EPA Plus tips for success
EPA Plus have been delivering end-point assessment (EPA) since 2018, based on this we have collated some advice:
- Familiarise yourself the standard and the assessment plan (found on the IfATE website). This is the blueprint for the entire apprenticeship programme. It details the on programme learning that must take place (in the standard) and the format and grading criteria of the EPA (in the assessment plan). EPAOs will have additional Guidance Documents but the standard is the most crucial document for apprenticeship and EPA delivery.
- Plan for the end-point assessment (EPA) from the start of the apprenticeship delivery. The EPA is a crucial part of the apprenticeship standard and is a distinct assessment process. The EPA must be separate from any on-programme delivery and has very specific assessment requirements. It’s best to build preparation for this into the apprenticeship delivery throughout the programme.
- Engage with an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) as soon as possible. Your EPAO will have a great deal of experience in EPA and will be happy to help you out. EPA plus charges no fees until Gateway but our comprehensive support package is available as soon as you sign up.
- Ensure that the apprentice is fully aware of the requirements for each assessment component and comfortable with them. Utilise the Guidance documents provided to facilitate mock assessments.
- Ensure that the employer is aware of the requirements for EPA. Our Guidance Documents and webinars should be utilized for this and shared with the employer and the apprentice.
- Have a clear understanding of the timescales involved. With EPA Plus apprentices need to be registered (with an accurate expected EPA date) on the SEPA platform 90 days before they’re due to go through Gateway. Once EPA is requested we’ll take 4 working days to validate evidence and then all assessments will be completed within 8 weeks. EPAOs have a large task in forecasting capacity so we have these timescales in place to ensure that we can deliver the highest quality of assessment every time.
- Ensure that EQA visits are planned around the relevant timescales. If there’s a mandatory qualification within an apprenticeship standard then it must be awarded (including any EQA if relevant) before the apprentice can be put through Gateway.
- Have a clear understanding of the specific evidence required for Gateway and/or EPA. Some standards have very specific requirements for evidence and may require submitted evidence to have been completed within a certain timeframe, check the assessment plan if you are unsure.
- Keep in touch with your EPAO, especially if your apprentice is likely to be delayed before EPA.
- Be aware that maths and English have to be achieved before the apprentice can go through Gateway and attempt EPA. Does your apprentice have an exemption? You can check the ESFA’s guidance here – the document name is “Apprenticeship standards: list of acceptable current and prior qualifications for English and maths requirements in apprenticeship standards at Level 2 and above”