What You Need To Know About End-Point Assessment
When anyone asks what an End-Point Assessment is, we usually direct them to our EPA in 60 seconds video series. This is broken down into 8 sections and covers the most frequently asked questions. Some people absorb information better if it is written down, as opposed to on a video, so we decided to create this short guide as well.
We do have a dedicated Knowledgebase if you want to dig a little deeper into the EPA, but let’s get cracking with running through the video for now.
What is End-Point Assessment?
The End-Point Assessment came about after the apprenticeship reform back in 2017. It is a series of one-off assessments that an apprentice must complete at the end of their apprenticeship. Stand-alone vocational courses do not have an EPA, this assessment is just for apprenticeships. The main difference with the new method of assessing is that the EPA is not carried out throughout the Apprenticeship, but at the very end.
What is the purpose of an End-Point Assessment?
An EPA is designed to confirm that the apprentice is competent to work in the role they have been trained in. It is almost like a quality check for the apprenticeship. There are two parts to an apprenticeship, the first which is the on-programme section. This is where the apprentice learns all the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) to work in their role.
The second part, the EPA, is where an Independent End-Point Assessor confirms the apprentice can demonstrate those KSBs practically. The apprentice is then graded with a Pass, Fail, Merit or Distinction, depending on how well they can show they have these KSBs. The EPA therefore has two key purposes: to confirm the apprentice is competent, and to measure the extent of their competence.
Can the EPA assess other parts of the Apprenticeship?
We need to look at the specifics here. The assessor who carries out the EPA can’t assess an apprentice during the on-programme phase. They should be completely independent and must not have had any contact with the apprentice or employer prior to the EPA.
However, being an IEPA doesn’t completely rule you out of assessing other apprenticeships. You can assess other candidates that you are not carrying out the EPA on.
What do I need to become an IEPA?
There are a few things that every IEPA needs to have:
- An Assessor qualification
- Relevant industry experience
- An Internal Quality Assurance Qualification (optional but recommended)
There are other requirements that an IEPA should have, but these are specific to the apprenticeship you are assessing. To find out exactly what requirements you need to meet, you need to look at the Assessment Plan for the apprenticeship that you had in mind.
We have spoken with many End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) and reviewed many assessment plans over the years. The two core requirements that are consistent across most apprenticeships are that the IEPA should be a qualified assessor, and ideally have an IQA qualification.
You may also find an EPA qualification puts you at an advantage when looking for jobs. Our EPA course, the Award in End-Point Assessment Principles and Practice, is a great way to pick up more skills and knowledge relevant to being an IEPA.
What does an End-Point Assessment involve?
An EPA typically involves several components. These are either assessment methods in their own right, or several assessment methods grouped together to form one component. Every EPA is designed to be tailored towards the specific occupation, so they tend to be completely unique. Every EPA is delivered based on the individual Assessment Plan, so for the same apprenticeship, they should be identical.
Assessment Plans in End-Point Assessment?
An Assessment Plan is often referred to as a specification for a qualification. Rather than it being for a qualification though, it is for an EPA. It tells the EPAO information regarding what the EPA should involve, how it should be graded, and the specific requirements the IEPA needs to meet. To find the Assessment Plan for a specific assessment, we have written a quick step-by-step guide for you to follow.
Who can I work for as an IEPA?
NVQ assessors or on-programme assessors can usually work for any college or training provider. However, an End-Point Assessor must work for an organisation that has been approved to specifically deliver EPAs. These are called End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs).
There are many EPAOs over the country, some are Awarding Bodies, Training Providers, or are specifically EPAOs. All you need to do is find a relevant EPAO that is approved to deliver EPAs within your sector. Again we have put together a quick guide to show you how to find an EPAO suitable for you.
We hope this has been a useful blog post for you and has answered some of the questions you may have had surrounding EPA. If you are interested in becoming an EPA why not take our EPA qualification. It should answer all the questions you have and give you valuable insight into the world of EPA.
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.