End Point Assessments are a key element of Apprenticeship Standards and test the knowledge, skills and behaviours your apprentice has developed over the duration of their programme. Apprentices are assessed against the standard at the end of their programme by an approved End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), receiving a grade reflecting their competence and knowledge developed throughout the duration of the Apprenticeship.

Unlike previous ‘Frameworks’ where the apprentice is assessed continually throughout their apprenticeship, the focus is on the accumulation of these skills and knowledge and the overall outcome of the journey.  More information on the differences between ‘Frameworks’ and ‘Standards’ can be found here.

What is my responsibility?

Only approved End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAO’s) can carry out End Point Assessments and with support from your training provider, you will need to find a suitable organisation to do so. In addition to this, your responsibility as an employer is to track the progress of your apprentice and ensure they are prepared for the EPA. This can be achieved by holding regular reviews with the apprentice with input from the training provider, helping to identify strengths and areas of weakness. It is also recommended to engage with the chosen EPAO as early into the apprenticeship programme as possible to keep up to date with any changes or developments to the assessment plan. Agreeing a date for the End Point Assessment at least three months in advance will also allow the apprentice time to suitably prepare.

How much does the EPA Cost?

The cost of the EPA will be negotiated between you as the employer and the training provider but cannot exceed more than 20% of the overall funding band for the apprenticeship standard. The cost for re-sitting any part of the EPA lies with the employer, therefore it is vital the apprentice is provided with as much support as possible before taking the assessment.

What is the process?

Every apprentice must go through the same process when taking their End Point Assessment:

  • Gateway

    Before an End Point Assessment can take place, the apprentice must pass through the Gateway. This is a review of the learner’s progress and development and a check to see if they have met the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship standard, e.g. English and maths at level 2. Although you as the employer hold the final say, it is crucial all parties including the apprentice and the training provider, collectively agree the learner is ready for the assessment. Each apprenticeship standard will have its own set of minimum requirements, and information on these requirements can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

  • EPA

    The assessment itself will usually be booked and confirmed by the training provider, on a date suitable for everyone involved. It can be undertaken in the workplace or any other appropriate environment, with some EPAs now being able to be taken remotely from the apprentice’s home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Training Providers will be able to work with the learner to provide support preparing the learner for the assessment, which typically will involve an exam, interview and a presentation. The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods most relevant to the job.

  • Grading

    After completing the End Point Assessment, the apprentice will be graded either pass, merit or distinction. Grading boundaries and descriptions are found in the standard’s assessment plan.

    The EPAO will request a certificate on the apprentice’s behalf and is usually received within ten working days. If the grade produced is a fail, the apprentice will have the opportunity to re-sit the EPA or is on some standards able to retake individual elements of the assessment. As the employer has the responsibility to fund any re-sit costs, it is important to carefully consider if the apprentice is fully capable and has a complete understanding of the requirements before passing them through the Gateway.