It’s December and 2018 has nearly come to an end!

TQUK EPA has had an absolutely amazing year. From launching our new EPA website to being the first EPAO to pass apprentices on brand new standards, 2018 has been chock full of action.

We’re sure that 2019 will only bring bigger and better things. But for now, we’re looking back on our 2018 and reliving some of our best moments. Enjoy!

We Launched our EPA Website

2018 Website

Back in February, we launched our brand new TQUK EPA website which you’re currently reading this blog on! We wanted to have an easy-to-use, all-in-one destination for employers, training providers and apprentices to find all the information they needed on our End-Point Assessment services. The site was a culmination of months of hard work and includes many useful resources for our customers to demonstrate our dedication to providing the best EPA service possible!

Not too shabby, ey?

We Were Approved to Deliver Many More Standards

2018 Standards

From month to month, we were approved to deliver End-Point Assessment for a ton of new standards in 2018! Check out some of them below:

We’ll be approved for many more standards in 2019, so stay tuned for more updates!

We Reached a Lot of Firsts

2018 Firsts

Throughout the year, we were the first End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) to pass apprentices on a range of brand new apprenticeship standards. Back in May, in collaboration with Creative Support, we were the first EPAO to pass an apprentice on the new Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship standard. Sona Peskin became the first apprentice to complete this standard after completing her Professional Discussion in late April. She received a Merit overall, and we were absolutely delighted with her hard work and results!

And it didn’t stop there! In August, we continued our brilliant partnership with Creative Support and passed the first apprentice in the U.K. on the Lead Adult Care Worker Standard! Lee Wild became the first apprentice to pass the standard on 1st August 2018, receiving a Merit overall for her hard work. We couldn’t have been prouder of her! Good job, Lee!

Back in July, we also passed the first Adult Care Worker apprentice in the U.K. to receive a Distinction! Joseph Bailey completed his apprenticeship in mid-June and received a Distinction for his amazing efforts. Both TQUK EPA and Creative Support were amazed by his drive, expertise and confidence. His achievement is also made more impressive by the fact that he is one of a small minority of male apprentices in the care sector. You go, Jo!

Exciting Staff Developments

2018 Staff Developments

Our Hive has only grown stronger over 2018! Back in January, our wonderful Kelle McQuade became our Head of End-Point Assessment Organisation. Under her decisive leadership, we’ve grown quickly and have blazed a trail across the End-Point Assessment landscape!

In April, Rochelle Crichton moved from the role of Business Support Officer in TQUK to End-Point Assessment Officer in TQUK EPA! Rochelle’s been an amazing addition to the Hive and is vital to the smooth running of daily operations. She assists employers, apprentices and training providers with all things EPA and we would be lost without her! More exciting developments are in the mix for Rochelle, as she’ll be taking on a new role in the team from January 2019! Watch this space!

In May, we added another busy bee to our Hive. Lucy Hall became our End-Point Assessment Coordinator, and we haven’t looked back since! Lucy has worked in hospitality and management for years and has extensive experience as an IQA. We couldn’t wait to snatch her up, and ever since she’s joined TQUK EPA she’s been working at the very heart of our EPA provision. As EPA Coordinator, she tracks and oversees all activities associated with designing, developing and delivering compliant, relevant assessment to our apprentices. She also works with a bank of external assessors to ensure our apprentices receive the highest quality EPA possible.

There’s even more on the horizon for TQUK EPA! In January 2019, one of TQUK’s Client Relationship Officers, Matt Garrod, will be moving away from his CRO role and into the post of End-Point Assessment Officer! Matt has already made a great impact in the Client Relationship Team, and he will no doubt continue to shine and dazzle in his new EPA role. We’re glad to have you soon, Matt!

Forging New Partnerships

2018 Partnerships

We’d just like to thank all of the employers and training providers who’ve partnered with us over this past year as they use our EPA services for their apprentices! We hold ourselves to the highest possible standards and strive to deliver the best End-Point Assessment possible. We’re happy that many organisations recognise that, and we’re incredibly proud of all of the partnerships that we’ve forged in 2018. Here’s to building many more in 2019!

