The EPA Workshop in London | July 2019

The EPA Workshop in London | July 2019

We held our first End-Point Assessment Workshop in London just under a couple of weeks ago (19th July 2019) and we’re proud to say, it was a great success!

Over 40 people attended our workshop, to learn all there is to know about EPA and put those all important EPA-specific skills into practice. These attendees were experienced in a variety of sectors; to name just a few, there were individuals experienced in: Health and Social Care, Engineering, Management, Customer Services, Banking, Beauty… The list goes on and on.

Anyway, here’s how The EPA Workshop in London panned out…


Brooks and Kirk’s EPA Workshop

Brooks and Kirk EPA Workshop

Our End-Point Assessment Workshop covers all of the aspects of End-Point Assessment that you, as the assessor, need to understand; from Assessment Plans and Apprenticeship Standards, through to grading assessments and standardisation. Not only that, but attendees get the opportunity to network with an End-Point Assessment Organisation actively recruiting as well as with other Assessors, IQAs and professionals. 

But before we even touched on End-Point Assessment, we got the EPA Workshop in London underway by telling everyone who we are and what we do. That looked something like this…

After the introductions were done and dusted, it was time to start talking EPA.

EPA Overview

Anyone who attended one of our Getting Started with EPA webinars would have been familiar with a thing or two after the intros.

With some delegates having years of experience in assessing, others having just started their journey to becoming an assessor and some currently working as apprenticeship assessors, it’s safe to say we had a mixed bag when it came to experience in assessment. So we made it our priority to make sure everyone was on the same page from the get go. To do this, we took a moment to discuss what has changed in Apprenticeships over the past few years.

This lead us nicely on to End-Point Assessments; and in particular, who delivers them. That’s where our headline sponsor, NOCN came in. 

End-Point Assessment Organisations

We delivered the EPA Workshop in London in partnership with NOCN. NOCN are an industry leading End-Point Assessment Organisation.

So who better to talk about EPAOs, than an EPAO themselves? 

nocn talking epaos brooks and kirk epa workshop

What happened next?

There is a good chunk of the day between discussing EPAOs and carrying our mock End-Point Assessments that we aren’t going to tell you about. Why? Well, if you are that keen to find out more about EPA, maybe you should book your place at the next EPA Workshop. Otherwise, it’s only for the eyes and ears of those that come along!

Anyway, back to the EPA Workshop in London…

Mock End-Point Assessment

Throughout the workshop, delegates have the opportunity to get involved with plenty of activities. Which is handy because let’s be honest, no body enjoys a ‘death by powerpoint’ kind of event! But the most important of all, is a mock End-Point Assessment. 

The mock EPA gives everybody the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of an Independent End-Point Assessor. Here’s a quick snapshot of one of those mock EPAs taking place; and as you can see everyone was hard at work!

Oh and there wasn’t just one mock EPA, but three!

As you can see from the image below, two of our attendees kindly volunteered to take part in an Interview as part of one of the mock EPAs. Meanwhile, the rest of the room took notes and used our fancy interactive voting system to grade the ‘candidate’ on their performance.

mock end point assessment brooks and kirk epa workshop

Next EPA Workshop

If you think that this sounds like a CPD event you could benefit from attending, then head over to our EPA Workshop information page to find out when and where the next workshop is running.

Please bear in mind: The EPA Workshop is a Brooks and Kirk exclusive national event. So don’t hold back on booking a place because you would like a workshop closer to you. We have individuals travel from all over the country to attend these events, because you won’t find them anywhere else.

Alternatively, if you’d like to hear what delegates from the EPA Workshop in London had to say about this event before booking on, here’s a taste of some of the feedback we received.

Feedback from Attendees

By the end of the day, all of our wonderful attendees left with a much better understanding of End-Point Assessment and a certificate to prove it. This certificate also happened to count for 6.5 hours of CPD; making for a very useful addition to their CPD records. All we could do then was hope that everyone had enjoyed the day as much as they appeared to have. Cue the results from the feedback survey…

Would you recommend the EPA Workshop to others interested in EPA?

Yes
NO

Did you find the pace of the workshop suitable for you?

Yes
NO
Comments
Eva | Early Years

I now have a clear understanding of what the role of an EPA is. It was great to get to see how it is done in practice. I found it was also a wonderful networking opportunity! Thank you, I had a great day. Once again high quality training from Brooks and Kirk as expected!

Sally | Cabin Crew

Many thanks to all the facilitators today. The workshop was very well planned and executed. The participant’s contributions were always valued. Very positive experience. Thank you for an interesting day.

