Following the reform in the apprenticeship framework, each apprentice is now required to go through an End Point Assessment (EPA) with an independent Assessor. With apprenticeships becoming increasingly popular, many people are considering a career as an IEPA. First of all, it is important to work out if this is a job that you could do. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t very simple though so let’s have a look at this in more detail.
What Does An IEPA Do?
As an IEPA, your main responsibility will be ensuring that Apprentices are competent to work in their sector by the end of their Apprenticeship.
Every apprenticeship standard was written by a group of experienced professionals within that specific sector. They came to a decision about what knowledge, skills and behaviours an apprentice should have at the end of their apprenticeship. Then the best methods of assessment were chosen for each different standard.
Due to the high level of variety across the standards, each apprenticeship was given an assessment plan. This document clearly details the minimum requirements needed in order to pass the standard. This document also contains information about the minimum requirements for the Independent Assessor who is assessing the course.
The main requirement is that you need to have occupational competence in the subject that you are assessing in. Sometimes the assessment plan will also state that the IEPA has to have an Assessor qualification such as the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). Some apprenticeships can be quite vague. All that is stated is ‘assessor qualification or experience’ – which is left entirely up to your own interpretation!
Starting The Job Search
It may seem a little basic, but a quick search on Google is often the best place to start if you are looking for a job as an IEPA. This will probably bring up some recruitment websites where EPAs are commonly advertised. Be mindful of the dates listed on these vacancies though; sometimes these roles will still be visible months after someone has been hired.
The next place we would advise to look for vacancies are with the End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) themselves. The main responsibility of these organisations is to ensure apprentices all receive the same standard during their EPA. EPAOs employ independent Assessors directly, so they usually advertise vacancies on their own websites.
LinkedIn is often a good place to look for IEPA jobs too. Particularly as it is more of a B2B social media platform. It is always a good idea to make sure your profile is up to date; but even more so when you are looking for a new role. You never know who might stumble across your profile, particularly prospective employers. There is also a handy notification feature on LinkedIn which saves your previous job searches. So, you can receive an email when a new job is uploaded that fits your requirements.
Using The List of Approved EPAOs
There is a register of End Point Assessment Organisations which is accessible for everyone. As there are so many different subjects when it comes to apprenticeships, by looking through this register you can easily find EPAOs which are offering your sector standards. Once you know you are on the right track you can then explore their website to look for any current job vacancies.
If you work in a niche industry, the EPAO register is a very useful tool. You can quickly identify if anyone is offering an EPA for the standard which you are experienced in, so then you can approach them directly.
There are often lots of EPA jobs advertised on LinkedIn, either within specific group pages or on company profiles. Any time you are looking for a new role it is important to make sure your LinkedIn profile and experience is all up to date. You never know who might take a look, particularly if you are actively applying for roles. Once you have searched for ‘EPA vacancies’ on LinkedIn you can save this search and add a notification so that each time a new role comes up you will receive an email.
Overall, the easiest way to find new vacancies is by using the list of approved EPAOs. Once you are on this website you can easily filter by the standards that they provide. Using this EPAO list is also really useful if you work in a specialist sector as you can easily see if anyone is currently offering End-Point Assessments for this standard. You can then approach the EPAO directly to see if they have any vacancies.
Many EPAOs turn to freelance Assessors in order to carry out their End Point Assessments. This is mainly because then the EPAO isn’t required to cover the usual HR expenses. It also means that they can hire on demand. If there is a drop in apprentices carrying out their qualifications, then the EPAO isn’t paying for a member of staff that is perhaps only required on a part-time basis.
End-Point Assessment Courses
Of course, there aren’t currently any courses that alone make you a qualified End-Point Assessor. However, there are CPD courses you can take. In fact, in January 2021 we started delivering our very own EPA Award; the Award in End-Point Assessment Principles and Practice. This course has been designed to give you all the knowledge and skills behind being an End-Point Assessor (and it only takes roughly 6 hours to complete!).
If you would like to learn more about how to become an Independent End-Point Assessor, please contact the team at Brooks and Kirk on 01205 805 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.