Myths and Misconceptions of End-Point Assessment

Myths and Misconceptions of End-Point Assessment

With the rise of End-Point Assessment over the past couple of years, a lot of misconceptions have popped up along the way. So, we want to clear up these myths and misconceptions so that we can all be on the same page when talking all things EPA!

myths and misconceptions of end-point assessment


Does the Level 3 EPA Award Qualify me work in End-Point Assessment?

In short, no.

The Level 3 Award in Understanding End-Point Assessment was developed by the awarding body and End-Point Assessment Organisation, Highfield. They are the only awarding body that offer this qualification and the only EPAO to require Independent End-Point Assessors (IEPAs) to hold this qualification…

The vast majority of End-Point Assessment Organisations will instead require require you to hold an industry standard assessor qualification; like the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (or equivalent).


Is End-Point Assessment replacing Internal Quality Assurance?

No, absolutely not.

Internal Quality Assurance is certainly still a necessity and it will not be replaced by End-Point Assessment. They are two completely different roles.

An IQA’s main responsibility is to quality check assessment decisions on learners completing qualifications. Whereas an IEPA is mainly responsible for carrying out assessments on an apprentice to determine whether or not they have passed their apprenticeship.


Do I need an IQA qualification to be an End-Point Assessor?

It’s certainly advisory, but it’s not actually an ‘across-the-board’ requirement.

It completely depends on two things; the requirements specified by the employer (EPAO) and the requirements set out in the assessment plan.

Some employers will just want you to have the Assessor qualification (CAVA), whilst some will also require you to have an IQA qualification as well. Furthermore, some Apprenticeships’ assessment plans specify that the IEPA must hold an IQA qualification, like the Level 3 Business Administrator.


Why can’t I find the End-Point assessment for an NVQ?

The reason you won’t be able to find an End-Point Assessment for any NVQs is because End-Point Assessments only happen in Apprenticeships. So you won’t find EPAs anywhere else. 

You can, however, find the End-Point Assessments for any Apprenticeship on the Institute for Apprenticeships website


Do I need to have experience in assessing before becoming an End-Point Assessor?

Nope. You don’t need experience in assessing before becoming an End-Point Assessor.

Unlike a lot of traditional assessor jobs where you find phrases like “experience in assessing required“, most IEPA positions are not as focused on the requirement for assessing experience. Instead, most EPAOs are far more concerned about prospective assessors having ‘current’ occupational experience. 

The End-Point Assessment Organisations we work closely with look for individuals who are even still working in their industry, or at least were up until very recently and then just get them to do the CAVA qualification. This then gives EPAOs the best of both worlds; a qualified assessor who has extensive and up-to-date knowledge and experience in their sector.


 

If there’s anything else you need to know about End-Point Assessment, take a look at our End-Point Assessment Knowledgebase

Why On-Programme Assessors Need To Know About EPA

Why On-Programme Assessors Need To Know About EPA

End-Point Assessment is a huge part of the Apprenticeship and Assessing worlds. If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, you should know quite a lot about EPA by now. You may think that as you don’t want to be an End-Point Assessor, you don’t need to know about it. We believe otherwise. Any Assessor – including On-Programme Assessors – involved with Apprenticeships, in any way, need to know as much as possible about EPA.

end-point-assessment


On-Programme Assessors

As an On-Programme Assessor, it’s ideal that you know about End-Point Assessment. Whilst you won’t be taking your Apprentice through their actual EPA, you still need to have as much knowledge as possible about it. Your Apprentice will likely have a lot of questions about the EPA and you need to be able to support them and answer these questions.

Your candidates that are going through their Apprenticeships may also find it beneficial to have Mock End-Point Assessments. There’s no issue with the Mock EPA being conducted by yourself as the On-Programme Assessor; but it is obviously vital that you have the correct, up-to-date knowledge in order to prepare them efficiently. 

It would be especially beneficial for you to have EPA Knowledge if the company you are working for is on the register of End-Point Assessment Organisations. If this is the case, you need to know your stuff. Plus you never know; your employer might give you the opportunity to carry out an EPA – and it might be something you want to carry on doing. 

