What is TAQA?

What is TAQA?

What is TAQA? A lot of people are confused by the term. Is it a qualification? A course?

TAQA is an umbrella term. It stands for Training, Assessment, and Quality Assurance. It’s the name of a suite of qualifications, but it’s not a course itself. In the rest of this post, we’ll go through each of these qualifications in this suite and who they’re for.

T – Training

Education and Training Qualifications

Under the Training section of this suite we have the Education and Training qualifications;

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training, formerly known as PTLLS, is the qualification you will need if you are looking at getting into teaching or training in the Further Education sector.

And, the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training, formerly known as CTLLS, which is for those of you who are currently working in an educational setting and want to get to the next level in your teaching career.

A – Assessment

Assessor Qualifications

Under the Assessment section, we have four Assessor qualifications: UPPA, AVRA, ACWE, and CAVA.

These four qualifications each comprise a different combination of the following three units:

Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
Unit 2: Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
Unit 3: Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding

It is only when you take all three units (in the CAVA qualification) that you become a fully qualified Assessor. The other combinations seen in the UPPA, AVRA, and ACWE awards qualify learners to do part of the role of a fully trained Assessor.

Let’s take a closer look at each award and what learners are qualified to do when they complete them.

UPPA – ‘Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment’ (Unit 1)

This award is theory only. Its purpose is to refresh the knowledge of Assessors who are already in work.

AVRA – ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement’ (Units 1 and 3)

This award qualifies the learner as an Assessor in classroom, workshop or virtual learning settings only. It doesn’t qualify the learner to assess in a workplace environment.

ACWE – ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment’ (Units 1 and 2)

On the other hand, we have ACWE which only qualifies the learner to become an Assessor in a workplace setting, but not in a classroom, workshop or virtual environment.

CAVA – ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement’ (Units 1, 2 and 3)

When you take the CAVA course, you are covering all three units, and therefore becoming fully qualified as an Assessor both in the classroom and in the workplace. It’s the most comprehensive qualification, and therefore the most popular!

QA – Quality Assurance

IQA Qualifications

Unlike the qualifications we’ve already covered, the IQA Qualifications focus on quality assurance in assessment.

In addition, the IQA Qualifications are Level 4 instead of Level 3, which mean they represent a higher level of learning than the Assessor courses.

However, just like the UPPA, AVRA, ACWE, and CAVA awards, each IQA Qualification is made up of some combination of three core units:

Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Internally Assuring the Quality of Assessment
Unit 2: Internally Assure the Quality of Assessment
Unit 3: Plan, Allocate and Monitor Work in Own Area of Responsibility

The acronyms for the IQA Qualifications are much more of a mouthful, so we’re not even going to try and shorten them! Instead, let us go through each tongue-twister award in turn.

Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Unit 1)

This is another theory-only course and does not qualify you to become an Internal Verifier. Instead, it’s a great form of professional development for staff already in the industry, looking to expand their knowledge.

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Units 1 and 2)

This award qualifies learners to fulfil some of the roles of an Internal Verifier, namely conducting quality assurance for assessment and assessment decisions. However, it doesn’t qualify you to lead others and therefore doesn’t fully qualify learners as Internal Verifiers.

Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Units 1, 2 and 3)

This is the ‘Big Daddy’ of IQA Qualifications! In this certification, you will cover all three units, which qualifies you not only to quality assure assessments and assessment decisions, but also to manage internal quality procedures and staff. It also qualifies you to coordinate with External Quality Assurers.

A bit too much text?

Not to worry! We’ve produced a video we hope will clear up the last of any confusion.

To sum it all up…What is TAQA?

There are many roles to be had in the arena of training, assessment and quality assurance; but, to become qualified for any of these, you will have to dip your toe into TAQA. And TAQA is, as we’ve discovered, the umbrella term given to all the qualifications discussed in this post. But it is NOT its own course!

If you want more information about the courses that form TAQA, and to discover which one is right for you, contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to help!

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

How do I become an Internal Quality Assurer?

