EPA – In the Spotlight

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 11:52

With End Point Assessment one of the hot topics of the moment we thought it would be useful to put it in the spotlight and provide a clear overview of what it is, what is required of you as an organisation and how to get things moving...

What is EPA?

  • EPA is a holistic and independent assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which have been learnt throughout an apprenticeship standard
  • Apprentices are not able to achieve an apprenticeship without satisfying all requirements in the assessment plan including EPA
  • It must be independent
  • It is graded
  • Learners can fail (and there is a limit to the number of re-sits)
  • Carried out by an Apprentice Assessment Organisation on the RoAAO

What are your contractual Obligations:


  • Appoint an Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO
  • Agree fees with the AAO
  • Ensure there is a written agreement with the AAO and your provider(s)
  • It would be sensible to have written evidence of the agreed AAO and fees
  • Agree with the training provider what role you will play and what role they will play
  • Sign off the ‘gateway evidence’ with the training provider before EPA can take place

The training provider

  • Hold a written agreement with the appointed AAO
  • Pay the AAO in line with the agreed price
  • Carry out the duties as agreed with you
  • Meet the terms and conditions of the AAO
  • Operate within the funding rules


  • Agree fees with you
  • Contract with your training providers – either through a tri-party agreement or direct
  • Provide EPA products and services that meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard assessment plan
  • Meet the conditions of approval and external quality assurance
  • Carry out EPA
  • Moderate and issue results, submit data for certification

Management of the programme - who is responsible?

  • You and your training provider(s)
  • The AAO isn’t responsible for any part of programme management or delivery - our only job is to provide EPA

Logistical Requirements

  • EPA will be a timely exercise and will no doubt cause disruption to daily operations
  • It is important to consider where the EPA is to be carried out;
    • Most standards require EPA to be carried out at the company premises however it is possible for some standards for the EPA to be carried out at a facility
    • Also consider where in the site EPA will be carried out, which room(s), which line
  • You will need to consider who is going to book EPA – you? your sites? your training provider(s)? the apprentice?
  • Think carefully about the timing of your EPA – groups, individual, block sessions
  • Think about the learners and which environment they will flourish in
  • Colleagues and managers need to be aware that EPA is a formal assessment and disruption to their EPA will be unfair
  • Do you want the training provider involved if so how? Will they be there to support the apprentice before and after? Or run a revision session before?


What should your expectations be of an apprentice assessment organisation

  • They are on the register of apprentice assessment organisations
  • They have expertise in assessment development and practice
  • Have extensive industry expertise and can provide expert and independent apprentice assessors
  • Commitment to support the learner and NOT try to ‘catch them out’
  • Provide support and documentation throughout the delivery of the programme and not just at the end
  • Be upfront about costs, processes, policies
  • Be flexible and tailored where possible

Success and Failure!

Did you know that….

  • Results will be published against the provider and the employer
  • Success rates will have an impact on the training provider(s)
  • Your brand and reputation will be in the limelight
  • You may be subject to audit and public reports
  • Results could affect the relationship with your provider(s)

Also consider:

  • Will the learner still have a job if they fail? If so how do other learners feel about that?
  • What happens if there are large numbers that fail?

What next:

If you need help and support in identifying and engaging with an AAO contact us and we will be delighted to assist you...