Pat | Business Management

The workshop was extremely informative and covered thoroughly all the questions and mysteries of EPA. I’ve certainly taken away a huge amount of information most of which I will be able to use in my existing role as it evolves over time. Thank you.

Pete | Project Management

Good workshop, provided the clarity of the EPA that I was looking for. Case study provided a good insight into some of the challenges of assessing.

Who do End-Point Assessors work for?

Who do End-Point Assessors work for?

Unlike traditional NVQ assessor positions, if you want to find End-Point Assessor jobs, you can’t just go to any old college or training provider. Instead, you will need to go to specialist organisations that have been approved to deliver End-Point Assessments…


Who do End-Point Assessors work for?

At this moment in time, there are organisations all over the UK that are offering End-Point Assessor jobs; from professional bodies, to awarding bodies, to training providers. But they do all have one ‘name’ in common…

End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs). EPAOs have all gone through the government’s application process and have been approved to offer End-Point Assessments.

These organisations can vary significantly; both in terms of the amount of apprenticeships they are approved to offer and their geographical coverage. So if you’re in the market for End-Point Assessor jobs, you need to find EPAOs that:

  • Are approved to facilitate EPAs in apprenticeship standard(s) you are competent in;
  • Will take on apprentices in geographical areas you can cover.

Less is More

I can guarantee you that there isn’t as many EPAOs as you may think there is as well. As of 1st August 2019, there were 245 approved End-Point Assessment Organisations. When you consider that between them, they need to cover every single apprenticeship standard across the country… 245 isn’t a massive number.

But in the long term, having a relatively small amount of End-Point Assessment Organisations will make it easier to standardise End-Point Assessment across the board. So in fact, in many ways ‘less is more’ when it comes to End-Point Assessment Organisations.

Tell me more about EPAOs

So, now you know who Independent End-Point Assessors work for, what’s next? Well, it all depends on what you are looking for now… 

For those of you who want to learn more about EPAOs, take a look at who End-Point Assessment Organisations are and what they do

Alternatively, if you are job hungry, here’s how to find End-Point Assessment Organisations

How can I find End-Point Assessment Organisations?

How can I find End-Point Assessment Organisations?

You could try searching for them one by one online. However, given that there are around 250 of them, it may take you a while.

Wouldn’t it be much better if there was just a list of EPAOs that you could filter, so that you could easily find the ones that are relevant to you? Well, there is and you can – thanks to the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations.


How to find End-Point Assessment Organisations

Prospective Independent Assessors can use the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations to find EPAOs that are suitable for them.

Admittedly, the register wasn’t developed and made publicly available for this purpose. It is actually more for employers who are looking to find an assessment organisation to facilitate the EPA for their apprentice(s). Using the information provided on the register, employers can choose any organisation that’s listed against the respective Apprenticeship Standard for which their apprentice is completing.

But anyway, enough about employers and how they can use the register. In this post, we are focused on how you,  a prospective Independent Assessor, can use the register to find an End-Point Assessment Organisation.

The Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations

To find EPAOs that deliver End-Point Assessments in apprenticeships you are competent in, you need to follow a 2-part process. However, you only need to do Part 1, if you don’t know the exact name of the apprenticeships you are interested in.

Part 1
  1. Go to the List of Apprenticeship Standards on the IfA website;
  2. Using the ‘Keywords’ filter tool, type in a word that best describes the area you are occupationally competent in;
  3. Identify which apprenticeships are relevant to you by clicking on them and reading the ‘overview of the role’ section at the top;
  4. Copy the name of the apprenticeship (i.e. ‘Teaching Assistant’, ‘Steel Fixer’, ‘Adult Care Worker’ etc.).

Now you are ready for part 2.

Part 2

Just so you know, it is ideal to be on a desktop device with Microsoft Excel to do the following;

  1. Go to the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations page on the gov.uk site;
  2. Look for the grey box (like the one below) and click on the link to the register;screenshot text about register end point assessment organisations
  3. Open the ‘Find and Replace’ function by pressing ‘Ctrl + f’;
  4. Paste in the name of the apprenticeship and just keep clicking ‘Next’ to identify all of the EPAOs on that list that deliver that EPA.

And that is how you find End-Point Assessment Organisations!

There is one final point that you need to be aware of however. Hardly a day goes by where one EPAO or another isn’t applying to add another apprenticeship standard to their list. So, don’t treat the information on that register as ‘final’; there’s a good chance it may not be absolutely up to date.

How do I find an Assessment Plan?

How do I find an Assessment Plan?