As you may know, here at Brooks and Kirk we offer more than just Assessor courses. We also offer courses in Internal Quality Assurance (IQA). These courses act as the step-up from the Assessor courses; so if you’re looking to take your Assessor career even further, becoming an Internal Quality Assurer might be the perfect thing for you.


What is the role of an Internal Quality Assurer?

All training providers must have an Internal Quality Assurer on their team. Quality Assurance takes place to make sure that the training provider is running at the best they can be.

Each centre’s IQA will be responsible for quality-checking decisions made by the centre’s Assessors. This is to ensure these decisions and the Assessors’ practices, are maintaining the centre’s standards. Just some of the tasks that an IQA will undertake include:

  • Making sure all Assessors are appropriately trained, qualified, and carrying out their roles efficiently;
  • Monitoring the centre’s assessment practice and procedures by carrying out sampling activities, such as;
    • Reviewing learners at different stages of the programme delivery and assessment process
    • Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment planning
    • Making sure assessment decisions are consistent and standardised
  • Making sure that the centre’s equality and diversity policy is implemented;
  • Conducting a minimum of two standardisation meetings per year.

If quality assurance isn’t happening, then there are risks to the accuracy, consistency, and fairness of training and assessment practice. Therefore, this can cause a significant disadvantage to learners.

How do I become an Internal Quality Assurer?

So, there are currently 3 IQA Qualifications available; however, only 2 of them qualify you to Quality Assure.

Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

First of all, starting with the most basic of all the IQA Qualifications, this course does not actually qualify you to internally quality assure assessment. But, it does provide you with the knowledge behind IQA. This makes this award a great form of CPD (Continuing Professional Development), especially for Managers. By completing this qualification, you will know:

  • The context and principles of Internal Quality Assurance;
  • How to plan the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Techniques for monitoring, maintaining and improving the quality of assessment internally;
  • How to manage information in accordance with legal and good practice requirements for the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment.

For more information on this course, please see our Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Now, moving onto this next qualification, this is the equivalent to the old Internal Verifiers qualification. It qualifies you to make quality assurance of assessments and assessment decisions, but it doesn’t qualify you to be the Lead IQA of your training provider. By completing this qualification, you will know and be able to:

  • Plan the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Maintain legal and good practice requirements when internally monitoring and maintaining the quality of assessment;
  • Manage information relevant to the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Internally evaluate, maintain and improve the quality of assessment.

If you think this is the right course for you, we have more information our Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Finally, the most highly regarded IQA qualification; the Lead IQA. This is the ideal qualification for you if you wish to be the Lead IQA of your training provider, as it provides you with all the skills necessary to not only Quality Assure qualifications, but lead and manage the wh0le quality assurance process. By completing this qualification, you will know and be able to:

  • Quality Assure qualifications;
  • Manage the Internal Quality Assurance processes for a training centre;
  • Manage other IQAs;
  • Develop and write Internal Quality Assurance policies and procedures;
  • Manage External Quality Assurance (EQA) visits.

In the long run, this is the course we would recommend the most. So if becoming a Lead IQA is the path you want to go down, take a look at our Level 3 Certificate in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

All things considered, there is one more thing you need to know. You must be a qualified Assessor in order to become an Internal Quality Assurer. There are rare situations in which a person has their IQA qualification without their Assessor qualification; but as we’ve mentioned, a big part of quality assurance involves the Assessors in your team. How can you quality assure what they are doing, if you aren’t sure yourself?

If you do need the Assessor qualification, you’re in luck; we at Brooks and Kirk offer the Assessor course too.

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.


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.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment method that you may have come across as an Assessor. You may have even used in your own studying. Or, you may have never heard of it or used it before. That’s why we’re here to explain exactly what RPL is, and how you can use it within your work.


What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

As we said before, RPL is an assessment method. This method takes into account any ‘prior learning‘ your candidate has done, that could be used to tick off certain criteria in the qualification you are assessing. So as the Assessor, you would need to cross-reference the relevant previous work against the criteria you are looking for. Using this method can reduce the time required to complete the course; in some cases, significantly.

