Traditional apprenticeship frameworks have been reformed and are now referred to as Apprenticeship Standards. To achieve an apprenticeship there is now a requirement to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA), while MP Awards do not deliver the apprenticeship training, we are approved to offer the EPA for a number of standards.
What is EPA?
The EPA is designed to test whether each apprentice has gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard, and to grade the Apprentice according to their performance.
This new apprenticeship assessment occurs at the end of a minimum period of training as an Apprentice – typically 12 months but in some cases longer. The employer, the training provider and the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) will decide whether the Apprentice is ready to be tested.
- The assessment is ‘synoptic’, which means it takes and overview of the Apprentice
- It consists of a number of different types of external assessment, typically:
- Multiple-choice tests
- Professional interview/discussion
- Observation of the apprentice at work
- Written project work
- Employers who have developed the Apprenticeship Standard have determined how to test for occupational competence within their industry
- Each different type of Apprenticeship, defined by occupation, will have a specific set of assessments which have to be passed as part of the EPA
- An ‘Assessment Plan’ is published for each Apprenticeship Standard which contains all the details of the testing required to successfully complete the Apprenticeship
- Some of the assessments are graded; e.g., pass, merit, distinction
- The Apprentice cannot achieve their Apprenticeship without passing the End Point Assessment
Who can conduct the EPA?
All EPAs must follow these rules:
- They must be conducted by an organisation by the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) who will be recognised by being added to the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RoAAO)
- All activity is managed by an impartial organisation EPA will always be separate from the training input
- When an employer takes on an Apprentice, they can select the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) from the register and then confirm their selection with their training provider
- The EPAO will allocate an Independent End Point Assessor (IEPA) to each Apprentice who will manage and conduct the various assessments according to the Assessment Plan requirements. This may have to be achieved in a certain order within a defined timeframe.
How does EPA work?
- All apprenticeships have training and assessment throughout the duration of the programme and all must now contain an end point assessment (EPA). This forms the final stage of the apprenticeship and is separate to any qualifications or other assessment that the Apprentice may undertake during training. It is designed to assess whether an apprentice has met the requirements of the Apprenticeship Standard and is fully competent in their occupational role.
- All additional requirements will have to be completed before the final assessment (end point assessment) starts e.g. achievement of any qualifications that are in the standard or Functional Skills in English, Maths and IT.
- When an Apprentice is ready to take the EPA, their employer will put them forward for the assessment. Each EPA is different, so the requirements for each assessment are laid out in the Apprenticeship Assessment Plan.
- An End Point Assessor will be allocated to each Apprentice to manage the process and schedule the various assessments according to the Assessment Plan requirements. This may have to be achieved in a certain order and within a defined timeframe.
- If an Apprentice fails an assessment, a resit can be arranged but in some cases Apprentices may need more training input before further assessments take place.
- The End Point Assessment Organisation will be responsible for claiming the overarching Apprenticeship Certificate from the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IoA&TE).
MP Awards EPA Service
MP Awards is applying to offer end point assessments for sector-specific standards as they become available.
As the specialist awarding organisation for the sector MP Awards will offer the following range of benefits:
- Expertise from end point assessment experts who are occupationally competent
- A wealth of expertise in quality assuring, delivery and assessment, that builds on sector knowledge of skills and employer needs
- A flexible and responsive solutions-based service with focus on customer service
- Support via advice; guidance materials for training, providers/apprentices; mock test material; documentation; etc.
- A clear and transparent charging policy
- A trusted and reliable organisation committed to quality and professional standards