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STEM Apprentice Training Providers: do you start with the end in mind?

Here at SIAS, the end-point assessment (EPA) organisation for the science-based industries, we started out on our journey to end-point assessing the newer science industry apprenticeship standards in 2015, putting in significant groundwork to ensure quality and independence. We were established with the support of the employer members of the Science Industry Partnership
We were early adopters of the new employer-led approach to apprenticeships, delivering robust end-point assessments for the following approved apprenticeship standards:

  • Laboratory Technician
  • Science Manufacturing Technician
  • Science Industry Maintenance Technician
  • Laboratory Scientist
  • Science Manufacturing Process Operative

SIAS is now an experienced participant in this arena, having delivered successful end-point assessments across all these standards – and we have a highly proficient network of independent assessors qualified to support us in undertaking this important work, working with some of the UK’s leading science employers and expert training organisations.

One thing we have learned, working with employer and provider partners, is the need to start with the end in mind... 


The EPA can of course take a range of forms, depending on the standard concerned. Take the popular Laboratory Technician Standard. While the formal end-assessment is completed in the final 3 months, the period leading up to this should prepare the learner for a synoptic assessment test (SAT) in the workplace, including a comprehensive vocational competence discussion.

The apprentice will also complete a scenario case study designed to test understanding of transferable skills/application of knowledge required to function quickly after minimal instruction on new equipment or in a new environment.

Given these considerable requirements, having a clear understanding of your apprentices’ destination from the outset means you can take the right steps to ensure they get there fully prepared for the final stage of their apprenticeship, end-point assessment.

Providers are essentially responding to the employer challenge of ensuring the apprentice is competent to undertake the job role they are looking to fill, so it’s helpful to work backwards from this landing role.

This means planning the training and educational journey from the outset and in particular planning for the end-assessment process right at the start. Not least because end-assessment resits are time-consuming and of course disappointing for all concerned.

Here at SIAS, we are here to help from the outset, to ensure apprentices are supported to successfully achieve their apprenticeship Standard and that they are fully prepared for end-point assessment and ultimately satisfy the requirements of the SIAS independent assessors.

By ensuring apprentices register with us as early as possible, you can get all the necessary support to be right on course to deliver fully competent apprentices. We provide all the guidance you need to help to understand the tests and are equipped to prepare apprentices for their all-important end-point assessment.

Requesting a SIAS Service Offer Pack means you can get the ball rolling with us; this explains our services and how we can help to build in preparation for end-point assessment from the outset.

Once we receive a request for service, we can then work with you so that you can plan the journey that delivers the successful outcome that will prepare your learners for the job they will be required to undertake.

At SIAS we take great pride, working with provider partners, in witnessing apprentices who can demonstrate they are fully competent in the science-based occupations they have trained for and that they have the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers value.

Their subsequent receipt of a national apprenticeship award certificate sets them on the road to a bright future working in science and technology.

SIAS works with a wide range of providers across England that are purchasing EPA from us on behalf of their employers. Getting started is simply a matter of just letting us know what EPA is required; we do not expect you to become a registered centre.

Once you are in touch with us you will be part of our network of providers that benefit from our high quality EPA advice service. If you would like to understand in more detail about the apprentice end-assessment process, please view our webinar everything you ever wanted to know about end-point assessment.

You can of course also request the Service Offer Pack, which contains everything you need to know about working with SIAS.

Please email for a free pack.