Software Tester

What is a Firebrand Software Tester Apprenticeship?

Apprentices develop into the role of Software Tester- learning how to ensure software operates as intended. They will design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing to ensure software is fit for purpose. They will document and report the results of testing activities and have a good understanding of the software lifecycle and software development practices

On the 16 month programme; the apprentice will learn the principles of software testing and associated software development and lifecycles, and how to:

  • Design and prepare test plans
  • Test software to test it is fit for purpose
  • Document and report testing results and related activities
  • Relate their testing process to the software development lifecycle

Typical job roles: Software Tester & Software Test Analyst

What qualifications and certifications can Software Tester apprentices achieve?

As part of their apprenticeship, your apprentices must sit a number of pre-selected exams which they will need to pass to gain their Software Tester Apprenticeship qualification at a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade. Apprentices are also assessed by Firebrand against Ofqual-regulated Knowledge Standards as part of their programme.

All Firebrand apprenticeships contain a number of different elements required to complete and pass the qualification. For example, some elements include a summative portfolio, Off-The-Job training, Ofqual-regulated Knowledge Module exams with BCS and sometimes vendor qualifications.

Exams and certifications are not mandatory for every Firebrand training course attended by apprentices, however employers can purchase additional exam vouchers when their apprentices have gained the relevant work experience if they wish to.

Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

How are employers involved?

At the core of all Firebrand apprenticeships is a clear, strong and supportive working relationship between apprentices, employers and Firebrand.

We all have responsibilities that should be understood and observed by us all, to guarantee we succeed on everyone’s terms. We expect all employers to commit to:

  • Employing an apprentice for a fixed 16 month contract to progress them beyond their existing skills
  • Creating a position that will give apprentices an opportunity to work alongside IT professionals and learn the skills outlined in the Software Tester Standard
  • Dedicating an internal mentor to coach, organise and support the apprentice throughout their learning
  • Working closely with Firebrand Training to build the best training programme
  • Helping their apprentice with their final assessment programme to achieve all of their learning outcomes in the Software Tester Standard
  • Supporting other expenses required during the learning programme - including travel and additional learning
  • Paying their apprentice the recommended minimum wage of £250 per week.

Confused about IT apprenticeships? Speak to us here

How will Firebrand help?

  • Our programmes are fully customisable - so we'll help tailor your programme to suit both employer and apprentice
  • We'll designate a Learning Mentor, who'll guide and support employers, mentors and apprentices throughout the programme
  • We run courses throughout the year, meaning training can be scheduled around the progress of apprentices and their job role
  • Travel and expenses are kept to a minimum, due to our residential and fully inclusive training
  • Because we've delivered 100s of Tech Industry Gold Trailblazer apprenticeships already, we make things efficient and easy - leaving you to concentrate on apprentice needs and development

5 steps to being a Firebrand Apprentice employer

  1. Identify whether you're recruiting for a new role, or if you'd like to develop existing staff
  2. Choose a mentor for your apprentice - they'll be responsible for the programme’s success within your organisation.
  3. Confirm the mentor understands the Software Tester Occupational Brief and can identify roles and responsibilities where the apprentice can learn and experience the knowledge standards required.
  4. Identify the type of accelerated training courses you see your apprentice taking
  5. Complete your Employer Declaration, where you'll create your job advert if you're hiring someone new

Become an IT apprentice employer now

Your Software Tester programme

Apprentices develop into the role of Software Tester- learning how to ensure software operates as intended. They will design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing to ensure software is fit for purpose. They will document and report the results of testing activities and have a good understanding of the software lifecycle and software development practices

What training does my apprentice receive?

Our core training offer for each apprenticeship covers all Knowledge Module content in the Standard, as well as any additional requirements detailed in the Occupational Brief. Our recommended offer for each apprenticeship (including any mandatory courses) is set out below, including details of the Knowledge Modules each course covers.

Apprentices get a range of market-leading accelerated training as part of their qualification – typically between three and five courses per apprenticeship - giving them fundamental skills at speed. By extending training days, we shorten course durations by up to 50% compared to traditional courses for the same product or skillset. This means apprentices get back to the office faster, equipped with the same skills as their professional colleagues and ready to put them into practice.

Customise your IT apprenticeship programme

Your Software Tester programme is fully customisable, so you can change it to suit you as an employer or apprentice. In the table below, we've pre-selected the most popular Firebrand courses that align to the Occupational Brief in the government Standard for this apprenticeship. You can substitute these for optional courses up to the same value, where the same Knowledge Standards are covered.

Where more than one course covers the knowledge module requirements, we list the alternatives, allowing employers to choose what courses apprentices take while ensuring they cover all requirements for the standard. We also offer bespoke product options for some apprenticeships, allowing apprentices to specialise in particular systems used in their business.

Courses with Knowledge Standards highlighted in red cannot be substituted.

