How to prepare apprentices for the end-point assessment (EPA)
The end-point assessment (EPA) represents one of the biggest changes to apprenticeships in modern years.
Instead of being continually assessed throughout their course, apprentices must now complete a final end-point assessment (EPA) once they've completed their training. Details of each EPA vary according to the sector and apprenticeship standards, but they include a variety of assessment methods – from tests and exams to a full portfolio showcase. EPAs are also graded.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Well, here's where it gets a little tricky. The EPA must be delivered by an independent registered apprentice assessment organisation (RAAO), not the training provider or employer. That means all parties must work together to ensure a seamless experience and maximise the chances of apprentices passing their EPA. If not, it’s employers who will have to pick up the tab for retests.
So how can you stay one step ahead, and help apprentices to prepare for the EPA?
1. Practice makes perfect
We all know that practice makes perfect, so it’s wise to give your apprentices plenty of experience in completing a range of assessments. You can even find out what methods will be included in their EPA and plan their assignments accordingly. It's also a good idea to keep track of learners’ progress throughout their course, so you know exactly how they're progressing.
2. Use an eportfolio
With e-portfolios, you can track your apprentices' progress online from start to finish and send assignments remotely. This makes it much easier to manage the whole training process and ensure learners are ready for the EPA. By using a digital system, you’ll also build clear evidence of learning and have access to a full audit trail available at any time.
3. Collaboration is key
The EPA really is a group effort. Employers and training providers must work together and only put apprentices forward for the EPA once they’re ready.
Using an eportfolio accelerates this collaboration , because the employer and training provider can communicate directly with the apprentice and monitor progress in real-time.
4. Make sure they're ready
When both you and the employer agree, the apprentice can enter the gateway, where they can take mock tests to see how they'd perform during the EPA.
Remember – when an apprentice gets to the gateway, they must have passed English and Maths at the level set in the standard.
The EPA has completely changed how apprentices are assessed. But it’s in everyone’s interests – business, RAAOs, and learners to ensure candidates have the knowledge, skills and evidence they need to pass the EPA.
To help you ensure your apprentice is ready to take the EPA, download our handy checklist.
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.