The main purpose of a retailer is to assist customers when they purchase products and services, which requires a good understanding of the stock being sold, the variety of ways customers can shop and the ability to process payments, for example, using a till. Retailers must be passionate about delivering a quality service that always aims to exceed customers’ expectations. Therefore, retailers enjoy direct contact with a wide range of people and are motivated by completing a sale and knowing a customer is happy with their purchase. They can work in a variety of shops and other retail establishments: small boutiques, large high street chains, supermarkets and well-known department stores are just some examples. More specialist retailers include funeral services, garden centres, delicatessens and people who work in remote environments for example in telephone, on-line and mail order retail. Regardless of the type of products and services being sold, a wide representation of employers from across the retail industry have defined this standard and agreed that the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices must have to do their job are the same.
Duration: 12 months minimum
What You Will Study
Knowledge and Understanding (Know it), Skills (Show it), Behaviours (Live it)
- Customer: Know the customer profile of the business, appropriate methods for communicating with customers e.g. face to face and remotely, what customers’ purchasing habits are, how to support and increase sales, encourage customer loyalty and achieve repeat business
- Business: Know the vision, objectives and brand standards of the business and how to contribute towards their success
- Financial: Understand the principles of operating commercially and supporting the overall financial performance of the business for example by aiming to exceed targeted sales and reduce wastage and returns
- Marketing: Know how the business positions itself in order to increase its market share and compete against its main competitors for example its unique selling points, its straplines, promotions and advertising campaigns
- Communication: Know how to identify and determine individuals’ situation and needs and how to respond in the most appropriate way in line with the business culture (for example the difference in how a branded goods retailer would communicate to their customers would be very different from an individual that retails a funeral service, or someone that needs to convey highly technical product information)
- Sales and Promotion: Understand the sales opportunities that exist across the year within the business and industry and the need to know customers’ buying habits during these periods, seasonal product / service knowledge, and stock requirements at different times of the year
- Product and Service: Know information on the brands, products and services as required by the business (for example in large retailers a general knowledge of a range of products and services may be needed, but in specialist outlets a detailed knowledge on the technical specification of a product and the aftercare service may be necessary)
- Brand reputation: Know and understand the importance of brand and business reputation and what can affect it
- Merchandising: Understand how increase sales through product placement by utilising ‘hot spots’ and recognising the relationship between sales and space
- Stock: Know how to maintain appropriate levels of the right stock to meet customer demand, taking into account planned marketing activities and expected seasonal variations and the conditions they must be stored in
- Technical: Know how to operate technology such as customer payments and understand how changing technology, for example social media, digital and multichannel tools, support the sale of products and facilitates an effective and efficient service to customers
- Team: Know how to support and influence the team positively, recognising how all colleagues and teams are dependent on each other to meet business objectives
- Performance: Understand how personal performance contributes to the success of the business for example the sale of products and services, increasing sales and achieving customer loyalty
- Legal and governance: Recognise and understand legislative responsibilities relating to the business and the products and/or services being sold (for example the importance of food safety for food retailers), the importance of protecting peoples’ health, safety and security, and the consequences of not following legal guidelines
- Diversity: Understand how to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and recognise how local demographics can impact on the product range of the business
- Environment: Know how to take responsible decisions to minimise negative effects on the environment in all work activities
How You Will be Taught
The period of learning, development and continuous assessment is managed by the employer, in most cases with the service of an education or training provider. Although learning, development and on-programme assessment is flexible and the process is not prescribed, the following is the recommended baseline expectation for an apprentice to achieve full competence in line with the standard: Throughout the period of learning and development, and at least every two months, the apprentice should meet with the on-programme assessor to record their progress against the standard using the on-programme progression template (freely available at People1st.co.uk). At these reviews, evidence should be discussed and recorded by the apprentice. Once the apprentice is deemed competent the relevant section(s) of the standard should be signed off by the on-programme assessor and employer.
The maintenance of an on-programme record is important to support the apprentice, on-programme assessor and employer in monitoring the progress of learning and development and to determine when the apprentice has achieved full competence in their job role and is ready for independent end assessment. The on-programme assessment log is NOT a portfolio of evidence, but a record of what the apprentice can do following periods of training, development and assessment. A minimum of six meetings and completed records are recommended, to show ongoing competence across the entire standard, over a minimum of a twelve-month period prior to the starting the independent end assessment.
What Can I Do Once I Have Completed the Course?
This apprenticeship provides an ideal stepping stone into specialist, team leading, supervisory or first line management roles within retail and higher level training and apprenticeships.