Level 2 Apprenticeship – Forestry Operative

Careers, not just courses


Forestry is the art, science and practice of the establishment, maintenance and management of woodland, and timber harvesting. It is a varied global industry with a wide range of career opportunities including planning and management, conservation, recreation, research and logistics. Sustainable forest management produces a vital natural resource while benefiting society and the environment, and workers across all disciplines of the industry share a passion for working in an industry with so much to contribute to global well-being.

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Key facts

  • Start date: On demand
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Location: Workplace or at our Brooksby campus
  • Fees: Since 1st May 2017, the principle of "Employer contribution" is now in place, whereby in most cases employers are required to contribute at least 10% of the cost of the Apprenticeship. Please contact us for further details.

Your future

A Forest Operative will carry out the practical operations required to create, maintain and harvest forests and woodlands. Some will carry out operations across the range from planting to harvesting whilst others will specialise in a part of the process. All will need to be able and willing to do challenging work outdoors and, in all weathers, would be expected to be aware of the full range of forestry operations, and to understand the relationship between commercial, environmental and social forestry.

This Standard has two specialisms that Apprentices will need to choose from:

  • Harvesting
  • Establishment and Maintenance.

This Apprenticeship is for a Level 2 Forest Operative – it contains all the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to develop a well-rounded worker who can function in a range of different forestry businesses. It has been designed for Forest Operative working in a range of different kinds of woodlands and forests.

The nature of the Forest Operative role, the requirement to have qualifications in order to work and changing seasons determine that some assessment procedures need to be carried out during the Apprenticeship.

On programme assessment will allow Apprentices to progress their skills, improve their knowledge and monitor their own progress towards the End Point Assessment. The Apprentice must complete the following during their Apprenticeship in order to enter End Point Assessment:

  • All mandatory qualifications (as stated in the Standard)
  • Practical and knowledge assessments
  • Complete a log book detailing employer appraisals
  • A record of Off the Job Training – this is training that must occur for a minimum of 20% of the time the Apprentice is paid to work and is training delivered outside of their normal working duties – to develop a wider understanding of the industry.

Entry requirements

Applicants must be 16+ and have a pass in Functional Skills Maths and English (60%)

What is a Forestry Operative Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is not a course but a real job with a training programme attached. It is an ideal way of earning whilst you learn.

Embedded Qualifications

The following qualifications are embedded within the Standard and must be achieved prior to Gateway and End Point Assessment:


  • Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Level 2 Award in Chainsaw Maintenance
  • Level 2 Award in Crosscutting Timber using a Chainsaw
  • Level 2 Award in Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm
  • Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this Level and take the test for Level 2 English and Maths.

Establishment and maintenance pathway

  • Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Guidance OR Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
  • Level 2 Award in the Safe Application of Pesticides using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment (including application near water)
  • Level 2 Award in Safe use of Brush-cutters and Trimmers
  • Level 2 Award in Safe use of Forestry Clearing Saw.

Harvesting pathway

  • Level 3 Award in Felling and Processing Trees over 380mm.

Gateway Criteria

The Apprentice will be entered for End Point Assessment once the employer and the training provider are satisfied that the Gateway requirements for End Point Assessment have been met and can be evidenced to the End Point Assessment Organisation; and that the Apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the Standard. Requirements:

  • All mandatory qualifications have been be achieved and sufficient evidence of competence has been demonstrated
  • On programme training and assessment undertaken and completed
  • Evidence of Off the Job Training – for a minimum of 20% of the time they are paid to work and is training delivered outside normal working duties
  • Apprentices without Level 2 English or Maths must achieve Level 1 and take the tests for Level 2 prior to gateway.

How to Find an Apprenticeship

There are three ways in which you can find an apprenticeship:

  • You can find your own employer and approach BMC to be your provider. This is the preferred route for most students.
  • You van view our current apprenticeship vacancies here.
  • You can use the Government’s national database to find apprenticeship vacancies here.

Functional Skills

Functional skills are qualifications in English and Maths that equip students with the basic practical skills required in everyday life, education and the workplace. Some may already have achieved suitable qualifications in these areas, but if not, students will work towards achieving Functional skills qualifications in English and Maths. These are assessed by externally set and marked tests which can be completed either on a computer or in paper form.

At the beginning of the programme a student’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas will be identified by the use of a diagnostic test and a structured learner plan will be created to address the needs in order to prepare the student for their tests.

Visit Us

If you like what you’ve seen so far, why not come along to our next Brooksby Campus Open Event?

This is a fantastic way for you to get a feel for what it’s like to be a student at BMC. You will get to meet our industry-expert teaching staff, tour our fantastic facilities and find out everything you need to know about courses at BMC.

For a list of our upcoming events, click here.