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Space systems engineer

This apprenticeship is in development and is subject to change

Why is this apprenticeship not ready for delivery?

An apprenticeship is only available for delivery when both the standard and assessment plan is approved and a funding band (core government contribution) has been assigned to the standard.

How can I get involved?

If you'd like to get involved and contribute to the development of this apprenticeship, please read about developing standards and assessment plans. You can email the trailblazer contact using the details on this page.

Key information

  1. Status: In development
  2. Ticked Proposal approved
    Ticked Occupational standard approved
    Ticked End-point assessment plan approved
  3. Reference: ST0856
  4. Level: 6
  5. Degree: integrated degree
  6. Typical duration to gateway: 48 months
  7. Typical EPA period: 7 months
  8. Route: Engineering and manufacturing
  9. Date updated: 04/11/2022
  10. EQA provider: Office for Students
  11. Example progression routes:
  12. Review:

    This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the space sector, and primarily the 'upstream' manufacturing area. This covers the design and production of spacecraft and the components and subsystems they comprise. It also includes production, operation and maintenance of highly specialised ground support equipment. Ground support equipment is used to support the development and testing of satellites and other equipment flown in space, before launch. Space systems engineers cover a broad range of mechanical, electronic, and thermal engineering disciplines. They usually specialise in one or more specific areas.

The upstream element of the industry is part of the overall space sector. It is related to but distinct from the 'downstream' part of the sector. The downstream sector is concerned with the exploitation of data from satellites for end-user applications including weather forecasting and telecommunications. Although businesses in the downstream sector work mainly with data and services, many also employ space systems engineers. Income for the whole UK space sector has grown significantly. The upstream segment has been the majority contributor to the overall growth of the sector. Space is a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy supporting the development and increases in productivity of other key sectors. For example, Agribusiness, Transport and Health, through improved data provision and communications. Government has committed funding to new developments supporting the upstream sector. Investments include establishing UK space ports, funding of spacecraft technology programmes and a satellite launch capability, and the National Satellite Test Facility.

Space Systems Engineers work in a variety of businesses. These can be small, medium or large enterprises. For example, specialising in, or involved with, space systems and space technology. They can also work in large national or global aerospace companies and space agencies. They are also found in academic institutions. Institutions include universities, government-funded science and technology research and development laboratories. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to take a leading role in the design, manufacturing and testing of complex, high value space hardware and ground support equipment at component and sub-system level, using advanced integration skills. Space Systems Engineers receive customer and mission requirements. They use engineering and scientific principles and knowledge of the space environment to identify solutions to requirements. They also assist in research and development, provide technical expertise, support, solutions and leadership. 

Space Systems Engineers typically work to normal business hours. They can be required to work shifts and weekends in particular circumstances. For example, during launch support, or in periods leading up to major project delivery milestones. They typically work in secure and controlled environments, workshops and development areas. These can involve working at ground level, and at high level on gantries and walkways. They also work in regular offices. Some of these environments can be highly specialised (for example, rocket propulsion test facilities). These environments can involve working with very high pressure gas and fluid delivery systems, high vacuum facilities, and cryogenic fluids and delivery systems.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of stakeholders. Within their organisation they interact with the project manager, engineering team members, technical specialists, systems engineers, senior managers. They also interact with other internal teams such as finance, health and safety, and marketing. They may also interact directly with external stakeholders such as the customer or client, as well as suppliers and service providers.

An employee in this occupation is responsible for the quality and accuracy of the work they undertake within the limits of their personal authority. Space systems engineers adhere to statutory regulations and organisational health and safety requirements. They also identify, and carry out work in compliance with, standards imposed by key customers. For example, space agencies and regulatory bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS).

Typical job titles include:

Advanced manufacturing engineer Assembly integration and test manager Attitude and orbit control system (aocs) engineer Control and instrumentation engineer Electrical and electronic engineer Materials engineer Payload systems engineer Product and quality assurance engineer Satellite manufacturing assembly integration and test (ait) engineer Spacecraft mechanical engineer Spacecraft power systems engineer Spacecraft propulsion engineer Spacecraft systems engineer Thermal design engineer

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their space systems engineer apprentices. Typically, candidates will have achieved grade 4 (previously grade C) or above in at least five GCSE’s including English, Maths and a Science subject.  Employers will set their own entry requirements but typically candidates will hold a minimum of 96 UCAS points or existing relevant Level 3 qualifications. Other relevant or prior experience may also be considered as an alternative.

This standard represents a logical progression for candidates who have completed lower level apprenticeships in the engineering and manufacturing route. For example: Engineering fitter (L3), Engineering technician (L3), Engineering manufacturing technician (L4), Space engineering technician (L4), Maintenance operations engineering technician (L3).

T Level and A Level qualifications in science and engineering subject areas, and level 3 qualifications (such as BTEC, City & Guilds or Cambridge Technicals), in science and engineering also offer routes into this apprenticeship. 

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Identify and define requirements, architecture, design and verification methodologies for spacecraft subsystems. For example, power, propulsion, attitude control, communications or thermal control.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K10 K11 K12 K21 K22 K23 K24 K26 K29

S1 S4 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 2 Select techniques, components and materials appropriate for application in the mission environment. For example, vacuum-compatible materials, or electronics components that can withstand radiation.

K6 K7 K12 K13 K14 K22 K23 K29

S1 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 3 Provide engineering support for mission-specific and research and development projects. For example, providing inputs on vibration test levels and interpreting other test performance data for project teams.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K21 K23 K24 K26 K28 K29

S2 S4 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 4 Provide systems-specific expertise during launch and early operations phases of a mission.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K21 K23 K30

S3 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 5 Provide technical expertise and team leadership in support of integration and testing at subsystem, spacecraft and ground level across a range of projects.

