What is the ‘Gateway’ in Apprenticeship Standards?
The term ‘gateway’ crops up quite a lot when it comes to apprenticeship standards. We wanted to take a look into this in more detail; as well as providing you with some tips on knowing whether an apprentice is ready for the gateway.
Firstly, we need to run through the assessment stages. When an apprentice has completed their vocational qualification, the training provider will be able to sign off the ‘on-programme’ element. We talked about this in more detail on a recent blog explaining the difference between an Assessor and an End-Point Assessor.
Once the apprentice has had their on-programme element signed off, they then enter the ‘gateway’ stage. They have already developed the knowledge, skills and behaviours required, with the aim of being competent in their job role. The second stage is where the apprentice shows their competence in an end-point assessment. At the gateway, the employer (along with the apprenticeship provider) gives the go-ahead that the apprentice is competent in their role. Therefore, they’re prepared enough for the end-point assessment.
Mandatory Gateway Requirements
As you are probably aware, each assessment plan has different mandatory gateway requirements, but here are a few common examples:
- Achievement of a required qualification e.g. a Diploma
- Completion of a workplace portfolio
- A letter signed by the employer confirming readiness for the end-point assessment
- Self-assessment by the apprentice
- Achievement of an accredited Health & Safety qualification
It is essential that in the run-up to the gateway decision, the assessor is in close contact with the End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). They will provide guidance on how mandatory gateway evidence should be collected, and the processes following this.
Is The Apprentice Gateway-Ready?
The assessor will have a good indication as to whether or not the apprentice is ready for the gateway stage. The employer will also be able to assist with this. There are several different approaches that can be taken, but here are four questions that may help with the decision-making process:
- Is there sufficient evidence that the apprentice is ready?
- Does the evidence show achievement of gaining the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of them?
- Is there a certainty that the achievement is at the level required?
- Does the assessor consider the apprentice to be competent?
Once the assessor is certain all of the questions have been met, they should know the apprentice is ready for the gateway. The employer will then need to create a letter that confirms they believe the apprentice is competent. When this, along with the evidence, has been submitted to the EPAO and they are happy, the apprentice will move onto the end-point assessment.
We hope this has helped to give you an insight into the gateway stage of an apprenticeship, and how this joints together the on-programme and end-point assessments. If you have any questions surrounding the topics we have discussed, please feel free to call us on 01205 805 155.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.