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New to apprenticeships

Changing Landscape: More about end-point assessment (EPA)

Apprenticeships in England have changed significantly over the past two years. 

The market offer has moved from qualification based Apprenticeship Frameworks, developed by Awarding Organisations such as NCFE, to occupationally focused programmes called Apprenticeship Standards. These are designed by employers, working as part of a Trail Blazer group and aim to equip apprentices with the knowledge, skills and behaviours which are required to perform effectively in their chosen job role.

What are apprenticeship standards?

Apprenticeship Standards are assessed through an end-point assessment (EPA) which takes place after the apprentice has completed all of the required learning for their apprenticeship. The apprentice’s readiness for EPA is assessed though a Gateway process.

Each Apprenticeship Standard is paired with a specific Assessment Plan which outlines the required learning for the apprenticeship, the requirements to pass through Gateway and the components and timescales for EPA.

Who is involved in EPA?

Employers need to select the independent End- Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) they want to work with and the Training Provider will then agree a contract with the EPAO.

Before the apprentice can start EPA their employer, the training provider and the apprentice themselves must confirm their readiness for EPA. This process is known as Gateway.

An independent organisation must be involved in the EPA of each apprentice so that all apprentices following the same standard are assessed consistently.

Only organisations on the register of End-Point Assessment Organisations, managed by the ESFA, are eligible to conduct independent end-point assessment of apprentices.

If you would like to find out more information visit the Government website.