We do a lot of Hospitality Team Member EPA s, and it’s easy to see why. The Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship Standard offers a versatile learning program that could lead any apprentice into an amazing career in the hospitality sector.

We also get a lot of questions from our Employers about what’s involved in the Hospitality Team Member EPA. This guide will detail each End-Point Assessment activity and let you know what you and your apprentice can expect.

On Demand Test

Hospitality Team Member EPA On Demand Test

The On Demand Test for the Hospitality Team Member EPA will be a multiple choice test that covers the core and specialist knowledge that all Hospitality Team Members will need to know. The apprentice will be given 90 minutes to complete the test.

Questions in the On Demand Test will be scenario-based, asking for a course of action or solution to a situation/problem based on real-life workplace activity. The Test is designed to allow the apprentice to demonstrate joined-up thinking and reasoning. The Test will also be created against the Apprenticeship Standard, ensuring all knowledge elements of the Standard are touched upon.

The first half of the Test will cover core knowledge. The second half will cover their specialist function. Both parts of the test will have equal weighting, and the apprentice will need to pass both sections in order to pass the Test overall.

Questions for the On Demand Test will be sourced from question banks created by TQUK against the Apprenticeship Standard to ensure all standards are covered. They will be written using the language, tone and style expected for a Level 2 apprenticeship.

Mocks

Before the On Demand Test, the apprentice will have the opportunity to do a mock multiple choice question test. TQUK has a bank of test questions that can be used to populate this test. The mock test will be in the same format as the On Demand Test, and so it will allow the apprentice to get a sense of the kinds of questions they will be asked and to get a feel for how the assessment will be conducted.

Tips

  • Make sure your apprentice takes enough time to review all the core and specialist knowledge before the test
  • Ensure they take the mock test to prepare them for the real assessment
  • Provide any support to the apprentice they require, including reviewing material
  • Check out how our multiple choice questions are created

Practical Observation

Hospitality Team Member EPA Practical Observation

The Practical Observation will take two hours. In some cases, it may be split into two one-hour Observations to cover preparation and service. This assessment activity is designed primarily to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and behaviours in a real-world work environment.

During this assessment, the End-Point Assessor will observe the apprentice during the normal course of their duties in a hospitality environment. The apprentice should be free to move from one area of the establishment to the other. They must demonstrate all the relevant core and specialist abilities during the Observation.

The Observation will be conducted at a time that reflects typical working conditions and avoids seasonal periods of low-level trading.

Before the Observation is scheduled, you must draw up a two-week working schedule to present to the End-Point Assessor that includes levels of business. This will allow the End-Point Assessor to pick a suitable time to conduct the Observation.

For certain specialist functions (food production and housekeeping), external customer interaction may be limited. Apprentices enrolled in these specialist functions must demonstrate competence whilst interacting with internal customers.

Tips

  • Ensure your apprentice knows the time, date and location of the Observation
  • You may wish to conduct a mock Observation with the apprentice in order to prepare them for the assessment
  • Ensure your apprentice reviews all the latest industry terminology so that they know what they’re talking about
  • Submit your two-week working schedule to the End-Point Assessor so that they can schedule a suitable time for the Observation

Business Project

Hospitality Team Member EPA Business Project

The Business Project will be an 800 to 1,200-word report proposing a solution to a business-related problem that the apprentice thinks will make an improvement to your organisation. In order to write the report, the apprentice will need to gather and review information so that they can present an informed proposal to management.

The Project is an opportunity for the apprentice to demonstrate their ability to think through and plan a project which demonstrates their business understanding. It will primarily test their knowledge and skills.

At the first meeting with you and the End-Point Assessor, the apprentice will submit a 200 to 300-word initial proposal for discussion and approval. (If for any reason the proposal is not approved at this meeting, a revised proposal should be sent to you and End-Point Assessor within one week).

The Project should demonstrate how the apprentice has:

  • Understood the context of the business
  • Maintained up-to-date knowledge of trends and developments in the hospitality industry
  • Identified the need for the Project (ie related to customer feedback, cost efficiency, the reputation of the business, increasing market share, increased productivity, etc)
  • Gathered and reviewed information
  • Developed realistic business recommendations

The apprentice should be given sufficient time to research and write the proposal document. They should also be provided with facilities to conduct this work with the appropriate IT applications. This space must be away from their everyday work.

The Business Project will support the Professional Discussion, so the apprentice will need to submit the final report to the End-Point Assessor 7 days in advance of the Professional Discussion.

Tips

  • Ensure that the apprentice submits the Business Project 7 days in advance of the Professional Discussion
  • Ensure that you have all the appropriate facilities and equipment required for the apprentice to complete the Project
  • Provide any support to your apprentice they require
  • Discuss any concerns your apprentice may have in order to guide them towards a project direction

Professional Discussion

Hospitality Team Member EPA Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion will be a 40-minute structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor and will take place in a quiet room, away from the apprentice’s everyday duties. During the Discussion, the End-Point Assessor will ask the apprentice a series of prepared questions, and the apprentice will provide answers. The Discussion will also include a 10-minute presentation of the apprentice’s Business Project followed by a short Q&A section. All other assessment activities of the Hospitality Team Member EPA must be completed before the Professional Discussion takes place.

The Professional Discussion will be prepared and led by the End-Point Assessor. You will need to attend the meeting to support the apprentice and confirm information.

During the Discussion, the End-Point Assessor will ask the apprentice questions relating to:

  • Any learning, development and continuous assessment
  • Coverage of the Apprenticeship Standard
  • Personal development and reflection

The apprentice will be informed of the format of the Discussion five days in advance and will need to bring supporting materials with them to demonstrate their competence. The Discussion will be structured to bring out the best of the apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The Professional Discussion will recognise areas that have already been covered in the Practical Observation and Business Project so that over-assessment does not occur.

Tips

  • Ensure that the apprentice brings all necessary supporting material with them to the Discussion
  • Encourage the apprentice to discuss any concerns with the End-Point Assessor
  • Encourage the apprentice to review their past work to ensure they are fully prepared
  • Consider conducting a mock Professional Discussion to prepare the apprentice for the experience of the assessment
  • The Professional Discussion may be conducted using technology, such as video conferencing software, as long as a fair and accurate assessment can be maintained

Grading

Hospitality Team Member EPA Grading

Apprentices can either receive a Pass or Distinction for their Hospitality Team Member EPA. All assessment activities will be structured so as to give the apprentice the opportunity to receive a Distinction. For an explanation of which standards will be assessed by which assessment activities, please see the full Apprenticeship Standard.

