I am an Employer

looking to upskill or develop ambitious learners


I want to learn a new skill

and become an apprentice for a fantastic company

Get Hired

Software Tester


Level 4


15 months

One-to-one support:

Every 4 weeks

You will achieve:

Level 4 Software Tester BCS

Common job roles

  • Software Tester
  • Software Test Analyst
  • Test Engineer

Roles you may progress into

  • Software Test Engineer
  • Software Test Manager
  • Senior Test Manager
  • Software Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Analyst

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

Core modules

The first 7 months of the level 4 Software Tester programme is made up of core modules. Once the core modules are complete you can then specialise on one
of our three specialist pathways.

Introduction to Software Development Theory

What you will learn

Theory behind the methods, techniques and processes of building software artefacts.

Software Testing Tools

What you will learn

  • Software testing objectives and purpose
  • Defect, bugs, fault and failures
  • Defect or Bug Life Cycle
  • Principles of testing
  • Fundamental test process
  • Psychology of testing
  • Software Quality
  • Test analysis, design and implementation
  • Testing techniques
  • Decision tables
  • Testing types and techniques
  • Test coverage
  • Types of coverage
  • Types of test tools
  • Advantages and benefits of using testing tools
  • Disadvantages and risks of testing tools
  • Factors for software testing tool selection
  • Proof-of-concept or piloting phase for tool evaluation
Software Testing Concepts

What you will learn

  • Verification and Validation
  • Capability Maturity Model (CMM-Levels)
  • Software Development Life Cycle
  • Software Development Models
  • Software Testing Levels
  • Impact analysis
  • Test design techniques
  • Static test technique
  • Informal reviews
  • Formal reviews
  • The roles and responsibilities of the moderator, author, scribe, reviewers and managers involved during a review
  • Types of review
  • Roles and responsibilities of a Test Leader
  • Roles and responsibilities of a Tester
  • Purpose and importance of test plans
  • Estimation techniques
  • Factors affecting test effort
  • Test strategy
  • Test monitoring
  • Test control
  • Configuration management
  • Risks in software testing
  • Risk analysis
  • Incident management
Introduction to Programming Using Java (Optional)

What you will learn

  • Understand Java fundamentals including use of main, performing basic input and output using standard packages, print class
  • Data types including byte, char, int, double, short, long, float and boolean
  • Constructing code that manipulates strings
  • Constructing and evaluating code that creates, iterates and manipulates arrays and array lists
  • Constructing and evaluating code that performs parsing, casting and conversion
  • Constructing and evaluating arithmetic expressions
  • Constructing and evaluating code that uses branching statements such as if, else, else if, switch, nesting logical and relational operators
  • Construct and evaluate code that uses loops such as while, for, for each, do while, break and continue, nesting, logical, relational and unary operators
  • Construct and evaluate class definitions
  • Declare, implement and access data members in a class
  • Declare, implement and access methods
  • Instantiate and use class objects in a program
  • Troubleshoot syntax errors, logic errors and runtime errors, such as print statement debugging, output from the java command, analysing code for logic errors, console exceptions and evaluating a stack trace
  • Implement exception handling including try catch, exception class, exception class types and display
Advanced Testing Concepts

What you will learn

  • Identifying test scenarios
  • Use case-based testing
  • Decision table testing and cause/effect graphs
  • Automated testing
  • Experience based testing


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 scenario-based test.

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 Level 4 Software Tester apprenticeship gives you the skills and experience to work in roles such as Software Tester, or Software Test Analyst.

After achieving a recommended minimum of 1 years experience within your role after completion (this is subject to employers) you can begin a Level 6 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.