The Market Research Executive Apprenticeship aims to attract new and diverse talent into the insight sector.

MRS fully supports the apprenticeship as a stepping stone into the research profession, to promote social mobility and to continue to build a diverse and inclusive sector that reflects the population which market and social research seeks to understand.

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship is suitable for both school leavers aged 18 years and older or as an upskilling pathway to develop employees/workers already within a research role e.g., interviewers. Apprentices will learn to collect, analyse and interpret findings using qualitative and quantitative and digital and non-digital techniques

The apprenticeship standard was created in collaboration with leading agencies and businesses from both public and private sectors, including Ipsos MORI, Maritz, Shift-Learning, Firefish Group, ampersand research, Cello Health Plc, Yonder, Disney, Channel 4, Compare the Market (BGL Group), Transport for West Midlands, House of Commons, and Hackney Council, and has been approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Find out more about the Market Research Executive Apprenticeship – how it works in practice with information on how to go about offering the apprenticeship programme via our FAQs Section

The apprenticeship standard can be viewed here.

For queries or to recruit/enrol an apprentice please contact the training provider - Swarm or for general enquiries please contact Samantha.driscoll@mrs.org.uk

The End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) is Innovate Awarding

Discounted membership for Market Research Executive Apprentices

Market Research Executive Apprentices can apply to become a member of MRS for the discounted fee of £45 (normal cost of first year membership £204). Membership will give them access to resources and events to support their learning and career development, it will also enable them to engage in the sector and keep up to date with developments and news via regular updates.  Further information is available via membership@mrs.org.uk.

What is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship enables employers to fund the development and upskilling of its employees, support career progression and encourage diversity and inclusion in the research sector. The objective of the apprenticeship is to ensure that anyone completing an apprenticeship is a fully competent Market Research Executive. 

What is the benefit for me to become a Market Research apprentices?

As an apprentice you will be in paid employment and can complete the Market Research Executive apprenticeship, which has been designed by employers representative of the research sector, giving you the most up to date skills and prospects for a future career in research and insight.

What is Market Research?

Research is the collection, use, or analysis of information about individuals or organisations intended to establish facts, acquire knowledge or reach conclusions. It uses techniques of the applied social, behavioural and data sciences, statistical principles and theory.

Research enables organisations to understand customers, develop new products, identify business growth opportunities, understand society, develop new policies and address significant social concerns such as smoking, addiction, poverty and inequality.

What does the apprenticeship cover?

Collection, analysis, and interpretation of information collected from participants using digital and non-digital methods. Using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The Market Research Executive role is key within the research function. They support the team from the beginning to end of the research project, across a range of research duties. This includes working closely with the research team to ensure project delivery in line with agreed resources and budgets. Essential to the role is building and maintaining relationships with internal and external clients and suppliers.

The full apprenticeship standard can be viewed here

Who is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship for?

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship is suitable for school leavers aged 18 years and older or as an upskilling pathway to develop employees/workers already in a research role e.g., Operations Staff.

How long does the Market Research Executive apprenticeship take to complete?

Typically, 18 months (this does not include EPA period).

What level is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship is at Level 4.  Below are the Apprenticeship Levels and Educational equivalents:

Name                         Level                           Equivalent education level

Intermediate            2                                  GCSE

Advanced                  3                                  A-Level

Higher                    4, 5, 6, and 7               Foundation degree and above 

Degree                   6 and 7                         Bachelor's or master's degree 

How is the apprenticeship assessed?

At the end of training delivery (18 months) the training provider in conjunction with the employers mutually agree if an apprentice is ready to move onto a process known as End Point Assessment (EPA). This review is known as the “gateway”. Only when both agree that an apprentice is 100% ready can the independent End Point Assessment process commence.

The EPA for the Market Research Executive apprenticeship is as follows:

Assessment method 1: Work-based project with a presentation and questions and answers

Assessment method 2: Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

How much will the Market Research Executive apprenticeship cost?