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And there you go! A few of our top moments from 2018. It was an absolutely brilliant year, and we’re thankful for all of our success. Here’s to a brighter future in 2019!

To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

Ever since TQUK EPA started offering End-Point Assessment for the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship Standard, we’ve gotten a lot of questions from employers about how they can help their apprentices prepare for it.

It’s great to see employers so invested in their apprentices, so we wanted to do a bit more to help them out! If you have an apprentice about to take their End-Point Assessment, there’s a lot you can do to make sure they succeed.

Your Teaching Assistant

Even before your Teaching Assistant apprentice undertakes their End-Point Assessment, they already bring a ton of value to the classroom.  Teaching Assistant apprentices can work in primary, special and secondary education, across all age ranges. Their roles can include providing for special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. They are vital assets to have to make sure classes function for all students involved.

Throughout their apprenticeship they’ll attain vital knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to excel in their job, including understanding how pupils learn and develop, getting familiar with curriculums and knowing how to deliver them, developing strategies for learning and support, understanding how to promote professional standards and learning how to maintain professional relationships across your organisation. Throughout their programme they’ll complete their training, ace their work and pass Gateway.

Now, it’s time for the final test: the End-Point Assessment.

The End-Point Assessment for Teaching Assistant apprentices is made up of the following assessment activities:

  • Practical Observation with Question and Answers
  • Professional Discussion supported by Portfolio of Evidence

Practical Observation with Question and Answers

Teaching Assistant Grading

What is a Practical Observation?

In a Practical Observation, the End-Point Assessor will observe the apprentice undertaking a defined set of tasks related to their job role. The apprentice will be observed undertaking these activities while the End-Point Assessor notes and records performance and achievement against defined criteria outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. Generally, Practical Observations assess skills and behaviours, but a well-designed Observation will assess knowledge, skills AND behaviours. An Observation also pairs well with a Professional Discussion to bring out the underpinning knowledge, so the End-Point Assessor can get a broad view of the apprentice’s competence by both observing them undertake tasks and asking them about these tasks (ie ‘I just saw you do it – now tell me why you did it’).

What Happens in the Assessment?

All details of the event (venue, date, time) will be planned by the employer, the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor before the assessment takes place (ideally during the Gateway stage).

The Practical Observation for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will take place on location and will be conducted by the End-Point Assessor. The Observation will last approximately 2 hours. The Question and Answer session will last for approximately 15 minutes after the end of the Observation.

The Observation will:

  • Reflect the apprentice’s genuine and typical working conditions;
  • Allow the apprentice to demonstrate all of the Apprenticeship Standard criteria;
  • Take a synoptic approach to assessing the knowledge, skills and behaviours (ie will assess how knowledge, skills and behaviours are connected and overlap);
  • Be carried out on a one-to-one basis (only one apprentice is allowed to be observed at a time).

During the Observation, the apprentice will demonstrate the ability to, among other things:

  • Deliver/lead small group teaching within clearly defined/planned parameters using initiative, sensitivity and understanding;
  • Implement current statutory guidance including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Part 1, safeguarding policies and the Prevent Strategy;
  • Use specific feedback to help pupils make progress;
  • Use relevant technology competently and effectively to improve learning;
  • Recognise the difference between pastoral and academic issues and model good behaviour for learning;
  • Contribute to a range of assessment processes and use information effectively – for example, written records;
  • Work closely with teachers to ensure their own contribution aligns with teaching.

Once the Observation is complete, the End-Point Assessor will conduct a Question and Answer session with the apprentice. This session will allow the End-Point Assessor to further question the apprentice in areas that they have partially demonstrated during the Observation in order to provide additional assurance.

Questions that the End-Point Assessor asks the apprentice will be written by the End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). All EPAOs will keep a bank of test questions ready for the Question and Answer session, which is reviewed regularly to ensure unpredictability.

