Helping guide the UK’s first Metrology apprenticeship

Physical Digital’s Managing Director, Tim Rapley, was invited to join a steering group to share his expertise by giving input into the creation of the first Metrology apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are no longer the poor relation to academic training. Over the past few years the relevance of good quality, on-the-job apprenticeship training has been recognised across a wide range of traditional and new industries. Now it is possible to undertake an apprenticeship in such diverse subjects as Law, IT and Digital Marketing, alongside the traditional Engineering and Construction apprenticeships.

The Level 3 Metrology Apprenticeship was developed by the Metrology Trailblazer Group, which included over 30 employers and key stakeholders, and was led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The steering group set out standards for Metrology Technicians across a variety of industries.

Physical Digital supports Formula Student teams in the annual competition


Leading metrology company

As MD of the UK’s leading GOM optical 3D scanning metrology company, Physical Digital, it was evident why MD Tim was invited to influence the standards of the first Metrology Technician apprenticeship.

Tim has vast experience of metrology, gained initially at Woking-based McLaren’s race car engineering section, before he founded Physical Digital in response to a demand from automotive clients for the high-accuracy data captured through 3D scanning.

For the past twelve years, Physical Digital has been providing 3D scanning, quality inspection and reverse engineering to a variety of different industries. Using GOM ATOS scanning systems, Physical Digital provides highly accurate scan data in order to improve the quality of products, speed up the production cycle and reduce waste.

Tim consistently demonstrates his support and enthusiasm for future engineers by offering work experience at the company, attending educational talks and providing 3D scanning and reverse engineering services for university teams taking part in the annual Formula Student motorsport competition.

The reason that these brand new apprenticeship training standards have been developed is to ensure that training is relevant and beneficial to the future of the Metrology industry. It will also help boost opportunities for those starting out in the Metrology industry and will support the growth of the Metrology workforce nationwide. The application for the Metrology apprenticeship was submitted in June 2016 and has been approved by the Department for Education (DfE).

Apprentices who undertake the full training will become valuable measurement specialists within their organisations, with the ability to contribute significantly to the future of the Metrology industry and the UK economy.

The apprenticeship will typically last 36 months depending on the individual’s experience and most candidates will be expected to have achieved grade C or above at GCSE level in English and Maths and a relevant Science subject, or equivalent.

To find out more information about metrology and the other services we offer, contact us on 01483 750200 or email