How much does end-point assessment cost?
As with a lot of things in the apprenticeship sector, there's no easy answer.
The cost of each end-point assessment (EPA) is proportionate to the overall training cost of the apprenticeship. The overall cost is negotiated by the employer and training provider, and the EPA can't be more than 20% of this agreed price.
And again – as with a lot of things in the apprenticeship sector – there's been a bit of controversy around this. If the agreed training price is much less than the funding-band maximum, end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) may have a small proportion to work with. This may not cover assessment costs, so EPAOs need to strike a balance between quality and cost to make it work.
Some assessment methods are more expensive than others. However, most EPAOs charge the prices approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships published on the assessment plan.
Who pays for the EPA?
For levy-paying employers, the EPA is included in the overall training costs and paid for with their levy contributions. For non-levy payers, the EPA is priced separately from the overall training. The employer pays 1 third of the EPA costs and the ESFA pays 2 thirds.
Employers fund the EPA, but the training provider contracts with the EPAO on the employer's behalf.
When is the EPA paid for?
Most EPAOs charge for the EPA towards the end of the apprenticeship journey. Employers don't have to worry about this – payments are handled by the training provider.
Do I have to pay for resits?
Some EPAOs will factor in a resit into their fees, but most will charge for additional assessments. Providers and employers are liable for these costs, so it's really important that their apprentices are ready to take the EPA before they sit it.
Whether you're an employer or training provider – or maybe both – you have to work closely with your EPAO. You'll need to negotiate and arrange payments, and make sure apprentices are ready to take the EPA when they do.
But you can't just pick an EPAO at random, they have to be completely independent from you, your staff and your apprentices to make sure all assessments are completely unbiased. The EPAO also has to be registered, relevant to the standard they're assessing, and ready to go when you are.
To make sure your EPAO ticks all the boxes, download our EPAO checklist. There's space to fill in details about potential providers, and a selection of must-ask questions to help you find the perfect EPAO.