Confused? Let us know and we'll help build your progamme

CourseDurationKnowledge Standards covered

Pre-selected courses

ISTQB Firebrand's Training for ISTQB's Foundation Software Tester Certification2 days
ISTQB Firebrand's Training for ISTQB's Advanced Test Manager Certification3 days
Scrum Firebrand's training for's Professional Scrum Master certification2 days
Software Testing Introduction to DevOps2 days
Software Testing Agile Tester2 days
Microsoft MTA Software Development Fundamentals 2 days
App and Web Development Software Development Fundamentals2 days
On-boarding and fund administrationMandatory
End point assessmentMandatory

Choose additional Firebrand courses for your programme from our full list here

Knowledge modules

Every Standard has a number of Knowledge Modules associated with it, which must be covered – and evidence of cover provided - to gain the apprenticeship.

We regularly review the content of these modules to understand the content and how this maps against our portfolio of more than 700 accelerated training courses.

Knowledge Modules for this Standard:

  1. Understands and can apply the basic concepts of software testing including testing types; test procedures; testing techniques; testing tools and testing terms
  2. Understands how to use and apply automated test tools
  3. Understands the importance of accuracy and clear documentation of software tests
  4. Understands how to use bug tracking tools
  5. Understands and can communicate the differences between software testing and verification
  6. Understands industry standard software development paradigms and methods (including Object Oriented, procedural and agile) to conduct testing
  7. Understands that software should be `secure by design’ and how to test for security requirements
  8. Understands the range and features of software test commonly used (Unit Testing, Integration Testing, Functional and Non-functional Testing, System Testing, Stress Testing, Performance Testing, Usability Testing, Acceptance Testing, Regression Testing, and Exploratory Testing)
  9. Understands how to set up and configure testing packages
  10. Understands the role of software testing within the wider systems development life cycle
  11. Understands the need for conformance to specific standards where appropriate (including data protection, health informatics, safety critical, etc) related to software testing

End Point Assessment

All apprentices undertaking a Standard need to pass an End Point Assessment (EPA) before they’re awarded their qualification.

The EPA includes assessment of a portfolio of evidence, a final project and an interview with an independent assessor. Firebrand exclusively delivers apprenticeship Standards, which are replacing the old-style Frameworks and have been developed by employers to reflect the need of their industry.

We have an EPA agreement with the British Computer Society (BCS), the largest digital EPA provider, for all apprenticeships. Learn more about EPA here.

Off The Job training

All apprentices spend a minimum of 20% of their time on ‘off the job’ training. Apprentices don’t need to be called away from their job one day a week - in fact, they don’t even need to leave the office.

Learn the facts about the off the job requirement:

  • It can happen in the workplace - Off the job training refers to any activity relevant to the job but not covered by day-to-day tasks. Department of Education (DoE) guidelines on off-the-job training state ‘It is the activity, rather than the location that determines whether the training meets the funding rules definition’
  • It doesn’t need to take up one day a week - The requirement is measured as 20% of an apprentice’s working hours over the course of the apprenticeship. It can be delivered as one hour a day, a few days over a few weeks, or a solid block – whatever suits best
  • There'll still be someone to tend the fort - For groups of apprentices, off the job tasks can be arranged for individuals or smaller groups. Firebrand Learning Mentors can arrange training courses across our public schedule, so that apprentices are not all out of the office at once
  • It enhances, not inhibits, the ability to do the job - Training should improve apprentices’ understanding of their role and your wider business. Where possible, it should form part of necessary day-to-day activity

Online learning

Apprentices gain key knowledge – supporting their classroom training with Firebrand - through online training from a range of over 300 specialist digital training courses, provided by our learning partners Pluralsight and Springboard:

  • Pluralsight is an interactive course provider offering learning resources. Its ‘sandbox’ learning environment gives apprentices virtual practice of new skills before taking them onto live systems.
  • Springboard’s online courses are project-based, matching apprentices with real-world mentors to simulate the working environment.

Learning in the workplace

Apprentices spend most of their apprenticeship learning at work. Firebrand’s structured delivery ensures apprentices learn everything they need to know – and everything you want them to know – without neglecting their day-to-day role.

We’ll provide you with a detailed month-by-month timetable to show the learning to be delivered that month and the support required from employers and Firebrand. Everyone supporting the apprentice receives a copy of the timetable, helping us work together and avoiding any surprises along the way.

Call us to discuss your Firebrand Apprenticeship Now
0800 081 6022

Five reasons the Software Tester Firebrand Apprenticeship is for you

  1. Train at twice the speed. Programmes include award-winning accelerated training to cover the knowledge requirements of the apprenticeship – the same courses we've delivered to over 68,000 industry professionals
  2. Access exclusive training content. Experience up-to-the-minute content created and regularly refreshed by Firebrand's in-house experts. We’ll work with you to tailor custom programme content so apprentices receive the training you want, and the skills they need
  3. Learn with diverse Firebrand students. Apprentices learn alongside individuals from different companies with varying levels of experience, providing a valuable insight into how their skills are applied in different contexts
  4. Get full 1-1 support. You and your apprentices receive continued support from Firebrand Learning Mentors, who know exactly what it’s like to be an IT professional
  5. Flexible start dates. Apprentices start any time they like. Building apprenticeship programmes around our public training schedule means we won’t rely on large cohorts or fixed starting dates

Find out more about IT apprenticeships here