Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) inAutomation and Controls Engineering Technician

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation will be part of a multi-disciplinary team for example as a member or leader of a project team, maintenance team, service team that will work alongside other stakeholders for example design, production or coordination that interfaces with internal and external customers alike. Monitoring of the operation of these systems can be carried out either within in-situ control rooms/offices or remotely via web based/GPRS based mobile communications.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the ordering, coordination of services, working to established operating procedures for resources such as equipment and software to ensure functionality of automation systems are maintained. In a large company, they would generally report to an engineering manager whereas they may have greater responsibility and autonomy in an SME. Individuals in service provision would certainly find themselves working in a more autonomous situation. In either situation they would be responsible for their own actions and to protect those around them with respect to health, safety and the environment.

Course Content

Current Delivery Involves:

  • One day per week (Term time only) at Loughborough College
  • A progress review every 12 weeks with dedicated trainer assessor and line manager / workplace mentor
  • Observations and professional discussions with dedicated trainer assessor in the workplace.

Off the Job Training Provided

On-programme is the learning phase for Apprentices to apply the academic theory to their own organisations and role, and to capture the knowledge, skills and behaviours developed on the programme and in the workplace. To achieve this, Apprentices need to complete, off the job training during the on-programm phase of their Apprenticeship, this can be tracked and monitored through our e-portfolio.

Course Content


K1: Engineering maths - mathematical principles and theories that underpin engineering

K2: Engineering principles - the underlying principles of electrical and electronic circuits and devices

K3: Functional solutions - Create functional solutions; identifying and justifying a solution to a given engineering need

K4: Safety procedures - relevant safety procedures required to operate on automation equipment in an industrial environment

K5: Single and three phase circuits - single phase and three phase supplies on AC and DC motor and control circuits

K6: Automation knowledge - Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Variable Speed Drives (VSD), Human Machine Interface (HMI) & Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), robotics hardware and software tools to carry out configuration, programming and fault finding duties

K7: Instrumentation knowledge - instrumentation used to measure flow, temperature, pressure etc and the means by which they transmit measurement data

K8: Use of software tools - Justification in the utilisation of software tools would be for but not limited to the changing of hardware configurations, firmware updates, software modifications and commissioning

K9: Industrial networking knowledge - the application, installation and operational characteristics of industrial communication networks at Supervisory (e.g. Ethernet), Cell (e.g. PROFINET/PROFIBUS) and Field (e.g. AS-Interface) levels

K10: Use of diagnostic tools - diagnostic tools and equipment including web-based diagnostics incorporated into network devices and other software tools (e.g. PROFITrace)

K11: Understand technical documents - Ability to follow electrical system circuit diagrams, understand the operation of the various components that make up an automation system

K12: Safety legislation and responsibilities - electrical safety system legislation & directives

K13: Quality systems - quality assurance principles to ensure operation, consistency and quantification of enhancement of manufacturing and process applications


S1: Safety Effective - The ability to work safely in an industrial environment and where required, produce risk assessment/method statement documentation. Be able to apply the principles of functional machinery and/or process safety including SIL (Safety Integrated Level) and PL (Performance Level) terminology

S2: Engineering documentation - Production and interpretation of a range of technical documentation (device manuals, operating procedures, schematics, fault reports etc), and working with company documentation systems

S3: Project engineering capabilities - Support of installation, commissioning, shut-down, start-up and maintenance/service/support of a wide range of systems and devices

S4: Diagnostic capabilities - Fault finding, diagnosis, rectification and reporting of automation control systems and controls applications via the utilisation of formal problem solving methods and diagnostic tools/software

S5: Instrumentation configuration and calibration - Set-up, calibrate and commission a wide variety of field level instrumentation that interfaces to automation & control systems

S6: Industrial Networks configuration and support - configure, assist commissioning and continued support of industrial network solutions at all hierarchical levels of control system integration using the requisite tools and or software

S7: HMI & SCADA configuration and programming - Make changes to existing systems or implement new configurations

S8: PLC/Robot configuration and programming - Implement complex PLC/Robot program content and configurations to affect changes to increase availability and or efficiency of automation controlled machinery and the ability to configure PLC and or Robot hardware and program a wide variety of PLC’s and or Robot’s


B1: Zero Harm - Always prioritise on Health and Safety best practice

B2: Resilience - Sound and established ability to work effectively both in a team and alone

B3: Personal excellence - Interact professionally with clients and stakeholders

B4: Communicative - High quality communication skills

B5: Ethical - Strong professional and business ethics

B6: Commitment - A focus on quality in all the tasks assigned

B7: Continual development - Willingness to learn new processes, methods and technologies

B8: Responsibility - Strong commitment and accountability and ability to apply independent judgement

B9: Personal Values - Respect and tolerance of others

B10: Ambassadorial - To be a role model of engineering practice and to promote engineering in order to sustain a pipeline of future talent

B11: Reflection - Evaluate outcomes of own performance across all duties

Where youcan work

Typical examples of occupational roles include:

  • Automation and Controls Engineering Technician

Key Information


  • The apprenticeship programme will start in September.


  • The enrolment process will be completed prior to the start date of the apprenticeship.


  • The apprenticeship will delivered at Loughborough College for one day per week (Term time only)

Entry Requirements & Functional Skills

  • Five GCSE’s at Grade C/4 (or above) including Level 2 or GCSE C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science
  • Level 3 qualification in Engineering or A Levels in Maths and Physics.

Qualification(s) Obtained

Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering

Level 4 Automations and Controls Apprenticeship Standard

Awarding Organisation


Progression Opportunities

Level 5 and Level 6 Apprenticeship standards

Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Engineering

Full-time employment

Get in touch

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Call: 01509 515461

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