TQUK’s exponential growth continues as we now offer End-Point Assessment for the Production Chef Apprenticeship!

Production Chefs work as part of a team in time-bound and challenging kitchen environments. They must maintain excellent standards of hygiene as they produce food in high volumes from standardised menus and recipes. Some of their other duties include:

  • Producing food meeting portion controls and budgetary constraints
  • Adapting and producing dishes to meet special dietary, religious and allergenic requirements
  • Following, completing and maintaining production schedules, legislative and quality standard documentation
  • Communicating internally and externally with customers and colleagues

After Apprentices have undergone their programme (typically lasting 12 months) they will need to pass their End-Point Assessment. This consists of three assessment activities:

  • On-Demand Test
  • Practical Observation
  • Professional Discussion

On-Demand Test

The On-Demand Test will be a 60-minute multiple-choice test that consists of 30 questions. Each question will have four response options and there will be one mark given per correct answer. The Test will be scenario based, requiring the Apprentice to demonstrate reasoning and joined up thinking against key elements of the Apprenticeship Standard. It will also be on-screen and computer marked unless a paper-based test is required. The Test will take place in a controlled environment away from the pressures of work. Some of the subjects that the Test will cover include:

  • The importance of organisational or brand specifications and consistency in food production
  • Techniques for the preparation, assembly, cooking, regeneration and presentation of food
  • The importance of following legislation and the completion of legal documentation
  • Principles of customer service and how individuals impact customer experience

The Test will be externally set and marked by the EPAO (that’s us!) and can be taken either on the Employer’s premises or off-site. It will be graded on a Fail/Pass/Distinction basis.

Practical Observation

In the Production Chef Apprenticeship Standard, Apprentices are required to demonstrate their skills, competence and behaviors in an element job role. To achieve this, they will have to undergo a Practical Observation in the workplace conducted by their End-Point Assessor. This Observation will last for a total of 120 minutes +/- 10% and will allow the Apprentice to demonstrate the skills and behaviours required by the Apprenticeship Standard, including:

  • Checking, preparing, assembling, cooking, regenerating, holding and presenting food with adherence to individual customer requirements
  • Upholding quality and brand/organisational standards as well as safe and hygienic practices

The Observation may be split up to cover organisational requirements, preparation and service. Only one Apprentice will be observed at a time. In the Observations, it is recommended that the End-Point Assessor ask the Apprentice questions to clarify their observations. This questioning should take place at the end of the Observation within a 20 minute time period and will not interfere with the tasks that the Apprentice is undertaking.

The Observation will be scheduled in advance during the EPA planning meeting to allow the Apprentice to prepare fully. The timings and venue will be planned and the Observation will take place when the Apprentice is in their normal place of work. It will be graded on a Fail/Pass basis.

Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion will be a 40 minute +/- 10% discussion between the Apprentice and their End-Point Assessor. The Discussion will be planned in advance to allow the Apprentice to fully prepare and will be structured to draw out the best of their energy, competence and excellence. The Discussion will take place in a controlled environment and may be conducted using video technology, as long as fair assessment conditions can be maintained.

The End-Point Assessor who marked the Observation will usually be the same person who conducts and marks the Professional Discussion. This allows the Assessor to ask the Apprentice questions covering:

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

The number of questions asked in total will vary according to the depth of the answers given and how many follow up questions are required. However, the Assessor must prepare a minimum of 7 questions to ask the Apprentice to cover all the assessment requirements and give the Apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the requirements needed for a Distinction. The Professional Discussion will be graded on a Fail/Pass/Distinction basis.

Grading

The overall grade will be based on the Apprentice’s performance across all the assessment methods. To pass their apprenticeship, they must pass all three assessment activities. Their overall grade is then decided according to the grading table below:

On-Demand Test

Practical Observation

Professional Discussion

Overall Grade

Pass

Pass

Pass Pass
Distinction Pass

Distinction

Pass

Pass Pass
Distinction Distinction

 

After their apprenticeship, Apprentices can work in a range of establishments including schools, hospitals, the Armed Forces, care homes and pub kitchens.

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And there you have it! We hope this helped you gain more insight into the End-Point Assessment for the Production Chef Apprenticeship. Whether you’re an interested Apprentice, Training Provider or Employer, the TQUK’s Production Chef EPA will ensure that all Apprentices have the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to go out into the world and become a fantastic Production Chef!

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

See you around The Hive!

We’ve added another one to the books! TQUK EPA now offers End-Point Assessment for the Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship!

Customer Service Specialists are the main professional in their organisation responsible for direct customer support. They act as a referral point for dealing with complex and technical customer queries, and also function as an escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems. They are an expert in their organisation’s products and services, and will share their knowledge with their wider team and colleagues.

Customer Service Specialists are required to analyse data and customer information in order to improve customer service across their organisation. Individuals in this role will be able to work in a range of environments including contact centres, webchat, the service industry or any other customer service point.

After undergoing an extensive training programme, Apprentices will need to pass their End-Point Assessment. The End-Point Assessment for the Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship will last for a maximum of three months and will consist of three components:

  • Practical Observation with Questions and Answers
  • Work-Based Project Supported by Interview
  • Professional Discussion with Portfolio of Evidence

Practical Observation with Questions and Answers

The Practical Observation will be graded on a fail/pass/distinction basis and will be covered in one session lasting 60 minutes +/- 10%. The Apprentice will be given 2 weeks’ notice of their Observation. The Observation can be carried out before or after the Work-Based Project but it is recommended that it should take place before the Professional Discussion.