So by now, you know that all of the information for specific End-Point Assessments comes from; the Apprenticeship Standards, and the Assessment Plan. You might be thinking ‘how do I find an Assessment Plan?!’ It’s pretty straightforward actually, but we’ll take you through a step-by-step process to finding one relevant to you.


Step 1 – Google Search

So first you need to go onto Google (or whatever search engine you use; Bing, Yahoo…) and type in ‘Institute for Apprenticeships’.

From here, you’ll need to click on their website; Institute for Apprenticeships.

Step 2 – Search for an Apprenticeship

You’ll then need to click on ‘Apprenticeship Standards’ at the top of the home page.

It will lead you to a page that looks like this;

Now you’ll need to find an Apprenticeship that you would be competent to assess in. You can see from the screenshot above that 3/4 of these qualifications have been ‘Approved for Delivery’. This box will need to be ticked on the Apprenticeship you’re looking for.

So once you’ve found the desired Apprenticeship, click on it!

Step 3 – Accessing the Assessment Plan

When you’ve clicked on the Apprenticeship (in our example, we’ve used an Early Years Educator) you’ll find the Apprenticeship Standards. Not quite what you’re looking for – but we’re getting there!

On the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll find a variety of options (you may need to scroll down, and if you’re on mobile, they will be at the bottom of your screen). These options look like this:

assessment-plan-boxes

All you need to do is find and click on the box that says ‘Assessment Plan’ and bingo – you’ve got it!


That’s the three easy steps you need to take to find an Assessment Plan. Of course, if you find maybe that Apprenticeship isn’t right for you to be assessing, then just start the process again from Step 2.

Where can I find information on specific End-Point Assessments?

Where can I find information on specific End-Point Assessments?

No two End-Point Assessments are the same – they all have their differences, depending on their level and their sector. And, since the Apprenticeship reform, every Apprenticeship has two vital documents. In order to find out what the requirements are and what’s involved for specific EPAs, you’ll need to know what those documents are. So we have:

  1. The Apprenticeship Standard
  2. The Assessment Plan

Now, it’s important to note here that the EPA Assessment Plan is completely different to any other regular assessment plan you may have created during your time as an Assessor. We’ll go more into this shortly, but first, we’ll explain what an Apprenticeship Standard is.


What is an Apprenticeship Standard?

An Apprenticeship Standard contains all of the Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours (KSBs) the Apprentice needs to have met during their Apprenticeship. It will also state;

  • The duration of the Apprenticeship;
  • The level of the Apprenticeship;
  • Any qualifications needed beforehand; for example, Maths and English;
  • Career progression opportunities;

Here’s an example of the Business Administrator Apprenticeship Standards. The Apprenticeship Standards are then used to create the Assessment Plan…


What is an Assessment Plan?

The Assessment Plan for an Apprenticeship is the document that pretty much works as a specification for an End-Point Assessment.

Some would say it’s like a guide for the End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) to use, that shows all the assessment methods they need to carry out with their Apprentice during the EPA. You as the End-Point Assessor would not create this document, it is created by an Awarding Body. This is why we mentioned previously about the EPA Assessment Plans being completely different. 

So, going back to the lines of Business Administration for an example, this sector’s Level 3 Assessment Plan includes a Knowledge Test, a Portfolio-based Interview, and a Project Presentation. The Assessment Plan will include all the details on how long should be spent on each assessment method, what KSBs each method is evidencing, and the grading scale. 

The Apprentice must pass each assessment that has been set in the assessment plan, in order to become qualified.


So now you know exactly where you can find the information on the requirements and what’s involved for certain EPAs; within the Apprenticeship Standard and the Assessment Plan! 

End-Point Assessment in 60 Seconds

End-Point Assessment in 60 Seconds

EPA-in-60-seconds

End-Point Assessment is something fairly new to hit the Assessing world. When we say fairly, we mean about 2 years. End-Point Assessment (EPA for short) is a number of assessments an Apprentice takes at the end of their Apprenticeship, to confirm their occupational competence. But wouldn’t it be great if you could gather everything you need to know about EPA in 60 seconds?

Yes, yes it would. So, because all the nitty-gritty details of EPA can be quite hard to explain, we decided to create some videos for you all. Each and every one of these videos has been designed to explain the different aspects of EPA, in just 60 seconds (per subject). We’ve started this series off with ‘What is End-Point Assessment’, which is obviously a great starting point if you’re just starting to look into EPA.

EPA in 60 seconds

If you want to take a look at the videos, just follow the links below on your preferred site, sit back, and enjoy.

Vimeo

YouTube

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Vimeo/YouTube channel so you can stay up to date with our videos, and keep an eye out for the next one in the series.