K2 K12 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K22 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28

S2 S3 S4 S5 S7 S10 S14 S15 S16

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 6 Perform system level trade-offs, co-ordinating inputs from various disciplines within a team to evaluate optimal solutions or proposed changes to a design. For example, calculating the antenna size required for two different designs of spacecraft communication systems to reach a recommendation for the optimal design. Or estimating the change in power availability when changing the design of solar array.

K1 K2 K5 K6 K7 K8 K10 K11 K12 K13 K20 K21 K23 K26 K29

S1 S3 S4 S7 S8 S9 S10 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 7 Provide technical expertise and support to the project system engineer by contributing to requirements management, ensuring all requirements are closed-out at the relevant project reviews and milestones. Contribute to technology readiness level for component or sub-system maturity status on space programmes.

K5 K13 K15 K16 K18 K19 K20 K28

S2 S3 S4 S7 S10 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 8 Define test plans and procedures and compile test reports, managing test data and results for development and verification of the subsystem and spacecraft design.

K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K24 K25

S4 S10 S11 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 9 Manage technical and project documentation used for control, monitoring, verification and reporting during a space project.

K13 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K28

S2 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 10 Provide engineering expertise to the project manager and lead systems engineer to assist in the formulation of risk assessments, project budgets and schedules.

K18 K19 K20 K25

S7 S12 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 11 Provide oversight of resource budgets and margins within the project. For example, mass, power and volume of a design.

K19 K20

S3 S4 S7 S10 S12 S14 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 12 Identify solutions for technical designs, techniques and processes relevant to a project using appropriate engineering disciplines and techniques. For example, identifying test standards and test procedures for new designs, new materials and new manufacturing processes for specific applications, or bonding techniques for assemblies involving novel combinations of materials.

K1 K2 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K22 K23 K24 K26

S1 S4 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 13 Lead technical teams within a project, including line-management of technical staff working within a team.

K19 K25 K27 K28

S2 S3 S5 S14 S15 S16 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 14 Contribute to overall project management by coordinating the allocation of technical staff within a team and working with the project manager and lead systems engineer to ensure delivery of the project on-time and within budget.

K15 K18 K19 K25 K26 K27 K28

S2 S3 S5 S12 S14 S15 S16 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Spacecraft dynamics and control techniques: two-body orbital motion and perturbations, sources of disturbance, spacecraft attitude control, manoeuvres, station keeping and rendezvous operations. Back to Duty

K2: Architecture of ground and space-based communications subsystems. Back to Duty

K3: Mission concept of operations: mission phasing, operational scenarios and modes, timelines, ground and space segments, communications and data handling architecture. Back to Duty

K4: The role of the ground station in mission operations. Back to Duty

K5: Principles of electric or chemical propulsion systems. Back to Duty

K6: Structural analysis for static and dynamic loads. Back to Duty

K7: Design, analysis and operation of thermal control systems. Back to Duty

K8: Application of finite element analysis and system modelling software for mechanical, electrical and electromechanical sub-systems. Back to Duty

K9: Automation of engineering processes. Back to Duty

K10: Practical and theoretical requirements of electrical, electronic, electromechanical and mechanical equipment and systems in the space context. Back to Duty

K11: Design of mechanisms and deployable structures in a space context. Back to Duty

K12: The space environment: vacuum, thermal, radiation, particulate, atmospheres, vibration and thermal environment during launch. Back to Duty

K13: Purpose of approved processes, components, parts and materials lists. Back to Duty

K14: Properties, handling and application of space qualified materials. Back to Duty

K15: Principles of quality assurance and quality standards in space projects. Back to Duty

K16: Test standards in the space context. Back to Duty

K17: Principles, processes and techniques for thermal-vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, shock, vibration and acoustic testing, reporting and post-test procedures and actions. Back to Duty

K18: Configuration and document management control processes: issue control, incorporation of change and end item data pack. Back to Duty

K19: Principles of project management in space projects. Back to Duty

K20: Principles of systems engineering. Back to Duty

K21: Life cycles of space instrumentation for near earth and deep space missions. Back to Duty

K22: Techniques and strategies used for the manufacture and fabrication of space hardware, and impact of manufacturing processes on material properties. Back to Duty

K23: The upstream space sector, its applications, and the typical characteristics of spacecraft used in different mission types. Back to Duty

K24: The role of software in the function and control of spacecraft and ground facilities. Back to Duty

K25: Legal requirements: Health and Safety at Work, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, General Data Protection Regulation, Space Industry Act (Background, Range control, Licences, Safety, Security, Liabilities, Indemnities and Insurance). Back to Duty

K26: Application of Factory 4.0: Digital devices, digital technologies and information systems (Automation, Additive Layer Manufacturing, Connected Technologies, Cyber, Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber Security Resilience, Industry and Autonomous Robotics – Cobotics, Virtual Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its applications). Back to Duty

K27: Teamwork and leadership: negotiation techniques, conflict management, mentoring and development techniques, diversity, equality and inclusivity considerations. Back to Duty

K28: Communication and presentation techniques: verbal and written. Back to Duty

K29: Engineering drawing principles: development drawings, qualification drawings and production drawings using computer aided design (CAD) software for creating 3D models and 2D drawings including schematics and circuit diagrams. Back to Duty

K30: Events and activities in the launch and commissioning phases of a mission, for example monitoring diagnostic information from the spacecraft before launch, or interpreting performance data during commissioning phase of the mission. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Identify and implement technical engineering solutions. For example, by using trade studies. Back to Duty

S2: Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders: verbal and written. Back to Duty

S3: Present information. For example, presenting project progress and key performance information (KPI's) such as cost, quality, time, risk and opportunities, contributing to technical publications, conveying information to technical and non-technical audiences. Back to Duty

S4: Review and interpret customer requirements for the function and performance of their spacecraft or subsystem. Back to Duty

S5: Produce space engineering designs, specifications and drawings. For example, for tender and manufacturing stages. Back to Duty

S6: Contribute to the preparation of technical proposals. For example, by providing the lead engineer with technical input. Back to Duty

