End Point Assessment doesn’t need to be complicated.
With many training providers and employers yet to experience End Point Assessment firsthand, we’ve put together this guide to answer the questions that our clients have been asking.
We have structured the FAQ under the headings listed below:
Click each heading to skip to that section of the FAQ.
Whether you’re new to End Point Assessment or just looking for a bit of detail, we hope you’ll find the answers that you need on this page. If you still have questions, get in touch and we’ll gladly find the solution for you.
1. What is Apprenticeship End Point Assessment?
End Point Assessment, otherwise known as EPA, is the main assessment process for apprenticeships in England.
EPA is a series of assessments that an apprentice must take at the end of their training. These assessments cover different skill sets to give a complete view of the apprentice’s competency and ability to complete their role.
The assessment forms depend on the apprenticeship “standard” (which means subject) that is being completed.
How does EPA work?
For End Point Assessment you need an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). This is an independent third-party organisation that has approval from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to conduct End Point Assessment.
The EPAO will assign an End Point Assessor to meet with the apprentice at the end of their training. The End Point Assessor will then conduct a series of pre-determined assessments with the apprentice in order to gain a rounded view of their competency. The apprentice must complete these independently.
Once the assessments are complete, the EPAO will combine the results of each assessment into a single grade. Available grades differ by the standard but can include Pass, Merit, Distinction, and Fail.
An apprentice must pass End Point Assessment in order to complete their apprenticeship.
What does EPA cost?
End Point Assessment costs vary by apprenticeship standard. As a rule, the cost should not normally exceed 20% of the upper limit of the funding band for the standard.
Any funding you are entitled to from the Apprenticeship Levy will be made available to you when you register your apprenticeship training. At present, the training provider handles payments to the EPAO. In the future, the ESFA will handle these payments directly.
2. What is the End Point Assessment Process?
To ensure that you receive funding, you must have an “in-principal” agreement with an approved End Point Assessment Organisation at the point that the apprenticeship begins.
- If you use Instructus Skills as your EPAO, we will first register the apprentice on the Apprentice LMS portal and Assessment Edge.
Your EPAO will then be on stand-by whilst the apprentice completes their training.
In the final three months of the training, the apprentice, employer, and training provider will agree to begin Gateway. When the apprentice passes Gateway, they will start End Point Assessment.
Once the apprentice has completed every module of End Point Assessment, the process is complete. The EPAO will score the assessment modules to determine the final grade and notify the employer. Following confirmation of the result, the apprentice will be sent their certificate of completion.
When should I book an EPAO?
You should have an “in-principal” agreement with an ESFA-approved EPAO in place by the beginning of the apprenticeship. This agreement does not have to be a signed contract but should demonstrate that you have made arrangements for the end of your apprentice’s training.
If you start an apprentice on a programme without a named EPAO in place, you will not receive ESFA funding for that training.
What is End Point Assessment Gateway?
When the employer and training provider agree that the apprentice is ready, the training provider will start the Gateway process by submitting the apprentice’s evidence to the End Point Assessor.
The assessor will examine this evidence and consider the apprentice’s development. They will then decide whether the apprentice is ready for End Point Assessment.
If the apprentice passes Gateway, End Point Assessment will begin. If they do not pass Gateway, they can work with their training provider to improve and re-submit their evidence.
How are learners assessed?
End Point Assessors are required to have recent, relevant working experience in the subject (or a closely related subject area) to the Standard which they are assessing.
Our assessors have years of relevant work experience in roles related to the apprenticeships that they assess. This underpins their knowledge of the Standard and ensures they can deliver accurate assessments.
What is Remote Assessment?
Remote Assessment is a flexible, affordable ESFA-approved EPA method. As the name suggests, it takes place online.
By conducting online assessments we reduce both your operational costs and the potential risks of in-house assessment.
Your apprentices will need a secure environment in which to take their assessment. They will also need a computer and an internet connection. We may need your co-operation to ensure fair invigilation.
How are learners graded?
Once the assessment is complete, we will combine the apprentice’s grades to form a final grade. We run this grading through our Internal Quality Assurance process to ensure that the final grade is fair and accurate.
The available passing grades are a Pass, a Merit, and a Distinction. These vary by apprenticeship standard.
You can find grading and weighting criteria in the assessment documentation of each of our standards.
Can a learner retake End Point Assessment?
Should an apprentice fail EPA they can apply for a retake. This will mean they need to re-start the assessment process from the very beginning. If the apprentice has only failed a part of their EPA, they may be able to resit just that assessment.
In either case, the End Point Assessor will outline the available options.
If the total cost of the retake or resit can not be covered by the available funding, the employer will be liable for the difference. This will be subject to VAT.
Can I appeal an End Point Assessment grade?
You can appeal the apprentice’s final grade. The process for doing so will be different for each EPAO.
With Instructus Skills, the appeals process involves a reassessment of the learner’s work using all information submitted to the original End Point Assessor and/or moderator. An appeal hearing will follow.
In the case of a procedural appeal, further investigation may be required in advance of this hearing.
You may appeal if you believe that:
- An incorrect judgement has been made;
- Incorrect processes or procedures have been followed resulting in a detrimental outcome for your learner.
You need to make the basis for your appeal clear at the point of submission.
3. What are the End Point Assessment Modules?
Multiple Choice Questions
Often the first assessment module, the Multiple Choice Questionnaire – sometimes called the Knowledge Test – is a test which the apprentice must complete in a pre-determined amount of time. They must complete this test independently.
As an EPAO Instructus Skills provide Mock Knowledge Tests. These give the apprentice the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the questions and format of the Multiple Choice Questionnaire before their End Point Assessment.
This is a formal conversation between the apprentice and the End Point Assessor. During this discussion, the assessor will ask probing questions about the apprentice’s role and responsibilities. The apprentice can refer to their Portfolio of Evidence for examples and supporting evidence.
For some standards, the apprentice will complete a work-based project during their training. In the Project Presentation, the apprentice will present the purpose and results of this project to the End Point Assessor.
Following the presentation the apprentice will answer questions from the assessor on the project and their findings.
The Professional Observation is for standards that are dependent on the apprentice’s performance in the workplace. This is an observation for a set amount of time in which the End Point Assessor observes the apprentice at work in a non-invasive capacity.
End Point Assessment with Instructus Skills
As an ESFA-approved EPAO, we assess a number of standards. From the start, we set out to create an assessment process that puts apprentices first. We achieve this with flexible scheduling, comprehensive guidance materials, and exceptional client service. And that’s before we mention the ease of our highly-rated Remote Assessment solution.
Working with us makes End Point Assessment easy. Talk to us today to find out how.
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Instructus Skills is a pan-sector body that represents the training needs of over 11 million employees across the UK. From consultations to certification, we ensure that apprenticeships deliver the skilled workers that employers need.