As one of the assessment methods for End-Point Assessment, a portfolio assessment is often part of this process. Most of these are carried out online, via the form of an e-portfolio. So you would imagine that lockdown hasn’t really affected this process. Unfortunately, that is not quite the case. We are going to look into what is happening, and how unnecessary delays with EPA can be avoided.
Towards the start of lockdown, way back in March, we discussed the new assessment flexibilities introduced to allow apprenticeships to continue with the new restrictions in place. There was lots of discussion and debate about the specifics of these flexibilities. This did cause some confusion to begin with. That, combined with the fact that many apprenticeship providers had to furlough some of their administrative staff, has led to a knowledge gap when it comes to EPA processes.
At the moment, some End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs), and End-Point Assessors are struggling to access the e-portfolios of their apprentices. With many normal contacts away from work on furlough, there has been a distinct lack of handover to other members of the team who are still at work. As many staff are working from home, this has also led to a lack of communication. There may even be a gap in the knowledge of those who are still working on a regular basis.
How To Avoid Delays
One of the main ways that these delays could have been avoided is by ensuring a clear handover process of work within EPAOs. Handover documents should always be created in the eventuality that a member of staff has to suddenly leave. So, this is no different. By having a clear, fully documented process flow this should remove any unnecessary confusion, reducing the delays with End-Point Assessors being unable to access the e-portfolios.
It is really important that timely access is given to e-portfolios. This allows the End-Point Assessor to review the portfolio before any live assessments take place. Any issues with the e-portfolio can then be quickly picked up and addressed. Interviews or professional discussions can also be properly planned in advance. This planning process also means that the apprentice has the best opportunity possible; they can showcase their understanding and skills acquired during the apprentice.
It Helps Everyone
A smooth process means both the EPAO and the End-Point Assessor are able to progress the apprentice on more quickly. It is essential to give early access to the e-portfolio stage either as part of the Gateway process, or once an End-Point Assessor has been allocated.
If you would like any further information about how the End-Point Assessment process works, please get in touch with the team at Brooks and Kirk who will be able to talk you through this. We are contactable via phone (01205 805 155), or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).