But basically, Recognition of Prior Learning is about your learner being able to demonstrate they have met some of the requirements of said course, through knowledge or skills they already have. Meaning that they don’t need to develop this knowledge or skills to pass some of the criteria. 

However, this differs from ‘Unit Exemption’…

What is Unit Exemption?

Unit Exemption is used when the candidate has previously passed a unit of work, that is the same as a unit in the prospective qualification. Sounds a bit confusing, but let us break it down.

As an example from our perspective, some of our learners have only completed 2/3 units of the Assessor qualification (AVRA/ACWE); but now would like to complete the full CAVA. So in these circumstances, we would enrol learners onto the CAVA, and use their AVRA or ACWE certificate and exempt them from the Units they’ve already covered. This way they would receive the CAVA certificate upon completion, as opposed to unit credits.

So what’s the difference between RPL and Unit Exemption?

With Recognition of Prior Learning, the candidate would need to write a reflective account for each assignment being used. The reflective account needs to be about what they learned within previous work that shows they’ve met the criteria. This then proves their understanding and how it relates to this qualification you are assessing them on. Assignments can only be used for RPL if they were recently completed; normally at a maximum of around 2/3 years ago.

There is a really simple difference between this and Unit Exemption; as with Unit Exemption, the candidate does not need to do any further work. And, it doesn’t matter how long ago the unit was completed; it only matters that the unit is still exactly the same.

If you would like further information on any other assessment methods, take a look at our post on what exactly assessment methods are.

How to Write a CPD Plan

How to Write a CPD Plan

As a professional in any sector, it’s important to keep up-to-date with your career development. This is why you’ll need to make a CPD plan. (Continuing Professional Development). Whilst it does take time, CPD Plans are great ways to identify and develop your skills in order to reach your career goals. 

What do I want/need to learn?

Assessing your current career situation is a great place to start with your CPD plan. Where am I? Where do I want to get to? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself in order to identify the areas in which you want to develop. You need to summarise what you are currently doing in your career, and use it to plan future career milestones you’d like to achieve. Create smaller milestones and check-in points so that you can review your development and see if you are hitting your personal targets. So think about:

  • Steps you are going to take over the next few years that will bring you closer to your career goals
  • What specific skills, knowledge, and experience you need to develop in order to achieve these goals
  • What activities you are going to do to fulfil the goals

It’s important that you are being honest with yourself in this step to get the best out of your plan. What does success really mean to you? You need to understand your motivations to succeed; do you feel like you are succeeding in your current job? It’s OK to think ‘big’ – but just be smart about it. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. SMART.

What will I do to achieve this?

So now you’ve identified what you want or need to learn, you need to plan how you’re going to do this. This step is important because it helps you identify the professional skills and abilities you need to help you reach your goals; therefore enabling you to plan new learning and development opportunities that are relevant to your professional development. Consider how you will know if you have achieved this goal – will you gain a qualification? Will you be able to manage a team?

For example, if you’re an Assessor and one of your goals is to eventually become an Internal Quality Assurer, you’re going to need the relevant IQA Qualification. Researching this qualification, the requirements necessary to enrol on to the course, and the criteria for the job once qualified can also be a helpful step in this process.

Remember, when you’re defining your activities, make sure they are clear and detailed. So you’ll need to state the actual course/conference/training session you would like to attend. 

What resources or support will I need?

Now you’ll need to consider what’s going to help you complete a certain goal. Going back to the example of being an Assessor with the goal of becoming an IQA, you would need support from your Assessor. In terms of resources, you’ll need to use the online support materials provided when you enrol onto the course, and perhaps use wider research by doing your own web searches. However, for some courses, there may be textbooks and study guides available. Watching videos on the likes of YouTube may be deemed supportive. Only you will know what you need.

What will my success criteria be?

When will you consider this to be a successful outcome? As we mentioned before, think about what success will really mean to you. So again using the previous examples, the success criteria for an Assessor wanting to become an IQA might be when they are qualified. Or, it might be when they actually get an IQA job. It is entirely down to you – it’s your plan, your professional development, and therefore, your future.

