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Software Tester L4 Apprenticeship

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Carrying out tests to make sure computer software works as intended and is fit for purpose.

Role Profile
The primary role of a Software Tester is to ensure that software operates as intended. Testers typically design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing as appropriate to ensure that software is fit for purpose. They document and report the results of testing activities. They have a good understanding of the software lifecycle and software development practices.

Typical Job Roles
Software Tester, Software Test Analyst

Professional Recognition
This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.

Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours for the Software Tester Apprenticeship
A Standard contains a list of the competencies, skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship.

Technical Competencies

  • Implements software testing procedures on software applications (including desktop, web, mobile, embedded, mainframe) to ensure agreed errors and security issues are identified, recorded, prioritised and corrected before release.
  • Reviews software requirements and specifications for software functionality and security, and defines comprehensive tests and conditions.
  • Designs simple test strategies for non-complex projects.
  • Analyses test requirements and designs and prepares a test plan.
  • Designs and builds test cases, test scripts, and test procedures, with expected results.
  • Develops and collects representative and realistic test data.
  • Conducts a range of different software testing types (including Unit Testing, Integration Testing, Functional and Non- Functional Testing, System Testing, Stress Testing, Performance Testing, Usability Testing, Acceptance Testing, Regression Testing and Exploratory Testing); interpreting and executing sets of moderately complex test scripts using agreed methods and standards.
  • Accurately records the outcomes of test activities and maintains accurate test records and reports.
  • Assesses test results against expected results and acceptance criteria and through traceability to requirements.
  • Presents and communicates results effectively using appropriate communication styles and media.
  • Operates the organisation's software testing tools effectively and follows procedures and techniques correctly.
  • Complies with relevant legislation and internal/external standards related to software testing and software security.
  • Advises and supports others on testing processes and procedures.
  • Completes allocated tasks in accordance with the organisation’s reporting and quality systems
  • Operates within service level agreements

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

  • Understands and can apply the basic concepts of software testing including testing types; test procedures; testing techniques; testing tools and testing terms.
  • Understands how to use and apply automated test tools.
  • Understands the importance of accuracy and clear documentation of software tests.
  • Understands how to use bug tracking tools
  • Understands and can communicate the differences between software testing and verification.
  • Understands industry standard software development paradigms and methods (including. Object Oriented, procedural and agile) to conduct testing.
  • Understands that software should be ‘secure by design’ and how to test for security requirements.
  • 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).
  • Understands how to set up and configure testing packages.
  • Understands the role of software testing within the wider systems development life cycle.
  • Understands the need for conformance to specific standards where appropriate (including data protection, health informatics, safety critical, etc) related to software testing.

Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviour

  • Logical and creative thinking skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Can use own initiative
  • A thorough and organised approach
  • Ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Maintain productive, professional and secure working environment

How will I learn?

Assessment Overview
The assessment process will add value to both the apprentice and the employer, by complementing and building on normal performance management and development tools.

It should enable and encourage progression and continuous professional development, by being linked to professional qualifications and recognition.

On Programme Assessment
Technical Knowledge and Understanding is formally assessed on programme through a combination of Ofqual-regulated Knowledge Modules and specified vendor and professional qualifications. These must be passed before the end point assessment can take place.

End Point Assessment
The end point assessment includes an assessment of all the requirements of the standard, including, competencies, skills, knowledge and behaviours. It takes place in the final few months of the apprenticeship, using four assessment methods:

  • Portfolio
  • Project
  • Employer reference
  • Interview

In the summative portfolio apprentices present evidence from real-work projects, illustrating the application of all the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the standard.

It will showcase their very best work, enabling them to demonstrate how they have applied their knowledge and understanding in a real-work environment to achieve real-work objectives

Provides evidence against a selected set of knowledge, competencies and behaviours against a pre-defined project undertaken in a controlled environment.

This is key to ensure consistency and comparability, increasing the accuracy of the assessment decision.

Employer reference
Provides the employer’s perspective on how the apprentice has performed in the workplace and how they have applied their knowledge, competencies and behaviours in work projects.

The interview is a structured discussion between the apprentice and their independent assessor, focusing on the summative portfolio and the synoptic project, with reference to the employer reference as appropriate.

An independent assessor will assess each element of the end point assessment and will then decide whether to award successful apprentices with a pass, a merit or a distinction.

Our recommended End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) is BCS

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this might include five GCSEs; A levels; a Level 3 Apprenticeship; other relevant qualifications and experience; or an aptitude test, with a focus on functional math

Maths & English

Level 2 English and Maths will need to be achieved, if not already, prior to taking the end point assessment

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Course information last updated: Friday 27th November 2020 @ 8.30am (2 days ago)

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