Characteristics of Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Implications for Evaluation Design. Glossary


AAI -- Advancing Apprenticeship Initiative, a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)-led initiative to promote the expansion of registered apprenticeship to high-growth industries that traditionally do not use the apprenticeship model for employer-sponsored training.

CNA -- Certified Nursing Assistant, an occupation in which employees work in free-standing or hospital-affiliated nursing homes caring for persons with clinical needs and/or needing assistance in activities such as eating, bathing, and similar activities.

Competency -- The attainment of manual, mechanical or technical skills and knowledge, as specified by an occupational standard and demonstrated by an appropriate written and/or hands-on proficiency measurement.

Competency-Based Apprenticeship -- An apprenticeship that measures skill acquisition through successful demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge, as verified by the program sponsor. Programs utilizing this approach must still require apprentices to complete an on-the-job training (OJT) component of registered apprenticeship. The program standards must address how OJT will be integrated into the program, describe competencies, and identify an appropriate means of testing and evaluation for such competencies. A competency-based apprenticeship may take a shorter or longer time to complete based on the apprentice’s ability to learn a skill or acquire knowledge.

DOL -- U.S. Department of Labor.

DSS -- Direct Support Specialist, an occupation in which employees provide care in group homes for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities needing monitoring and assistance in daily activities.

Enrollment Status -- Whether an apprentice is registered currently in an apprenticeship, has completed an apprenticeship, has cancelled their apprenticeship (or had it cancelled by their employer), or suspended in good standing for an indefinite period of time with the intention of completing it.

GED -- General equivalency degree, which is an alternative credential to a high school diploma when not completed within the secondary education system.

HHA -- Home Health Aide, an occupation in which employees work in home health and hospice agencies providing services to people living in the community having clinical needs and/or needing assistance with eating, bathing, and similar activities.

HHS -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HSS -- Health Support Specialist, an occupation in which employees work in assisted living facilities and retirement homes providing care for largely elderly persons needing monitoring and assistance with daily tasks.

Hybrid Apprenticeship -- An apprenticeship that measures skill acquisition through a combination of a specified minimum number of hours of OJT and the successful demonstration of competency as described in a work process schedule.

LTC RAP -- Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Programs are developed by employers, employer associations or labor-management organizations to train employees of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, assisted living facilities, retirement homes, and group homes for people with disabilities using the apprenticeship model. These programs have been registered with the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).

OA -- Office of Apprenticeship, the office designated by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to administer the National Apprenticeship System.

Occupation -- A field of work in which employees perform similar roles and responsibilities. Employees in a given occupation may work in a range of different settings. For example, employees working in the occupation of CNA usually work in nursing homes, but may also work in home health agencies and assisted living facilities.

OJT -- On-the-Job Training, training that occurs during the performance of an apprentice’s regular job responsibilities at their place of employment. OJT is essentially learning that occurs by doing one’s actual job responsibilities over the course of their employment.

PHI -- Organization formerly known as the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, which works to strengthen the nation’s long-term care direct care workforce, including nearly 3 million HHAs, certified nurse aides, and personal care attendants.

RAPIDS -- Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System, the administrative database maintained by DOL’s OA to manage registered apprenticeship programs. RAPIDS contains apprentice-level (e.g., demographic) and sponsor-level (e.g., types and lengths of apprenticeships offered by the employer) information.

Registered Apprenticeship -- A formal employment relationship designed to promote skill training and learning on-the-job. The National Apprenticeship Act (NAA) of 1937 established the foundation for developing and expanding the nation’s skilled workforce through registered apprenticeship programs and standards for safeguarding the welfare of apprentices. Often referred to as the Fitzgerald Act, the NAA created a comprehensive system of partnerships among business, labor, education, and government that has shaped skill training through registered apprenticeship for succeeding generations of American workers. Basic components of Registered Apprenticeship include on-the-job (“hands-on”) learning, related theoretical instruction (often in a classroom setting), progressive wage increases as the apprentice advances in skill attainment and a mentor-apprentice relationship. An apprentice who successfully completes a registered program, which usually requires 1-5 years, is awarded a certificate of completion of apprenticeship. An OA registered program is one in which employers, or groups of employers, and unions design, organize, manage, and finance apprenticeship programs under the standards developed and registered with OA or a DOL ETA-recognized SAA. Employers, or groups of employers, and unions also select apprentices who are trained to meet certain pre-determined occupational standards. For more information, see the OA web site at

SAA -- State Apprenticeship Agency, an agency of state government that has responsibility and accountability for apprenticeship within a state. Only a SAA may seek recognition by the OA as an agency which has been properly constituted under an acceptable law or Executive Order, and authorized by the OA to register and oversee apprenticeship programs and agreements for federal purposes.

Sponsor -- An employer, employer association, or labor-management organization that registers and operates an apprenticeship program. For example, an individual nursing home, a home health agency or an association representing these businesses may host and operate apprenticeships for its employees.

Time-Based Apprenticeship -- An apprenticeship that measures skill acquisition through completion of at least 2,000 hours of OJT as described in a work process schedule.

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