Top Tips: How to Help your Apprentice Prepare for their Practical Observation

  • Do a mock assessment: Conducting a mock observation with your apprentice will help prepare them for the assessment format and give them a sense of what kind of tasks they will perform. Get in touch with your EPAO for guidance on how to conduct a mock assessment.
  • Make sure the apprentice knows the time and date: The End-Point Assessment can be a very busy time. It’s easy for apprentices to fudge their schedules. Double-check that they know where to go and what to do.
  • Review specific topics and terminology: Check out the Apprenticeship Standard to ensure that your apprentice is meeting all the knowledge, skills and behaviours criteria that will be assessed during the Observation and the Question and Answer session.
  • Prepare for the Question and Answer session: It can be easy to assume that the Observation will only cover skills and behaviours, but the Question and Answer session will test the apprentice on various knowledge standards. Encourage your apprentice to review all the necessary criteria to be sure everything is up to snuff.
  • Prepare the premises so that the apprentice has everything they need to succeed: Ensure all the necessary equipment and materials are at hand and that there won’t be any unnecessary or avoidable disruptions during the assessment.
  • Speak with the Training Provider and/or On-Programme Assessor: You may be able to identify areas where the apprentice needs improvement.

Professional Discussion Supported by Portfolio of Evidence

Teaching Assistant Grading

What is a Professional Discussion?

A Professional Discussion is a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor whereby the End-Point Assessor will ask the apprentice several pre-prepared, open-ended questions and the apprentice will provide responses. It is normally used in conjunction with an Observation or Project Assessment. It will allow the End-Point Assessor to probe deeper into the apprentice’s knowledge and to confirm any questions they had about their performance.

What is a Portfolio?

A Portfolio is a collection of evidence of work, progress and activity which the apprentice compiles over the course of their programme that may include testimonials, journal entries, projects and more. It will give the End-Point Assessor a detailed, tangible view of the apprentice’s abilities and accomplishments.

What Happens in the Assessment?

The Professional Discussion for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will last for approximately 90 minutes. It will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor following the Practical Observation and will establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours. It will take place in a quiet room away from distractions.

The Portfolio of Evidence will serve as the basis for the Professional Discussion. The evidence within the Portfolio can be used by the apprentice to evidence and support their responses to the questions posed by the End-Point Assessor.

The purpose of the Professional Discussion is to:

  • Make judgements about the apprentice’s quality of work;
  • Explore aspects of the work, including how it was carried out, in more detail;
  • Discuss how the apprentice would behave in specific situations, with the End-Point Assessor asking scenario based questions;
  • Ensure there are no gaps within the evidence ;
  • Provide a basis for the End-Point Assessor to make a decision about the final grading.

The Portfolio is completed during the apprentice’s on-programme learning and is meant to support the Professional Discussion. It will contain a minimum of 10 pieces of evidence and a maximum of 15 which may include:

  • Feedback from a performance management review system;
  • Evidence of pupil progression;
  • Work produced by the apprentice (eg interventions);
  • Evidence from Practical Observations and general observations obtained over time;
  • Observations carried out by competent Teaching Assistants and HLTAs, Line Managers, Class Teachers and Mentors;
  • Assessor reviews;
  • Naturally occurring pieces of evidence (eg feedback from visitors/parents);
  • Details of any training and courses attended;
  • Notes from professional discussions.

Top Tips: How to Help Your Apprentice Prepare for their Professional Discussion

  • Make sure your apprentice hands their Portfolio in on time: The Portfolio of Evidence should be given to the End-Point Assessor two weeks before Professional Discussion takes place. Be sure to remind your apprentice of the assigned date.
  • Do a mock assessment: Lots of apprentices can get very intimidated by a Professional Discussion. A mock assessment will help prepare them for the format and the types of questions they will be asked. Contact your EPAO on how to conduct a suitable mock assessment.
  • Support your apprentice by helping them compile their Portfolio: The evidence your apprentice submits needs to be of sufficient quality, and the final Portfolio should not contain any gaps, particularly with regards to Safeguarding and Health and Safety.
  • Help your apprentice relax: It won’t do your apprentice any good to head into their assessment all stressed out. Provide them with some tips to get into the right headspace for their End-Point Assessment.

