CRS Apprenticeship - The Sustainable50

The ICRS is proud to support the new CRS Apprenticeship. We have been a member of the Trailblazer group since the beginning of the development of the apprenticeship and look forward to supporting the next generation of CRS professionals through the Sustainable50 campaign. You can find out more about the apprenticeship below, including how to get involved, key documents to find out more, and contact details.  


What is it?

In June 2019, a ‘Trailblazer Group’ was formed to develop an apprenticeship pathway for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CRS). A Trailblazer Group consists of businesses representatives, from a cross-range of sectors, and is set up as a requirement of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education in order to develop any new apprenticeship pathway in England. In November 2020, the Trailblazer Group* submitted the CRS Apprenticeship (Level 4) to the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education.

The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CRS) Practitioner (Level 4) is a brand-new apprenticeship for employers to invest in the skills they need both now and in the future, to further their commitment to creating a more sustainable world. To launch this first-of-a-kind apprenticeship, the CRS Trailblazer Group is asking employers to sign up to The Sustainable50, a campaign which aims to create a cohort of 50 CRS apprentices in 2021. 

The Sustainable50 aims to:

  • Raise awareness: to create supply and demand from young people and employers alike about the pathway and the CRS profession more broadly - including existing employees in other occupations who may wish to transfer into a CRS role
  • Blended learning: utilize online and virtual classroom learning to replicate the university experience for CRS Apprentices by creating nationwide cohorts that can learn together
  • Widen access: open up the CRS profession to people from working class and under-represented backgrounds
  • Support SMEs: encourage large employers to transfer part of their unused levy to an SME
  • Celebrate: recognize best practice by communicating superb work and showcasing this at an annual awards ceremony


The request is simple… we ask that your business utilizes some of its Apprenticeship Levy and commit to taking on a CRS Apprentice in 2021.


The ask:

The Sustainable50 asks employers to commit to taking on a CRS Apprentice in 2021, with two further optional requirements: 



1. Recruit a CRS apprentice in 2021 (conditional)

2. Transfer unspent levy to an      SME to take on a CRS Apprentice (optional)

3. Widen access to CRS (optional)


Utilise your employer's apprenticeship levy to recruit a CRS Apprentice

Utilise unspent apprenticeship levy to support an SME develop apprenticeships through levy transfer

Work with local charities, schools and colleges to promote your CRS Apprentice opportunity



Training: £14k (100% paid via you employer's apprenticeship levy)

Salary: £22k pa (London); £19.7k pa (UK); based on the Real Living Wage

£14k (100% paid via your employer's apprenticeship levy)  


Apprenticeships and the levy

Apprenticeships are vocational training that combines work-based training with an element of learning delivered by a training provider, and can be used to support new starters or existing staff interested in upskilling. Apprentices spend most of their time in the workplace with some 'off the job' training representing 20% of their time. Since 2017, employers with a wage bill of over £3m are required to put a proportion of this towards supporting apprenticeships within their workforce - the apprenticeship levy. There Is evidence that much of this funding currently remains unspent by businesses. Smaller organisations can fund apprenticeships through a co-investment model with the UK Government or can receive a transfer of funding from levy payers with unspent allocation. The CRS Practitioner (Level 4) was developed by a 'Trailblazer' group of employers* to widen access and create pathways into Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability. The apprenticeship will typically last for three years for new entrants to the profession and focuses on the development of key competences, knowledge, skills and behaviours that are essential to sustainability roles, regardless of the sector. Additionally, all apprentices with be eligible for free individual membership with the Institute for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (ICRS) for the duration of their learning.


Would your business like to be listed publically as a member of The Sustainable50?

We’d love to start sharing the names of businesses that have already pledged to take on a CRS Apprentice with the aim of generating some press and subsequently more interest from employers. You can take this short survey to register you interest in pledging to take on a CRS Apprentice.


List of training providers and EPAO

There are currently two providers but we expect more to enter the market as awareness grows. You can of course speak to your existing apprenticeship provider and ask them if they would be willing to enter the fray. For now, please see below for the providers and the EPAO:

Organisation Website Key contact Role
MBKB Group Training provider
RHG Consult Training provider
Academy for Project Management

End-Point Assessment Organization


Example of CRS Apprentice job advert

Organisations are welcome to use the advertisement currenty used by Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP here and adapt it to suit your requirements. 


Support available

Plenty of support is available to support employers wishing to engage in The Sustainble50 and support the development of CRS apprenticeships:

  • The London Progression Collaboration can support London-based employers with all elements of apprenticeship provision - from setting up an account on the online Apprenticeship Service to choosing a training provider. They can also broker levy transfer through their Reskilling the Recovery campaign (
  • Training providers: will provide support to understand how the learning and assessment works, and the off the job training.
  • Heart of the City: supports SMEs to develop a Responsible Business strategy with a 24-month partiallyfunded programme
  • ICRS: the professional body for CRS practitioners is offering free individual membership and access to all associated benefits to CRS apprentices for the duration of their apprenticeship



To view FAQs, and the business briefing for the Sustainable50, please click the links below. 


The Sustainable50 - business briefing.pdf


To view the recording of the launch event in February, click here.

The view the recording of Meet the Providers and EPAO event, click here.

The Occupational Standard and end-point assessment for the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Practitioner (Level 4) can be found here.



  • Rob Powell, Director, Pro Bono & Corporate Responsibility, London - Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP:
  • Jack Gibson, Senior Business Engagement Officer, The London Progression Collaboration:


In addition to the Institute for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (ICRS), the *CRS Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group consists of representatives from FTI Consulting, Fujitsu, HS2, Intercontinental Hotels Group, ISG, JP Morgan, Kaplan, Leeds University, Legal & General, Linklaters, NG Bailey, Novartis, QBL Consulting, Royal London, Sainsburys, Salesforce & Weil.



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