Section A Grade Score (Pass=1, Distinction =3)
Practical Observation
Business Project
Total Section A:

 

Section B Grade Score (Pass=1, Distinction=2)
On Demand Test
Professional discussion
Total Section B:

If any assessment activity is failed, it must be retaken. All assessment activities must be passed for the apprentice to complete the apprenticeship. The final grade for the Hospitality Team Member EPA will be calculated as follows:

Total score Overall grade
4-8 Pass
9+ Distinction

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With the right preparation, your apprentice can achieve great things in their Hospitality Team Member EPA. You may also want to consider how your apprentices can best prepare for their End-Point Assessment, as well as how to get into the ideal EPA mindset. Share this info with your apprentice to help them out!

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

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On March 20 2019, TQUK EPA passed two Hair Professional apprentices at The Link Academy with Distinctions!

Benjamin Ward and James Garner were the first apprentices assessed by TQUK at The Link Academy, an independent work-based learning provider specialising in barbering. The Huddersfield-based organisation has provided bespoke training to their learners since 2011, and began offering apprenticeships on the new Apprenticeship Standards in 2016.

Getting a Distinction in the Hair Professional Apprenticeship is incredibly difficult, so we were absolutely delighted to see that both Benjamin and James cut their way to success in their End-Point Assessments. We have no doubt that this success is the first of many for both of them!

Both Hair Professional apprentices at The Link Academy undertook a rigorous End-Point Assessment that included a Practical Assessment and an Oral Questioning. The assessment tested their skills in a practical context, allowing them to demonstrate all the barbering techniques in their arsenal while providing explanations and justifications of all of their actions.

During the EPA, both Benjamin and James undertook consultations with customers; demonstrated their ability to shampoo, condition and treat hair; used various cutting techniques to create a variety of looks; trimmed facial hair into shape; and provided shaving services for their customers.

Now that they have their apprentice certificates in hand, let’s see what everyone had to say about their achievements!

Their End-Point Assessor, Julie Wernham, was blown away by the performance of both apprentices:

“Benjamin and James were down to earth, customer focused and adopted a professional approach. Their work was creative, showing their passion and was personalised with attention to detail. This was supported by their sound knowledge and expertise, which reflected the high standard of training they have received. 

“I was made to feel welcome by The Link Academy and supported by TQUK during the process of End-Point Assessment for the Hair Professional Standards. 

“It was a privilege to be part of their journey and of the industry’s future generation of barbers.”

Both James and Benjamin faced their EPA head-on after undergoing a challenging and rewarding apprenticeship:

Here’s what James had to say about the apprenticeship and his EPA:

“During my apprenticeship at The Link Academy I have not only improved my haircuts and shaving, but I have also become a much more professional barber. Having the opportunity to work on real clients from day one made me realise what it is like to work in a barbershop from the beginning. It also allowed me to build my people, customer service and communication skills.

“The Link Academy not only teach you barbering and hairdressing, but they also teach you people skills and how to deal with different situations in the salon. I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship here working with top barbers and stylists and also top people.

“Since receiving my Distinction for my End-Point Assessment, it has been really nice to have my success being celebrated by my colleagues and training academy. What I found most challenging was trying to arrange the correct clients that met the correct criteria. I also found it very nerve-wracking having the assessor watching over me. However, I feel that this brought out the best out in me.

“The Link Academy did a brilliant job in supporting me from start to finish on my course and I am very grateful for all of their help and the hard work they put into me. I am also very grateful for all of the opportunities that have come towards me recently.

“My End-Point Assessor was really calm which helped me to calm down as well. Julie really put me at ease which made me feel like it was just a normal day with my usual clients.”

Amanda Lodge Stuart, Director at The Link Academy, was delighted by the results of their Hair Professional apprentices:

“James and Ben have both worked exceptionally well throughout the term of their apprenticeships. They have continually improved their knowledge, skills and behaviours and listened carefully to all developmental feedback from their Trainer, Ben Lodge, to achieve the Distinction grade that they have been awarded. They have both committed to practice continually on the salon floor and have gone through several mock assessments before agreeing that they were ready for EPA.

“We are really excited and proud to be awarded Distinctions on our very first experience of going through an EPA. This has been a totally different experience from working towards a framework apprenticeship. Here at The Link Academy, we feel the Standard has much more value and is a realistic expectation of what an apprentice should look like once they qualify. 

“TQUK has supported us fully throughout the process. They have been very easy to get hold of and ask questions. The Gateway process was clear and easy to follow and we felt fully informed throughout. The End-Point Assessor was very approachable and friendly and she most certainly put both James and Ben at ease.”

Kelle McQuade, our Head of EPAO, wanted to give her own congratulations to Ben and James:

“Congratulations you two! You should be incredibly proud of yourselves. Achieving a Distinction is no easy feat, and you both dazzled your End-Point Assessor with your fantastic skills and expert knowledge. I’m sure that your End-Point Assessment has prepared you for any hairy situations you may encounter in the future and I hope you’re excited for the long and successful careers ahead of you!

“We pride ourselves on the support we give to all of our centres, and we’re very happy that The Link Academy has been pleased with our services. We agree wholeheartedly that standards are a much better way of ensuring apprentices are fully competent in their roles compared to the old frameworks and are glad that The Link Academy agrees! We look forward to a long and fantastic partnership with more Distinctions down the line!”

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

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This article originally appeared in FE News on 15 March 2019.

Think of the last time you played a board game. Monopoly? Risk? Doesn’t matter. The important thing is that when you played, there were a set of rules that everyone had to follow if they wanted to play.

Knowing the rules to a game lets you participate, and following those rules allows the game to proceed. Without the rules, nothing happens. It’s just a bunch of people sitting at a table, twiddling their thumbs.

In most areas of life, we need rules and guidelines in order to function. Without them, most of us wouldn’t know what to do.

