Level 3 Garment Maker Apprenticeship (Standard Level 3)

Entry requirements: Level 2 in English and Maths. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeships 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.

Total length of course: 24 months with 20% off the job training

Practical / On-programme phase: a minimum of 12 months on-programme

Overview: Constructing garments – bringing the design to life, following specifications and quality standards.

Details of Standard:

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

  • Structured Garment Production
  • Non-structured Garment Production

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the manufacturing, creative and design sectors across the apparel (clothing) industry.

The UK apparel industry consists of mainly micro, small and medium enterprises, producing premium garments for various markets, including womenswear, menswear and Childrenswear, for example from bespoke tailored suits, creative designer womenswear, and costumes for opera and theatre, to luxury fashion and couture pieces as seen on catwalks in major capitals across the world.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to construct garments – bringing the design to life, following specifications and quality standards. They may work on one-off products for specific customers or garment samples to be replicated. They help determine the best production method for each design, review fit, deal with manufacturing issues and monitor resources. Garment makers know and understand the end-to-end garment making process. They are extremely proficient sewers, operating sewing machines effectively and applying stitching techniques by hand. They work with different materials and trimmings, appropriate to the design. They work to a high level of accuracy; with close attention to detail, they apply efficient time management skills and may need to work under pressure to meet customer or season deadlines.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with personnel involved in garment design, development and production. It will vary depending on the business size, structure and working environment. Typically, in a small production unit, they would interact with the designer and pattern cutter. In a workshop producing couture or bespoke garments, they may interact with a tailor, cutter or the designer. In a wider factory setting, they may work as part of a larger team, this could mean working in a sample room or on the factory floor, interacting with production tailors, designers, product technologists, pattern cutters, fabric cutters, quality controllers and sewing machinists.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the pursuit of excellence in relation to the assembly, finish and look of the end product. Throughout the construction of the garment, they need to meet the design brief, which includes specifications and quality standards. They must work effectively on their own or as part of a wider team and must comply with health and safety requirements.


Duty 1 

Comprehend, decipher and work to given garment specifications, design directives and instruction. 

Garments produced meet specifications K1 K2 K3 K4 K18 K23 K25

S1 S5 S24 S25

B2 B3

Duty 2 

Quality check garment components and materials before during and after completion of the garment, for example, the number of components, fabric quality, and pattern match, trimmings, construction.

Garment components meet quality standards throughout production K1 K2 K3 K17 K19 K22

S2 S5 S8 S12 S13 S15 S17 S20 S24 S25

B2 B4

Duty 3 

Develop and operate a systemised, logical and efficient workstation and work process.

The correct equipment, tools and work aids are selected and work the workflow is optimum and continuous K6 K7 K8 K9 K23 K24 K26

S3 S4 S6 S16 S22 S25

B1 B2

Duty 4 

Apply a variety of sewing and handling techniques and methods to assemble and finish garments or parts of garments, using own initiative, knowledge and experience to create processes and products that meet quality requirements

The appropriate machinery, and most effective technique, and method is used for the task in hand K1 K2 K3 K6 K7 K9 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K18 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S10 S11 S12 S16 S18 S20 S22 S25

B1 B2

Duty 5 

Measure and figurate garment components and the finished garments.

Garments/ garment parts are measured and figurated to meet quality standards and specifications K2 K3 K4 K16 K17 K18 K21

S1 S17

B2 B3

Duty 6 

Develop, monitor and refine the best production techniques and work sequences that will inform future production process and identify continuous improvement in relation to work methods and garment quality.

Production methods are efficient, cost-effective and compliant K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K18 K21 K24

S3 S4 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S22 S25

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 

Review and assess garments including fit, quality, cost and finish against design, specifications, quality standards and customer requirements.

Finished Garment drape, fit and balance in line with the deign brief K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K25

S1 S2 S15 S17 S19 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3

Duty 8 

Produce hand sewn work such as beading or blind hemming.

Hand sewn work meets quality standards and specifications K2 K3 K4 K5 K7 K8 K10 K12 K18

S1 S6 S9 S12 S16 S19

B1 B2

Duty 9 

Apply trimmings, for example bindings, fusing’s, buttons, braid.

