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A Guide To End Point Assessment (EPA)

What is End Point Assessment?

All apprenticeships standards include an independent End Point Assessment, or EPA.  EPA is the name given to the series of tests an Apprentice must take to prove their ability to do the job they have been training for.  These tests take place at the end of an apprenticeship and determine whether the Apprentice achieves their qualification.

Who carries out the End Point Assessment, or EPA?

EPA is delivered by an End Point Assessment Organisation known as an EPAO.  All EPAO’s must be approved and registered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and must be completely independent of the organisation delivering the apprenticeship training.  The purpose of external quality assurance is to ensure that there is a fair, consistent and robust approach to EPA.

You can search the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations for a full list of all registered EPAO's available in England.

Selecting an EPAO

In theory, and as the buyer of the apprenticeship training, the Employer should choose which EPAO will conduct the final assessment of the Apprentice before the apprenticeship begins, however in many cases the Training Provider will provide guidance on which EPAO is the best fit for them.

Progressing to EPA – through the ‘Gateway’

When the Apprentice has completed their formative training, there will be a period of time where the Employer, the Training Provider and the Apprentice will assess the Apprentice’s progress.

In order to be ready for EPA, the Apprentice should have met the minimum requirements of the apprentieship standard and be performing consistently at or above the level of competence expected for their occupation.  Ultimately, it is the Employer’s responsibility to decide whether or not the Apprentice is ready to take on the End Point Assessment.  At the point where the decision is taken by the Employer to progress to EPA, the apprentice goes through what is known as the ‘Gateway’, however, this does not mean the apprentice is guaranteed to pass!

How much does EPA cost, who pays for it and what about refunds?

The cost of EPA varies depending on the apprenticeship standard undertaken and the EPAO.

Payment for the EPA is made by the Training Provider on behalf of the Employer from the apprenticeship funding received.

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to cancel the EPA (for example, if the Apprentice leaves their apprenticeship early).  Different EPAOs will have different cancellation policies and these should cover how the EPAO will deal with the refund of any registration or assessment fees.  

Employers and Training Providers are advised to check the cancellation and refund process with their chosen EPAO.

What if the Apprentice fails EPA?

If the Apprentice fails some or all elements of the EPA, they may be given an opportunity to resit the EPA but there is a cost associated with this.  Some Training Providers will fund a resit.  Others will require the Employer to meet the cost of any resits and payment will be required prior to the EPA being retaken.

Alternatively, an Apprentice who has failed EPA can launch an appeal (the Employer / Training Provider can also launch an appeal but must obtain written permission from the Apprentice to do so).  There is normally a time limit by which the appeal against the decision must be lodged and in most cases, there will be an appeal fee involved.

Apprentices, employers and providers are advised to check the appeals and resit process with their chosen EPAO.

For more information about how Rubitek Core supports EPA, book a free demo today or email info@rubiteksolutions.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can find out more about the fantastic features of Rubitek Core on our website.

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