S7: Contribute to technical reviews with stakeholders. For example, explaining proposed solutions to the customer. Back to Duty

S8: Perform design and mechanical-structural, thermal and dynamic-vibration analysis, for deployable structures. Back to Duty

S9: Calculate and model the performance of electronic, mechanical and thermal subsystems using approved industry techniques. For example, communications, power, data handling and thermal control. Back to Duty

S10: Use scientific and engineering data. For example, to support decision making during design, build and operations phases of a mission or project. Back to Duty

S11: Identify and apply test standards and procedures. For example, identify and apply test standards for a specific project or mission. Back to Duty

S12: Prepare and apply technical documentation. For example, schedules, test plans, test reports, quality reports, and the digital tools used for their preparation. Back to Duty

S13: Research technical solutions to problems. For example, use peer-reviewed literature and technical publications to research technical solutions with awareness of patent rules. Back to Duty

S14: Use information technology including digital tools for presentation of data, digital communication, collaboration, design and analysis. Back to Duty

S15: Identify and comply with legal and statutory requirements. For example, health and safety, Environmental protection, sustainability, space certification requirements and data protection. Back to Duty

S16: Work with and lead others including, negotiation, conflict management, mentoring and developing others; taking account of diversity, equality and inclusivity. Back to Duty

S17: Mission Analysis techniques using numerical analysis and simulation tools such as AGI-Systems Toolkit or NASA-GMAT. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Act as a role model and advocate for the environment, and sustainability. Back to Duty

B2: Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines. Back to Duty

B3: Apply a professional approach. Back to Duty

B4: Adapt to, and resilient in challenging or changing situation. Back to Duty

B5: Commits to their own and supports others' professional development. Back to Duty

B6: Act as an advocate for accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. Back to Duty

B7: Act as a role model and advocate for health and safety. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

A space engineering or space science degree or other space degree that fully aligns to the KSBs on the apprenticeship

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Professional recognition

This standard partially aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • The Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) for Incorporated Engineer (IEng)

    This apprenticeship standard is aligned to professional recognition requirements for an Incorporated Engineer and is designed to prepare successful apprentices to satisfy the educational and experience requirements either partially or in full. The awarding of professional status is under the remit of the professional engineering institutions and is subject to Engineering Council regulations. For more information, please refer directly to the professional institutions’ guidance or UK-SPEC.

  • Royal Aeronautical Society for Incorporated Engineer (IEng)

    This apprenticeship standard is aligned to professional recognition requirements for an Incorporated Engineer and is designed to prepare successful apprentices to satisfy the educational and experience requirements either partially or in full. The awarding of professional status is under the remit of the professional engineering institutions and is subject to Engineering Council regulations. For more information, please refer directly to the professional institutions’ guidance or UK-SPEC.

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the space systems engineer apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

Space systems engineer apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO).

A full-time apprentice typically spends 48 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a space systems engineer. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules.

This EPA has 2 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are:

Assessment method 1 - project report and presentation with questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail
  • pass

The result from each assessment method is combined to decide the overall apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the apprenticeship:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme (typically 48 months)
The apprentice must complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) of the occupational standard.

The apprentice must complete training towards English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

The apprentice must complete training towards any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard.

The qualification(s) required are:

A space engineering or space science degree or other space degree that fully aligns to the KSBs on the apprenticeship

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence.

End-point assessment gateway
The employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard.

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think the apprentice:

  • is working at or above the occupational standard as a space systems engineer
  • has the evidence required to pass the gateway and is ready to take the EPA

The apprentice must have passed any other qualifications listed in the space systems engineer occupational standard ST0856.

The qualification(s) required are:

A space engineering or space science degree or other space degree that fully aligns to the KSBs on the apprenticeship

The apprentice must have achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

For the project report and presentation with questions, the apprentice must submit the following supporting material: an abstract or summary of the proposed subject, title and scope for the EPA project requirements. To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable. A brief project summary must be submitted to the EPAO. It should be no more than 500 words. This needs to show that the project will provide the opportunity for the apprentice to cover the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. It is not assessed.

For the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence the apprentice must submit a Portfolio of evidence.

The apprentice must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment (typically 7 months)
Grades available for each method:

Project report and presentation with questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

  • fail
  • pass

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction
Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard aligns with The Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) for Incorporated Engineer (IEng). The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.

This apprenticeship standard aligns with Royal Aeronautical Society for Incorporated Engineer (IEng). The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.

Re-sits and re-takes
  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 6 month(s)
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 6 month(s)

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA will be taken within the EPA period. The EPA period begins when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements are met and is typically 7 months.

The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements are met and the EPA begins as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think their apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard. The apprentice will then enter the gateway. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider(s), but the employer must make the decision.

The apprentice must meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

These are:

  • achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • achieved a space engineering or space science degree or other space degree that fully aligns to the KSBs on the apprenticeship
  • for the project report and presentation with questions the apprentice must submit an abstract or summary of the proposed subject, title and scope for the EPA project

The apprentice must agree the subject, title and scope for their project with their employer and EPAO.

  • for the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence the apprentice must submit Portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should only contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. It will typically contain 6 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence must be mapped against the KSBs. Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested.

Evidence sources may include:

  • workplace documentation and records, for example:
  • workplace policies and procedures
  • witness statements
  • annotated photographs
  • video clips (maximum total duration 10 minutes); the apprentice must be in view and identifiable

This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.

The portfolio of evidence should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example, witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.

The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. The independent assessor should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

The apprentice must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods can be delivered in any order.

The result of one assessment method does not need to be known before starting the next.

Project report and presentation with questions

Overview

A project involves the apprentice completing a significant and defined piece of work that has a real business application and benefit. The project must start after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The project must meet the needs of the employer’s business and be relevant to the apprentice’s occupation and apprenticeship. The EPAO must confirm that it provides the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade. The EPAO must refer to the grading descriptors to ensure that projects are pitched appropriately.