Grading for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment

A Teaching Assistant apprentice EPA being graded

The final grade for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will be awarded based on the table below:

Practical Observation with Q&As Professional Discussion with Portfolio of Evidence EPA Grade
Fail Fail Fail
Pass Fail Fail
Fail Pass Fail
Distinction Fail Fail
Fail Distinction Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Distinction

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We hope this blog gave you a better picture of what’s involved in the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment. To keep up to date with all the latest End-Point Assessment news from TQUK, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

See you around The Hive!

We’re proud to announce that we now offer End-Point Assessment for the HR Consultant/Partner Apprenticeship!

HR Consultants/Partners provide and lead the delivery of HR solutions to business challenges. They also provide tailored advice to their business in various HR areas, typically to mid-level and senior managers. The HR Consultant/Partner can be a general role where individuals provide support across a range of HR areas or a more specialist role where they focus on a specific area of HR. Before their Apprenticeship, apprentices must choose which area of HR they will specialise in. They can choose from:

  • Core HR
  • Resourcing
  • Total Reward
  • Organisation Development
  • HR Operations

Regardless of their area of focus, individuals must have a good grounding across a range of HR disciplines as this is contained in both of the qualification options included in this Standard.

HR Consultants/Partners will often need to make decisions and recommendations on what the business can and should do in specific situations. They will help managers change their thinking and bring the best practices into their organisation. They are also likely to lead the people related elements of business or HR projects. Regardless of their role, HR Consultants/Partners must link their work to the priorities of their business. In larger organisations, they may be part of a team supporting the business and have responsibility for managing people.

This Level 5 Apprenticeship will typically be 2-3 years long but could be closer to 18 months if the apprentice has previously completed the Level 3 HR Support Apprenticeship.

In the HR Consultant/Partner Apprenticeship, apprentices must complete an appropriate qualification considered most relevant by their Employer. In this qualification, they will be able to focus on their chosen speciality from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Their Employer can choose from:

  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management
  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management

Once apprentices have undergone all of their training, they will move onto their End-Point Assessment. These are the final pieces of assessment that an apprentice must undergo to ensure that they are equipped with the right skills, knowledge and behaviours required of the HR Consultant/Partner Standard.

The End-Point Assessment components of the HR Consultant/Partner Apprenticeship include:

  • Consultative Project
  • Professional Discussion

Consultative Project

HR Consultative Project

The Consultative Project will be a real example of work done by the apprentice in their role which must be completed after Gateway and take a maximum of three months. In the Project, the apprentice must describe how they have applied their knowledge and HR skills to deliver the services required by their role. Some HR knowledge and skill areas that the Consultative Project will assess include:

  • A good understanding of all HR disciplines, HR legislation and excellent working knowledge of their organisation’s HR policies and procedures
  • An understanding of what their organisation does, the external market and the sector it operates in
  • An understanding of HR systems and where to find HR and management data
  • An ability to provide support and advice on HR policies and processes
  • An ability to contribute to business change to support positive behavioural, business or organisational change

The Project should describe a situation where the apprentice has successfully worked with a customer, most likely an internal one, to deliver a specific piece of HR work or provide an HR solution for them. This piece of work should relate to their chosen speciality.

The Project should contain:

  • Project objectives
  • Scope of work
  • Description of the situation/problem/business need
  • Methodology used
  • Research undertaken/information gathered/analytical findings
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Implementation plan

An example of a project might be planning the resourcing requirements for a growing area of the business or changing the elements of the employee rewards package. The project should be 5000 words +/- 10%.

Professional Discussion

HR professional discussion

The Professional Discussion should be carried out within two weeks of the Project being reviewed and marked by the End-Point Assessor. It will focus on the skills and behaviours outlined in the Standard, along with any other knowledge and skill components that were not covered in the Consultative Project. Examples of skills and behaviours that the Discussion will assess include:

  • The ability to keep up to date with business changes and HR legal/policy/process changes relevant to their role
  • The ability to build effective working relationships with business managers, peers and other HR functions along with relevant external organisations
  • The ability to adapt positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring key business and HR deadlines continue to be met
  • The ability to display tenacity and proactivity in the way they go about their role, staying positive when under pressure

The Professional Discussion should last between 60-75 minutes in which the End-Point Assessor will ask 10-15 questions, each of which will focus on a single component of knowledge, skill or behaviour. It may be carried out face to face or remotely using video conferencing such as Skype.

