The introduction of End-Point Assessment (EPA) has been one of the biggest changes to the apprenticeship landscape. Since the reform in 2016, this new process is ensuring a higher quality of apprenticeship.
EPA determines whether an apprentice is competent in their role, by allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and behaviours through a range of assessments at the end of their apprenticeship.
It’s crucial that training providers arrange EPA as soon as possible for their apprentices and that they keep in contact with their End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) in the lead up to assessment.
It’s also important to remember that EPAOs such as SIAS only manage the assessment and certification for apprentices. They are independent from any form of training throughout the apprenticeship and act solely as an assessment service at the end of an apprentice’s training.
The introduction of EPA aims to test apprentices to the best of their ability across all aspects of the new apprenticeship standard. This achievement is recognised through an apprenticeship certificate.
Employer chooses SIAS & training provider enrols apprentice for EPA
Apprentice completes their training
Training Provider/employer provides SIAS with Gateway qualifications
SIAS delivers assessment to the apprentice at the end of their apprenticeship
Once passed, SIAS request certification
These assessments can vary depending on the standard being assessed:
-Synoptic Assessment Test (SAT)/Practical Observation:
Observing the apprentice carrying out their job role in a working environment under normal conditions.
-Workplace Synoptic Project Presentation & Discussion:
Presentation based on a summary report prepared by the apprentice. This includes a series of questions that cover key areas of the standard.
-Vocational Competence Discussion (VCD)
Structured discussion around the key elements of the apprenticeship.
-Scenario Case Study:
A written exam aimed at testing the apprentice’s transferable knowledge
These assessments are marked and graded by the EPAO.
A well-planned EPA will help your apprentice in passing their apprenticeship. SIAS works in conjunction with training providers and employers to ensure readiness for EPA. It is important to note that strong cooperation between all three parties is crucial in making the apprentice’s EPA run as smoothly as possible.
Training Providers – Training providers work closely with employers and oversee the apprenticeship. They ensure the apprentice has covered all aspects of the apprenticeship standard and are well prepared before they attempt EPA. Registration for EPA with SIAS is the responsibility of the training provider.
Employers – The employer will work with the training provider to ensure the apprentice builds their competencies in the workplace as described in the apprenticeship standard. They work with SIAS to organise the EPA when they and the training provider consider the apprentice is ready. It’s important to remember that it’s the employers responsibility to choose the End-Point Assessment organisation (however training providers may provide advice on who to choose).
End-Point Assessment Organisation (SIAS) – The EPAO will provide the apprentice’s Competence Evaluation Log and an External Assurer/Independent Assessor to run their EPA. They will also apply for the apprentice’s certificate on completion.
The role of an EPAO is to design, deliver and grade the End Point Assessment tests under the new apprenticeship standards.
SIAS is comprised of a team with many years of experience within the Science, Engineering and Educational sectors. This experience assures a high level of quality and professionalism across all aspects of our work, from preparing and creating assessment material to carrying out EPA.
Registered EPAOs are completely independent of the apprentice’s training provider and employer. All organisations are also listed on the ESFA Register of End Point Assessment Organisations.
The cost of EPA varies depending on the type of apprenticeship and which EPA organisation you choose. However, it is important to bear in mind that the overall cost for End-Point Assessment will typically be 10-20% of the apprenticeship funding.
Payment for EPA is made by the apprentice’s training provider.
If an apprentice fails a component of their EPA they can resit if the employer agrees and the resit is within the EPA window.
Resits incur an additional fee.
EPA always take place at the location of the apprentice’s host employer. This provides the opportunity for the apprentice to work to the best of their ability in a familiar environment.
The average length for SIAS’ assessments is between 1 and 2 days.
Apprenticeship reform has been driven by employers to create high quality apprenticeship training which provides long term benefits to employers and apprenticeships.
The new standards allow employers to develop training programmes that meet the demand for sector specific training, identifying the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to perform a job role to the highest possible level. Employers, working with a training provider, are free to develop a training plan that suits the needs of their business, flexibility is central to apprenticeship reform.
It’s important to start with the end in mind in regards to an apprentices assessment. Click here for a detailed overview of EPA, from registration to certification.