This assessment method has 2 components:

  • project with a project output
  • presentation with questions and answers

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because

• it is a holistic assessment method, allowing the apprentice to demonstrate KSBs in an integrated way

• it allows for a range of space systems engineering activities to be demonstrated

• it provides a cost-effective assessment, as it minimises independent assessor time and makes use of the apprentice’s employer’s workplace, equipment and resources, and should contribute to workplace productivity.

Component 1: Project with a project output

Delivery

The project report and presentation with questions must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The apprentice’s project can be based on any of the following:

  • a specific problem
  • a recurring issue
  • an idea or opportunity

  • top-level analysis of the requirements of a specific programme and generation of standard space project management constructs such as work package breakdowns and descriptions, project plans (for example Gantt charts with critical path), organograms and risk registers

  • research to establish the characteristics of the operating environments within which the system must operate, resulting in quantitative specifications that drive system design (for example, establishing orbital requirements and subsequent thermal limits, particle radiation levels)

  • undertaking detailed trade-off studies to identify the optimum design of mechanical components, mechanical/electronic assemblies and subsystems, control systems and mission architectures (for example communications link budgets, spacecraft radiator design)
  • using appropriate mathematical models and commercial analysis packages to carry out detailed analysis of particular aspects of a space mission, system, sub-system or instrument. For example, application of finite element analysis to determine thermally-induced stress and deformation in a mechanical component as a result of exposure to the expected environment, documenting outputs and recommendations

  • devising test plans and procedures in compliance with the relevant standards adopted by the business, necessary to verify the expected operation and performance of a subsystem (e.g. prescribing vibration testing of a mechanical assembly with levels appropriate to the intended launch vehicle and model philosophy)

  • leading practical test and verification activities in the workshop or laboratory (for example, a vibration test of a structure, or functional test of an electronic subsystem that the apprentice has been involved in designing), including comparison with expected performance, analysis of deviations from expected performance, and documentation of results and recommendations
  • management of a small design and build project to include budget and schedule control (for example, designing and building a mechanical sub-assembly, element of ground support equipment, or rapid-prototyping proof-of-concept model, which provides the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skills and behaviours relating to project management)

  • reviewing previous projects and missions delivered by the business, including analysis of overall systems engineering and management approaches, critical assessment of lessons learned and rationale for subsequent implementation of changes to processes to improve quality and efficiency

  • undertaking manufacture and assembly of mechanical or electrical and electronic subsystems followed by integration and functional testing with the wider system
  • desk based research into new technologies and practices being adopted in the sector (e.g. New Space approaches to access space, increased adoption of off the shelf solutions, increased onboard autonomy), and applications or implications for future programmes within the business

  • maintenance and operation of ground support equipment including vacuum, cryogenic and electronic systems as a means of improving understanding of the design and role of GSE in mission development and the importance of interfaces in a system of systems

The project must require:

  • apprentices to utilise each of the following: experimental approaches, numerical approaches, and drawing on existing data through desk studies
  • a literature review to develop a thorough understanding of the problem, to firm up proposed aims and objectives, to develop a suitable methodology for the project and, if undertaking a desk-based study identify suitable datasets to underpin data analysis. However, a literature review alone cannot meet the needs of the project assessment due to the lack of data interpretation and engineering decision making
  • data collection phase (for example, from site-based operations, laboratory sourced data, numerically sourced data or data from the literature, if undertaking a desk-based study)
  • analysis and interpretation of data to develop an engineering understanding for the basis of engineering decisions
  • application of practical skills including working with ground support equipment, and components in the space segment
  • application of practices relating to Health and Safety considerations such as risk assessment prior to an activity, followed by implementation of necessary procedures and precautions during the practical activity

To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable.

The project output must be in the form of a report.

The apprentice must start the project after the gateway. They must complete and submit the report to the EPAO by the end of week 32 of the EPA period. The employer should ensure the apprentice has the time and resources, within this period, to plan and complete their project. The apprentice must complete their project and the production of its components unaided.

The apprentice may work as part of a team to complete the project which could include technical internal or external support. However, the project output must be the apprentice’s own work and reflective of their own role and contribution. The apprentice and their employer must confirm that the project output(s) is the apprentice’s own work when it is submitted.

The report must include at least:

  • a 200-word executive summary (or abstract)
  • an introduction
  • the scope of the project (including key performance indicators, aims and objectives)
  • a project plan that includes:
  • a Gantt chart
  • a brief commentary on how the research method will be implemented and the aims and objectives met
  • the required administrative forms, which can be stored within an appendix (for example: risk assessments, ethical reviews, budgetary requirements)
  • research outcomes
  • data analysis outcomes
  • literature review findings
  • discussion and reflections on practical laboratory/workshop activities
  • project outcomes
  • discussion of findings
  • recommendations and conclusions
  • references (cited using one of the standard referencing styles)
  • appendix containing mapping of KSBs to the report.

The project report has a word count of 10000 words. A tolerance of 10% above or below the word count is allowed at the apprentice’s discretion. Appendices, references and diagrams are not included in this total. The project report must map, in an appendix, how it evidences the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Component 2: Presentation with questions

Delivery

In the presentation with questions the apprentice delivers a presentation to an independent assessor on a set subject. The independent assessor must ask questions following the presentation. This gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The apprentice must prepare and submit their presentation speaker notes and supporting materials presentation with questions and answers. The independent assessor must ask questions after the presentation. The presentations must include:

  • an overview of the project
  • the project scope (including key performance indicators)
  • summary of actions undertaken by the apprentice
  • project outcomes and how these were achieved

The apprentice must prepare and submit their presentation speaker notes and supporting materials to the EPAO at the same time as the report by the end of week 32 of the EPA period.