On the whole, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have the knowledge. It can open doors to many other opportunities in your career.


How Can I Gain The Knowledge?

Now, the number one way we would recommend to get to grips with End-Point Assessment is our Workshop. It doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have in assessment; if you agree that having End-Point Assessment knowledge would benefit you, this workshop is perfect for you. We designed our comprehensive workshop to give anyone the opportunity to learn all there is to know about EPA, and put EPA skills into practice. Oh and best of all – it’s just a one day workshop. So there’s no work you need to do prior to or after attending. Phew.

If you are interested please take a look at our next End-Point Assessment Workshop. The locations and dates of our EPA Workshop vary, so if the date/location isn’t right for you there’s a good possibility there will be in the future.


For any further questions you may have about End-Point Assessment, please take a look at our EPA Knowledgebase Page.

How to Gain Experience as a Newly Qualified Assessor

How to Gain Experience as a Newly Qualified Assessor

If you’re thinking about becoming an Assessor or already are a newly qualified Assessor, chances are, you’ve been looking at what kind of job opportunities there are. Much like any other jobs, some vacancies may ask for ‘experience’.

Having ‘experience’ as a requirement for a job as an Assessor can be seen as unfair for some. How can a newly qualified Assessor gain experience if they need the experience to get a job in the first place?! If you are having this issue there are options available for you to explore.


Shadow an Assessor

This would involve you in observing another Assessor carrying out their day-to-day job. This Assessor would need to be qualified. It would be most ideal to be watching the Assessor actually carrying out assessments with their learner. You wouldn’t be required to do or say anything as the shadower you are simply watching and taking notes.

Whilst this is volunteer experience and therefore unpaid, shadowing is a great way to get your foot in the door. It will also get some well-needed experience under your belt. It’s great for newly qualified assessors and will maximise your chances of getting an Assessing job, so it’s definitely worthwhile!

Plenty of training organisations and/or local colleges are happy to allow newly qualified Assessors to shadow their Assessors; mainly because it doesn’t cost them anything. So all you would need to do is approach these types of companies. Another thing to consider is if you have any family or friends that work in Further Education; have a chat with them and see if they can help you out with any shadowing opportunities. Even consider asking your connections on LinkedIn.

( Sorry because of the way we deliver our courses we are not able to offer shadowing opportunities.)

End Point Assessment

Another route you could try is End Point Assessment. End Point Assessors (EPA’s) are the people who do the final checks to ensure that an apprentice has passed their apprenticeship. This is a different job to being an assessor and is in huge demand at the moment. Have a quick search for End Point Assessor jobs and you will see what I mean.

To be an EPA you need three things;

  1. A recognised Assessor such as the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.
  2. .Occupational competence in the relevant sector.
  3. An appropriate occupational qualification.

Within EPA your occupational competence is far more important than your assessing experience. In most cases just having the assessor qualification is enough. This makes it an ideal job for a newly qualified assessor who has worked in their sector for a number of years.

What skills a newly qualified assessor will need to be an EPA

There are a few new skills that you need to have to be an EPA if you area newly qualified assessor but you can learn these quite quickly. Until recently there was no easy way of learning these new skills. That is why we have started running a series of EPA Workshops

In our EPA workshops, you learn all the new skills you will need to be an EPA and get the opportunity to put them into practice. Importantly it also counts as a full day of CPD. Our next workshop is in Manchester on the 11th October but please be aware they do book up very fast so you will need to be quick if you want to get on it.

If you like the idea of being an End Point Assessor take a look at our End Point Assessment Knowledgebase which has a lot more information for you to read through.


And one final point. Even if a job advert does ask for experience, don’t let it put you off from applying. Put yourself forward for jobs regardless of their expectations of your experience – it won’t hurt! There are employers out there that will still consider hiring you even if you don’t have much experience.

You may also like to read;

6 Top Tips for newly qualified assessors.

The importance of LinkedIn for newly qualified assessors

 

 

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!)