As you can imagine, this applies to many areas of further education. One area where a set of rules is very much needed is in the External Quality Assurance (EQA) to End-Point Assessment (EPA).

Who makes the rules?

A group of people discussing the rules of EQA of EPA

Currently, there is no single regulator of EQA of EPA in England. Instead, when developing an Apprenticeship Standard, Employer and Trailblazer groups determine which category of EQA would be best placed to deliver for their sector:

  • the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education,
  • the Employer group,
  • a professional body,
  • Ofqual or QAA.

As a result, there are more than 25 EQA providers providing quality assurance services for different Apprenticeship Standards.

This sounds like a decent idea on paper. It may, for example, give professional bodies the opportunity to regulate their own sector and promote established best practice. Employers may also like the idea of a sector-specific EQA involved in the quality assurance process of their apprenticeships. However, in practice, this approach has caused many problems.

EQAs assigned to particular Apprenticeship Standards appear siloed off, playing by the rules set for their own sector. And employers are unlikely to be aware of the EQA details unless they understand a very complicated process, which makes the employer-satisfaction argument a moot point.

This approach also makes it difficult for organisations, like EPAOs, who need to work across sectors and with many EQAs while delivering EPA. Consistency is needed, and fast.

EQAs and EPAOs

It can be tough for EPAOs and EQAs to come to terms on the EQA of EPA

Over the last two years, TQUK has delivered EPA for many different Apprenticeship Standards. As a result, we’ve interacted and collaborated with many EQAs across a range of sectors, with wildly varying experiences.

One EQA we engaged with set out to conduct their review of our services in August of last year, yet that review did not happen. After several months of following up, the review took place…in mid-December.

What’s more, the review was only a simple 90-minute on-site visit plus a desk-based review of materials and evidence submitted in August to a tight deadline. As of March 2019, we have still not received any report on that visit.

Some EQAs, however, have been more proactive, undertaking first visits, prioritising their visit schedules based on activity levels of individual EPAOs and sending reports within ten days. We have also had EQAs performing anywhere between these two extremes.

Having a common set of rules that apply to EQAs across sectors would help EQAs, too. At the moment, both EPAOs and EQAs need to prepare for visits and audits while not knowing the timelines or standards against which they’ll be judged.

There are also currently no common approaches across EQAs or other industry regulators. In other cases, EPAOs can receive contradictory advice and feedback from different EQA bodies. For instance, a professional body in one sector may outline that something is accepted industry practice, whereas Ofqual, for example, may not.

Such a situation begs the question: is Ofqual best placed to be an EQA for EPA if they can only apply a one-size-fits-all approach? And, if so, are EQAs being given clear guidance on what exactly their role and remit is?

The awarding sector provides a potentially good example to emulate. When an Awarding Organisation offers an EQA service, they produce a handbook which includes clear details of the systems and processes that the centre is expected to have in place.

This provides a standard framework against which both the Awarding Organisation and centre can work. Such a system could work in the EQA of EPAOs if the framework provides clarity and detail without room for individual interpretation.

A consistent methodology is really important to have in place because it gives EPAOs and EQAs a sense of what the rules are so that they’re not working blind.

Assessment plans

Fixing the EQA of EPA can help create good assessment plans

The fragmented approach to EQA of EPA also affects the creation of high-quality and fit-for-purpose assessment plans by the Institute (previously IfA) and the Trailblazer groups.

TQUK has come across many assessment plans that are not well devised, with unclear direction, over-assessment, the timing of assessment activities and grade descriptors all being on-going issues. In many cases, EPAOs have had to bridge gaps independently to ensure quality benchmarks are being met and that apprentices are receiving a quality assessment process.

EQAs, in theory, are supposed to act as a port of call, or buffer, between EPAOs and Employer groups. If EPAOs have any questions or concerns about assessment plans, they are meant to go through the allocated EQA. Some EQAs fulfil this role well, while others do not provide clear guidance.

In some cases, it is unclear who the allocated EQAs are and no contact details are provided for EPAOs to contact.

Establishing rules outlining what is expected in this area will help EQAs and EPAOs contribute to the development of assessment plans so that mistakes aren’t repeated in the future.

Moving forward

The need for a more integrated approach to EQA of EPA has been recognised by the Institue. They have indicated that they are making moves to implement a new, more detailed framework for EQAs to follow and will emphasise support and guidance for EQAs and EPAOs. We eagerly await the day when there will be more standardisation between EQAs.

In the meantime, TQUK will continue to do everything we can to create a level playing field for all involved.

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

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This is big news for our employers.

On 13 March, Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, revealed in his Spring statement that small and medium-sized enterprises will get a massive boost for their apprenticeship programmes by announcing a £700 million package of reforms, to be implemented in April.

From 1 April, non-levy-paying employers will have their co-investment rate cut from 10% to 5%, halving the financial burden on these organisations.

The cut is meant to incentivise non-levy paying organisations initially put off by the co-investment rate to invest in more apprenticeship programmes.

Since the introduction of the levy and the co-investment rate, employer and learning organisations have called for a reduction in the co-investment rate. Many small businesses were also holding off on starting their own apprenticeship programmes, hoping that the rate would be reduced.

With the rate cut, billions of pounds could be freed up to invest in apprenticeships. 54% of all apprenticeships in England are with non-levy paying employers. This percentage will only grow.

TQUK is delighted by this announcement. The apprenticeship co-investment rate cut removes an obstacle that kept many employers from starting their own apprenticeship programme and investing in the exciting, high-quality apprenticeships they need to take their businesses forward. We are excited to work with employers who will be embarking on their apprenticeship journey.

Check out all the apprenticeships TQUK offers End-Point Assessment for, and visit the Department for Education website for complete details on the funding rules from 1 April 2019.

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A good EPA mindset

It can be tricky to get into a good EPA mindset.

End-Point Assessment is the last test, the big cheese, the final frontier. During your EPA, you’ll be tested to make sure you have all the knowledge, skills and behaviours you need to take your career into the stratosphere.

Nerves can get the best of anyone during an assessment, and that’s normal! We could give you some general tips on keeping a positive mindset during your EPA: eat well, make sure you’re fully rested and don’t be afraid to take a break when you’re revising to clear your mind.