The apprentice must notify the EPAO, at that point, of any technical requirements for the presentation. During the presentation, the apprentice must have access to:

  • Audio-visual presentation equipment
  • Flip chart or whiteboard and writing and drawing materials
  • Computer.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the project output(s) and presentation speaker notes and supporting materials, to allow them to prepare questions. 

The EPAO must give the apprentices at least 4 weeks notice of the presentation with questions.

The apprentice must deliver their presentation to the independent assessor on a one-to-one basis.

The independent assessor must ask questions after the presentation.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to allow the apprentice the opportunity to evidence occupational competence at the highest level available, unless the apprentice has already achieved the highest grade available.

The presentation and questions must last 60 minutes. This will typically include a presentation of 30 minutes and questioning lasting 30 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the total time of the presentation and questioning by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to complete their last point or respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 5 questions. They must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training. Follow up questions are allowed where clarification is required.

The independent assessor must use the full time available for questioning. The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The project components must be assessed holistically by the independent assessor when they are deciding the grade.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the KSBs demonstrated in the report and presentation
  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The presentation with questions must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO (for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises).

The presentation with questions should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

The presentation with questioning can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.  

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAO must produce the following materials to support the project report and presentation with questions:

  • independent assessor EPA materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation, training, and moderation.

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Overview

In the professional discussion, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their competency across the KSBs as shown in the mapping.

Rationale

  • the professional discussion offers an efficient, cost-effective method of assessing those KSBs that are not likely to occur in the post gateway project.
  • it can be carried out in person or remotely, and it is representative of the way a space systems engineer would work in practice. The professional discussion will draw on the content of the portfolio of evidence to support reviews, discuss findings and results of work-based tasks in detail within a formal setting.
  • it allows for assessment of KSBs that do not occur on a predicable or regular basis and may not naturally be assessed as part of the project
  • it allows for testing of responses where there are a range of potential answers.

Delivery

The professional discussion must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to assess the following topics:

  • knowledge of the space environment
  • engineering principles in the specific context of the space application and the demands for quality
  • analysis and design solutions for space applications
  • project management
  • teamwork and communication
  • continued professional development (CPD).

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks notice of the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 week(s) to review the supporting documentation.

Apprentices must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the professional discussion.

Apprentices can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence , however the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 90 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to respond to a question if necessary.

For the professional discussion, the independent assessor must ask at least 9 questions. Follow-up questions are allowed. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training. The professional discussion must allow the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method at the highest possible grade.

The independent assessor conducts and assesses the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. The records must include the KSBs met, the grade achieved and answers to questions.

The independent assessor will make all grading decisions.

Assessment location

The professional discussion must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO (for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises).

The professional discussion can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

The professional discussion should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Question and resource development

EPAOs must write an assessment specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs shown in the mapping. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. EPAOs should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. The assessment specification and questions must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

EPAOs will develop purpose-built question banks and ensure that appropriate quality assurance procedures are in place, for example, considering standardisation, training and moderation. EPAOs will ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard.

EPAOs must ensure that apprentices have a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAOs must produce the following materials to support the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and employer

Grading

Project report and presentation with questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Space Systems
K1 K6 K7 K11 K14 S8 S17

Uses sector-specific analysis and simulation tools to represent and evaluate the overall mission concept, identifying a set of design solutions that meet requirements. (K1, S17)

Constructs numerical models representing the system structure being designed. Uses software tools to model and analyse the thermal and mechanical performance of mechanisms to determine their fitness-for-purpose. (K6, K7, K11, K14, S8)

 

 

 

Optimises the mission design and operations concepts through critical evaluation of spaceflight dynamics and ground segment design. Evaluates and selects the optimal solution against the brief. (K1, S17)

Validates results by utilising and critically analysing a range of design principles, techniques and numerical models. (K6, K7, K11, K14, S8)

Systems Engineering
K20 K26 K29 S5 S6 S7 S10 S13 S14

Uses scientific and engineering data relevant to a task or requirement, and uses the data as a key input into calculations, models, system designs and performance analysis to enable assessment of system compliance with requirements. (K20, S7, S10, S13)

Uses information technology to support the design, analysis, manufacture, collaboration and communication to ensure the project brief is satisfied. (K26, S14)

Translates customer requirements into technical proposals, designs, specifications, models and drawings that meet the project brief. (K29, S5, S6)

Justifies solutions to technical problems within system compliance, using scientific and engineering data and research to support justifications. (K20, S7, S10, S13)

 

Quality, Management and Compliance
K18 K25 S12 S15 B1 B7

Prepares and applies technical documentation, applying configuration and document management control processes (K18, S12)

Complies with all relevant legal and statutory requirements. (K25, S15, B1, B7)

Evaluates how legal and statutory requirements have impacted the project outcome and how this will impact on future similar projects (K25, S15, B1, B7)

Teamwork and Communication
K28 S2 S3 B3

Identifies and applies varied methods of communication for different audiences, presenting information in formats most appropriate to their content and audience. Demonstrates a professional approach to communication which achieves collaboration across multiple stakeholders and audiences. (K28, S2, S3, B3)

Justifies how their approach to presenting information, communication and collaboration has improved the quality of outcomes. (K28, S2, S3, B3)

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Space Systems
K2 K3 K4 K5 K10 K12 K17 K22 K23 K24

Describes the purpose of the Mission Concept of Operations (ConOps) in space systems engineering (K3).

