We hope you are all having a positive start to the month!

A small few updates from us this week in relation to End-Point Assessment.

  • Alternative assessment methods – feedback and continued use.
  • Hair Professional – FAQ and status on delivering EPA.
  • Early Years Educator – Revised Assessment plan reminder and update on Mock MCQs.
  • ESFA / IfATE Updated Guidance.

Alternative Assessment methods – feedback and continued use

As we start to see some lockdown restrictions lifted, we have begun to receive an increased number of questions around the time period for when on-site observations will start to take place, as well as, planned end dates for current flexibilities and / or approved alternative assessment methods.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education continues to confirm that they currently have no plans to revert back to the sole use of the current published assessment plans and continue to promote the use of remote assessment practice, where possible, and the continuation of the alternative assessment methods.

Following suit, Training Qualifications UK will follow this practice and are at present opting to keep all approved alternative assessment methods and flexibilities live. As some sectors begin to reopen and some Apprentices prepare to return to work, we still heavily encourage remote assessment practice wherever this is possible, to help minimise risk. Where onsite assessments are essential, we will review these on an individual Apprentice basis to ensure that we feel confident that our internal risk assessment can be satisfied, and all parties can participate in the assessment safely.

Should you need to discuss onsite assessment with us, please contact us directly at epa@tquk.og

Whilst we have always offered and championed remote assessment practice, the current situation has seen a rise in its update, further enhanced by the alternative assessment practice currently in operation. Feedback from Apprentices and Training Providers has been overwhelmingly positive and we want to thank you for your feedback. We continue to review and monitor this practice to identify how we can further improve to ensure we are offering the best possible assessment experience, for all Apprentices. Please do continue to share your feedback with us – it really is valued!

Hair Professional- FAQ and status on delivering EPA

End-Point Assessment

As you may be aware, there was an IfATE chaired Special Task Force meeting that took place earlier this week to discuss the Hair Professional Standard, at which we were in attendance. At the moment, as we await further government guidance, there was a collective agreement that no alterations to the assessment could be made during this time. Therefore, until salons start to reopen and we have a better understanding of the safe working practices and government guidelines, the End-Point Assessment for the Hair Professional Standard is still not able to take place.

Once such guidelines are published, we will continue to work with the other End-Point Assessment Organisations, Ofqual, IfATE and the Employer Group to agree a sensible and safe approach to resuming assessments, and at this stage we will be ensuring all Training Providers are contacted immediately. We understand that this is a difficult time for Training Providers and Apprentices. However, we want to ensure everyone that we are taking all possible steps to ensure that a comparable assessment opportunity is made available to Apprentices, as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.

We would encourage Training Providers to continue to progress Apprentices through Gateway, so that we can undertake all required Gateway checks and commence with “pencil” EPA Assessor allocations, to ensure we can allocate Assessors quickly, once we are able to deliver the End-Point Assessment safely.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact us.

FAQ Document

We would also like to confirm that we have published an updated FAQ document on VERVE EPA, linked to the End-Point Assessment for this Standard. This has been created in joint consultation with the other approved End-Point Assessment Organisations, NBHF and the Employer Group.

This document is not specific to COVID-19.

Early Years Educator- Revised Assessment plan reminder and update on Mock MCQs

A reminder that the IfATE have recently published an updated Assessment Plan, for the Early Years Educator Standard. The newly updated plan can be found here: Assessment Plan

For ease we have summarised the updates:

  • First Aid Qualification
  • Criteria K14 how to respond to accidents, injuries and emergency situations.

First Aid Qualification

Plan wording has been updated, associated with the Gateway requirement for a paediatric First Aid Qualification.

The plan now reads;

“Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid. (RQF) or Level 3 Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid (RQF) or complete a first aid course delivered by one of the following types of organisations, as per the EYFS requirements. Voluntary aid society, member of trade body with an approval monitoring system, or acknowledged by the Health and Safety Executive.”

This change, whilst minor in wording, means that unregulated courses (without RQF in the title) can now be used as the evidence source for this requirement, bringing it in line with the workplace requirements of the HSE.

This does not impact Gateway requirements as such, as evidence of completion via a certification or results slip is still required. However, it is hoped that this may create great flexibility in relation to acceptance of courses Apprentices may have completed.

Criteria K14 how to respond to accidents, injuries and emergency situations.

There was a discrepancy in the original Assessment Plan in relation to this criteria and in part of the plan it was aligned to the Professional Discussion, not the Knowledge Test. The revised plan confirms this criteria should be assessed by the Knowledge Test.

We have now fully updated our question bank and test paper structure and have updated three Mock Test papers, which are now LIVE on VERVE EPA. The number of questions overall within this assessment has not changed, however, the structure of the assessment has been updated to include questions against K14.

ESFA updates its guidance – updated 2nd June

The ESFA have further updated their published guidance – dated 2nd June 2020.

The update summary includes:

“Updated with information on which Apprentices should be prioritised in the offer of face-to-face training from 15 June, and details of the flexibility that enables Apprentices to take End-Point Assessment ahead of receiving their calculated Functional Skills qualification results.”

Read guidance here

IfATE Updated Guidance – updated 4th June

Keep up to date with all End-Point Assessment flexibilities, with an updated list on the IfATE’s website here

In addition to this, wider updates can be found here here

How TQUK Can Help You

The new apprenticeship standards are designed to improve upon what’s gone before and help with the apprentice’s initial journey into their chosen career, before you know it, they’ll be on the road to success.

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