Horticulture Operative Standard Apprenticeship

Working and learning in the horticulture and landscape industries is rewarding, offers a diverse range of employment opportunities and includes a range of skills that are transferrable.

  • Level

    Level 2

  • Type


  • Study Mode


  • Duration

    2 Years

  • Location

    Offsite Guildford

  • Pathway

    Horticulture and Landscaping

Horticulture and Landscape Operatives can be employed to work in public parks and gardens, green spaces and historic gardens, private gardens and estates or in production nurseries and retail outlets. Many businesses will be specialised in their activities, such as grounds maintenance (soft-landscape) or landscape construction (hard- landscape). Soft-landscaping includes the establishment and maintenance of plants and cultivated areas. Hard- landscaping includes establishment of hard surfaces and structures in addition to the establishment of plants in cultivated areas.

Work is generally based outside and undertaken throughout the year, so apprentices will frequently work outside in all weathers. Often people new to the industry will start in a ‘hands-on’ role covering a range of practical tasks, with specialist skills being learnt through progression. A wide range of machinery and tools are used and additional training may be required depending on the nature of the works undertaken.

Working and learning in the horticulture and landscape industries is rewarding, offers a diverse range of employment opportunities and includes a range of skills that are transferrable into many other industries.

The distinct nature of these two specialisms means very few businesses can offer the full breadth of skills and therefore two options are available for this occupation; horticulture and landscape construction. The employment area will dictate the option pursued. The horticulture option focuses on plant propagation and plant growth. The landscape construction option focuses on the installation of features and structures; application of landscape materials as well as supporting site management.

The apprenticeship will be delivered within the college and workplace, with ongoing support from a dedicated performance coach. College attendance is required for one day per week throughout the duration of the programme to complete the mandatory qualifications and to learn the required Knowledge, Skills & Behaviours. However, there may also be a requirement for college attendance on additional days to support the delivery of functional Skills.

You must complete, or have previously completed recognised English and Mathematics Level 1 qualifications and undertake the English and Mathematics Level 2 qualification during the apprenticeship. 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 and British Sign Language qualification is an alternative to English qualification for whom this is their primary language.

The EPA can only be taken after the conditions of the Assessment Gateway have been successfully achieved.

– Emergency first aid: Level 3 award in emergency first aid at work.
– Pesticides: Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Guidance OR Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
– Achieved Level 1 English & Maths
– Taken Level 2 English & Maths Assessment

To comply with legislation / industry standards, individuals who wish to work in some sectors of the industry may have to complete additional certificates of training, statutory licences and health and safety approved competency cards in order to be permitted on to a worksite.

On conclusion that the assessment gateway requirements have been achieved, you will be able to proceed to the end-point assessment stage of the apprenticeship. It is expected that you complete the assessment gateway requirements within three months of your planned apprenticeship completion.
EPA Consists of:
– Online Knowledge Test
– Synoptic Practical Assessment
– Professional Discussion

This standard is recognised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), the Professional Body for Sports Turf Operatives and others working in the grounds care industry. Upon achievement of this standard you will be eligible to join the IOG register of Turf Management Professionals

Typical completion time is likely to be 24 months. This may reduce if an apprentice has gained previous relevant knowledge and skills.

As an  apprentice with Activate Apprenticeships, you will have access to the following facilities at Activate Learning colleges: 

Libraries and learning environments
Ability to borrow books and laptops
Digital resources and programmes
A student card, allowing you to take advantage of student discounts
Can apply for an Apprentice extra Totum Card
Advice and support services for apprentices includes: 

Advice and Admissions
Learning Support
Student Support
Impartial careers advisors
One-to-one support
A college nurse
Free counselling service 

Why Bracknell and Wokingham College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

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  • 95%

    of our graduates go into work or higher education 

  • 60+

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