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Network Engineer


Level 4


18 months

One-to-one support:

Every 4 weeks

You will achieve:

Level 4 Network Engineer BCS

Common job roles

  • Network Technician
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Network Administrator

Roles you may progress into

  • Senior Network Technician
  • Network Controller
  • IT Manager
  • Network Engineer Contractor
  • Network Security Contractor

Programme delivery

Phase 1



Before your induction, a member of Estio’s Apprenticeship Onboarding team will contact you and your employer representative to discuss your job role and the apprenticeship standard. During this initial consultation, you will also begin your personalised Vocational Scorecard, which assesses your current skill levels against the apprenticeship standard.

The scorecard ensures we fully understand your starting point, so that we can work with your employer to develop an individual learning plan that is tailored to your needs, and gives you the best opportunity to achieve at the highest level.



Your induction will take place within the first two weeks of starting your employment and will be facilitated by the Onboarding team at your nearest Estio training centre. You will go through an overview of your chosen apprenticeship programme and be given details of what dedicated support is in place for you throughout your learning journey. In addition, you will receive login details for our Virtual Learning Environment, which you will use to complete both mandatory and optional training modules as part of your programme. Any outstanding diagnostic assessments and enrolment documents will be completed, and you can ask any last questions you may have before you formally begin your training.

Functional skills

Functional skills

We use BKSB tests to determine your current level of knowledge, to assess if you need further support with English and/or Maths.

If you do, our Functional Skills Training team will work with you to supply these skills. You will be supported through remote training sessions and workshops, which run for 3 days (for each).

Once you feel comfortable, you can sit the Level 2 Maths and/or English exams. These qualifications are equivalent to an A* – C (4-9) grade at GCSE, they are fully certified by City & Guilds and can be used to further enhance your CV and skillset.

Phase 2


CISCO IT Essentials

What you will learn

  • Introduction to PC hardware
  • PC Assembly
  • Advanced computer hardware
  • Preventive maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Networking concepts
  • Applied networking
  • Laptops and other mobile devices
  • Printers
  • Virtualisation and Cloud
  • Windows installation
  • Windows configuration
  • Mobile, Linux, and OS X Operating systems
  • Security
  • The IT Professional
Network Principals

What you will learn

  • Describe the role performed by a network of computers and shared devices
  • Describe concepts of physical and logical networks and state their main features and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Explain the typical infrastructure components of physical networks
  • Understand network protocol suites and conceptual models
  • Explore the fundamentals of network conceptual models
  • Compare and contrast the layers and the functionality of the OSI and TCP/IP models and associated devices
  • Understand the concepts of IP addressing and routing and IP addressing schemes, Routing concepts and protocols
  • Describe the differences between a class based (IPv4) and Classless
  • Inter Domain Routing scheme (CIDR)
  • Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages offered by static and dynamic for a Local Area Network
Network Systems and Architecture

What you will learn

  • Develop a knowledge of the hardware and software components that form a server
  • Install and configure a server (or configure partition(s) within a server) and test connection to an existing network
  • Explain how to configure the elements required to enable a server to perform a specified role
  • Describe the concept of virtualisation and virtual machines
  • Install and configure one or more virtual machines and manage resource allocation using a Hyper-Visor
  • Explain the roles and services provided by servers
  • Describe how to configure a range of network services and test their operation
  • Explain middleware and application services in a networking context through examples and case studies
  • Describe the purpose, benefits and drawbacks of server workload balancing
  • Describe a range of different storage solutions used in networks for online and offline storage
  • Understand key storage protocols used for network attached storage
  • Describe how to configure network storage devices
Network Security

What you will learn

  • Explain terminology for key IT security concepts
  • Describe current vulnerabilities and threats associated with IT security
  • Explain risk management methods and risk calculation tools
  • Explain and know when to use IT security countermeasures and controls
  • Understand how to configure Network Security
  • Understand how to configure a network server to enhance security of the server, applications and data
  • Describes elements of network security that can be configured on a server to enhance security
  • Understand a range of tools and techniques to identify vulnerabilities and threats to a network server
  • Understand the concepts of appropriate incident response for Information security incidents and identify different instances and escalate in an appropriate way
CCNA 1 & 2 (Optional)

Further information on request

One-to-one support

One-to-one support

You will have a Technical Specialist and a Progress Management Co-ordinator (PMC) assigned to support you throughout your apprenticeship.

Your PMC will contact you every 4 weeks to discuss your progress made to date, check you’re understanding your training modules, and support you with gathering evidence for your portfolio. Every 12 weeks a review meeting will take place between you, your employer representative and your PMC to assess how your new learning and skills development is being applied in your job role and its impact on your wider industry skills.

The Technical Specialist will work with you to develop your portfolio of evidence for End Point Assessment, and with your employer representative to agree the various workplace projects you will be required to undertake. They will also support your employer representative to complete your Employer Reference, a document which highlights key behaviours you have demonstrated for the final assessment as part of the End Point Assessment.

In every one-to-one session, we will agree actions and SMART targets for you to complete, so that you can progress confidently and with the right support.

Your portfolio

Your portfolio

Throughout the apprenticeship, you will contribute evidence towards your online e-portfolio. We use e-portfolios as they are accessible from anywhere, and enable you to track your progress throughout your apprenticeship.

You’ll have access to your personal dashboard, which shows you a number of key milestones and deadlines coming up, such as the training you have completed, work that is due, and any gaps in your portfolio of evidence.

Your Technical Specialist and Progress Management Co-ordinator will be available to contact at any point throughout the apprenticeship and will advise you how to provide the best evidence.

Off-the-job training

Off-the-job training

Off-the-job (OTJ) training is comprised of, but not limited to activities such as: training with Estio, shadowing, journal entries and projects for e-portfolio. Completed within working hours as agreed with the employer but average at 6 hours per week (20% of your time on your apprenticeship).

You can track your OTJ progress on your e-portfolio.

Phase 3

Assessment Gateway, preparation & administration week

Assessment Gateway, preparation & administration week

Dedicated one-to-one sessions to support the learner as they head towards assessment, putting them in the best possible position for achievement.

Phase 4

End Point Assessment

End Point Assessment

You will be assessed by an End Point Assessment Organisation chosen by your employer. EPA can take up to 3-4 months to complete. This involves a professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio and a simulated assessment and questioning.

The Independent Assessor will feedback the results (Pass, Merit or Distinction) and the ESFA will provide your certificate.

Where can this apprenticeship take me?

The Network Engineer apprenticeship will give you the skills and experience needed to work in roles including Network Technician, Network Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Network Administrator.

After achieving a recommended minimum of 2 years experience within your role after completion (this is subject to employers) you can begin a Level 7 Digital and Technology Solutions Professional apprenticeship.

Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Professional roles

Software Developer, Software Engineer, Software Tester, Application Specialist, Business Analyst, IT project Manager, IT Consultant, Network Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst, Database Specialist, Data Analyst, Digital Media Technology Practitioner, Systems Designer.

More information can be found on the institute for apprenticeships website.

University study

Level 4 apprenticeships are the equivalent to a foundation degree. If you wish to study further whilst staying in work, some univeristies will offer the ability to learn remotely. If you wish to take a break from work, you may need to apply for a student loan whilst you study.