Giving end-point assessors access to portfolios early could impact apprentice outcomes
Many end-point assessments include a portfolio and/or project showcase – an opportunity for the apprentice to show off their best evidence for assessment.
The portfolio showcase is often one of many assessment methods used to assess the apprentice at EPA. It can be combined with other methods like observation, interviews, professional discussion or exam-style questions. For many standards, the EPA components have to be completed in a prescribed order, while others have flexibility around which order the different parts of the assessment should be completed.
At OneFile, we’ve been speaking to end-point assessors about portfolio showcase and how it fits into the EPA. Many end-point assessors say that getting access to the learner’s portfolio as early as possible – either at gateway or as soon as the assessor has been allocated – is really important.
This gives the assessor the time to look at the apprentice’s portfolio and assess it first, so they can select the most appropriate questions and give the apprentice the best opportunity to showcase themselves. In fact, random question selection may disadvantage the apprentice – so getting their portfolio and project (if relevant) in early will help improve their outcome and could even increase their grade!
If you use an eportfolio system, like OneFile, you’ll have to give the end-point assessor access to the apprentice’s portfolio for them to assess it. This process works slightly differently depending on the system, but as a rule, you can create an account for the assessor and send them a link to access the apprentice’s portfolio.
It’s a good idea to keep good communication with all of your teams to make sure end-point assessors are given access as quickly as possible. It can be tricky to make sure all the steps are completed – especially if staff are working from home or furloughed – so create a process and stick to it!
If all the cogs are working smoothly, this process to grant end-point assessors access to apprentice portfolios for EPA is very quick – giving assessors plenty of time to complete the assessment and find the best questions to benefit the apprentice.
We spoke to Debbie Gardiner MBE who is an end-point assessor the operations/departmental manager level 5 and team leader/supervisor level 3 standards. Debbie said that having access to eportfolio early is really important – either as soon as gateway is passed, or the end-point assessor has been allocated. Debbie told us:
‘The portfolio assessment takes three to four hours and really needs to be carried out before face-to-face assessments. My biggest concern is that when access isn’t granted, it might negatively impact the outcome for the apprentice. But of course, it’s also frustrating when we allocate quality time to the portfolio assessment and then have to reschedule.’
Debbie said she needs quality time to complete the portfolio assessment and plan for the remainder of the end-point assessment. It’s crucial, so it should be part of the EPA process.
‘I urge providers to include granting portfolio access in their EPA processes and procedures. I would ensure that providers have staff in the business that know the process and how to implement it – especially at this difficult time.’
At OneFile, we’re proud to be a proactive company. We adapt our software as apprenticeships evolve and are happy to help people across the sector with any support they might need – whether you’re an EPAO, assessor or learner.
If you have any questions about this or would like to find out more about using OneFile to support your apprenticeship delivery, book a demo with a member of our team.
This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.