What is end-point assessment (EPA)?
The pinnacle of the apprenticeship, the next step of your career. The end-point assessment (EPA) is the process that is taken at the end of an apprentice’s journey to determine their capabilities. The EPA is very important in adding value to apprenticeships and certifying that milestone in their career.
What is the End Point Assessment?
The EPA was introduced alongside the new Apprenticeship Standards as a final assessment at the end of the apprenticeship. It’s a process that apprentices have to go through, where evidence is collected from the apprenticeship showing their development in skills and competencies. This will then be graded, giving the apprentices a final grade and a reward for their hard work.
The end-point assessment is an exam which assesses all requirements of the standard, including the competencies, knowledge, research and behaviours. The EPA is completed in the last few months of the apprenticeship and is formed of four assessment methods;
- Summative portfolio
- Synoptic project
- Employer reference
Each method of assessment measures the apprentice solely on their performance and reflects the quality of their work as well as how they have met the competencies of their Standard. Each area of the assessment is accumulated to create an all-around view of the apprentice’s performance enabling the assessor to make a complete and fair judgement of how well the apprentice has met the overall requirements of the Standard.
What does the EPA consist of?
Here’s a breakdown of each section:
This is a collection of real-work projects, which encapsulates all the skills, knowledge and competencies set out in the Standard. The portfolio is assessed as part of the end-point assessment and is evidence that the apprentice has applied that learning in a holistic and coherent way.
This is a pre-defined project, which is set by the EPA bodies and undertaken in a controlled environment. This is a business-related project and must provide evidence against a selected set of knowledge, competencies and behaviours. This is key to ensure consistency and comparability, increasing the accuracy of the assessment decision.
The employer will provide a reference for the apprentice offering their perspective on how the apprentice has performed in the workplace and how they have applied their knowledge, competencies and behaviours in work projects.
This is undertaken by the assessor and gives them an opportunity to gather further evidence of the apprentice’s knowledge, competencies and behaviours required by the Standard. It covers both what the apprentice has done in terms of the standard of their work, and also how they have done it. This enables the end-point assessment to include the full range of technical knowledge and competencies, as well as the underpinning skills, attitudes and behaviours. This also increases accuracy and validity.
The final stage is grading, which takes place at the end of the apprenticeship, following the end-point assessment. The output is a single grade: pass, merit or distinction for the entire apprenticeship. Grading is done by the independent assessor, based on a complete view of the apprentice’s work and as evidenced by each of the methods of end-point assessment. This is a certified grade in which the apprentice will have for a lifetime.
Why is there an End Point Assessment?
The EPA is a significant closure on the apprenticeship as it allows the individual to see how far they have come and seen just how much they have learnt. It ensures that the apprentice is competent and that they have met all of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the Standard. The EPA offers that closure on the apprenticeship, signifying an absolute end of their programme and beginning of their new role within an organisation, hitting a milestone in their career.