But we love to go above and beyond here at TQUK EPA. So, we scoured the internet to find out unique ways our apprentices can get into an optimal EPA mindset and completely own their EPA. Enjoy!

Review early, and often

Everyone knows that you should review your work before you go into a test. That’s obvious. What most people don’t consider is when they should do it.

Rather than having a massive cram session the night before, it’s far better to break up your review sessions throughout your apprenticeship. Every two or three weeks, try to take a few hours to review what you’ve done and see if there are any gaps in your knowledge, skills and behaviours that you need to fill. Reviewing the Apprenticeship Standards for you apprenticeship is a great way to do this. The Apprenticeship Standards contain your assessment plan and a detailed list of all the criteria you need to meet to get the highest mark possible.

To find the full Apprenticeship Standard for your apprenticeship, go to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website and search for your apprenticeship title. It’s as easy as that!

While reviewing areas of improvement early and often requires diligence and willpower, constantly reviewing will help you retain and improve your knowledge and skills. By taking bits of time throughout your apprenticeship to review areas in your knowledge and skills that are lacking, you can make the necessary adjustments and go into your final assessment confident and ready.

Read your notes…backwards

Not only is this a fun exercise, but it can also give you new insight into your job role.

If you’re revising for a knowledge test, reading over any notes you have can actually be unproductive. As many people read their notes from start to finish, they can start to remember, generally, the order in which they wrote things and stop paying attention and retaining useful information.

By reading your notes backwards, they’ll be taken out of their original context, and as a result, you’ll pay more attention and think more about what you wrote.

Power Stance!

At some point in your life, you’ve probably been told to stand up straight with your shoulders back.

Depending on the context, this isn’t necessarily a way of people correcting your posture. When you stand up straight, you become larger and take up more space. In many ways, you appear more powerful.

Your brain can often take cues about how to think from your body. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between confident postures and improved outlook. Having a confident posture helps to modulate your brain’s response to your thoughts, making it more accepting of good thoughts and more dismissive of bad thoughts. In a 2010 study, researchers found that people who strike so-called ‘power poses’ experience increased testosterone levels and lowered levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.

So, just before you take your assessment, stand up straight, strike a power stance and you’ll have all the confidence of a rock star!

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through meditation or other kinds of training. It is simply the act of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing, as you experience it. Mindfulness can be useful because it helps you draw attention away from the chatter in your head.

Mindfulness practices have been employed by psychologists to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and have even been used to treat drug addiction. People who practice mindfulness are better able to manage stress, handle complex situations and tend to have reduced levels of anxiety.

Think about going into your Culinary Challenge or Project Presentation totally centred and ready to take on whatever comes your way. That’d be pretty useful, right?

Check out these mindfulness apps to help get you into a good EPA mindset.

Find a puppy

Therapy animals have long played a role in hospitals and care homes to help people get better and bring some cute positivity into their lives. There’s something about the presence of animals that fills people with an inexpressible joy.

Many universities and colleges across the world have already discovered the benefits of having puppy rooms to help their students de-stress. And if it can work for them, it can work for you.

So the next time you’re feeling too nervous to sit still, take some quality time with your favourite animal, borrow a friend’s pet or visit your local pet shop for some of that sweet puppy love. A visit should be sure to quiet those nerves and put you in a more positive mindset to smash your EPA!

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What are your EPA de-stressing strategies? Share them with us!

To keep up to date with the latest EPA news, return to our blog, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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We are delighted to announce that TQUK EPA has recently entered into a partnership with PGL after assessing and passing eight of their Hospitality Team Member apprentices!

The apprentices, who joined PGL in 2017, underwent in-depth training programmes that lasted for more than 12 months and equipped them with all the fast-paced Hospitality skills that their chosen specialities required. Apprentices worked in harmony as those who specialised in Housekeeping learned how to keep facilities in tip-top shape as guests went about a full day of fun activities. Food Production apprentices immersed themselves in juicy, flaming, hot-off-the-grill kitchen skills as they prepared nutritious food that the Food and Beverage Service apprentices served hungry guests with their world class customer service.

When PGL decided that they were ready for their final test, the End-Point Assessment, they approached TQUK to partner with them and help them assess all of their apprentices. During the End-Point Assessment period, our End-Point Assessors saw all of the apprentices in their element, demonstrating their full competence across a range of assessment activities. We’re happy to announce that all eight had mastered their programmes.

Who is PGL?

People tubing down a river

PGL is the U.K’s leading outdoor education provider. They offer a wide range of services including educational activity courses, school trips, children’s activity holidays and summer camps with centres across the UK and France. Not only is PGL the largest provider of outdoor instructor qualifications in the UK, but they’ve also been providing apprenticeships for over 20 years for any individual looking to make their mark in the outdoor sector.

The Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship

Apprentice benefiting from the TQUK and PGL partnership

The PGL Level 2 Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship is perfect for anyone set on a career in hospitality. Apprentices can choose to perform different roles in the company depending on their chosen speciality including Food Production, Food and Beverage Service or Housekeeping. PGL recruit their apprentices based on their passion, enthusiasm and willingness to learn, which is why no previous experience is required for any of these specialities.

The Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship Standard contains four End-Point Assessment components: the Business Project, Practical Observation, Situational Judgement Test and Professional Discussion. We were happy to provide extensive support to PGL’s apprentices in their EPA planning meeting where our End-Point Assessors talked them through what to expect for every assessment activity so that they could go in fully prepared. And they didn’t disappoint! Throughout their assessments, all eight apprentices rose up to the challenge and put all of their fantastic knowledge and skills on display. With an apprenticeship certificate in their hands, the great eight have a bright future ahead of them as they now have the full confidence to perform and excel in their Hospitality careers!

And what a future they hold! Not only are all of PGL’s apprentices offered a role in the organisation after they complete their programme, but many of PGL’s senior managers started life at PGL as an apprentice!  That means that many of these great eight may soon be flying up the PGL food chain!

PGL Talks About the TQUK EPA Partnership

PGL talking about the TQUK EPA partnership

TQUK EPA is delighted to be in partnership with PGL and to assist their apprentices at the end of their programme. We saw great passion and commitment from PGL’s apprentices during their EPA and were incredibly proud to complete all eight after they aced their assessments!