HR Grading

HR exam being graded

The results of these two assessment methods will build a cumulative picture of the apprentice’s performance against the Standard. Each component will be weighted equally to provide the final grade. A grading table can be found below:

Consultative Project Professional Discussion Grade
 

Pass

Pass Pass
Distinction Pass
 

Distinction

Pass Pass
Distinction Distinction

 

After their Apprenticeship, apprentices can apply to become an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. They can later gain Chartered membership through further qualifications or experience based assessment. After completing their Standard, apprentices will be fully competent in their role and will have in-depth knowledge of HR in their chosen speciality. They can then continue to develop in their speciality or broaden their HR expertise in another area to develop their career.

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We hoped this gave you more insight into the different components included in the End-Point Assessment for the HR Consultant/Partner Apprenticeship!

To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

After a lot of hard work, TQUK EPA has now been approved to deliver End-Point Assessment for three more Apprenticeship Standards!

Our new Production Chef Apprenticeship Standard will be the perfect complement to the range of culinary Hospitality Standards we already offer, including Commis Chef, Chef De Partie, Senior Production Chef and Hospitality Manager. Our new Children, Young People &  Families Manager and Children, Young People & Families Practitioner Apprenticeship Standards will strengthen our EPA offerings for the Childcare & Education sector, where we already offer services for the Teaching Assistant Standard.

Check out all our new Standards below:

Production Chef

Production Chef Apprenticeship Standards

Production Chefs can work in a range of kitchen environments including schools, hospitals, the Armed Forces and pub kitchens. They will likely work with centrally developed standardised recipes and menus, producing food in high volumes. They must maintain excellent standards of personal, food and kitchen hygiene as they produce food that is compliant with procedures, menu specifications and recipes. They will need to apply highly methodical organisational skills, energy, accuracy and attention to detail to their work.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Production Chef Standard include:

  • On-Demand Test
  • Practical Observation
  • Professional Discussion

Children, Young People & Families Practitioner

Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Apprenticeship Standards

Children, Young People and Families Practitioners work with a range of people, including carers, to achieve positive and sustainable change in the lives of children, young people and families. They must demonstrate a passion for caring about children, young people and families and will be skilled in recognising the complex needs that these individuals present. Each piece of work with a child or family will be different and Practitioners will exercise judgement on a range of evidence-based approaches to inform their practice.

There are two pathways which apprentices can choose from in this programme:

  1. Practitioner in Children’s Residential Care
  2. Children, Young People and Families Practitioner within the Community

There are two End-Point Assessment Components for this Apprenticeship:

  • Practical Observation
  • Competence Interview (with accompanying Portfolio)

Children, Young People & Families Manager

Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Apprenticeship Standards

Children, Young People and Families Managers ensure direction, alignment and commitment within their practice, team, organisation and across partnerships to help children, young people and families do their best and achieve sustainable change. They will build teams, manage resources and lead new approaches to working practices that will deliver improved outcomes and will put the child, young person or family at the centre of practice.

There are two pathways which apprentices can choose from in this Apprenticeship:

  1. Manager in Children’s Residential Care
  2. Children, Young People and Families Manager within the Community

There are two End-Point Assessment Components in this Apprenticeship:

  • Situational Judgement Test
  • Competence Interview

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To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA on Apprenticeship Standards, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

What We’re Looking For

TQUK is now hiring End-Point Assessors for three apprenticeship standards: Healthcare Support WorkerSenior Healthcare Support Worker and Healthcare Assistant Practitioner.

With our ever-expanding EPA offer, we now need more people than ever to keep with the demand!