Identifies the key components of round and space-based communication sub-systems (K2, K4)

Explains the principles of electric or chemical propulsion systems and the implications for mission design. (K5)

Describes the space environment and its implications for the requirements of systems in the space context. Relates these requirements to testing of spacecraft subsystems. (K10, K12, K17)

Explains the range of processes used in fabrication and their impact on materials properties, in order to meet manufacturing quality requirements. (K22)

Describes the upstream space sector, its applications, and the typical characteristics of spacecraft used in different mission types. (K23)

Explains the role of software in the function and control of spacecraft and ground facilities in order to fulfill the functional requirements of the mission. (K24)

Systems Engineering
K8 K9 S1 S4 S9

Justifies their technical engineering solutions, explaining how they use tools and techniques for modelling and analysis of subsystems, to ensure customer requirements are met. (K8, S1, S4, S9)

Explains the advantages of process automation in order to achieve efficiency and reproducibility, and discusses the requirements for automation including monitoring and controlling of machinery and processes. (K9)

Quality, Management and Compliance
K13 K15 K16 K19 K21 K30 S11 B4

Explains how they use test standards to design and conduct test procedures applying the principles of quality and product assurance in space manufacturing. Explains how they manage challenging situations during preparation and delivery of test campaigns. (K13, K15, K16, S11, B4)

Explains the phases of a space project from initial concept to disposal, and the purpose of reviews at each stage. Identifies the key elements of project planning. Explains the development and operation of space instrumentation in the context of project phrasing. (K19, K21, K30)

Teamwork and Communication
K27 S16 B2 B5 B6

Explains how they work with and lead others, justifying their approach to teamwork and the impact this has on individuals, teams or business. Explains how they advocate accessibility and diversity to create an inclusive culture. (K27, S16, B2, B6)

Evaluates the impact of their own professional development to enhance their own and others professional and technical competence. (B5)

 

 

Overall EPA grading

Performance in the EPA determines the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the: project report and presentation with questions and professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence in line with this EPA plan.

The EPAO must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade.

If the apprentice fails one or more assessment methods, they will be awarded an overall fail. 

To achieve an overall pass, the apprentice must achieve at least a pass in all the assessment methods. In order to achieve an overall EPA ‘distinction’, apprentices must achieve a pass in the 'Professional Discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence' assessment method, and a distinction in the 'Project: report and presentation with questions' assessment method.

Grades from individual assessment methods must be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA overall.

Project report and presentation with questions Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

Apprentices who fail one or more EPA method(s) can take a re-sit or a re-take at the employer’s discretion. The apprentice’s employer needs to agree that a re-sit or re-take is appropriate. A re-sit does not need further learning, whereas a re-take does.

Apprentices should have a supportive action plan to prepare for a re-sit or a re-take.

The employer and EPAO agree the timescale for a re-sit or re-take. A re-sit is typically taken within 6 months of the EPA outcome notification. The timescale for a re-take is dependent on how much re-training is required and is typically taken within 6 months of the EPA outcome notification.

Failed EPA methods must be re-sat or re-taken within a 6-month period from the EPA outcome notification, otherwise the entire EPA will need to be re-sat or re-taken in full.

Re-sits and re-takes are not offered to apprentices wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

An apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of pass for a re-sit or re-take, unless the EPAO determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities

Apprentice

As a minimum, the apprentice should:

  • participate in and complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules and as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • meet the gateway requirements 
  • undertake the EPA  

 

Employer

As a minimum, the apprentice's employer must:

  • select the EPAO and training provider 
  • work with the training provider (where applicable) to support the apprentice in the workplace and to provide the opportunities for the apprentice to develop the KSBs
  • arrange and support off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard and is ready for EPA 
  • ensure that supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan 
  • liaise with the training provider and EPAO to ensure the EPA is booked in a timely manner

Post-gateway, the employer must: 

  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing access to any employer-specific documentation as required, for example company policies)
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows the opportunity for the apprentice to be assessed against the KSBs 
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete all post-gateway elements of the EPA, and that any required supervision during this time (as stated within this EPA plan) is in place
  • where the apprentice is assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the resources used on a regular basis 
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt from the EPAO

EPAO

As a minimum, the EPAO must:  

  • conform to the requirements of this EPA plan and deliver its requirements in a timely manner 
  • conform to the requirements of the register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO) 
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP) for this apprenticeship 
  • understand the occupational standard 
  • make the EPA contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA 
  • develop and produce assessment materials as detailed for each assessment method in this EPA plan 
  • appoint qualified and competent independent assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan to conduct assessments and oversee their working 
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA  
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading 
  • provide information, advice, guidance and documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA 
  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible 
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer 
  • ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary, where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to stakeholders 
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes 
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and markers (where used) 
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship for an independent assessor before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically (a minimum of annually) 
  • manage invigilation of the apprentice to maintain security of the assessment in line with the EPAO’s malpractice policy 
  • verify the identity of the apprentice  
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must: 

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at the level of this apprenticeship and hold any required qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the independent assessor as detailed in the IQA section of this EPA plan 
  • understand the occupational standard and the requirements of this EPA 
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence, up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the occupation 
  • deliver the end-point assessment in-line with this EPA plan 
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO 
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • attend induction training 
  • attend standardisation events when they start working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually for this apprenticeship  
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan  
  • assess the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of KSBs to assessment methods in this EPA plan  
  • make the grading decisions 
  • record and report assessment outcome decisions, for each apprentice, following instructions and using assessment recording documentation provided by the EPAO, in a timely manner 
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 
  • mark open (constructed) test answers accurately according to the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures 

Training provider

As a minimum, the training provider must: 

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as listed in the occupational standard 
  • conduct training covering the KSBs agreed as part of the Commitment Statement or the Individual Learning Plan 
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning 
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA 
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA 

Reasonable adjustments

The EPAO must have reasonable adjustments arrangements for the EPA.

This should include:

  • how an apprentice qualifies for reasonable adjustment
  • what reasonable adjustments may be made

Adjustments must maintain the validity, reliability and integrity of the EPA as outlined in this EPA plan.