Here’s what PGL had to say about the TQUK EPA partnership:

Philip Drew-White, the Apprenticeship Programme Lead (Hospitality), said that:

“TQUK met our requirements in every way. They were extremely accommodating of our requirements and, having set them tight schedules for completing the End-Point Assessment activities, they fulfilled them within the required timescales through great communication, support and organisation, resulting in a 100% achievement for our learners.”

Their apprentices also wanted to chip in with their own thoughts:

Thomas Davies said that:

“During my assessment I found the organisation very good and felt Martina was very good and helpful. She was very nice and welcoming towards me. I felt good starting the assessment as I was well supported by staff. I particularly enjoyed the Knowledge Test and the Observation as I was confident in those areas. I also enjoyed writing and planning my Business Project although I did not enjoy the Discussion at the end of the End-Point Assessment because I was nervous. But overall I enjoyed the assessment and I was extremely pleased when I finished the assessment and passed. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me achieve this.”

Andrew Burch, who received a Distinction, wanted to chime in too:

I found the format in which the End-Point Assessment was held worked really well! The meetings on the phone were good. Very clear and very well instructed. Towards the start of my EPA I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect but upon meeting with Jo my nerves went straight away! I felt a bit defeated toward the end thinking I wasn’t even going to pass but after I completed it I felt real proud.”

Nikolay Petrov also thought that:

“The whole EPA Organisation on the initial phone meeting about the Knowledge Test, Observation, Business Project and Professional Discussion were great. I have received the necessary support, attention and explanations about the program, the conditions and the things that were required of me. Although I felt nervous and overwhelmed when the End-Point Assessment started, I did well because my assessor was very positive and friendly, communicative and smiling.

“I didn’t enjoy the assessment period much, because I was very nervous and tense, but upon completion, I felt great, and finally realised that the assessment period was full of good memories and was a great experience in my life.”

Rebecca Pill also had this to say:

“I think that the End-Point Assessment was well organised because I was given information about each stage of the assessment and how they would work, timings and locations. I also feel I had enough time to complete all the work books and my Business Project. I felt happy to reach the End-Point Assessment, but I also felt nervous about some elements of the assessment such as the Professional Discussion. I thought that Martina was friendly and put me at ease during the Observation and Professional Discussion. I didn’t enjoy the Professional Discussion but I enjoyed the other parts of the assessment. I felt nervous during the assessment period but I was happy to finish and pass.”

Kelle McQuade, Head of EPAO at TQUK, wanted to congratulate all of the apprentices:

“TQUK pride ourselves on the flexibility and support that we offer with our End-Point Assessment services, and we’re very happy that PGL have appreciated what we bring to the table during our partnership! I’d like to congratulate all of their Hospitality Team Member apprentices on successfully passing their programme. You should all be very proud of your hard work and determination!

“It’s only natural to be nervous during your End-Point Assessment, but you all passed with flying colours so you clearly put in the preparation and work needed for your assessments. Feeling confident goes a long way when you’re undertaking any assessment, so try to get rid of those doubts in the future and go in with the full belief that you’ll excel.

“I look forward to PGL and TQUK EPA’s partnership as we move forward into the future. May this be the first of many successful apprenticeship completions!

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

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You’ve completed your Formative Study, received your qualifications and just passed Gateway. Now you have to prepare for your End-Point Assessment (EPA).

It’s a big moment in your apprenticeship. But don’t worry – TQUK EPA has your back.

Our End-Point Assessors conduct dozens of EPAs every month, and they see first-hand all the things that apprentices have to deal with. Here are some tips to help you prepare for EPA and finally master your apprenticeship.

The best way to prepare for EPA? Change your mindset!

Apprentice changing her mind about how to prepare for EPA

Preparing for EPA can be overwhelming. The idea of a final exam can really pile on the pressure. This pressure can be counterproductive – the stress it induces can lead some apprentices to underperform. And that doesn’t help anyone.

Rather than think of it as End-Point Assessment, think of it as End-Point Achievement. This might sound a bit cheesy, but it works. Instead of thinking of EPA as a test, it will inspire a more positive outlook to think of EPA as an opportunity to showcase what you can do – whether this is your exceptional culinary skills, unquestionable knowledge of the care sector or exemplary levels of customer service.

Check out this great blog from our Head of EPAO, Kelle McQuade, on how changing your mindset about how EPA works can make a massive difference to the results.

Planning is key

Apprentice planning for EPA

There are many things you can do in advance of EPA to prepare and make sure you have every chance to succeed:

  • Talk with your End-Point Assessor, Employer and Trainer: Before your End-Point Assessment begins, be sure to raise any concerns you may have with your End-Point Assessor, Trainer or Employer. After all, these people are there to support you through your apprenticeship and can provide valuable resources and guidance.
  • Get your times and dates right: Double check that you have the correct times and dates for your assessments. There’s a lot going on during EPA, and it’s easy to get things mixed up. Some assessments may require you to be off-site, so make sure you’re going to the right place.
  • Lingo/Jargon: Each sector has its own jargon that professionals use to communicate with each other. You’ve probably picked up a few terms along the way. Before your assessment begins, make sure you’re using these terms correctly. You’ll need to demonstrate your competence in your role!

Relax

Apprentice relaxing before her EPA

You’ve gotten to the End-Point Assessment, so your Employer clearly thinks you’re ready. You’ve come a long way and you’ve gained all the knowledge, skills and behaviours that your programme requires. You’ve got this – relax, be confident and show them what you can do!

Bring additional evidence to your EPA

Additional evidence needed for EPA

Some assessments may require you to bring additional evidence with you to the assessment in order to properly demonstrate your knowledge, skills and behaviours. For instance, during a Practical Observation, you may need to bring along extra materials and evidence in order to supplement your performance. Or you may need to bring notes or copies of a project you completed to refer to during your Professional Discussion. If you’re unsure, then you can ask your End-Point Assessor about anything you’ll need to bring.

Ask your assessor

Apprentice asking questions during EPA

One of the best things you can do to prepare for your EPA is to have the confidence to ask questions. You may have assessments where you will interact with your End-Point Assessor directly and there may be instances where you won’t be sure what they’re asking of you. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to stop and ask them to clarify what you need to do. It’s better to ask in the moment than to muddle through your assessment without the correct guidance.

