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End-Point Assessment FAQs

  • How does an EPAO work with training providers?

    The Institute for Apprenticeships states that if an EPAO is approached to deliver End-Point Assessment by a training provider, they must request the details of the employer to meet with them and confirm arrangements directly with them.

  • Who decides if an apprentice is ready for their End-Point Assessment?

    The employer (and training provider, if involved) decides if an apprentice is ready for EPA. This is called "Gateway".

  • How does an employer find an End-Point Assessment Organisation?

    EPAOs are approved by ESfA and a quick search on the Standard will provide a list of Training Providers and EPAOs.

  • How does an EPAO work with employers?

    Approved EPAOs are subject to detailed conditions laid out by the Institute for Apprenticeships which state that EPAOs should promote their EPA service directly to employers and will be selected by the employer which whom they will agree a price for EPA.  The terms between the employer and EPAO must clearly state that the EPAO is delivering EPA on behalf of the employer.  The EPAO must not collude with training providers to circumvent the requirement for the employer to select the EPAO.

  • When do I have to pay?

    Fees
    We make two charges - £45 payable at registration covering set up and administration costs (£60 for non-member organisations) with the remainder payable at Gateway and before EPA assessment activities commence. Payments are not refundable and payment terms are immediate. Member rate discounts are applicable to South West Councils’ member organisations.

    Cancellations
    SW Councils may provide a credit, which could be transferred to other apprentices or carried forward to future years.  This will be proportional to the amount of assessment activities not carried out, based on the resit/retake price of each assessment activity.  Individual elements that have been completed cannot be certificated in isolation.

  • Who pays for EPA?

    Currently, the Training Provider pays the EPAO on behalf of the employer (although this is likely to change). The Levy covers EPA costs and may also cover resits although this is subject to restrictions. The arrangement is the same for non-levy paying employers although the funding source is different as the employer pays 10% and 90% is government funded.

  • Do I have to pay for resits?

    Usually, yes. Some standards specify that all components of the EPA have to be retaken if an apprentice fails a section. Some standards let an apprentice retake only the components they’ve failed. Some Standards set a maximum Pass result when a resit is taken.  A maximum of 20% of the apprenticeship funding band can be used to pay for EPA and resits. Costs above that must be paid by employers out of the final cost of the apprenticeship agreed between provider and employer. Training Providers and employers should agree who will pick up the cost of resits and confirm this in a written agreement.

  • Can I get a discount?

    We offer a discounted price for member organisations.  There are opportunities for organisations to become associate members of South West Councils.  Details of membership can be found here.

  • What support can my apprentice expect?

    Our EPA team will discuss the EPA process and system with your apprentice to ensure they are fully aware of how the EPA is conducted.  They will have access to the EPA system where they will be able to see how the assessment activities are structured and how they will be assessed.  We will also provide a guidance document for using the system and our policies and statements document will be available to download from within the EPA system.

  • What is our South West Councils’ organisation ID number?

    On the register of apprenticeship awarding organisations, our ID number is EPA0048.

  • How do I register for an EPA?

    To use our EPA service the employer will agree and sign an initial contract and then will complete and submit an Order Form for each cohort or individual Apprentice.

  • How do I book the EPA for my apprentice?

    Following your registration, our EPA team will discuss your requirements and agree a timescale with you.  We will agree a proposed date with you for Gateway and schedule the assessment activities (these can be changed if necessary).  Our aim is to conduct the full EPA within 3 months but often this will be a much shorter timescale.

  • When do we get the apprenticeship certificate?

    Our EPA system will notify the apprentice that all assessment activities have been successfully completed (subject to verification) and then the IQA will check the assessment decisions and confirm the outcome. We claim the apprenticeship certificate when all assessment activities have taken place and when we have conducted internal quality assurance.  The ESFA issues the apprenticeship certificate which they send directly to the employer. We cannot guarantee the ESFA’s timelines though bear in mind they let organisations claim certificates only once a month. 

  • What evidence do I need to show my apprentice has met the Maths and English level set by the standard?

    The apprentice needs to upload evidence to the EPA system.  This can be a qualification certificate or the result from the functional skills assessment undertaken during the on-programme stage.  Acceptable evidence is a full certificate or e-certificate, statement of results issued by an awarding organisation, screenshot of the awarding organisation’s system showing the qualification has been achieved/awarded or a copy of the personal learner record etc.  The apprentice will also need to upload a copy of their image from a passport/student card/driving licence etc so that we can confirm their identity at the outset of the recorded sessions with assessors.  The ESFA sets the English and Maths qualifications and grades apprentices can use as evidence of meeting the Level 2 (or in some cases, Level 3) requirements for English and Maths.

  • How do we know if our venue is suitable for EPA Knowledge Tests?

    Online Knowledge Tests will need to be invigilated by the Training Provider who will need to complete a confirmation/declaration on our EPA system on completion of each test.
     

  • Who are the Assessors?

    As the regional membership organisation for the collective Local Authorities, we have access to a broad workforce employed across each of the councils. We also have a great deal of experience and knowledge of delivering training, assessment and verification practices and external quality assurance.  Our aim is to combine our experience with specialists to create a team of Independent Assessors (IAs) across a range of Standards to conduct End-Point Assessment.

    • We work with individuals from councils across the region who could make suitable assessors so that we can create a Standard Assessment Team for each Standard we are approved for
    • Assessors undergo training and comply with our quality assurance requirements
    • They are called on to assess and verify when required
    • Assessors contribute to the design and creation of assessment elements, activities and methods
    • Assessments are scheduled and conducted through our online EPA system using recorded conferencing facilities, online tests and uploading of documentary evidence.
  • What is the Assessor's role?

    The role of the IA is to conduct assessments in line with our approach for each Standard which reflects the associated Assessment Plan.  End-Point Assessment will be conducted remotely on agreed dates.  IAs will record and submit the EPA outcomes, with clear justifications for the grading decisions.  EPA outcomes will be internally quality assured and externally quality assured.

  • What are the Assessor's responsibilities?

    The IA will:

    • Take part in regular training and standardisation activities
    • Maintain and provide evidence of on going and relevant CPD
    • Assess the performance of candidates in accordance with the Assessment Plan and our assessment criteria and procedures
    • Report all risks and issues encountered including suspected malpractice and maladministration
    • Ensure EPA reports and assessment evidence are recorded accurately
    • Support us with appeals regarding assessment decisions
    • Notify us of any conflict of interest
  • What experience is required to be an Assessor?

    General Background & Experience Requirements

    • Experience of assessing competence-based assessments  (training can be provided)
    • Hold (or be committed to working towards) an assessor qualification
    • Experience of making grading/performance judgements
    • Knowledge of prevent and safeguarding (training can be provided)
    • Current experience of working within the EPA specialism for a minimum of two years
    • Evidence of regular and on going CPD in the EPA specialism
    • Some Standards require assessors to hold specific qualifications
    • Some Standards require assessors to have membership of a relevant professional body

    Due to the limited frequency of contact with Apprentices and in accordance with Safeguarding Guidelines, Assessors are not required to undergo a DBS search.

CONTACTS

Learning and Organisational Development

Fay Edwards fay.edwards@swcouncils.gov.uk

Job title: Head of Learning and Development

Tel: 01823 270101

Fax: 01823 425200

Website address: www.swcouncils.gov.uk