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Library and Information Sector Apprenticeships

Library and Information Sector Apprenticeships

As the professional association for everyone working in knowledge, information, data and libraries, CILIP believes that apprenticeships provide employers in all sectors with an opportunity to attract, retain and nurture diverse talent.

Until recently, there was no sector-specific Apprenticeship Standard for the library and information profession. While some sector employers have effectively ‘built’ one from existing apprenticeships (in, for example, Customer Service) it was felt that the lack of a sector-specific standard was discouraging employers.

In 2016, CILIP convened a Trailblazer Group of sector employers to develop the Level 3 Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant Apprenticeship Standard, which was formally approved for delivery from December 2018.

The Level 3 standard covers a wide range of professional skills, including digital skills and information literacy. It defines the activities of LIAS Level 3 apprentices as:

“LIAS Assistants help users find the information and resources they need in order to resolve their specific query. They work with people from all parts of society and the workforce, providing essential digital and analogue information services – issuing and returning materials, organizing collections, answering research and information queries, improving customers’ literacy skills, – quite often at the forefront of innovation.”

The standard can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website:


Over the next two years, CILIP will be working with employers across the sector to encourage engagement with and adoption of this standard. We are intending to be the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the Standard.

We will also be exploring the development of further Apprenticeship standards, working in partnership with the sector. There is a Level 4 Information Manager standard due to be launched later in 2020.

Further information on apprenticeships:


CILIP Pathways will provide quality assessment services for apprenticeships. The organisation is in the process of registering to become the end point assessment organisation (EPAO) for the Level 3 Library, Information and Archives Services Assistant apprenticeship Standard.

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