Milestone Dates

Your ‘milestone dates’ include:

    • Start Date;
    • Target Dates for review and completion;
    • Actual Completion Date

Of course, you will only be able to fill two of these sections in when planning your CPD. The actual completion date won’t be filled in until that time. However, you can fill the target date for which you’d like to have completed this by!

Be realistic with your timings. It’s OK if you don’t meet that achievement by the target date you set yourself; that’s why it’s called a CPD plan. Plans don’t always happen the way we thought they would.

So after you’ve filled all of these sections in, your CPD plan should be in a table that looks something like this:

We hope this helps! For more advice on CPD, take a look at our post on 9 Ways to Keep your CPD Record Up To Date.

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



Become an Assessor Before the New Academic Year

Become an Assessor Before the New Academic Year

Finally – the summer holidays have just begun! And what a way to start them with this heatwave we’re getting at the moment. 6 weeks of relaxing, spending time with the kids, going on holiday… what more could you want?

Well, you could be thinking about finding something new to do in September. Maybe you’re starting to get bored in your current job, or perhaps just fancy a change. Whatever the reason, we can make it happen. In the next 6 weeks, you could become an Assessor ready for the new Academic Year.

What is an Assessor?

An Assessor is someone who supports and guides learners through vocational qualifications. As an Assessor, your job is to collect various different types of evidence from your learners to meet all of the learning outcomes specified within their qualification. Generally, on a day-to-day basis, you would be expected to:

  • Plan and deliver NVQ training programmes and workshops;
  • Observe candidates’ competency in their workplace;
  • Examine candidates’ portfolios of evidence;
  • Question candidates about how they would deal with non-standard situations;
  • Provide feedback and offer advice if the standards are not met;
  • Sign off the NVQ when all the requirements have been met;
  • Keep records of candidates’ progress, according to the requirements of the NVQ awarding bodies;
  • Attend standardisation meetings with other assessors;
  • Work closely with the training staff and candidates’ line managers.

(this information has been taken from our NVQ Assessor FAQ).

How do I become an Assessor?

To become an Assessor, there are only a couple of things you need.

  1. Occupational Competence
  2. The Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement

Occupational Competence comes in the form of accredited qualifications and/or work experience. It all depends on the Industry you wish to assess in, as to whether you will be required to hold a qualification in that area or not. For example, most Health and Social Care assessor jobs will ask for a minimum of Level 3 in Health and Social Care. On the other hand, a lot of jobs in trades will ask for a number of years work experience. It all depends on your sector – so we’d advise having a look at job sites to see what requirements employers are looking for!

Now, the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (for short, CAVA) is the ‘universal’ Assessor qualification. By this, we mean that regardless of the sector you work in, you’ll need the same qualification. So whether you want to assess in Early Years, Construction, Dental – you need the CAVA. Find out more about this qualification on our CAVA page.

Can I become a Qualified Assessor by September?

You can indeed – we’ve designed our courses to have no start/end dates. This means you can start the course whenever you like, and take as long as you need to finish it. The quickest completion we have had to date is 2 weeks. So effectively, you could start the course today with just a deposit of £50, and have plenty of time to complete in the next 6 weeks*.

*subject to practical session availability.

For more information, give us a call on 01205 805 155, or send us an email at training@brooksandkirk.co.uk. You can also message us on Facebook.

Where Do I Begin With Setting Up A Training Company?

Where Do I Begin With Setting Up A Training Company?

At Brooks and Kirk, we have over 20 years of experience in running our own Training Provider. It’s quite possible that you’re considering running your own – which is great! Now, your initial thought may be ‘where do I begin with setting up a training company?’ and if it is, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to use the experience we’ve gained over the years to help you with everything you’ll need to know about starting your own training company, right from the beginning.

What Type of Courses Do I Want To Deliver?

The first thing that you will need to decide about setting up a training company is what type of courses you want to deliver.