The Job

End-Point Assessors provide independent, fair, reliable and consistent assessment services to TQUK customers. End-Point Assessors use their assessment experience in combination with their robust and relevant industry knowledge to form judgements and grading decisions for apprentice assessment activities, which test an apprentices’ occupational competency. This role requires someone who is flexible in their approach to all tasks, who has the ability to travel and who has exceptional assessment abilities that demonstrate integrity and impartiality.

End-Point Assessors will:

  • Deliver outstanding End-Point  Assessment services to apprentices and employers
  • Undertake End-Point Assessment activities with integrity and impartiality to offer a fair, reliable and consistent assessment experience for all apprentices and employers
  • Manage assigned caseload to ensure all stages of the EPA journey are completed in a timely manner and to the expected standard
  • Maintain an excellent working knowledge of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans
  • Undertake onsite and remote invigilation duties as part of your allocated caseload
  • Produce accurate and well-informed assessment feedback and written reports to validate assessment grading decisions

What You’ll Need

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience within healthcare support or a related field
  • Minimum of 2 years’ assessing experience with robust knowledge of assessment techniques
  • Evidenced experience in the vocational sector at or above the level to which you will assess
  • Relevant assessor qualification
  • Level 2 English and maths qualifications (or equivalent)
  • Sound IT and digital literacy
  • Outstanding organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to work in a flexible manner, adapt to different environments and solve problems independently
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including report writing

Want to Know More?

For more info on each assessor position, click on the links, below:

Healthcare Support Worker

Senior Healthcare Support Worker

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

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To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

We’ve got more exciting news!

We’re proud to announce that we now offer End-Point Assessment for the Hospitality Manager Apprenticeship!

Hospitality Managers work across a huge range of organisations including bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels and more. These managers tend to specialise in a particular area, such as food and beverage or conference and events management. However, their core knowledge, skills and behaviours remain the same. Hospitality Managers across all businesses must have a passion for exceeding customer expectations and a desire to fulfil their business’ vision and objectives. Individuals in the Hospitality Manager role must be highly motivated team leaders who have a talent for management along with specific industry skills.

Hospitality Manager apprentices will be trained in multiples areas of a hospitality business and will gain vital skills, knowledge and behaviors across the people, customer, leadership and business sides of their organisation. In this Apprenticeship, apprentices must also specialise in a particular area to demonstrate their technical skill and expertise. They can could become a:

  • Food and Beverage Service Manager
  • House Keeping Manager
  • Front Office Manager
  • Revenue Manager
  • Conference and Events Manager
  • Hospitality Outlet Manager
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Multi-functional Manager

After they complete their training, apprentices will take on the final pieces of assessment, also known as End-Point Assessment, so that they can pass their Apprenticeship. End-Point Assessment consists of multiple assessment components that ensure an apprentice is able to meet nationally set standards.

The End-Point Assessment for the Hospitality Manager apprenticeship is split into three parts:

  • On-Demand Test
  • Business Project
  • Professional Discussion

On-Demand Test

The 90 minute On-Demand Test will include 35 scenario based multiple choice questions, with 4 response options per question. The Test will be on-screen and computer marked unless required otherwise. It will take place in a controlled environment, away from the day-to-day pressures of work. The questions will cover the knowledge and skills identified in the Apprenticeship Standard. Some questions will require knowledge recall whereas others will require the apprentice to consider a course of action to a problem based on a real-life workplace activity. The questions will require the apprentice to demonstrate reasoning and joined up thinking against key elements of the Standard.

The Test will include two parts: Part A which will be the core section of the Test, and part B which will be the specialist function of the Test. The core section will have 25 questions and the specialist section will have 10 questions, with all questions worth one mark each. The apprentice must pass both sections to pass their Test overall. Above a pass, marks from Part A and B will be combined to determine the overall Test grade.

Business Project

The 9,000 word Business Project will focus on an opportunity, challenge or idea which the apprentice thinks will improve their business. This Project requires the apprentice to gather information and make recommendations to management. It is designed to give them an opportunity to demonstrate their wider understanding of the business and examine how the operations of their specialist function could be improved.

After they’ve passed Gateway, the apprentice must write a two page proposal of their Business Project. In this proposal, the apprentice should identify the problem, issue or challenge and their intended approach to researching solutions and making recommendations. They will then discuss this with their End-Point Assessor at a planning meeting.

