Today marks the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week 2020. Whilst End Point Assessment (EPA) which takes place at the end of the apprenticeship journey may feel a long way off; it is worth thinking about your End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) well in advance.
Once an apprenticeship program has been completed, the apprentice must pass an independent End Point Assessment in order to be awarded the apprenticeship. It is the responsibility of the Employer and not the Training Provider to select and contract with EEPAO. However it is the Training Provider who has the responsibility to pay for the EPA out of the final 25% of funding made available by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Because of the collaborative nature of these arrangements, it is a good idea to source your choice of EPAO well in advance so that all contractual arrangements can be put in place and to also ensure that your choice of EPAO is entirely independent of you as an employer and the apprenticeship program delivery supplied by your choice of Training Provider.
According to the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE):
“All apprentices must take an independent assessment at the end of their training to confirm that they have achieved occupational competence”.
EPA must be independent in order to remove all obvious conflicts of interest. However the IfATE continue:
“Rigorous, robust and independent end-point assessment (EPA) is essential to give employers confidence that apprentices completing an apprenticeship standard can actually perform in the occupation they have been trained in and can demonstrate the duties, and knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) set out in the occupational standard”.
To ensure your EPAO is independent, the IfATE have produced the following guidance:
“Employers can choose any organisation listed on the register against the apprenticeship standard being taken by their apprentice… Unless the assessment plans states otherwise employers cannot select their apprentices’ training organisation to be the end-point assessment organisation”.
Finally in connection withEPA, the IfATE states:
“An independent assessor must not be employed by the same organisation as the apprentice or by their training provider”.
Clearly independence is a core principle of End Point Assessment which ensures that the robust rigour and credibility of Apprenticeship training delivery is upheld. Make sure your EPAO is independent of apprenticeship delivery as failure to do so will undermine the credibility of the initiative and could result in financial penalties imposed by the ESFA.
EMPI Awards are a credible, independent EPAO for Apprenticeship Standard Mobile & Static Plant Operator (ST0144) and Road Surfacing Operative (ST0693). To ensure our independence we do not engage in Apprenticeship Training delivery either as a Training Provider or Subcontract Training Provider. To find out more, please drop us a line.