Stick to what you know

Apprentices reviewing what they know

When answering questions during an assessment, like during a Practical Observation or a Professional Discussion, be sure to stick to answers that are based on your own experiences. Not only will this show the End-Point Assessor that you can apply your knowledge to your assessment, but it will also give them a better picture of your competence, and they can thus ask questions to fill in any gaps.

Review your work

Apprentice reviewing for EPA

This is perhaps the most important way to prepare for EPA. It’s vital that you review the knowledge, skills and behaviours you picked up during your apprenticeship so that you can identify areas where you can improve. TQUK EPA makes this easy. We provide a support package specific to your Apprenticeship Standard with an in-depth self-assessment section that covers the entirety of the assessment plan. Once you finish your self-assessment, you can improve on your knowledge, skills and behaviours and will be much better equipped to go into your End-Point Assessment.

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We’re always here to support our apprentices in any way we can. If you have questions about your EPA, call us at 03333 583 344 and speak to one of our EPA professionals.

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 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!

Teaching Assistants work in Primary, Special and Secondary education across all age ranges, encompassing special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. They are vital assets to have in a classroom to make sure classes function for all.

The primary role of the Teaching Assistant is to support the class teacher to enhance the pupil’s learning either in groups or individually, ensuring they understand the work set, know their learning objectives and stay on task in order to make progress. Teaching Assistants are good role models, act with honesty and integrity and contribute to planning and class activities.

A Teaching Assistant’s apprenticeship will include attaining vital knowledge, skills and behaviours to excel in their job role, including understanding how pupils learn and develop, IT skills, knowing a curriculum and how to deliver it, developing strategies for learning and support, assessment skills, knowing how to promote professional standards, and being able to maintain professional relationships across the organisation.

Once the apprentice has completed their training, they will move on to the final test: the End-Point Assessment.

The End-Point Assessment for Teaching Assistant apprentices is comprised 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

The Practical Observation will take place in the apprentice’s workplace by the End-Point Assessor. The Observation will last approximately 2 hours and the Question and Answer session will last for approximately 15 minutes after the end of the observation. All details of the event (venue, date, time) will be planned by the End-Point assessor, the Apprentice and the Employer at the End-Point Assessment planning meeting.

The Observation should:

  • Reflect typical working conditions
  • Allow the apprentice to demonstrate all aspects of the standard being assessed
  • Take a synoptic approach to assessing the knowledge, skills and behaviours as defined by this method
  • Be carried out on a one-to-one basis. It is mandatory that only one apprentice is observed at a time and without support or input from trainers

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, 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 own contribution aligns with the teaching

Once the Observation is complete, the End-Point Assessor will conduct a Question and Answer session with the apprentice, which will last for 15 minutes. This session will allow the End-Point Assessor to further question and apprentice an area that they have partially demonstrated during the Observation in order to provide additional assurance.

Questions that the End-Point Assessor will ask the Apprentice during the Questions and Answer session will be written by the End-Point Assessment Organisation.

Professional Discussion Supported by Portfolio of Evidence

Teaching Assistant Grading

The Professional discussion will last for approximately 90 minutes and will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor following the Practical Observation, to establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of the knowledge, skills and behaviours. The discussion will be planned in advance with the Apprentice and the Employer and will need to take place in a quiet room away from distractions.

The Portfolio of Evidence will allow the End-Point Assessor to lead the discussion, asking the apprentice questions drawn from a template set by the End-Point Assessment Organisation. The Portfolio can then be used by the apprentice to evidence and support their responses to those questions.

The purpose of the Professional Discussion is to:

  • Make judgements about the 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 assessor asking scenario based questions. EPAOs must develop question ‘test banks’ of sufficient size to prevent predictability and review them regularly to ensure they, and the questions they contain, are fit for purpose
  • Ensure there are no gaps within the evidence particularly in relation to Safeguarding and Health & Safety
  • Provide a basis for the independent assessor to make a decision about the grade to be awarded for this assessment method only

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 comprise the following:

  • Feedback from Performance Management review system
  • Evidence of pupil progression
  • Work produced by the Teaching Assistant 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

Grading for Teaching Assistant Apprenticeships

Teaching Assistant Grading

Final grading for this apprenticeship 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 your Teaching Assistant’s End-Point Assessment. To keep up to date with all the latest EPA 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.

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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.

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As an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), TQUK is dedicated to maintaining high quality standards in apprenticeships. The very root of what we do – assessment – is about making sure that apprentices are fully job-ready when they finish their programme and that national standards have been met.

That’s why recent revelations that 4,443 apprentices enrolled in certain higher level apprenticeships have gone unregulated since 2016/17 are so disappointing. In this particular instance, apprentices enrolled in these programmes were with training providers that were not inspected since the programmes began. In short, oversight is missing and there is now a lot of doubt about whether quality standards for these training programmes are being met.

So how did this happen?

Quality Concerns

According to the Department for Education’s apprenticeship accountability statement, responsibility for ensuring the quality of training for higher level apprenticeships is the responsibility of the Office for Students (OfS). However, the OfS has said that their remit only extends to those apprenticeships with a prescribed higher education qualification and that these apprenticeships had no degree element. The way the document is worded, it is not entirely clear who is responsible for what, and when the story broke, Ofsted and the OfS started playing pass the parcel.

A Larger Issue

This situation is representative of an ongoing structural problem with establishing and implementing the required oversight and quality procedures needed for apprenticeships. It is not limited to higher level apprenticeships.

Since TQUK started delivering End-Point Assessment, we have encountered level 2 and 3 apprenticeship standards that do not have confirmed external quality assurers (EQA), despite the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) stating that EQAs would be in place for all apprenticeship standards upon launch. As we have discussed in a previous blog, TQUK is doing everything we can to establish quality procedures that all apprentices deserve. EPAOs are also forced to navigate the often poorly written assessment plans without any support or comparability framework. Apprenticeship standards can easily slip when proper quality assurance procedures aren’t put in place by the regulators.

