Managing an Apprentice's End Point Assessment: How to get it right!
End Point Assessment refers to the test which takes place at the end of an apprenticeship to assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours (or KSBs) learned by an apprentice, confirming completion of their learning journey. This is what the apprentice has been working towards and the End Point Assessment is the ultimate way of determining whether the apprentice is occupationally competent.
In this article we will be looking at the process of End Point Assessment and how to select an End Point Assessment Organisation, as well as how to decide when a learner is ready for assessment.
How do I find an End Point Assessment Organisation?
Once an employer has chosen a suitable apprentice candidate and selected an apprenticeship standard (the training) and a training provider to deliver this, they must then select an End Point Assessment Organisation (or EPAO for short). An EPAO is an independent body, separate to the employer and the training provider, that conducts the End Point Assessment and EPAOs exist to ensure that apprentices are assessed objectively and impartially.
Finding a registered End Point Assessment Organisation should not be difficult, but it does need to be done before the apprenticeship begins. Click here to find an EPAO on the approved list of registered End Point Assessment Organisations.
Once the employer has selected an EPAO, the provider will need to check that the EPAO is ready to offer the EPA, confirm the fees and procedures, and complete registration if necessary. The fee for the EPA is currently paid to the EPAO by the training provider on behalf of the employer. It is worth noting that some EPAOs will do a deal on EPA fees particularly where there is a volume of apprentices to be assessed. There is around a 10 to 12-week lead-in time after an apprentice is booked for EPA before the first test takes place and the training provider must carefully check the apprentice's eligibility criteria, their ID authentication requirements and provide copies of any relevant certificates, for example in maths and English, well in advance of the test date.
Knowing what to expect of your EPAO is key and many organisations publish details of their EPA process online. It's important that you familiarise yourself with the process and ask questions of the EPAO to make sure you are happy with the service they will provide. Remember, the final assessment and qualification of your apprentice is in their hands; assuming the apprentice passes EPA, the EPAO will determine the grade and apply for the certificate for the apprentice.
How Can I Be Sure an Apprentice is Ready for their EPA?
An apprentice can only be put forward for the End Point Assessment when they have completed their formative training. Once this has happened, the employer, training provider and the apprentice together should assess the progress the apprentice has made before deciding whether the apprentice is ready – it’s important at this stage not to put the apprentice forward prematurely, as aside from the financial implications (there is a fee for each EPA) this could knock the apprentice’s confidence and demotivate them going forward. An apprentice should only be considered for End Point Assessment once they have mastered all of their KSBs and can evidence this through a portfolio of work – this is often referred to as the e-portfolio. Evidencing attainment of each of the KSBs can be difficult to measure and report on, which is why some apprentices end up sitting their EPA at an inappropriate time in their apprenticeship journey.
How Does Rubitek Help?
Rubitek provides a complete apprenticeship management solution that evidences which of the knowledge, skills and behaviours an apprentice has completed and which are still outstanding. The platform highlights at a glance which apprentices are ready for EPA and compiles a portfolio of evidence for each learner being assessed which can be provided to the EPAO. Rubitek Core tracks every apprentice’s progress in line with their stage of apprenticeship, allowing you to provide extra attention when needed and make more timely and less costly End Point Assessment decisions.
Training providers can export each apprentice’s evidence portfolio directly from the Rubitek Core apprenticeship management software – this includes all of the signed off evidence activities, each including the details of which KSBs have been demonstrated in each submission, in a format that can be submitted to the End Point Assessment Organisation to facilitate a smoother EPA experience for everyone involved.
To find out more about how Rubitek can benefit you and your apprentices, get in touch with us on 0330 133 0540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.