The application of trimmings meets quality standards and specifications K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K12 K13 K18 K20

S1 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S12 S16

B1 B2

Duty 10 

Press garments/garment parts (under-press and final press).

Garments are under pressed and pressed appropriately, in the right sequence with no creases, marks or over pressing K1 K4 K5 K6 K7 K14 K18 K27

S2 S3 S4 S14 S16 S25

B1 B2




  • K1: The ‘end-to-end’ process required to make a garment from concept to finished product for example design, pattern development, sampling, cutting, sewing, final checks
  • K2: The principles of clothing design and construction for example style, function, fit, balance, proportion, aesthetics
  • K3: Garment making quality standards, for example, British Standards (BSI) International Standards (ISO)
  • K4: Garment making instructions and specifications, for example pattern markings, grain lines, component shapes, garment dimensions, allowances, tolerances
  • K5: The characteristics, properties, and cost of materials including compatibility with different designs, faults, threads and different handling methods for a range of materials, for example, stretch jersey, satin, wool, linen, cotton
  • K6: Different types of machines, equipment and tools used to produce garments, for example lockstitch machine, blind hemmer, scissors, snips, corner shaper, loop turner, measuring tape, mannequins; machine testing, setting up and operating machines safely
  • K7: Health, safety, welfare and environmental policies and procedures including Health & Safety at Work Act; safe working practices, workplace risks employer and employee legal obligations, employees’ rights and responsibilities, ethical trading standards, equality and diversity
  • K8: Sewing needle systems, functions and physical characteristics including needle point, size and specialism
  • K9: Sewing work aids and attachments including function, compatibility and advantages for example to decrease handling, increase production, improve quality decrease manufacturing cost
  • K10: Hand stitches and what they are used for, for example basting, buttonhole stitch, catch stitch, beading weaving stitch, blind hemming
  • K11: Seam types and what they are used for, for example lapped seams, bound seams, decorative seams
  • K12: Finishing techniques, for example rolled hems zips, closures
  • K13: Garment assembly processes including sewing methods and assembly sequence
  • K14: Garment shaping techniques, for example, darts, gathers, and tucks
  • K15: Garment labelling and related legislation for example fibre content, care requirements
  • K16: Measurement and figuration techniques, for example measurement points, girth measurement, length and breadth measurements, body shape
  • K17: Garment balance, drape, silhouette and sizing, including national, international, made-to-measure and bespoke sizes
  • K18: Specialist terminology used in garment construction, for example drape, ease, baste, nap, ruching, applique
  • K19: Common manufacturing issues and construction faults, and rectification for example unsuitable sewing techniques, poorly cut components, incorrect construction, mismatched seams, damage, incorrect markings
  • K20: Garment making costs and effective use of resources for example minimising waste, time and materials
  • K21: The garment review and approval processes, for example review of fit, balance, drape, measurements, quality, design, pattern, construction, cost and risk assessment, sample sealing, customer approval
  • K22: Returns and faults analysis and the impact of faulty products
  • K23: The use and importance of garment making documentation, for example production make-up sheets, dockets, electrical systems
  • K24: The principles of lean manufacturing, for example continuous improvement, work flow, performance monitoring, production rates, waste elimination
  • K25: Customer and brand awareness for example customer profile, customer expectations and target market
  • K26: Routine sewing machine maintenance, for example machine cleaning, lubrication, stitch setting, needle replacement, reporting more serious machine problems that require a machine mechanic
  • K27: Garment pressing techniques, equipment settings and the effects of heat, steam and, pressure on fabric and garments




