Customer Service Specialist
A customer service specialist is a role designed to be a ‘professional’ for direct customer support within any and all sectors and organisation types. The role requires you to be an advocate of Customer Service, acting as a point of contact for more complex or technical customer service requests, complaints, and queries.
An apprentice looking to take on the role of the Customer Service Specialist will often develop into a position of being the escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems. As an expert in your organisation’s products and/or services, you will share your knowledge with your wider team and colleagues.
This role requires you to gather and analyse data and customer information that influences change and improvements in service. Utilising both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out your role with an awareness of other digital technologies. This could be in many types of environment including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.
End-Point Assessment Components
- Practical Observation with Question and Answer
- Work-based Project (supported by Interview)
- Professional Discussion (with Portfolio of Evidence)
Practical Observation with Question and Answer
The practical observation is a 60 minute (+/- 10%) work-placed observation in which the apprentice must be observed by an independent assessor. They must undertake and perform a range of day to day work activities allowing them to demonstrate a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours which are required as part of the standard assessment. During the observation, the apprentice should be able to move from one area/function of the business to another when necessary, in order to best demonstrate their skills in a realistic work environment.
Work-based Project (supported by Interview)
Customer Service Specialist apprentices must submit a 2500 word written report (+/- 10%), on a project they have carried out, at least 2 weeks prior to an interview date. All work on the project will be undertaken following the Gateway process over a two-month period. The subject of the project report should be agreed with the End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) with guidance from the employer in order to allow them to comment on appropriateness for their business but the EPAO must make a decision to ensure consistency.
The project should cover a specific high-level challenge (such as a complaint or difficult situation) that the apprentice has dealt with. They should explain what it was, what actions (planning and execution) they took, what solutions were offered and details of any recommendations made to change a policy or process and any feedback from the customer.
The supporting interview will take approximately 60 mins (+/- 10%) and comprise of 10 competency based questions which will focus solely on the project submitted by the apprentice. The interview can take place either face-to-face or via online video conferencing, if appropriate whilst the EPAO must ensure that the interview and questioning elements are conducted in a suitably controlled environment. i.e. a quiet room, free from distraction and influence, with the necessary equipment for each assessment method.
Professional Discussion (with Portfolio of Evidence)
The professional discussion will last 60 minutes (+/- 10%) and will include evidence from the on-programme portfolio of evidence which must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the professional discussion. The apprentice will extract, from their portfolio, evidence which is suitable for supporting them in their professional discussion. This evidence will consist of between 10 and 15 pieces of evidence related to the standards which apply to the professional discussion.
The evidence can include witness statements, customer feedback such as emails or letters and manager feedback from a one-to-one or alike, however, the portfolio itself is not directly assessed. The date of the discussion will be agreed when the apprentice passes through the Gateway process and can be either face-to-face or via online video conference, if appropriate.
If you would like to learn more about the Customer Service Specialist apprenticeship standard, check out our factsheets page or alternatively you can find more information via the Institute for Apprenticeships website.
- Payable at Registration: £125 (25%)*
- Payable at Gateway: £375 (75%)**
- Level 2 Award in Functional Skills English
- Level 2 Award in Functional Skills Mathematics
*25% registration fee is transferrable to a new registration should an apprentice withdraw from the apprenticeship. Upon receipt apprentices, employers and training providers will gain access to the TQUK EPA management suite, our end-point assessment information packs, mock examinations, study tips, revision guides, training logs and self-assessment forms.
**75% fee paid at gateway in non-refundable as we anticipate that once the apprentice has passed through gateway they will be ready to undertake the end-point assessment elements. If the 75% payable upon gateway is not paid within 30 days of invoice we, as the EPAO, will put a hold on any end-point assessment activities being undertaken and any certification processes.
Training Qualifications UK offers one free re-sit per multiple-choice test where included within a standard. Element assessments re-sits will be charged per assessment and standard