End-point assessment | FAQs | NCFE

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End-point assessment (EPA) FAQs

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Apprentices must be registered on our SEPA system a minimum of 90 days before they are due to enter end-point assessment. This allows us to forecast capacity and ensure that we have availability for your apprentices when required. The SEPA system is our end-point assessment registration and administration portal. This guide will show you, step by step, how to register your apprentices, put them through Gateway, set up new users for the platform and more. 

We don’t charge for end-point assessment registrations and no fees are applied until the apprentice is accepted through to end-point assessment, so we’d encourage registrations to take place as early into the apprentice journey as possible. 

Once your apprentice is registered, you’ll be able to update information as and when required such as their employer or contact details.

Once end-point assessment has been requested, we receive a notification that the apprentice has been presented and is ready to undergo the Gateway audit. Our EPA Support team will then review the evidence and inform you of the outcome within four working days of the request date.  

When registering learners on SEPA, you’ll be required to provide an expected end-point assessment date. It’s important to update the apprentice’s expected end-point assessment start date on SEPA if this changes, as it allows us to forecast as accurately as possible. Your point of contact within the Relationship team will send you a report on a monthly basis to review your apprentice’s profiles and can support with any changes required. 

The checklist on SEPA has an itemised list of all mandatory documents that are required for that standard to be uploaded, information on each standard’s requirements can be found on our Resources Library in the Specification and Guidance pack. Once the apprentice has gathered all evidence for their end-point assessment and the tripartite meeting has taken place, you’ll upload this evidence to the ‘checklist’ within SEPA and request EPA. 

End-point assessment is requested through the SEPA system. Find instructions on how to do this in our SEPA user guide. 

Results are released within five working days of a completed assessment and uploaded to the apprentice’s profile on SEPA to download and share with the apprentice. The overall end-point assessment grade will be released within five working days of the last completed assessment and will be uploaded to SEPA and will be emailed directly to the apprentice and the points of contact highlighted on the EPA Booking form.  

As an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) we must remain independent, so we’re able to provide feedback on areas within the assessment plan criteria that have or have not been met but we’re unable to provide developmental feedback. 

Certificates claims are submitted to the ESFA 20 working days after the end-point assessment overall grade being released. The ESFA advise that certificates can take up to 20 working days to arrive.  

Our SLA is 8 weeks from a successful gateway audit where the assessment plan allows. In cases where the assessment plan states a set timescale, we’ll follow the required SLA. 

Our resources library is a central location which hosts various support materials for all things end-point assessment. All SEPA users will have access to the resources library. This includes: 

  • assessment platform guidance 
  • end-point assessment contract and operational handbook 
  • general guidance 
  • links to previous webinars 
  • policies and procedures 
  • SEPA user guide and bulk upload templates 
  • standard specific guidance 
  • regular updates. 

All customers will be allocated a dedicated point of contact that will be on hand to support across the end-to-end journey and to provide advice, guidance and support. The relationship team can be contacted via phone on 0191 240 8950 or email at [email protected]