Internal quality assurance

Internal quality assurance refers to how EPAOs ensure valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. EPAOs must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section and:

  • have effective and rigorous quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent EPA regardless of employer, place, time or independent assessor
  • appoint independent assessors who are competent to deliver the EPA and who:
    • have recent relevant experience of the occupation or sector to at least occupational level 6 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
  • operate induction training for anyone involved in the delivery and/or assessment of the EPA
  • provide training for independent assessors in good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and making grading decisions
  • provide ongoing training for markers and invigilators
  • provide standardisation activity for this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors:
    • before they conduct an EPA for the first time
    • if the EPA is updated
    • periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
  • conduct effective moderation of EPA decisions and grades
  • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO’s appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on EPA decisions and grades
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider. In all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (for example a higher education institution)

Value for money

Affordability of the EPA will be aided by using at least some of the following:

  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • assessing multiple apprentices simultaneously where the method of assessment permits this
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard is designed to prepare successful apprentices to meet the requirements for registration as a:

The Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) for Incorporated Engineer (IEng)

Royal Aeronautical Society for Incorporated Engineer (IEng)

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Spacecraft dynamics and control techniques: two-body orbital motion and perturbations, sources of disturbance, spacecraft attitude control, manoeuvres, station keeping and rendezvous operations.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K2

Architecture of ground and space-based communications subsystems.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K3

Mission concept of operations: mission phasing, operational scenarios and modes, timelines, ground and space segments, communications and data handling architecture.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K4

The role of the ground station in mission operations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K5

Principles of electric or chemical propulsion systems.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K6

Structural analysis for static and dynamic loads.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K7

Design, analysis and operation of thermal control systems.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K8

Application of finite element analysis and system modelling software for mechanical, electrical and electromechanical sub-systems.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K9

Automation of engineering processes.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K10

Practical and theoretical requirements of electrical, electronic, electromechanical and mechanical equipment and systems in the space context.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K11

Design of mechanisms and deployable structures in a space context.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K12

The space environment: vacuum, thermal, radiation, particulate, atmospheres, vibration and thermal environment during launch.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K13

Purpose of approved processes, components, parts and materials lists.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K14

Properties, handling and application of space qualified materials.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K15

Principles of quality assurance and quality standards in space projects.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K16

Test standards in the space context.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K17

Principles, processes and techniques for thermal-vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, shock, vibration and acoustic testing, reporting and post-test procedures and actions.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K18

Configuration and document management control processes: issue control, incorporation of change and end item data pack.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K19

Principles of project management in space projects.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K20

Principles of systems engineering.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K21

Life cycles of space instrumentation for near earth and deep space missions.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K22

Techniques and strategies used for the manufacture and fabrication of space hardware, and impact of manufacturing processes on material properties.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K23

The upstream space sector, its applications, and the typical characteristics of spacecraft used in different mission types.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K24

The role of software in the function and control of spacecraft and ground facilities.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K25

Legal requirements: Health and Safety at Work, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, General Data Protection Regulation, Space Industry Act (Background, Range control, Licences, Safety, Security, Liabilities, Indemnities and Insurance).

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K26

Application of Factory 4.0: Digital devices, digital technologies and information systems (Automation, Additive Layer Manufacturing, Connected Technologies, Cyber, Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber Security Resilience, Industry and Autonomous Robotics – Cobotics, Virtual Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its applications).

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K27

Teamwork and leadership: negotiation techniques, conflict management, mentoring and development techniques, diversity, equality and inclusivity considerations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K28

Communication and presentation techniques: verbal and written.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K29

Engineering drawing principles: development drawings, qualification drawings and production drawings using computer aided design (CAD) software for creating 3D models and 2D drawings including schematics and circuit diagrams.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
K30

Events and activities in the launch and commissioning phases of a mission, for example monitoring diagnostic information from the spacecraft before launch, or interpreting performance data during commissioning phase of the mission.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Identify and implement technical engineering solutions. For example, by using trade studies.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S2

Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders: verbal and written.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S3

Present information. For example, presenting project progress and key performance information (KPI's) such as cost, quality, time, risk and opportunities, contributing to technical publications, conveying information to technical and non-technical audiences.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S4

Review and interpret customer requirements for the function and performance of their spacecraft or subsystem.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S5

Produce space engineering designs, specifications and drawings. For example, for tender and manufacturing stages.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S6

Contribute to the preparation of technical proposals. For example, by providing the lead engineer with technical input.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S7

Contribute to technical reviews with stakeholders. For example, explaining proposed solutions to the customer.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S8

Perform design and mechanical-structural, thermal and dynamic-vibration analysis, for deployable structures.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S9

Calculate and model the performance of electronic, mechanical and thermal subsystems using approved industry techniques. For example, communications, power, data handling and thermal control.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S10

Use scientific and engineering data. For example, to support decision making during design, build and operations phases of a mission or project.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S11

Identify and apply test standards and procedures. For example, identify and apply test standards for a specific project or mission.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S12

Prepare and apply technical documentation. For example, schedules, test plans, test reports, quality reports, and the digital tools used for their preparation.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S13

Research technical solutions to problems. For example, use peer-reviewed literature and technical publications to research technical solutions with awareness of patent rules.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S14

Use information technology including digital tools for presentation of data, digital communication, collaboration, design and analysis.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S15

Identify and comply with legal and statutory requirements. For example, health and safety, Environmental protection, sustainability, space certification requirements and data protection.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
S16

Work with and lead others including, negotiation, conflict management, mentoring and developing others; taking account of diversity, equality and inclusivity.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S17

Mission Analysis techniques using numerical analysis and simulation tools such as AGI-Systems Toolkit or NASA-GMAT.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Act as a role model and advocate for the environment, and sustainability.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
B2

Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B3

Apply a professional approach.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions
B4

Adapt to, and resilient in challenging or changing situation.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B5

Commits to their own and supports others' professional development.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B6

Act as an advocate for accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B7

Act as a role model and advocate for health and safety.

