What is EPA?

End-point assessment is a requirement for all English apprenticeships. It tests the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice has learned throughout their apprenticeships

Some facts about end-point assessment (EPA)

End-point assessment is independent. It is carried out by an independent assessor appointed by the End-point Assessment Organisation who has been selected to carry out the assessment.

The end-point assessment is carried out at the end of the apprenticeship programme.

It will involve a number of assessment components, typically 3 separate tests that are designed to test different aspects of the learning gained throughout the apprenticeship programme.

End-point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) are approved to carry out the end-point assessment and must be appointed by the apprentices’ employer.

The apprentice must pass all their end-point assessment components to achieve their apprenticeship programme and certificate.

What does end-point assessment involve?

Importantly, EPA’s are not designed to test every single aspect of a Standard. Instead, they are designed to enable an apprentice to demonstrate that overall, they have developed the key knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to be able to do their job effectively.

An end-point assessment may involve the following testing methods:

  • written and/or multiple choice question examinations
  • a practical observation
  • a presentation
  • an interview
  • a project

Where does EPA take place?

EPA’s are taken under controlled examination conditions. So, they need a suitably controlled environment to allow the apprentice to concentrate and do their best. This can either be at their employer’s premises or an agreed external location.

Who are the independent assessors?

Independent assessors are appointed by the end-point assessment organisation. They are experienced individuals from the industry they are assessing. They will be highly trained and qualified in assessment practice.

Can an apprentice re-sit their EPA?

If an apprentice fails all or part of their End-point assessment most apprenticeship standards allow at least one re-sit for the any of the components of an end-point assessment.

How much does end-point assessment cost?

The cost of an EPA is determined by a number of factors. These include: type of assessments required, time an independent examiner is needed for, number of apprentices being tested on the same day.

Government funding is available to support the costs of End Point Assessment. This forms part of the overall apprenticeship funding. Twenty percent of the total cost of an apprenticeship is retained by government until the final assessment stage. This represents the maximum cost for an EPA, though often they are lower than 20%.

Who sets the end-point assessment?

The end-point assessments are stipulated within the apprenticeship standards’ assessment plan. These are created by employer groups called Trailblazers. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education are responsible for the development and maintenance of all apprenticeship standards and their assessment plans.

The end-point assessment organisation is responsible for developing the assessment materials that sets out the individual requirements for each end-point assessment.

Who issues the results and the apprenticeship certificate?

The end-point assessment organisation will issue the results of the assessment components and the overall apprenticeship result. This may be a fail, pass, merit or distinction.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency will issue the apprenticeship certificate to the apprentice.

Who regulates and quality assures end-point assessment?

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is responsible for the quality assurance of end-point assessments.

We are currently in a transition period of external quality assurance for all apprenticeship standards to be under the regulation of Ofqual.

How we can help?

We are dedicated to developing apprenticeships that work for you. As industry specialists we appreciate the challenges faced in this fast-paced industry. As an approved EPAO our dedication to providing an end point assessment service that works for you is just as strong.

If you have unanswered questions, or simply want to talk through the EPA process, please contact us – we’re here to help.

Appoint us today, its easy to do

The first step in the process is to formally appoint Achieve+Partners as the end-point assessment organisation against specific standards. The employer of the apprentice needs to make this appointment.

We have made this process easy and you can appoint us by completing and returning our service level agreement.

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