The Institute for Apprenticeships also continues with its ‘Better, Faster’ campaign to publish more apprenticeship standards while improving the experience for trailblazer groups. This is great and standards need to be released faster. However, not enough has been done to resolve issues raised around some early produced assessment plans which lack detail and have no comparability. Support for EPAOs has also been lacking. There needs to be far more effort to ensure that no apprentice is left behind and that rigorous quality procedures are in place for all apprenticeships.

As an EPAO, we are all about quality. It’s our job to make sure that apprentices receive a quality assessment, and by extension that employers get quality apprentices. We welcome more quality assurance into the apprenticeships process. Above all, we want all organisations involved in apprenticeships to be held accountable.

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To keep to date with the latest EPA news, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

See you around The Hive!

We’ve got exciting news!

TQUK now offers End-Point Assessment for Retail Team Leader apprenticeships!

Retail Team Leaders are vital to any retail establishment. They provide crucial support to their managers and deputise for them in their absence. A large aspect of their role requires guiding and coordinating their retail team to complete tasks and meet business targets that help drive sales. They must also ensure that their team members maintain business standards in regards to product merchandising, customer service and promotional activities.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will be trained to the highest standard in multiple areas of a retail business. They will gain vital knowledge and skills across the customer, financial, marketing, leadership and sales and promotion aspect of their business, among many other areas.

After they complete their training, apprentices will undertake the final stages of assessment, also known as End-Point Assessment, in order to pass their apprenticeship. End-Point Assessment consists of thorough assessment procedures that ensure an apprentice is able to meet nationally set standards.

The End-Point Assessment for the Retail Team Leader apprenticeship is split into three parts:

  • On-Demand Test
  • Retail Business Project
  • Professional Discussion

On-Demand Test

This 60-minute On-Demand Test will be in multiple-choice format. The questions will test apprentices on the knowledge and skills covered in the Apprenticeship Standard. They will be scenario based and will require apprentices to demonstrate reasoning and joined up thinking against key elements of the Standard. Some questions will require the apprentice to consider a course of action to a problem based on a real-life workplace activity.

Some examples of the subjects the apprentice will be tested on include:

  • Understanding how to support effective communication, quickly determining the situation and needs of individuals and how to respond in the most appropriate way
  • Knowing methods of merchandising throughout the retail operation
  • Understanding the principles of stock control, from sourcing to sale
  • Understanding the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of themselves and others to develop a high performing team in the business

The On-Demand Test will be on-screen and computer marked unless the apprentice requires an alternative method, such as a paper-based exam. The Test will take place in a controlled environment, away from the pressures of work.

Retail Business Project

The Retail Business Project requires the apprentice to plan and undertake a project that focuses on an immediate problem, opportunity or idea relevant to their day to day role. It should include a research proposal, identify measurable improvements in their business and make recommendations for implementation. An example of a Project could be to identify a potential cost-saving measure the business could use through improving efficiency, reducing waste or finding alternative ways of working to achieve business objectives.

The Project will be identified by the apprentice and discussed with their line manager first, then with their on-programme assessor at least one month before their readiness for independent end assessment. This allows the apprentice time to prepare a one-page synopsis of their proposed project which they must bring to their independent end assessment planning meeting. The independent end assessor and the employer will then determine whether the proposed project has the potential to meet the criteria of the Retail Business Project. The Project must contain the following:

  • Introduction and background
  • Outline of challenge or opportunity
  • Aims and objectives
  • Identification of measurable improvements and benefits to the 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

Once the project proposal has been approved by the independent end assessor, the apprentice will need to undertake their project and present their findings to the assessor within the three month end assessment period. The presentation will take place in a controlled environment and will last 30 minutes long, which includes time for questions and answers at the end.

The apprentice will also need to provide supporting evidence to show that they’ve completed each of the underpinning activities that lead them to make their recommendations to the independent end assessor. Additionally, the apprentice must supply evidence of the actions that they’ve undertaken as part of the Project at least five working days before the presentation. There is no word count and the apprentice can present this information however they’d like, such as in a business report. They must include details of how and what research was undertaken, the costings and how the legal implications have been considered.

Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion is a structured one-hour discussion between the apprentice and their independent end assessor. Their employer will be in the discussion to provide further examples and support the apprentice, but will not lead or score the Discussion. The independent end assessor who conducts the Professional Discussion should normally be the same person who assessed the Retail Business Project. This allows them to ask the apprentice questions regarding:

  • The period of learning, development and continuous assessment
  • Coverage of the standard
  • Personal development and reflection

The apprentice will be informed of the requirements of the Discussion at least five days in advance. The Professional Discussion is an opportunity for the independent end assessor and employer to discuss the apprentice’s performance across the whole Standard. As part of this, the apprentice can bring materials to the Discussion to help demonstrate their competence. The Professional Discussion will recognise areas that have already been covered in the Retail Business Project so that apprentices will not be re-assessed in an area which they’ve already demonstrated competence in.

Here are a few examples of areas the apprentice must display capability in to pass their Discussion:

  • Explain why it is essential to instil the importance of following procedures to staff
  • Provide examples of how staff are managed effectively, including motivation and development of teams and individual staff members
  • Provide an overview of how the retail operation meets the needs of the business
  • Explain the importance of keeping up to date with current industry trends and provide examples of how this has been achieved

Here are a few examples of areas in which the apprentice must display capability to achieve a Distinction:

  • Demonstrate staff engagement, motivation, performance management and how this has led to increased performance
  • Describe how recommendations for the improvement of quality, cost, value or efficiency have been made and implemented in the organisation
  • Provide mentorship to team members with measurable improvements to the performance of individuals and the team

The Discussion will be conducted in a controlled environment, away from their normal place of work. If all parties can’t meet in the same place, then the Discussion may be conducted using technology such as a video link, as long as fair assessment conditions can be maintained.

After their apprenticeship, apprentices can progress into a junior retail management position.

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Whether you’re an apprentice or employer, we hope this gave you more insight into the Retail Team Leader apprenticeship!

If you’d like to see the range of standards we provide End-Point Assessment for, click here. Otherwise, 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!

 

 

Every kitchen is an orchestra. One station is the woodwinds, another is the strings, the next is percussion. Every person in each station plays a role that is vital to the overall production, and their contributions must be balanced against each other as they work towards a larger product.

Senior Production Chefs are the conductors of these orchestras who make sure all sections hit the right notes.