Back to Grading
Project report and presentation with questions

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Project report and presentation with questions - Project

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Space Systems
K1 K6 K7 K11 K14
S8 S17

Spacecraft dynamics and control techniques: two-body orbital motion and perturbations, sources of disturbance, spacecraft attitude control, manoeuvres, station keeping and rendezvous operations. (K1)

Structural analysis for static and dynamic loads. (K6)

Design, analysis and operation of thermal control systems. (K7)

Design of mechanisms and deployable structures in a space context. (K11)

Properties, handling and application of space qualified materials. (K14)

Perform design and mechanical-structural, thermal and dynamic-vibration analysis, for deployable structures. (S8)

Mission Analysis techniques using numerical analysis and simulation tools such as AGI-Systems Toolkit or NASA-GMAT. (S17)

N/A

Systems Engineering
K20 K26 K29
S5 S6 S7 S10 S13 S14

Principles of systems engineering. (K20)

Application of Factory 4.0: Digital devices, digital technologies and information systems (Automation, Additive Layer Manufacturing, Connected Technologies, Cyber, Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber Security Resilience, Industry and Autonomous Robotics – Cobotics, Virtual Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its applications). (K26)

Engineering drawing principles: development drawings, qualification drawings and production drawings using computer aided design (CAD) software for creating 3D models and 2D drawings including schematics and circuit diagrams. (K29)

Produce space engineering designs, specifications and drawings. For example, for tender and manufacturing stages. (S5)

Contribute to the preparation of technical proposals. For example, by providing the lead engineer with technical input. (S6)

Contribute to technical reviews with stakeholders. For example, explaining proposed solutions to the customer. (S7)

Use scientific and engineering data. For example, to support decision making during design, build and operations phases of a mission or project. (S10)

Research technical solutions to problems. For example, use peer-reviewed literature and technical publications to research technical solutions with awareness of patent rules. (S13)

Use information technology including digital tools for presentation of data, digital communication, collaboration, design and analysis. (S14)

N/A

Quality, Management and Compliance
K18 K25
S12 S15
B1 B7

Configuration and document management control processes: issue control, incorporation of change and end item data pack. (K18)

Legal requirements: Health and Safety at Work, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, General Data Protection Regulation, Space Industry Act (Background, Range control, Licences, Safety, Security, Liabilities, Indemnities and Insurance). (K25)

Prepare and apply technical documentation. For example, schedules, test plans, test reports, quality reports, and the digital tools used for their preparation. (S12)

Identify and comply with legal and statutory requirements. For example, health and safety, Environmental protection, sustainability, space certification requirements and data protection. (S15)

Act as a role model and advocate for the environment, and sustainability. (B1)

Act as a role model and advocate for health and safety. (B7)

Teamwork and Communication
K28
S2 S3
B3

Communication and presentation techniques: verbal and written. (K28)

Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders: verbal and written. (S2)

Present information. For example, presenting project progress and key performance information (KPI's) such as cost, quality, time, risk and opportunities, contributing to technical publications, conveying information to technical and non-technical audiences. (S3)

Apply a professional approach. (B3)

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Space Systems
K2 K3 K4 K5 K10 K12 K17 K22 K23 K24

Architecture of ground and space-based communications subsystems. (K2)

Mission concept of operations: mission phasing, operational scenarios and modes, timelines, ground and space segments, communications and data handling architecture. (K3)

The role of the ground station in mission operations. (K4)

Principles of electric or chemical propulsion systems. (K5)

Practical and theoretical requirements of electrical, electronic, electromechanical and mechanical equipment and systems in the space context. (K10)

The space environment: vacuum, thermal, radiation, particulate, atmospheres, vibration and thermal environment during launch. (K12)

Principles, processes and techniques for thermal-vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, shock, vibration and acoustic testing, reporting and post-test procedures and actions. (K17)

Techniques and strategies used for the manufacture and fabrication of space hardware, and impact of manufacturing processes on material properties. (K22)

The upstream space sector, its applications, and the typical characteristics of spacecraft used in different mission types. (K23)

The role of software in the function and control of spacecraft and ground facilities. (K24)

N/A

N/A

Systems Engineering
K8 K9
S1 S4 S9

Application of finite element analysis and system modelling software for mechanical, electrical and electromechanical sub-systems. (K8)

Automation of engineering processes. (K9)

Identify and implement technical engineering solutions. For example, by using trade studies. (S1)

Review and interpret customer requirements for the function and performance of their spacecraft or subsystem. (S4)

Calculate and model the performance of electronic, mechanical and thermal subsystems using approved industry techniques. For example, communications, power, data handling and thermal control. (S9)

N/A

Quality, Management and Compliance
K13 K15 K16 K19 K21 K30
S11
B4

Purpose of approved processes, components, parts and materials lists. (K13)

Principles of quality assurance and quality standards in space projects. (K15)

Test standards in the space context. (K16)

Principles of project management in space projects. (K19)

Life cycles of space instrumentation for near earth and deep space missions. (K21)

Events and activities in the launch and commissioning phases of a mission, for example monitoring diagnostic information from the spacecraft before launch, or interpreting performance data during commissioning phase of the mission. (K30)

Identify and apply test standards and procedures. For example, identify and apply test standards for a specific project or mission. (S11)

Adapt to, and resilient in challenging or changing situation. (B4)

Teamwork and Communication
K27
S16
B2 B5 B6

Teamwork and leadership: negotiation techniques, conflict management, mentoring and development techniques, diversity, equality and inclusivity considerations. (K27)

Work with and lead others including, negotiation, conflict management, mentoring and developing others; taking account of diversity, equality and inclusivity. (S16)

Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines. (B2)

Commits to their own and supports others' professional development. (B5)

Act as an advocate for accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. (B6)

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Airbus Defence and Space Nammo Westcott Ltd Teledyne UK Ltd Serco BAE Systems Reaction Engines Ltd Oxford Space Systems DSTL Thales Alenia Space UK Ltd Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) UK Atomic Energy Authority Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd Satellite Applications Catapult CGI Plastron UK

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