All apprentices must undertake an independent end-point assessment which is a synoptic assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship. The purpose of the assessment is to make sure the apprentice meets the standard set by employers and are occupationally competent.
It is taken by apprentices at the very end of the on-programme phase of training when their employer (and in some cases their training provider) is satisfied that they have met the “gateway” criteria to undertake the assessment. End-point-assessments are graded and an apprenticeship certificate is only awarded after end-point assessment is successfully completed.
End-Point Assessment (EPA) must be administered by an assessor from an approved, independent End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), and not by the training provider who works with the employer during the on-programme part of the apprenticeship. End-point Assessment Organisations must be on the Register of End-point Assessment Organisations. To apply to be an EPAO or to search for a current registered organisation, visit the Government website.
There are two different types of quality assurance – internal and external quality assurance. Internal quality assurance is carried out by, or on behalf of the assessment organisations themselves. External quality assurance is undertaken by an external body, independent of those who lead on the design and the delivery of assessments. There are four different approaches that could be outlined in the assessment plan:
There are many possible elements to an End-Point Assessment which are clearly stated in the assessment plan that accompanies each standard. For example, an apprentice may be required to undertake an online multiple-choice assignment, an interview with an experienced practitioner, be observed making a product or repairing a defective piece of equipment or solving work-place problem scenarios. Sometimes apprentices must submit a diary of work that they have completed, a portfolio record of their work projects or prepare a presentation showcase of their work to a panel of experts. The assessments chosen reflect the type of work undertaken and can simulate what happens in the workplace.
End Point Assessment – CPD Self- Assessment: Support for individuals who are thinking of becoming an apprenticeship end-point assessor to enable self-assessment of their skills so that they can identify their immediate and long-term CPD needs.
Future Apprenticeships conducted a series of professional dialogues which drew together stakeholders in eight sector-focussed areas to understand the challenges in creating and developing a workforce of high-quality assessors. The findings highlighted in this report informed the design of the CPD Self- Assessment tool.
Online support for End-Point Assessment Organisations – recorded presentations
ETF offers a suite of audio presentations covering a range of topics which provide information and support to organisations who are considering getting involved in end-point assessment, helping them to understand what it takes to deliver effective end-point assessment and to prepare for involvement as well as support for those End-point Assessment Organisations gearing up to implement their plans to deliver end-point assessment services.
This project builds on an early research into End-Point Assessments (EPAs) carried out by AoC in September 2016 as part of the Future Apprenticeships programme. The objective was to test and trial apprenticeship EPA activity through stages considering a range of areas such as the resources used by End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs), the consistency of grading by Independent Assessors (IAs), and so on. The purpose of the research was to gain a greater understanding of what leads to an effective EPA experience for all stakeholders and to share these findings prior to the major roll out of EPA across all apprenticeship standard delivery. This report contains the key findings and conclusions of this research as well as useful checklists to support your planning and preparation for EPA.
For further information refer to the End-Point Assessment section of the recently updated Future Apprenticeships: Provider Toolkit.