End Point Assessment

End Point Assessment

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.

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 Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAO’s) 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:

  1. Be impartial – assessment organisations and their assessors must be independent of, and separate to the training provider and employer. This is to avoid bias, by ensuring that neither have anything to gain from the outcome of the EPA
  2. Feature on the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RAAO). This is the list maintained by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and is the ONLY register an AAO needs to be on to provide End Point Assessment services
  3. Underpin their EPA services with independent quality assurance. This gives employers confidence in their ability to deliver End Point Assessment professionally and also protects the interests of the learner
  4. Have relevant occupational experience of the apprenticeship standard

 

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 on a further two occasions. 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 have dedicated our last 16 years 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 AAO 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 fdq@fdq.org.uk

 

We are delighted to launch our End Point Assessment services to the industry.

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