How to prep your apprentice for EPA
Once apprenticeship training ends, learners are tested on their knowledge and skills in the area they have been training. This will demonstrate their ability to do the job they have been training for, and just how well they are able to apply the theory to practical scenarios. This is known as an End Point Assessment, and for the apprentice, marks the end of training and the start of a new career, with a qualification under their belt.
Let’s examine how employers and training professionals can support this process, by preparing their apprentices for End Point Assessment.
What is an End Point Assessment?
An End Point Assessment is a final assessment of an individual’s knowledge and ability in their chosen skill set, carried out at the end of an apprenticeship training course. It is a way of establishing how well the learner has developed throughout the course of the apprenticeship, what skills they have established and how well they are able to apply this theoretical knowledge to practical situations.
An apprenticeship End Point Assessment can be taken a minimum of 12 months after the start of the apprentice’s training. However, the learner must be successfully completed before an apprenticeship completion certificate can be issued.
How does an End Point Assessment work?
The process of an End Point Assessment varies between apprenticeships. Generally speaking, an assessment plan will be drawn up based on the requirements of each apprenticeship and this will form the structure for what areas should be tested and the methods used to assess each area.
End Point Assessments are not designed to test an individual on every single aspect covered within the Standard. They are a means of allowing apprentices to demonstrate their knowledge and establish that overall, the key skills and behaviours have been taken on board.
EPAs form a vital component of the training process, both for the apprentice and the employer. From an employer perspective, End Point Assessments can determine the knowledge, skills and behaviours of each apprentice. They can also provide guidance for employers to follow in the long-term, demonstrating how to test for occupational competence in their particular industry.
The process of End Point Assessment for apprenticeships
Before the EPA can take place, several steps must first be undertaken between the apprentice, the employer and the assessor. We have outlined these below:
- The learner completes an apprenticeship training period of a minimum of 12 months.
- The learner enters a preparatory period of training and development prior to End Point Assessment. This is referred to as the ‘on-programme’ stage.
- In some Standard based apprenticeships, an additional stage is now required. This means the on-programme stage may include gaining some supporting qualifications.
- The learner enters the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment: a period in which the employer discusses progress with the apprentice and the training provider.
- The learner is then ‘signed off’ as the employer’s apprentice and is considered ready to progress to the End Point Assessment process.
The best way for a learner to prepare for an End Point Assessment is to consult with their trainer about the sort of methods and approaches that will be applied during the assessment period and how best to tackle each one.
For example, an end assessment in the recruitment sector might include all or some of the following testing methods:
- Multiple choice tests
- Evidence portfolio (such as a logbook)
- Observed practical skills tests
- Professional discussion with an independent assessor
- Workplace projects
Solvo Vir works closely with employers in order to successfully guide learners through the End Point Assessment process. This means a higher percentage of successful apprentices and a greater quality of knowledge from the apprentices.
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