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Swift Childcare: Why we've delivered EPA through NCFE for years!
Swift Childcare help to develop the next generation of education professionals in the Early Years sector through their apprenticeship programme. They deliver high-quality, interactive and tailored apprenticeships to provide apprentices with the most comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge and skills that will support employers to have a vibrant and highly skilled workforce.
Swift Childcare and NCFE have worked in partnership for the last nine years and currently offer NCFE CACHE Level 2 Diploma for The Early Years Practitioner and NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator). As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with their Academy Director, Jack Edwards, to find out about his experience of working with us to deliver end-point assessment (EPA).
Why did you choose to work with NCFE for EPA?
“We continue to work with NCFE as the content, resources and support have always met the industry needs and our own expectations. Going into EPA when the first standard dropped was, of course, a change, and something new for us to adjust to as a business. It was a no-brainer that NCFE was going to be our recommended and preferred EPAO, and they didn’t disappoint.”
How has NCFE supported and advised you throughout EPA?
"NCFE has lived up to our expectations, and in some cases, exceeded them. We were the first training provider to put learners through NCFE Level 3 EPA in the country, and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy the entry process to Gateway and EPA was. This is, however, down to the incredible support from the EPA team who were understanding of our position, requirements and needs. The team were always accessible and continuously supported us. This has remained, and even as both Swift and NCFE have grown, the positive and supportive relationship has continued.
“With NCFE’s support, around 60% of our apprentices who complete Level 2 tend to go on to the Level 3 programme as progression. We’ve also seen both Level 2 and Level 3 learners go into teaching, midwifery, early years degrees and SEN support roles.”
How has offering this apprenticeship standard impacted your apprentices?
“The way our course is built, in line with the standard, I feel that the delivery allows for a steady introduction and supportive journey to achieving the fundamental knowledge, skills and behaviors required. This level of progressive, yet steady introduction to the role is needed in a sector where practitioners are feeling the strain of lack of recognition, funding and a working environment that is high pressured, sometimes underpaid, and unable to accommodate flexible working offered by other settings.”
Would you recommend NCFE’s EPA service to others?
"When discussing EPA and awarding bodies with others in the industry, I absolutely recommend NCFE and express our gratitude of having such a supportive, concise, and approachable end-point assessment organsation (EPAO).
“We have a fantastic EQA who is an incredible support and source of advice/knowledge. Additionally, I have monthly calls with our account manager who keeps me updated on everything needed and, just like the EPA team, is available whenever it's needed. I have worked with NCFE now for nearly 10 years, and the team in its entirety continuously show their commitment to us a centre, and also the industry.”
Former Level 2 and Level 3 apprentice, Hannah Agnew, shares her experience in completing an apprenticeship with Swift Childcare and NCFE:
“My EPA experience was great. I had lots of support from my tutors, and it was a very easy process. I had sessions with my tutor to prepare me for the two exams before moving forwards with them and I felt confident when going into the exams. Overall, the experience with Swift and NCFE was clearly planned out, and I understood each part of the EPA journey.”
After delivering a workshop on how to select an apprentice-centric EPAO at the AAC in Birmingham, our Head of EPA Operations, Sacha Finkle, shares her thoughts in this blog.
We outline three key points from the fifth episode in our #FutureOfApprenticeship series with FE News, which looked to explore all things end-point assessment (EPA).
This month, we’re celebrating 5 years of NCFE being an end-point assessment organisation. Here we share our journey, impact on apprentices and our future plans.