Crop Technician (Arable Farming)

Level 3 Apprenticeship

You will also need to keep up to date with technological advances and innovations. A Crop Technician requires self-motivation and the ability to work independently and as a team player to complete tasks safely and efficiently.

This apprenticeship covers the core requirements of a crop technician with the specialist ‘soil-based system’ pathway

What apprentices will learn

  • Prepare seed bed/growing medium for maximum growth potential
  • How to carry relevant establishment of crops for efficient growth
  • Competently operate (to the equivalent of a certified level) a relevant vehicle used in the business
  • How to correctly set machinery and monitoring machine performance for good seed establishment and crop growth
  • How to correctly set machinery to match crop and soil condition and quality requirements during harvest
  • The impact of machinery on soil structure and potential damage.
  • Control of pests, weeds and diseases including safe use, application and storage of chemicals
  • How to carry out plant nutrient application and/or irrigation tasks if applicable to aid growth of crop
  • How carry out harvesting operations including assessment of timing and quality
  • How to appropriate harvesting techniques to match crop condition and quality requirements
  • How to store crops in suitable conditions to maintain quality
  • Soil/substrate maintenance tasks to ensure efficient and healthy growth of the crop/plant
  • Soil/substrate sampling and acting upon results as appropriate to ensure nutrition is correct
  • Health and safety legislation and codes of practice in relation to the job role/workplace including contingency/emergency plans
  • Environmental issues/legislation, codes of practice and company policies
  • Importance of maintaining systems for record keeping and storage used within the organisation
  • Maintenance/efficient use of machinery and equipment
  • Preparation methods, timing of activities and aftercare requirements for the crops grown on-site
  • Crop identification and establishment process including principles and methods
  • Principles of plant growth and development and plant health
  • Input costs, cost of production, margins and impact on business profitability
  • Identification of key pests weeds and diseases and awareness of control mechanisms including potential impact on environment
  • Relationship between environmental conditions (including weather), plant protection methods and crop growth

Qualifications Awarded

  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 3 award in emergency first aid at work
  • Level 2 in maths and English (if applicable)
  • Level 2 award in the safe use of pesticides, and one of:
    • Boom sprayer mounted, trailed, or self-propelled equipment
    • Granular applicator equipment
    • Handheld applicator equipment

Delivery model

A mix of online knowledge delivery and weekly practical learning at Plumpton College (term time only/ about 30 days yearly) will include skills and knowledge assessment and undertaking practical learning period qualifications. Quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation and assessments.

Course details

Dates & Location

Next cohort preboarding and enrolment will commence in August/September 2024 with college delivery from September 2024


Typically 22 months (some apprentices could complete sooner depending on their previous experience and qualifications, their perfomance during the apprenticeship and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace) practical period with 3-month End Point Assessment window.


Costs to the employer will be dependent on several factors such as age of apprentice and size (number of employees) of the business. Please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 for more information.

An apprentice must not be asked to cover any associated training costs linked to their apprenticeship programme. 

Entry Requirements

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 or via email.

You must be in a job role that will allow you the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours of the apprenticeship. Additionally, apprentices must have a working level of maths and English that will allow successful achievement of level 2 functional skill prior to the end point assessment.

Prior to enrolment potential apprentices will be required to complete;

  • Maths and English assessment
  • Existing skills, knowledge and behaviour assessment

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or enrol an existing employee onto an apprenticeship please contact our Business Services team on  01273 892127 or via email.


Apprentices will have practical workshops at the college's Lamberts farm consisting of 2000 acres in the most beautiful setting of the South Downs with 300 dairy cow herd, large pig herd and extensive sheep flock and pedigree Sussex beef herd. Access to the latest technology available in the agriculture sector alongside teaching and farm staff that have many years' industrial experience and excellent relationships within the local farming community.

Apprentices will receive a discount on our LandPro Training suite of qualifications and assessments e.g. LANTRA Tractor Driving or Awareness of Integrated Weed Management 

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