The Project will contain the following:

  • Introduction and background
  • Outline of challenge or opportunity
  • Aims and objectives
  • Identification of measurable improvements and benefits to the wider organisation
  • Evidence of consultation and engagement of stakeholders
  • Analysis of costs and commercial context
  • Legislative requirements explained and adhered to
  • Evidence of effective research
  • Justified recommendations for implementation
  • Proposed timeframes for implementation

The Project should follow a basic structure and a template will be provided for the apprentice by the End-Point Assessment Organisation (that’s us!) The apprentice will be given sufficient time (a minimum of 40 hours if required) during their work time and within the 2 month EPA window to research and write the Project.

Once the Project has been finished, the apprentice must submit their report to the End-Point Assessor at least seven days before their Professional Discussion.

Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion will be a 90 minute structured discussion between the apprentice and their End-Point Assessor. In the End-Point Assessment window before their Professional Discussion, the apprentice will gather constructive and objective feedback on their competence across the areas below from their superior, a peer and a direct report. These areas include:

  • Business
  • People
  • Customers
  • Leadership
  • Specialist function with specific criteria
  • Behaviours (for the core and specialist function)

If the apprentice does not have a superior, then a main stakeholder, such as a prime customer or supplier, can be used instead. The feedback itself will not be marked, but used by the apprentice to reflect on the knowledge, skills and behaviours they developed during their programme.

The End-Point Assessor conducting the Professional Discussion should normally be the same person who assessed the Business Project. This allows the End-Point Assessor to ask the apprentice a minimum of 30 questions in relation to:

  • Coverage of the standard (a minimum of 5 questions)
  • Reflection on the superior, peer and direct report feedback (a minimum of 5 questions)

The Professional Discussion will take place in a controlled environment, away from the apprentice’s normal place of work. If all parties cannot meet in the same place, then the Discussion may be conducted using technology such as video conferencing as long as fair assessment conditions are maintained.

The Professional Discussion will recognise areas that have already been covered in the Business Project so that the apprentice is not reassessed in an area which they’ve already demonstrated competence in. The number of questions asked in total will vary according to the breadth and depth of the answers given. However, as a minimum, there must be 30 questions asked to cover all the criteria requirements and give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate all of the requirements needed for a distinction.

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We hope this helped all interested apprentices and employers gain more knowledge of the Hospitality Manager apprenticeship! To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

Tis’ the season to be jolly and no one knows this better than the UK’s retailers!

Yes, all of our Retail apprentices will be extremely busy in the upcoming weeks as they deal with hordes of hungry shoppers intent on getting their Christmas shopping done.

So, in order to help our Retail apprentices boost their sales this holiday season, here are some tips on how to take advantage of the Christmas craziness. Enjoy!

1. Go All Out with the Decorations

You’ll no doubt have decorations in your shop already – after all, a shop without holiday decorations at this time of year will not have a good Christmas in the least. So go crazy to stand out from the crowd! You really need to wow with your window display first to get shoppers into your beautifully decorated store.

The traditional green and red colour scheme will no doubt be over-used, so why not try something different? For some inspiration, check out these best Christmas window displays from around the world. If you need some help thinking outside of the box, then check out what this Greggs opposite the famous Fenwick window display did!

2. Social Media Is In

Social media has never been hotter, so make sure to use your social media channels as much as possible this December! Social media is the perfect platform for attracting new customers and interacting with your current ones so that you can build strong relationships and increase brand awareness. So make sure to advertise your promotional offers, take pictures of your wonderful shop displays and even throw in a Christmas contest or two!

3. Customer Service Sells

We know how stressful the holiday season can be for you and your employees, but your customers are also under a lot of stress as they deal with long queues and crowded shops. So, this December is the perfect opportunity to provide the best customer service possible to differentiate yourself from your competitors. A great shopping experience can keep your customers coming back to your shop again and again, maximising your holiday sales. It can also turn your customers into brand advocates so that they recommend your shop to family and friends.

