End Point Assessment (EPA) is the name given to a series of tests an apprentice must take to prove their ability to do the job they have been training for. These tests take place at the end of an apprenticeship following a period of training and development often referred to as the ‘on-programme’ period. In some Standard based apprenticeships the on-programme stage may include mandatory requirements, such as supporting qualifications. These must be achieved prior to applying for the EPA.
At this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and training provider, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment.
EPA’s can only be taken a minimum of 12 months after the start of an apprentices training and must be successfully completed before an apprenticeship completion certificate can be issued.
Our EPA Services
FDQ is on the Education and Skills Agency Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations. Find us under code EPA0011. We are approved to deliver end point assessment (EPA) for the following apprenticeship standards:
To find out how FDQ can help with your EPA needs just call us on 0113 3970 395, or alternatively email EPA@fdq.org.uk
What does an EPA involve?
There’s no common format for an EPA; they vary between apprenticeships. All EPA’s are developed from ‘assessment plans’, drawn up by the trailblazer group responsible for the apprenticeship standard. Assessment plans set out the main requirements for the final testing and what methods should be used. As the experts for their respective workforces, employers can determine the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for job roles, and they will be guided on how best to test for occupational competence in their particular industry.
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 in the food industry might involve all or some of the following testing methods:
Who can deliver EPA?
Only approved End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAO) registered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency can deliver End Point Assessments. They can either be awarding organisations, like FDQ, training providers or employers. Without exception all should:
Where does EPA take place?
EPA’s are taken under exam conditions, so 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.
What about grading and certificates?
Unlike the SASE frameworks, the new apprenticeships are graded. Individual grades are decided by the results of End Point Assessment tests. Most are graded at Pass, Fail, Excellence or Distinction. This not only motivates apprentices to reach for the top grades but also allows employers to spot their star performers.
Can an apprentice re-sit their EPA?
If an apprentice fails all or part of their End Point Assessment they are able to resubmit for testing. Re-sits should usually only be arranged after extra training and are chargeable. Exact fees vary from one apprenticeship to another due to the differing type of tests involved.
How much does End Point Assessment cost?
The cost of an EPA is determined by a number of factors, including:
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%.
Why choose FDQ?
We are dedicated to developing food industry qualifications and apprenticeships that work for you. Not just on paper, but in the day to day running of your business. As food industry specialists we appreciate the challenges faced in this fast-paced industry. As educational specialists in the food industry, we also know that effective training is critical for a safe, efficient and productive workforce.
As an approved EPAO our dedication to providing an end point assessment service that works for you is just as strong.
The FDQ Promise:
We promise that our End Point Assessment services will be:
How do I book an EPA?
Training providers approved as centres with FDQ will be able to apply on behalf of the apprentice via the FDQ Awards portal. Non-FDQ centres should contact FDQ directly for further information on how to apply.
Still want to know more?
Any new system is bound to be confusing at first, so if you have unanswered questions, or simply want to talk through the EPA process, please call us – we’re here to help.
Call our friendly staff on: 0113 3970 395
Or email your query to EPA@fdq.org.uk
Owen Smith learning lamb butchery skills at MEAT Ipswich butchery school.
Owen Smith (18) has become our 100th successful EPA candidate. Owen trained for his butchery apprenticeship with MEAT Ipswich, where his trainer, Stuart Davis, said of him,
"Owen is a pleasant and very well mannered young man. Owen has gained confidence throughout his apprenticeship and has applied his learning to practical situations at his place of work, enabling him to adapt certain practices to suit the needs of the company. "
Originally studying for ‘A’ levels, Owen realised the academic route wasn’t for him, so applied for an apprentice butcher job with Ansell and Sons in Maldon, Essex. Though at first he struggled working a 39 hour week he enjoyed the butchery training, especially as he was being paid to learn! Since completing his butchery apprenticeship and end-point assessment he has become an integral part of the team. He loves interacting with people and feels he learns something new every day.
Now more than ever apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new people into your team, or developing the skills of existing staff. On 1st April employer contributions were halved from 10% to 5%. This means the Government funds 95% of the apprenticeship training costs. In some circumstances 100% of training costs are covered. Talk to one of our friendly team to find out more.Read more
FDQ reach end-point assessment milestoneRead more
The achievements of apprentices, their training providers and employers were celebrated on the 21st February at the IoM annual prize-giving, at The Painters Hall, London.