  • S1: Interpret and follow garment specifications, patterns and/or instructions
  • S2: Inspect garment components, identify and deal with any issues found, for example material/design compatibility, surface flaws, shading, misprint, pulls, holes, shrinkage
  • S3: Select, prepare and operate sewing machines, for example lockstitch machine, blind hemmer including machine adjustment for different materials
  • S4: Organise work and workstation layout
  • S5: Assemble fabric components to make a whole garment
  • S6: Select and use different types of sewing needles for different materials, for example size, diamond point, ballpoint
  • S7: Select and use different types of attachments, for example adjustable presser foot, zipper foot, seam guide, applique foot
  • S8: Match fabric prints, checks and stripes during garment assemble
  • S9: Hand stitch garments, for example baste, catch, running, slip, chain or couching stitch
  • S10: Sew different seam types, for example, flat seams, lapped seams, over locked seam
  • S11: Shape garments using different sewing techniques, for example, darts, gathers, tucks
  • S12: Position and attach trimmings, for example braid, bias lace. buttons, eyelets
  • S13: Finish garments; selecting appropriate techniques, for example rolled hems, zip insertion, pockets, fusing
  • S14: Press garments; set up and operate pressing equipment for example steam irons, block press, trouser press and steamroll
  • S15: Check the balance, component positions, set, grain, ease and drape of garments using mannequins or modelling
  • S16: Use the tools of the trade to make and shape garments, for example scissors, snips, steamroll, corner shaper, loop turner, measuring tape, mannequins
  • S17: Measure and figurate garments considering critical measurement points, body shape and silhouette
  • S18: Select, position and apply labels for example care, size and brand labels
  • S19: Complete records and technical documents, for example production make-up sheets, work dockets
  • S20: Inspect the quality of construction during the garment make-up process and change methods if required
  • S21: Identify, diagnose and rectify garment faults, for example poor fit, sizing, mismatched seams, fabric damage, incorrect markings, returns
  • S22: Develop and apply the production sequence and assembly method
  • S23: Review complete garments, contribute recommendations that may benefit the garment or the manufacturing process
  • S24: Communicate with colleagues and/or stakeholders – verbal and written; using industry terminology, for example drape, ease, baste, nap, grain
  • S25: Make and apply collars for example shirt collar and stand, convertible collar, shawl collar or mandarin collar




  • B1: Health and safety first attitude, for example prioritises the health, safety and welfare of self and others over other demands Back to Duty
  • B2: Takes ownership for work, for example accepts responsibilities, demonstrates initiative, motivated and self-managing,
  • B3: Team player, for example builds co-operative and respectful working relationships across all relevant levels and department; takes account of equality and diversity interactions
  • B4: Committed to continued professional development, for example reflects on knowledge, skills and behaviours, seeks opportunities to develop and advance in response to the evolving production environment and technologies

Occupational Level: 3

Typical duration to gateway: 

  • 24 months (this does not include EPA period) 


  • Structured Garment Production
  • Non-structured Garment Production

EQA Provider: UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)


English & 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.


The EPA must be completed within an EPA period lasting typically four months, after the EPA gateway.

This document sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the garment maker apprenticeship standard. It is for end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) who need to know how EPA for this apprenticeship must operate. 

It will also be of interest to garment maker apprentices, their employers and training providers.

Full time apprentices will typically spend 24 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. All apprentices must require and spend a minimum of 12 months on-programme.

The EPA period should only start, and the EPA be arranged, once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is deemed to be consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, all of the pre-requisite gateway requirements for EPA have been met and can be evidenced to an EPAO. Apprentices must have their project subject and scope agreed by their EPAO as a gateway requirement.

For level 3 apprenticeships and above, apprentices without English and mathematics at level 2 must achieve level 2 prior to taking their EPA. 1

EPA must be conducted by an organisation approved to offer services against this apprenticeship standard, as selected by the employer, from the Education & Skills Funding Agency’s Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO).

The EPA consists of three discrete assessment methods.

The individual assessment methods will have the following grades:

Assessment method 1: Project: garment production, project report and questioning

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2: Skills test with questioning

  • fail
  • pass

Assessment method 3: Interview

  • Fail
  • pass
Institute for Apprenticeships (IFATE) website link: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/garment-maker-v1-0
Skills & Education Group End Point Assessment website link: https://skillsandeducationgroupawards.co.uk/epa/level-3-garment-maker/

This course is available at:

  • London Haringey Campus
  • Leicester Campus
  • Wales Campus
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