Oh, and before we forget, we’ve also started running EPA related Webinars! They’ve been a real hit so far, so if you’re interested find out more about our Live and On-Demand EPA Webinars.

What do I need to Become an Independent End-Point Assessor?

What do I need to Become an Independent End-Point Assessor?

Interested in becoming an Independent End-Point Assessor? Well, come the end of this post, you will know what you need or at least where you can find out exactly what you need.


What do I need to become an Independent End-Point Assessor?

To become an Independent End-Point Assessor, you will certainly need:

  • A certain amount of experience working within your area of expertise;
  • A valid assessor qualification.

There is also a good chance that you will need:

  • An IQA Qualification;
  • A relevant vocational qualification to back up your industry experience.

But to be perfectly honest, there isn’t a ‘one shoe fits all‘ answer to this question. Simply because the requirements for IEPAs often vary based on two things;

  1. The Apprenticeships you would be competent to offer End-Point Assessments in;
  2. The End-Point Assessment Organisation themselves (These are the companies that have been approved to offer EPAs).

All that being said, to answer that question for you; if you don’t hold a valid assessor qualification, you will need to get one in order to become an IEPA. Likewise, if you don’t hold an IQA qualification, adding one to your CV will also stand you in good stead when it comes to applying for IEPA roles.

Which assessor qualification do I need?

Ideally, you need the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). This is the most current and highly regarded assessor qualification.

The CAVA course would qualify you to carry out both knowledge-based and competency-based assessments. These are fundamental skills for Independent End-Point Assessors.

Which IQA qualification do I need?

There are 3 Internal Quality Assurance Qualifications. The one that you should look to add to your qualification armoury is, the Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices

Qualifying as an IQA can be hugely beneficial for helping you to become a better assessor effectively. By understanding assessment from a quality assurance perspective, it can help to improve skills like time management and holistic assessment. Both of which are crucial for anyone looking to become an Independent End-Point Assessor. 

But, where can I find out ‘exactly’ what I need to become an IEPA?

To find this out, you would need to have a look at the relevant ‘Assessment Plan’.

In the context of Apprenticeships, an Assessment Plan details everything there is to know about the EPA, including the requirements IEPAs must meet. So all you need to do, is find the Apprenticeship(s) you believe you will be competent in. From there you can find the Assessment Plan for the respective Apprenticeship and consequently, the requirements you would need to meet.

The ‘How do I find an Assessment Plan‘ section on our EPA Knowledgebase should prove useful if you’d like to find the Assessment Plans relevant to you.

Of course, if you were really interested in becoming an End-Point Assessor, you’ll definitely find our End-Point Assessment Workshop useful! (Plus it’s a great day of CPD!)

What does an End-Point Assessment involve?

What does an End-Point Assessment involve?

An End-Point Assessment involves a variety of assessment methods; each of which will be one-off assessments. Generally speaking, most End-Point Assessments involve 2 or 3 of these assessments.

But as for the EPAs you could be delivering… Well, the answer to that question could be different for each and every apprenticeship.


What does an End-Point Assessment involve?

See the thing is, the End-Point Assessment is different for each Apprenticeship Standard. So to provide you with a more detailed answer to the question, “What does an End-Point Assessment involve?“, you need to identify the Apprenticeships you would be competent to assess in. Once you know which Apprenticeships you are interested in becoming an Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA) for, you can have a look at the EPA holy grail, the ‘Assessment Plan’.

Assessment Plans

For those of you who already have experience in assessment, this isn’t an assessment plan as you know it. In the context of EPA, the Assessment Plan is more like a specification for a qualification. It covers everything that the relevant End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) needs to know about an EPA to deliver it. But most importantly, for you as a prospective IEPA, the Assessment Plan details what assessment methods are used and what the requirements are for each. 

Just in case you are curious, we tell you where to find an assessment plan in our EPA Knowledgebase.

Here’s a bit of an End-Point Assessment taster for you; below are a few Apprenticeship Standards along with what their EPA’s involve.

The Level 3 Business Administration EPA involves a:

  • 60 minute Multiple Choice Test
  • 30-45 minute Portfolio-based Interview
  • 20-30 minute Presentation

However, the Level 4 Children, Young People & Families Practitioner EPA involves a:

  • 80 – 90 minute Observation of Practice
  • 55 – 60 minute Competence Interview

Whilst, the Level 2 Autocare Technician EPA on the other hand, involves:

  • 2 x Knowledge Assessments
    • 1 x 60 minute Multiple Choice Questions
    • 1 x 45 minute Alternate Format Questions
  • a one day Practical Observation (with pre-set tasks)
  • a 60 minute Professional Review (structured discussion)

So as you can see, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer.