Make sure you train your staff to stay polite and knowledgeable as they serve customers. You should also warn them of the large crowds and ask them to keep as calm and collected as possible. A good tip is to also ensure that your shop has hired enough seasonal employees, if needed, to remain adequately staffed.

4. Focus on Upselling

People are much looser with their wallets in December, so telling your employees to put a real focus on upselling will do wonders for your sales numbers. Make sure that you’ve put thought into the product pairings ahead of time. Your employees should know which products can be grouped together so that they can effectively upsell when the opportunity arrives.

Another good tip to upsell is to recommend a more expensive counterpart for a product that a customer has decided to buy. So, if they’re buying, say, a phone, then try to slide in and recommend a more expensive but high performing model.

5. Provide Free Gift Wrapping

Offering free gift wrapping will save your customers time and money as they won’t have to hectically wrap all of their presents on Christmas Eve. It may even entice the stray consumer to your shop once they see that you offer free wrapping.

You could also pre-wrap a few of your most popular items. They’ll add more Christmas decoration to your shop and may also encourage your customers to buy those items as they won’t have to wrap it themselves when they get home.

6. Support a Charity

Christmas is the season of giving, and there are loads of local charities that you can support this December. TQUK is going to donate goods to our local foodbank as we’re never one to shy away from kindness! Donating to a charity will not only help your local community, but will also help your business as your customers will have a greater appreciation for your brand. Your employees will also be happy to work for a business that cares about its community which will boost staff morale and improve your retention rates.

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And there you go! A few tips to help all of our Retail apprentices boost sales this Christmas.

To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

 

It’s December and you know what that means… the Christmas season is finally here!

Yes, the advent calendars have been ripped into, the shops have put up their decorations and the Elton John adverts are taking over the TV. Christmas time is here and the holiday spirit is positively palpable.

The TQUK office is always festive when December rolls around. So, we thought it’d be good to share some of our wisdom and recommend some tips to our Management and HR apprentices on how you can keep the holiday cheer up in your own office!

Decorations

Katy, TJ and Kit in front of the TQUK Christmas tree

Your employees see the same four walls every day, so jazzing up your office with Christmas decorations is the perfect way of bringing the festive spirit to your workplace! The options are endless: Christmas trees, fairy lights, fake snow, a giant inflatable Santa… the more creative the better!

To involve all of your staff, why not ask them to bring in decorations that they’re not using at home? You could even host a best-decorated desk competition and add some competitive spice into the mix!

Secret Santa

Presenting a present

An age old tradition in offices across the world, but a welcome one. A Secret Santa exchange is a great way of bringing the Christmas spirit into your work. It ensures that every employee receives a gift every December, and generates some excitement when your staff play the guessing game after all the names have been drawn! Just be careful to set an inexpensive budget and a deadline so that no staff are left behind if anyone takes annual leave!

If you’d like to go the digital route, then Draw Names is a good online Secret Santa Generator. Invite all your staff to the website and it’ll ensure that no one draws their own name. It also includes a wish list function so that you don’t have to ask your Secret Santa what they want.

A Nice Christmas Do

Christmas dinner table

Treating your staff to a Christmas party is a great way of ending your year on a bang.  There’s a large range of options depending on your budget – a traditional office Christmas party, a round of drinks at the local pub, or even a nice gala in a hotel! Your staff work tirelessly throughout the year, so a nice treat like this goes a long way!

TQUK have already had our Christmas do this year, but unfortunately all evidence, err photos, have disappeared from the night. Crazy!

Christmas Songs

Choir angel statues

Some workers hate them, but there is no escape! The classics must always be considered: ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’, ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ are a few among many. There are also modern remixes from those currently big in the music industry, and you should never forget Michael Bublé! We recommend the ‘Christmas Classics’ and ‘Christmas Hits’ playlists on Spotify if you’d like any suggestions.

Just be careful to pace yourself with your Christmas music – if you blast the songs all day from the beginning of December until the end, then you might have an office riot on your hands!

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And there you have it! A few tips from TQUK Towers on how you can bring merry cheer to your office and have a spectacular holiday season! To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

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