There is no cost to the apprentice. All costs are funded by the apprenticeship levy gathered by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and paid by UK employers whose annual pay bill is greater than £3million.

You can search and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity via the Government Website here and via the apprenticeship Training Provider Swarm

Apprentices that achieve an overall grade of ‘Distinction’ in the EPA will gain exemption from the Advanced Certificate Integrated Assignment (IA) element of assessment and will only need to successfully pass the Exam to be awarded the qualification.  Candidates who gain an overall ‘Pass’ grade in the EPA will be required to undertake both elements of assessment for the Adv Cert – Exam & IA. 

What is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship enables employers to fund the development and upskilling of its employees, support career progression and encourage diversity and inclusion in the research sector. The objective of the apprenticeship is to ensure that anyone completing an apprenticeship is a fully competent Market Research Executive. 

The apprenticeship will help build a diverse and inclusive sector that reflects the population which market and social research seeks to understand.

Who is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship for?

Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for employers to grow their own talent. The Market Research Executive apprenticeship is suitable for school leavers aged 18 years and older or as an upskilling pathway to develop employees/workers already in a research role e.g., Operations Staff.

The full apprenticeship standard can be viewed here

What level is the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

The Market Research Executive apprenticeship is at Level 4.  Below are the Apprenticeship Levels and Educational equivalents:

Name                         Level                           Equivalent education level

Intermediate            2                                   GCSE

Advanced                  3                                   A-Level

Higher                    4, 5, 6, and 7                Foundation degree and above 

Degree                   6 and 7                          Bachelor's or master's degree 

What is the role of the employer?

The employer provides an apprentice with real-life work experience and the support of a structured learning framework delivered by a training provider.

As the employer you are required to:

  • identify/recruit talent suitable for the apprenticeship vacancy - Training Provider Swarm can assist in the recruitment process
  • ensure the apprentice undertakes real, productive work which gives them opportunities to access, develop, practice, and evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to meet the standard
  • allow the apprentice to attend external off-the-job training and assessments as part of their paid working hours
  • take part in regular reviews with the apprentice and training provider to review the apprentice's progress
  • liaise with the training provider and the end-point assessment organisation
  • ensure that the apprenticeship lasts for a minimum of 18 months, and that the apprentice is employed for the full duration of their apprenticeship (including the time required for the end-point assessment)
  • confirm, at the gateway, that the apprentice is occupationally competent (according to the standard).

How does an employer fund an apprentice?

The Levy and Funding

In April 2017 the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced for employers operating in the UK who have annual pay bills of over £3 Million.

Currently the levy is charged at 0.5% of your annual pay bill.

When employers are required to pay it

  • If you are an employer who has an annual pay bill of over £3 million
  • If you are connected to other companies or charities which in total have a pay bill of over £3 million

Your annual pay bill is all payments to employees that are subject to employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) such as wages, bonuses and commissions. You must include payments to:

  • all employees earning below the Lower Earnings Limit and the Secondary Threshold
  • employees under the age of 21
  • apprentices under the age of 25

Information on the Levy is available here

What if you don't have a pay bill of over £3 Million?

You will be classed as a Non-Levy Payer and will still get funding for an apprentice through the Education Skills Funding Agency

The government will have a funding band allocated to each apprenticeship and that funding band has a maximum amount of funding that the government is prepared to pay towards your apprenticeship training. The maximum funding band for the Market Research Executive apprenticeship is £8,000.

Currently this is 95% of the agreed price up to the maximum funding cap for training and assessment and you as the employer will pay the remaining 5%.

If the training you need for the apprenticeship is higher than the maximum funding cap then you will be required to pay in full the difference.

Do you have less than 50 employees?

Employers with fewer than 50 workers will benefit from 100% of the apprenticeship training costs (up to the maximum funding cap) if the apprentice is between 16 and 18 years old or a 19-to-24-year-old apprentice who was formerly in care or has a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan.

Do I have to pay an apprentice in addition to the training funding provided by the levy?