Weighting

We’re not going to go into too much detail on weighting in this post, but it’s good to know the basics.

Each assessment within the EPA counts for a certain percentage of the overall grade. So for example, a written exam may count for 30% of the overall grade, whilst an observation may make up the remaining 70%. This is important to know because even though there may be 3 or 4 assessments involved in an EPA, some will carry more weight than others.

All that being said, the apprentice must still achieve a pass on every assessment in order to pass their Apprenticeship.


Do you still have more EPA questions? Not a problem, our EPA Knoweldgebase should have you covered!

Can an End-Point Assessor assess other parts of an Apprenticeship?

Can an End-Point Assessor assess other parts of an Apprenticeship?

In short, no. As an End-Point Assessor, you cannot assess other parts of an Apprenticeship – not for the same candidate, anyway. But you could for other apprentices. Let us explain…


What assessor roles are open to me as an IEPA?

Should you be qualified to work as an Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA), the chances are, you will also be qualified to assess learners completing their NVQs, be that as part of an apprenticeship or not. So to be honest, if you did get work as an IEPA, there’d be a good chance you could assess learners completing their NVQs in that area as well. 

However, you cannot assess an apprentice during the ‘on-programme’ phase of their Apprenticeship, if you are delivering the EPA. This is because the Assessor who carries out the EPA needs to be independent; hence their name, ‘Independent‘ End-Point Assessors. Prior to the End-Point Assessment, the IEPA must not have had any contact with the apprentice whatsoever.

But, this doesn’t completely rule you out of assessing apprenticeships. Whilst you can’t assess other parts of an Apprenticeship for the same candidate you are carrying out the EPA on, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it for other candidates. Basically, you can assess an Apprentice through their Apprenticeship as long as you aren’t also the IEPA. As we mentioned above, the reason for this is that the IEPA can’t have assessed or trained candidate in question at any point during their apprenticeship.

Freelance or Full-Time?

So as you may have gathered, as an End-Point Assessor, you can still work as an NVQ Assessor as well. This is providing you are only working as a freelance Independent Assessor. To begin with, the majority of positions that were being advertised for IEPAs were freelance. However now, we are seeing more and more full-time opportunities cropping up.

As End-Point Assessments really start to come into fruition, we anticipate there to be an increase in the demand for both; freelance and full-time IEPAs. Something worth bearing in mind over the next couple of years! But remember, if you want to be able to assess NVQs as well as EPAs, you’d need to keep a look out for the freelance positions.


All that being said, it’s unlikely any of those roles will be open to you without an assessor qualification. So if you haven’t got one already, the CAVA Course is your starting point.

What is the purpose of an End-Point Assessment?

What is the purpose of an End-Point Assessment?

So, you know what End-Point Assessment is. However now, you’re just not entirely sure on what the purpose of EPA is exactly? Well, we can help.


What is the purpose of an End-Point Assessment?

To put it simply, the main purpose of an End-Point Assessment is to make sure that an Apprentice is fully competent to carry out their job. If you want to understand how the End-Point Assessment confirms an apprentice’s competency, then you’re going to need to know about K-S-Bs.

K-S-Bs stands for Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours. Every Apprenticeship Standard lists the K-S-Bs that an Apprentice must demonstrate in order to be deemed occupationally competent. That is where the End-Point Assessment comes in.

End-Point Assessments have been developed to test whether an Apprentice has learned all of the necessary K-S-Bs during their Apprenticeship. Obviously, if they have, then they’re competent. Happy days! However if the Independent End-Point Assessor believes that the apprentice hasn’t hit all of the K-S-Bs, then they fail their EPA because they’re not fully competent yet.

That being said, the apprentice does always get the opportunity to retake the EPA. Because let’s be honest, we all have our off days.

having bad day gif

It’s not necessarily just a case of pass or fail either. This is where the secondary purpose of an End-Point Assessment comes in. As an IEPA, you would be required to grade the apprentice based on their performance in the EPA. The grading scale can change from one apprenticeship to another. However in most cases, the three options are: fail, pass or distinction. You will find some apprenticeships are just pass or fail. Whilst others include ‘merit‘ as a possible type of pass as well. 

So, not only does the EPA confirm that an apprentice is competent, but it also confirms the extent of their competence.


Important to remember…

The Apprentice must do their EPA and must achieve a minimum of a ‘pass’ on every assessment within the EPA. Until they do, they can’t get their Apprenticeship certificate and they won’t technically be seen as ‘occupationally competent’.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the purpose of EPA.