We love seeing apprentices begin their apprenticeships. But after a certain amount of time, one terrible, spooky thought can run through their heads: EPA IS COMING!

EPA can loom large over an apprenticeship. But if you can pluck up some courage, you’ll see that EPA isn’t all that scary after all!

Here are 4 of the most common EPA activities that aren’t as scary as you think!

Situational Judgement/MCQ Test

This assessment activity is the most common of all. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy!

Loads of apprentices like to work with their hands and learn by doing, so sitting in a test centre with a written exam isn’t the ideal way for them to show their skills. Lots of people also get terrible nerves when they take tests and don’t perform at their best as a result.

But even those out there with the most intense test jitters can conquer a paper exam without batting an eye! Here are some tips:

  • Plan: No matter what your apprenticeship, this won’t be your average multiple-choice question test. It will pose real-life scenarios to you and you will have to provide appropriate responses. Revise as much as you can ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared for every possible question!
  • Jargon: Any terms you’re not sure of? Look them up! You just might run into them…
  • Relax: At the end of the day, the test is not there to make you look bad. It’s a positive experience to test your knowledge. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you’ll be to do well.

Professional Discussion

The thought of sitting down with an assessor to discuss your apprenticeship can scare the pants off some people. Will you say the right thing? More importantly, will you say the wrong thing? Yikes!

But don’t worry! This jungle cat of an activity is actually just a declawed kitten.

Here are some tips for you to slay the beast:

  • Breathe: Rather than think of it as a ‘professional’ discussion of your work, think of it as a chat with someone about what you’ve done so far. The assessor isn’t there to trip you up. They’re there to make sure you have every opportunity to succeed. So relax, and let everything come out naturally.
  • Give examples: When providing answers, it’s best to give examples of your work and experiences. This will show the breadth and depth of your work.
  • Additional evidence: If you don’t feel you’ve fully demonstrated your knowledge or experience, discuss the possibility of presenting additional evidence with your assessor. This could be something like a witness testimony or an expansion of a portfolio of evidence.

Practical Observation

This one can really wrack peoples’ nerves. Having your assessor standing over your shoulder scrutinising your every move can feel like you’re in the most unpleasant spotlight.

Don’t think of it that way! The observation is your chance to show your assessor what you can do!

Here are some top tips to get you optimised for observation:

  • Chill out: You’ve spent your apprenticeship learning all the skills you have. Now’s the best time to show them off. So relax – you’ve got this!
  • Lingo: Double check to make sure all the terms you’re using are correct.
  • Prepare: This is the most important part. There are loads of ways you can prepare for your observation. Have a chat with your assessor beforehand to see if they can suggest anything you can do to prepare.

Portfolios and Projects

Most likely, you’ve been working on your project for some months. You’ve done your research, collated your material, devised proposals to improve your business. You’ve put in lots of work. So why are you still shaking in your boots?

More than the other assessment activities, this one gives you loads of time to prepare. So here are some things to keep in mind when you’re submitting your project:

  • Double-check: No matter what you’re submitting to your assessor, cast an extra glance over everything to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. There might be some things you missed!
  • Give real examples: When creating your project, stick to using examples and evidence gained from your experience rather than any mock scenarios.
  • Check the apprenticeship standard: Make sure your project covers all necessary areas outlined in the apprenticeship standard to ensure you’re ticking all the boxes.


See? EPA’s not so spooky after all!

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See you around The Hive!

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