What is OTJ and how do I complete it during my apprenticeship?

Arrow Left Streamline Icon: https://streamlinehq.com
See all posts


  1. What counts as OTJ?
  2. What can I do to complete my OTJ?
  3. Where do I log OTJ time?

OTJ time stands for ‘Off the job’ time and is a requirement for your apprenticeship. To meet the apprenticeship standard, you must complete a minimum of 6 hours of the time ‘off the job’ completing your apprenticeship any activities that go with it. At Multiverse, we specifically ask for more OTJ time for certain highly technical programs like our software engineering or tech consultancy programmes. OTJ needs to be formally logged with evidence to show completion of any relevant activities and completed within working hours. In this article, we’ll share examples of OTJ you could complete and top tips to help you stay on track during your apprenticeship.

What counts as OTJ?

‘OTJ’ counts as any time you’ve spent learning during your apprenticeship outside of the recurring tasks in your working role. There’s two types of OTJ activities you’ll need to complete in order to meet the UK government standard for apprenticeship.

Protected learning: Protected learning refers to dedicated periods within a work schedule that are set aside for learning and professional development.

Applied learning: Applied learning is defined as the hands on application of skills in the workplace

If you work 30 hours a week, 6 out of 30 hours need to be spent on OTJ related activities.

What can I do to complete my OTJ?

There’s lots of ways to fulfil your OTJ time and a portion of these will already be scheduled in your calendar by your coach during your apprenticeship. Other activities you will need to seek out yourself. Think about how the OTJ activities you choose relate to your apprenticeship before you complete them. Below are some areas you could focus on to collect OTJ hours and learn on your apprenticeship.

1. Apprenticeship bootcamps

During your apprenticeship, you’ll attend online bootcamps led by coaches who are experts in your apprenticeship field. The coaches will deliver your course curriculum, assign tasks to help you apply your learning and help you prepare for any exams you need to complete on your apprenticeship. Apprentice bootcamps will count as a big portion of your OTJ time, as they’ll be delivered in block sessions of 3 hours up to 1 day at a time.

OTJ time earned: 3 hours - 8 hours at a time (depending on session length)

2. Coach sessions

In-between bootcamp sessions, you’ll have a 1:1 monthly catch-up call with your coach to assess your progress and work on your personal and professional development.

OTJ time earned: 1 hour monthly

3. Applied learning

As well as professional learning that will be scheduled in by your coach, you’ll also need to seek out opportunities for ‘Applied learning’ which covers a broad range of activities you could complete. For an OTJ activity to qualify as ‘applied learning’ it needs to relate to the hands on application of skills in the workplace. For instance, using your recently learnt skills outside of your apprenticeship bootcamp. For example:

  1. Completing a coding project based on skills learnt during a software engineering bootcamp
  2. Completing an online course linked to your apprenticeship topic
  3. Organising a team building activity at work as a result of a related apprenticeship module

You’ll work with your coach on areas for personal and professional development and these areas could include development of key soft skills needed in the workplace. The following would count as applied learning for soft skills:

  1. Building on active listening skills by carrying out regular note taking during meetings or creating an organised note template and system for you to lookover
  2. Practising reviewing documentation in detail using examples and methods to retain information
  3. Researching tools and methods to help organise time effectively and then implementing them in your day to day schedule

OTJ time earned: 30 minutes - 8 hours plus

4. Community

The Multiverse community provides a wide range of opportunities to take part in in order for you to earn OTJ hours for your apprenticeship.

You could attend events. For example:

  1. Multiverse meet-ups which are social events organised by apprentices
  2. Lunch and Learn sessions with special guests
  3. Online seminar in a topic of your choice
  4. In-person workshops

The community hub also offers a great range of articles to read and video content to watch, all of which adds to OTJ time. To generate regular OTJ time, you could aim to attend 1 community event per week. Please note, not every community activity will count towards your OTJ time. Check with your coach if you're unsure.

OTJ time earned: 20 minutes - 6 hours

5. Exam completion

Exam revision and completion during your apprenticeship also counts as OTJ time.

You can log:

  1. Time spent revising for upcoming exams
  2. Practise papers, questions or quizzes
  3. Actual time spent completing the exam
  4. Study sessions with other apprentices

OTJ time earned: 30 minutes - 4 hours plus

Where do I log OTJ time?

After you’ve completed an OTJ related activity for your apprenticeship, you’ll need to formally log it with evidence.

Multiverse apprentices have access to a specialised platform in order to do this, where they can log OTJ activities with categories, dates and times. The platform also helps apprentices organise their apprenticeship, track their progress and keep track of key upcoming dates like exams.

Multiverse apprentices also have access to a 1:1 coach they can reach out to for support. If you’re stuck for what to do for OTJ time or you’re falling behind, you could send an email to your coach asking for advice, ask peers on the community hub or reach out to your apprentice manager.

If you're looking for an apprenticeship, Multiverse offers apprenticeships in tech, data and digital skills all year round.

Start your application here.

Team Multiverse

Read more posts by this author


Related posts


Navigating work-life balance during an apprenticeship - Adriana’s Advice

Balancing productivity and rest is a challenging task that employees at all levels of the company face, regardless of if you’re an apprentice or VP. In this article I’ll explore some of the practical ways you can create and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Image of Team Multiverse

Team Multiverse

28 June 2023