Apprenticeship case studies

Digital by Design; a unique approach to learning

If you’re familiar with QA, you’ve heard us shout about ‘Digital by Design’ plenty of times before. That’s because we’re proud of it. In today’s blog we’ll show you why, by diving into an overview of our unique delivery model, and how it helps learners of all kinds to thrive in the world of tech.

What is DxD?

This is how we refer to the Digital by Design model, and the idea is simple:

It’s a blended approach to learning, which combines cutting-edge technology, engaging content, compelling design, and good old fashioned learning support to bring ‘training’ up to date for the digital age.

The goal? To create the best possible experience for our learners, and help them to become productive professionals, faster. This translates into greater success in their careers, and greater benefits to our client businesses.

Take it from our Director for Learning Design, Ben Sweetman; “Digital by Design is more than just content.”

The proof is in the pudding:

As the number one provider of tech and digital apprenticeships according to ESFA 2021, QA have the highest overall pass rate based on End Point Assessments (BSC 2020) with 98%of our learners completing on time. Our flexible digital delivery is a big part of this, and it’s considered unrivalled.

How does it work?

Our Content and Learning design team brings together learning designers, curriculum experts, architects, graphic designers, animators, videographers and platforms experts with a mission to create a superior learning journey.

As Ben puts it, the whole aim is to “produce the best blended learning experience for your apprentices.”

To lift the lid on our secret formula... the key ingredients are:

- Technology

- On-demand support

- Great learning design

This is how we provide not only a great experience, but successful outcomes in terms of learner success and workplace impact.

The Journey

All QA learner content is defined by the Discover, Practice, Apply model. It creates a natural journey that empowers learners through a balance of independence and support.

This allows all types of learners to take the approach which works for them. The opportunity to absorb information and practice in a safe setting, before taking tried-and tested skills into the workplace, provides our apprentices with the confidence to contribute immediate business value.

Here’s an overview of the journey structure:


We provide digital content aimed at helping the learner to understand technical principles and information. This can be explored in their own time, in a self-paced and independent way, and all accessed electronically. We’ve found that this enhances the accessibility and versatility of our courses for learners at all levels, from beginner to senior leader.


Ever been taught a subject only for it to go ‘in one ear and out the other’?

Been there!

Many of us learn best by doing. The problem is, practicing certain skills in ‘real life’ can involve risks and ramifications, especially when important business areas like data handling, software engineering or cyber security are involved.

QA’s Digital by Design apprenticeships provide realistic, sandboxed environments through our cloud Academy labs, for learners to put their new skills to the test. Get stuck in, without the risk!

Our ‘live’ practice model, (delivered both in-person and virtually) fosters collaboration while developing technical skills by giving learners a safe environment to work on projects together with other apprentices.

All this is underpinned by an expert tutor’s guidance, which is truly bespoke to each learner.


Outside the world of Apprenticeship, upon completing school, graduate schemes and some types of training programmes, learners can often feel as if they’ve crossed a finish line - without knowing what to do next...

This can be overwhelming, because the gap between theoretical learning and practical experience is not effectively bridged. The result? Stalled career progression.

Apprenticeships provide a solution, and Digital by Design blended learning enhances this even further.

Our DxD courses continue to guide the learner as they apply their new skills directly within a workplace context. With on-demand digital support, continued access to Cloud Academy’s 10,000 hours of extensive training and labs, and continued progression routes through additional courses (all the way to MA level), we’re by your side for lifelong learning.

View our range of Digital by Design Apprenticeship courses here.

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