Senior Production Chefs work in settings where food is often produced to a high volume, like hospitals, care homes, schools, high street dining establishments and pubs. They often work to the specifications of centrally-produced menus. One of the challenges that Senior Production Chefs face is not only working towards perfection but maintaining that perfection over time and across a large array of dishes. They will be able to work independently or lead a team to maintain their establishment’s brand and reputation.

Apprentices taking on this apprenticeship programme will be trained to the highest standard in a variety of areas. They will demonstrate a range of culinary, food safety, people and business knowledge, skills and behaviours.

After they complete their training programme, apprentices will undergo the final test – the End-Point Assessment. End-Point Assessment is a balanced and rigorous assessment procedure that guarantees an apprentice is able to meet nationally set standards.

The End-Point Assessment for Senior Production Chefs is split into three parts: an On-Demand Test, a Practical Observation and a Professional Discussion. In order to achieve their certification, apprentices must pass every assessment activity.

On-Demand Test

The On-Demand Test will be in a multiple-choice format, with test questions devised and written by the End-Point Assessment Organisation. (That’s us!) The test will take 90 minutes and contain 45 equally weighted questions. In most cases, the test will take place on-screen and will be computer marked. However, in certain instances, paper tests can be provided.

The apprentice, assessor and employer will schedule a time for this test to take place. It will take place in a secure environment free from distraction and interruption.

This activity is designed to test the knowledge the apprentice gained during their apprenticeship. Knowledge areas covered will include, and are not limited to:

  • The importance of monitoring the correct use and maintenance of food production equipment and the procedure for dealing with misuse and malfunctions
  • The importance of combining nutrient groups to produce balanced menu items and dishes
  • The importance of checking that the food production team is meeting the specific needs of individuals
  • How to support and influence the team positively to deliver a high-quality product

Practical Observation

During the Practical Observation, apprentices will demonstrate their skills to the assessor in real time. During the Observation, the assessor will observe the apprentice in their normal place of work for 4 hours and can ask questions to clarify their observations. The Observation will be planned in advance, with the time and place agreed by the apprentice, employer and assessor.

The apprentice will demonstrate key skills and behaviours by supervising the production kitchen while adhering to:

  • Brand / organisational quality, standards and specifications, customer’s individual needs, safe and hygienic working practices
  • Organisational standards to support, inform and update team members
  • Correct use of technology, equipment and resources in daily working practices

During the observation, the apprentice must, among other things:

  • Supervise the production of centrally developed menu items and dishes according to organisational specifications
  • Monitor the production of food to ensure clients’ needs are met
  • Monitor and ensure the effective implementation of food safety management systems
  • Strive to achieve the required outcome and support positive, open communications that help team members achieve the best result for customers and the business

Grading will on a Fail, Pass basis. To Pass the observation, the apprentice must, among other things:

  • Demonstrate commercial understanding by producing food which supports revenue targets, cost reduction, improved performance and maintains profit margins.
  • Supervise the production of quality food items with passion and enthusiasm while maintaining organisational / brand standards, procedures and ensuring clients’ needs are met
  • Monitor the efficient, safe use of kitchen tools, equipment and technology ensuring productivity and business objectives are met.
  • Act as a role model to the team applying communication skills to demonstrate fairness and empathy within a customer-centric culture.

Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion will take place after all other assessment activities are completed. This assessment activity will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the assessor and is designed to cover any areas of the apprenticeship standard that were not covered by the other activities. The assessor will ask a minimum of 10 questions based on the criteria in the apprenticeship standard. The Discussion must be structured so as to draw out the best of the apprentice’s energy, enthusiasm, competence and excellence.

The Discussion can be conducted remotely (e.g. using conferencing technology like Skype) if needed and will always take place in a quiet controlled environment, free from distraction and interruption. The Discussion will last 60 minutes and will be marked by the assessor using a standard template.

During the Discussion, the apprentice must demonstrate, among other things:

  • The organisation or brand specifications and how to use them to produce standardised menu items and dishes
  • The importance of keeping up-to-date with product range, brand development, promotions and current trends
  • How to operate efficiently to deliver profit margins, reduce wastage and support the overall financial performance of the business
  • The ability to acquire and share with the team up-to-date information regarding product range, brand development, promotions and current trends

This assessment activity is graded on a Fail, Pass, Distinction basis. To Pass during the Professional Discussion, the apprentice must, among other things:

  • Correctly identify the organisation’s vision, values and brand standards and relate them to the food production
  • Explain the importance of upholding organisational standards and keeping up with product ranges, promotions and current trends
  • Relate the sharing of information regarding product range, brand development, promotions and current trends to the team
  • Identify customer profiles and main competitors and explain how these affect food production, market position and the growth strategy of the organisation.
  • Be able to explain efficient operating methods to deliver profit margins, reduce wastage and support the financial performance of the business and how to implement them

To achieve a Distinction, in addition to the Pass criteria, the apprentice must be able to:

  • Show evidence of proactive leadership, anticipating outcomes and offering solutions to challenges
  • Analyse methods used to develop a positive team-working environment, applying actions that support the team, organisation and stakeholders
  • Be able to confidently appraise team and business performance to support business objectives
  • Be able to generate data to justify profit margins, wastage reduction and cost savings.
  • Be able to propose measures to support due diligence of kitchen legislation

Grading

Once all assessment activities are complete, the assessor will compile all the apprentice’s grades and produce a final grade based on the table below:

Grade Achieved Overall Grade Awarded
Any activity

 

Fail Fail
On-Demand Test

 

 

Pass Pass
Practical Observation

 

Pass
Professional Discussion

 

Pass
On-Demand Test

 

Distinction Pass
Practical Observation

 

Pass
Professional Discussion

 

Pass
On-Demand Test

 

Pass Pass
Practical Observation

 

Pass
Professional Discussion

 

Distinction
On-Demand Test

 

Distinction Distinction
Practical Observation

 

Pass
Professional Discussion

 

Distinction

 

Once the apprentice has successfully completed their apprenticeship, they will be free to progress onto a higher level position, apprenticeship or further training.

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We hope this gave you more insight into the Senior Production Chef apprenticeship!

To keep up to date the latest EPA news, return to our blog, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

See you around The Hive.

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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