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End-Point Assessment FAQs

  • How does an EPAO work with training providers?

    The Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education 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 EPAO?

    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 & Technical Education 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?

    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.

    Each standard has multiple assessment activities which are arranged with everyone involved, by the EPA Advisor, once the apprentice has entered Gateway.  Once an assessment activity has been booked, any changes (including no shows) within 5 working days of the EPA is considered to be a cancellation of the original booking and subject to the resit/retake fee for any and all of the individual assessment activities.  Apprentices that withdraw after Gateway but before an assessment activity has been booked will be subject to a cancellation charge of £150 to cover administration and registration costs incurred.  In exceptional circumstances, SW Councils may have to reschedule a booked assessment activity.  Should that occur, there would be no additional cost involved and we would aim to give as much notice as possible to minimise potential disruption to the apprentice.

  • 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 the Training Provider 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?

    We will notify the apprentice that all assessment activities have been successfully completed and verified. 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. 

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

    You need to complete our Gateway Declaration Form and provide copies of certificates.  The Gateway Declaration Form lists all the evidence you will need to provide for each Standard along with any pre-assessment activities that need to have been completed prior to assessment.

  • 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
    • 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 portal 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 is conducted remotely on agreed dates.  IAs record and submit the EPA outcomes, with clear justifications for the grading decisions.  EPA outcomes are internally quality assured and externally quality assured.


End Point Assessment

EPA  epa@swcouncils.gov.uk

Tel: 01823 270101