Sarah Pick, Qualification and Apprenticeship Manager at BIIAB, provides us with an insight into the journey that BIIAB have taken to support their first two Apprentices through the End Point Assessment process for the Hospitality Team Member (Food Production) Apprenticeship.
From a power cut to a lack of running water, the two Apprentices who were first to complete their Apprenticeships with BIIAB experienced it all as part of their End Point Assessment activities. Observations were conducted via emergency lighting and bottled water used as part of food production activities, and no, this was not by design to test whether the Apprentices could cope with extenuating circumstances, this was all due to adverse weather conditions on the days of the apprentices’ observations. The BIIAB assessment processes were tested to the max, as was the independent End Point Assessor’s 4 wheel drive but, throughout it all, the Apprentices were not disadvantaged in any way and were able to showcase their skills and knowledge as per the requirements of the apprenticeship assessment plan.
Not only were these two Apprentices the first to achieve an Apprenticeship standard with BIIAB, but they have also been invaluable in allowing us to use their experiences to further refine and develop our End Point Assessment processes. Simple developments, for example, ensuring all assessment activities are video and audio recorded and refining reports and documents so that they are much more user friendly. However, the biggest lesson that these Apprentices have taught us is ensuring Providers and Employers have detailed a clear understanding of what constitutes appropriate evidence for our gateway checks and how to ensure the Apprentice is ready for End Point Assessment, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays at gateway.
Enabling the Apprentice to pass through the gateway, after they have completed the on-programme element of the Apprenticeship, is vital. Not only in terms of timely completions for the Apprenticeships but also in protecting the Apprentice from feeling let down having come this far in the Apprenticeship journey and already having worked so hard. However, passing through the gateway to End Point Assessment is not easy and is dependent on the learner having achieved all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required within the Apprenticeship standard, as well as English and maths qualifications and any other relevant mandatory qualifications or assessments.
It is therefore vital that the provider and employer are fully aware of the gateway requirements before the Apprentices commence on programme and can develop a plan together for the achievement of all on-programme requirements by the target gateway date. BIIAB urges all Providers and Employers to get in touch as early in the process as possible to discuss the best way for BIIAB to support organisations throughout the delivery of the Apprenticeship in preparation for the gateway. The most important way we can provide this essential support is through the BIIAB QADAP, or Quality Assured Delivery and Assessment Preparation service and pack. The QADAP ensures the Apprentice covers all that is required in the Apprenticeship standard, enabling any potential gaps in the Apprenticeship delivery to be identified, and built in from the very start of the Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship training delivery is underpinned through a quality assured delivery model.
So, for BIIAB, it is onto our next cohort of Apprentices who are already at the gateway peering through to the End Point Assessment and no doubt there will be more lessons learned for all parties and further iterations of our End Point Assessment guidance documents.