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#079 Day 19: How to Structure Your First 6 Months on the APC Structured Training Programme 🗃️

Failing to prepare = preparing to fail

It doesn’t matter if you are on 12 or 24 month training programme, planning your development is key to APC success. Your APC counsellor should be structuring your training programme but let’s be real, the person with the most to lose is you, so you should at the very least, take an active part in planning your route to assessment.

It will be intense, fraught with stress, but everything will be okay if you plan it and persevere.

Before we begin in earnest, every candidates situation is different, so the advice below is general advice which should be able to be tailored to your needs. If you are struggling and don’t know where to start, feel free to drop me a message on LinkedIn.

Play to your strengths

The easiest way to tick of competencies is to start with what you have experience in. If your role enables you to tackle both pre and post contract competencies, then start with the competency that you enjoy the most.

Make a Schedule

This should be across a 12 or 24 months period and it should identify the competencies you need to cover within certain time periods. You need to get your counsellor’s support on this because they will have to sign you off.

If you plan from the beginning, then it gives your counsellor and your senior colleagues time to plan your placements/secondments/experiences in other teams or projects so you build up the skills from different competencies.

Manage Your Calendar

Don’t waste time at work.  At the beginning of each week, look at your calendar and slot in 30mins/1hr on a daily basis for APC related activity. This is a minimum. In this time you can be researching your competency, doing your APC diary or covering CPD.

Whenever you have tasks to do at work, slot it in your calendar. This will have the benefit of making you more efficient because you are spending an allocated amount of time on a task, and not just working on it until the day ends. If you do this, you should be able to see gaps in your diary which you can allocate towards your studying.

The only reason I recommend this method is because life is busy. After you finish work at 5pm you may have family commitments, or other hobbies. If you can get your APC study in during the work day your sacrifices will be smaller than others but you will achieve the same goal. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to sacrifice your time at some point for the APC, but in the first 6 months you are starting slow and steady.

Consistency is Key

Whatever you do, don’t start your APC trying to do 3-4 hours of study per day. It is not sustainable and you will burn yourself out right at the beginning of the process. Whatever amount you do decide to do at the beginning, stay consistent – the small effort will compound over time and the depth and breadth of your knowledge will be apparent to assessors.


The APC requires a lot of self-awareness, unless you test yourself throughout the process you won’t know your strengths and weaknesses. At the beginning of your training, I would try and organise an assessment with your counsellor. This assessment should reflect a real APC assessment with the absence of the presentation. It will be painful. But this is how you will expose your areas of improvement!


That’s all for this post – if you need any support drop me a message on LinkedIn.

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