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UCQ University Centre Quayside

Customer Service Specialist (Level 3)

The Apprenticeship is delivered as a work-based route towards developing professionally competent Customer Service Specialists for direct customer support within all sectors and organisation types.  Apprentices are advocates of Customer Service, acting as a referral point for dealing with more complex or technical customer requests, complaints, and queries. They are often an escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems. As an expert in the organisation’s products and/or services, the apprentice will share knowledge with wider teams and colleagues, gathering and analysing data and customer information that influences change and improvements in service. Utilising both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out the role with an awareness of other digital technologies, which could include many types of environment including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.

The Apprenticeship includes:

  • Learning within the workplace
  • Development of new Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs)

Apprentices completing this programme will receive:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service
  • Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship
  • Level 2 Functional Skills Maths/English (as required)

Apprentices will undertake a programme of study in a suitable customer service environment setting before progressing through the Gateway to End Point Assessment (EPA).

You will develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours in:

  • Business Knowledge and Understanding: continuous improvement; service value; business customer engagement strategy; leadership styles and applying them in a customer service environment
  • Customer Journey: critical evaluation of the journey of customers, challenges and end to end experiences including complex issues; commercial factors and authority limits
  • Customer Insight: customer types, needs and behaviours; analyse, use and present data and feedback; customer expectations and culture; complaints and escalations
  • Business Focussed Service Delivery: providing a positive customer experience through advanced questioning and listening; cost-consciousness; effective use of communications to ensure positive customer outcomes.

The apprenticeship is delivered and assessed using a range of methods and activities using a hybrid model which can include live online sessions, assignments, projects, case studies, reports, work-product evidence, self-directed study, and interactive groupwork activities, in addition to observations within the workplace.

The apprenticeship at a glance

Duration: 15 months then end point assessment (based on employment of at least 30 hours per week).

Starts: Throughout the year.

Suitable for: Current and new employees

Costs: Payable by the employer through the apprenticeship levy or co-funded (5%).  There are no further costs required for resources, teaching, assessing.  You will need access to ICT to undertake your studies.

Entry requirements: Working in an appropriate role, 16+.

“Off the job” element: All delivery sessions and workshops plus activities including, assignments, case studies, reflection, work-product evidence, tutorials, and group activities.

Support for students: Dedicated assessor for the duration of the programme.

Support for employers: UCQ account manager for the duration of programme with practical experience of business management and leadership

Eligibility: Individuals holding existing qualifications may join, providing they are not sector-related.

Assessment: There are no exams, successful completion of the apprenticeship is entirely based upon the following assessments:

  • Knowledge – assignments; work-sheets
  • Skills and Behaviours – Self-reflection, peer and line manager reviews, witness testimonies, assessor observations within the workplace, work-product evidence
  • End-point assessment

If you have any questions you can contact UCQ by emailing: apprentices@ucq.ac.uk

Course Information

  Title: Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship – Level 3


  Duration: 15 months (18 months including End Point Assessment (EPA))


  Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship


  Accreditation: NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service; Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship 


  There are no opening or closing dates for applications as courses start throughout the year.  


  Location: Work-based learning (within the workplace).


  Study format: Assessor sessions; supported self-directed study; tutorials; observations within the workplace; collation of work-product evidence and EPA preparation.


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Ifate: Apprenticeship Standard

Assessment Plan: Customer Service Specialist

Occupational Map: Sales, Marketing, Procurement – Customer Service Sector