications are then shortlisted against the set criteria on the relevant person specification.

What happens after I apply?

Your application form will be submitted for short-listing process, which involves assessing whether you meet the criteria required on the person specification for the role.

​Candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to attend an interview.

If you would like to contact or follow the Aspire team, please use any of the following


Twitter: @AspireBWC


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