This occupation is found in cross sector (e.g. Automotive, Food & Drink, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceutical, Construction), companies involved in manufacturing (discrete or process), logistics or utilities environments. These employers may be directly involved in these activities or as a provider of services (e.g. systems integration, field service, technical consultancy) to these companies.
The broad purpose of the occupation is twofold.
Where the role is based inside a manufacturing (discrete or process), logistics or utilities environments, a fully competent Automation & Control Engineering Technician will be able to install, maintain, fault find and optimise hardware and software for automation systems.
Where the role is based in a service provider, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or approved solutions provider in large or SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) companies, the Automation & Control Engineering Technician will be the interface between the vendor and it’s customer and will be able to competently provide high quality, engineering services such as installation, commissioning, fault finding (the activity of testing an installation prior to handover) and support.
For both iterations of this role, this would involve the above duties across a range of hardware such as on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Human Machine Interfaces (HMI), robots and Industrial Networks (e.g. PROFIBUS, DeviceNet, PROFINET, ModBus). Use of physical tools, software tools and instruments (e.g. multi-meter), are fundamental to carrying out tasks associated with building (e.g. control panels), installing (e.g. site cabling) and maintaining of automation systems.
This apprenticeship has a typical duration of 48 months.
Successful completion of Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Automation and Control Engineering. This HNC has been written in conjunction with the “Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education”
Alongside studying towards the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Automation and Control Engineering, you will create a work-based portfolio of evidence; this will form part of the end-point assessment (EPA).
The EPA assessment will be undertaken at the end of the 48 months and will include:
Assessment method 1: Project, Report and Presentation with Questioning
Assessment method 2: Occupational Professional Discussion
You will also undertake end-point assessment activities throughout the 48 months
Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Automation and Control Engineering
Core mandatory unit: Engineering Maths
Core mandatory unit: Engineering Science
Core mandatory unit: Programming for Engineers
Core mandatory unit: Professional Engineering Practice (Note: This is a Pearson-set unit).
Core mandatory unit: Engineering Mechanics and Materials
Specialist mandatory unit: Automation, Robotics and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
Optional unit Group A: Mechatronics*
Optional unit Group B: Analogue and Digital Electronics*
*Optional unit(s) to achieve qualification specialism competencies in support of progression to Level 5
Further details about this standard are available on the “Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/automation-and-controls-engineering-technician-v1-0
Attendance on day release over two years to study Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Automation and Control Engineering
Production of a work-based portfolio of evidence
End-point assessment activities within college and workplace.
You must be in employment and working within the job role and approved at initial assessment. It is anticipated apprentices will hold at enrolment:
- a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Engineering
- a GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C (or equivalent) and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as maths and English
- other related Level 3 qualifications
- an Access to Higher Education Diploma from an approved further education institution
- relevant work experience, or
● an international equivalent to the above qualifications.
This Level 4 Higher National Certificate provides a direct progression route to the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma in Electronic and Electrical Systems Engineering (610/1263/4).
The Level 5 units prepare students to move on to specific areas of electronic and electrical engineering at Level 6 or to enter employment with the qualities and abilities necessary for roles that require personal responsibility and decision making.
Students will be able to develop and apply their own ideas to their studies, to deal with uncertainty and complexity, to explore solutions, demonstrate critical evaluation and use both theory and practice in a wide range of engineering situations.
By the end of Level 5 study, students will have a sound understanding of the principles in their area of specialist study and will know how to apply those principles more widely in the business world. They will be able to perform effectively in their specialist area.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to access a range of financial support available.