You must pay apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage.

There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on their age and what year of their apprenticeship they’ve completed.

The contract of employment should make it clear what wage you’ll pay your apprentice and for what hours.

Employers must offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes:

  • paid holidays
  • sick pay
  • any benefits you offer such as childcare voucher schemes
  • any support you offer such as coaching or mentoring

Do I need to continue to employ a Market Research Executive apprentices after they complete their apprenticeship?

When you take on an apprentice you have no obligation to keep them in your employment when their apprenticeship ends. However, it can make sense to do so. You will have spent a lot of time and energy training them up and teaching them the ropes of the company.

If they have been a poor apprentice, then you do not have to offer them continued employment.

What happens if an apprentice does not complete the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?  For example, would we have to refund any training funds received?

Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and use their levy funds to pay for the training of an apprentice who leaves their apprenticeship early can stop payments to a training provider. This will prevent any further unnecessary payments and enable employers to safeguard funds or use them to train another apprentice if they choose to.

Employers who do not pay the levy, or who have used up all of their levy funds, may receive co-investment from Government to pay for a large part of the apprenticeship training and assessment.  In such cases, the employer may be required to make a contribution and depending on the payment terms it negotiated with the provider the employer may find itself in a position where it has overpaid at the point when the apprentice leaves before completing.

How do I choose a training provider for an apprentice?

To support an employee through an apprenticeship you will need to choose a training provider and an end-point assessment organisation.

The training provider is responsible for:

  • developing and delivering a training programme and ensuring that this maps to the Market Research Executive standard, with a delivery mode that meets the needs of your organisation
  • conducting an initial assessment of the apprentice and providing them with feedback
  • taking part in periodic reviews with you and the apprentice to review the apprentice's progress
  • contracting with an independent end-point assessment organisation on your behalf.

Contact the Training Provider Swarm

The end point assessment organisation (EPAO) is responsible for:

  • ensuring that employers have all of the information they require at the start of the partnership, ensuring no surprises when your apprentices pass gateway and start their End Point Assessment
  • holding a planning meeting with every apprentice, ensuring employers and apprentices are prepared for what to expect from their assessments and supported in their assessment journey.
  • undertaking the End Point Assessment
  • awarding grade and final certificate

Contact the EPAO Innovate Awarding  

What is the best way to recruit apprentices?

You can post vacancies and manage applications for apprenticeships opportunities at your company via the Government Website here and via the apprenticeship Training Provider Swarm

Are there minimal qualifications required for the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

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.

Are there any qualification exemptions for apprentices once they have successfully completed the Market Research Executive apprenticeship?

Apprentices that achieve an overall grade of ‘Distinction’ in the EPA will gain exemption from the Advanced Certificate Integrated Assignment (IA) element of assessment and will only need to successfully pass the Exam to be awarded the qualification.  Candidates who gain an overall ‘Pass’ grade in the EPA will be required to undertake both elements of assessment for the Adv Cert – Exam & IA. 

Apprenticeship launch

Launched at BAFTA in February 2022, the event was by over 70 employers, apprentices and sector representatives.

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Click here to see the full gallery of photos from the event.

“In my school we weren’t really told that market research was a route for us so for young people it’s great to give them an awareness of the industry.  It also provides the theory and knowledge to launch a career in market research.”

Charlie Page, apprentice at Channel 4

“So far I’m loving it.  I’ve met loads of new people and am already working on so many projects.  I think it’ll open up lots of opportunities for younger people – promotion wise and to work your way up the business.  I just think it opens up so many opportunities.”

Abbie Bradley, apprentice at Ipsos

“Apprenticeships don’t shut the door to anybody, anyone from any age and any level of education can be an apprentice.  There is no limit – it is completely inclusive.”
“We’ve seen a lot of demand and I’m thankful to MRS for promoting it.  It’s become so popular that we’ve had to recruit two new market research tutors.”

Chris Perry, chief executive of Swarm

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