If you want to deliver Bespoke Courses (ones that have been written by yourself/your company), then you and your staff are not required to be qualified or have any existing training experience. If this is the route that you want your company to go down, then take a look at our page on Bespoke Courses.

However, if you want to deliver Accredited Courses, then the route you need to go down is very different. It will involve qualified members of staff…

What Qualified Staff Do I Need To Deliver Accredited Courses?

If you want to deliver Accredited Courses, such as BTECs or NVQs, then your company will need to be registered with an awarding body. You may have heard of some popular awarding bodies, such as Pearson Edexcel, or City&Guilds. 

However, before you register with an awarding body, there are a couple of things you will need. In terms of members of staff, you will need an absolute minimum of:

  • 1 Qualified Internal Quality Assurer (IQA)
  • 1 Qualified Assessor

The Internal Quality Assurer

The IQA of your company will be responsible for monitoring your centre’s assessment practices and procedures. Your IQA will be the person who organises visits from Awarding Bodies as mentioned above. One of their main responsibilities will be to internally evaluate, maintain and improve the quality of assessment.

This person will need the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices.

The Assessor

The Assessor of your company will be responsible for assessing your learners in their place of work and/or their learning environment (whichever one is relevant). This means that they will be able to take your learners through their qualification and ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviours necessary. 

This person will need the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.

In any event, the IQA and the Assessor for your company CANNOT be the same person. You may find it beneficial to have more than one Assessor within your company. Especially as the company and the workload expands. It’s also important to note that you as the company owner do not necessarily have to be the IQA.

For more information on delivering Accredited Courses, take a look at our page on Starting Your Own Accredited Training Company.

Preparing Your Apprentice For Their End-Point Assessment

Preparing Your Apprentice For Their End-Point Assessment

If you’re an Assessor with candidates that have their End-Point Assessment coming up, then you’ve come to the right place. The run-up to the End-Point Assessment (EPA) will be the most stressful time for your Apprentice, so they’re going to need all the support and help from you that they can get. To help you out, we’ve written up our top tips for preparing your apprentice for the End-Point Assessment.

What Is The End-Point Assessment?

The EPA is a variety of Assessments that takes place at the end of an Apprenticeship. The Apprentice cannot gain their qualification without passing the EPA. Whilst this sounds pretty straightforward, it’s very stressful for the Apprentice, as their final grade will rely on it. Not only this, but the EPA has to be delivered by an independent registered Apprentice Assessment Organisation (RAAO). In any event, it cannot be delivered by the training provider or employer. This means that all parties have to work together to make sure their Apprentice passes the EPA. Otherwise, the employers will have to pay for retests – and nobody wants that.

How Can I Prepare My Apprentice?


Make sure that your candidate practices with a variety of Assessments on the run up to their EPA. Each Apprenticeship Standard will have its own Assessment plan for the EPA. The Assessment plan will show which assessment methods need to be used. Therefore, you’ll be able to prepare your candidate with the relevant assessment methods. From the Assessment plan, you’ll know which KSBs (Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours) will be looked at in the EPA. Keeping track of your candidate’s work throughout their Apprenticeship will give you an idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Which brings me to my next tip…


An E-Portfolio is an electronic portfolio. With an E-Portfolio, you will be able to track your candidate’s progress online and send assignments via the E-Portfolio system. This makes the whole training process much easier to manage. Not to mention employers can also track their apprentice’s progression throughout the course. By keeping track, employers can ensure their Apprentice isn’t scheduled to sit the EPA before they’re ready. Plus, you’ll also have clear evidence of learning and a full audit trail available at any time. 

Communicate with the Employer

The EPA has completely changed how apprentices are assessed. You’ll have to work closely with employers to make sure your apprentice is ready and has all the KSBs necessary. It is important that everyone is on the same page in regards to the Apprentice’s progress. Communicating with the employer is a key part of preparing your candidate for their EPA. They may be entered in the EPA when they aren’t ready.

Alternatively, if you have any other questions related to the EPA, we wrote a blog on End-Point Assessment FAQ. So have a look there to see if we can answer any questions you might have!