The Apprentice will be observed in their workplace carrying out a range of day-to-day duties. The Observation should include activities which allow the Apprentice to demonstrate the full range of their knowledge, skills and behaviours. Apprentices should also have the opportunity, if required, to move from one area of their business to another in order to demonstrate how they’ve applied their knowledge, skills and behaviours to achieve their work objectives.

The Observation must:

  • Reflect typical working conditions
  • Allow the Apprentice to demonstrate all aspects of the standard being assessed
  • Take a synoptic approach to assessment
  • Be carried out on a one-to-one basis

The Practical Observation must also include questioning by the End-Point Assessor to clarify that the Apprentice’s knowledge and understanding is being applied to their work. Questions must be open-ended and End-Point Assessors may ask supplementary questions, in addition to the standardised questions devised by the EPAO, to seek further clarification from the Apprentice.

Work-Based Project Supported by Interview

The Work-Based Project is designed to ensure that the Apprentice’s learning meets the needs of their business and is relevant to their role. Apprentices must submit a 2,500 word +/- 10% Written Report on a Project that they have carried out to their EPAO two weeks before their Interview. All work on the Project must be undertaken over two months in the End-Point Assessment period. The subject of the Written Report should be agreed with the EPAO with guidance from the Employer to ensure that they can comment on the appropriateness for the business, but the EPAO will ultimately make the decision on whether to approve the Written Report.

The Project should cover a specific high-level challenge that the Apprentice has dealt with, such as a complaint or a difficult situation. The Written Report should:

  • Explain what the challenge was
  • Explain what actions, including planning and execution, that the Apprentice undertook
  • Explain what solutions were offered
  • Include details of any recommendations that were made to change a policy or process
  • Explain any feedback from the customer
  • Include details of the Apprentice’s responsibilities and results

The Written Report should include annexes consisting of evidence of the Apprentice’s actions. This can include emails, letters, meeting notes, call logs and so on.

The Work-Based Project will be supported by an Interview. This Interview will last for 60 minutes +/- 10% and will focus on the Written Report. It can take place face-to-face or with online video conferencing, if appropriate. Regardless, it will be conducted in a controlled environment in a quiet room free from distraction.

The Apprentice will be asked 10 competency-based questions by their End-Point Assessor. The Apprentice’s responses in the Interview will be assessed in addition to the Work-Based Project and End-Point Assessors will grade the Project and Interview holistically as a fail, pass or distinction.

Although there is flexibility in the order of assessment activities, it is recommended that the Work-Based Project takes place before the Professional Discussion.

Professional Discussion with Portfolio of Evidence

During their programme, Apprentices must gather a Portfolio that includes examples of their work throughout their apprenticeship. This portfolio will be used by the Apprentice to demonstrate to their Employer that they are ready for EPA. At least two weeks before their Professional Discussion, the Apprentice must extract 10-15 pieces of evidence from their Portfolio to submit to their EPAO which will support them in their Discussion. This evidence could include witness statements, customer feedback such as emails or letters, manager feedback from one-to-one sessions and so on.

The Professional Discussion will last for 60 minutes, +/- 10%. During the Discussion, the Apprentice will use evidence from their Portfolio to support them. The Discussion can be conducted face-to-face or with online video conferencing software and must take place in a controlled environment. The End-Point Assessor will use questions taken from a template set by the EPAO and will grade the Discussion as either fail, pass or distinction using the grading criteria in Appendix B in the standard.

Grading

In order to pass their apprenticeship, Apprentices must gain a pass in every End-Point Assessment element. Once the Apprentice has done this, their final grade can be calculated according to the table below:

Practical Observation with Q&A

Work-Based Project (Supported by Interview)

Professional Discussion (with Portfolio of Evidence)

Grade

 

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Distinction

Pass

Distinction

Pass

Pass

Distinction

Pass

 

Distinction

Pass

Pass

Pass

Distinction

Pass

Distinction

Pass

Pass

Distinction

Distinction

After their apprenticeship is complete, Apprentices will be able to join the Institute of Customer Service as an individual member at professional level. If the Apprentice chooses to pursue customer service further in their career, then they may be eligible for further professional membership.

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And there you have it! We hope this helped all the interested Employers and Apprentices out there learn more about End-Point Assessment for the Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship. If you’d like to see the other Apprenticeship Standards which we offer EPA for, then click here.

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!

 

If you want to jumpstart your career in 2019, then an apprenticeship is the perfect way to go!

Not only do apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn, but they also provide a cost free alternative to university, give you valuable work experience and a high chance that you’ll secure permanent employment. In fact, 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their apprenticeship, with 71% of those staying with their employer after the end of their programme.

So, to help all those who have decided to take the leap, we’re offering four valuable tips to help you completely crush your apprenticeship application.

1. Choose The Right Apprenticeship For You

There are a large range of apprenticeships out there spanning many roles and sectors. Whether you’re interested in working in Hospitality, Healthcare or Management, there will be a perfect apprenticeship out there waiting for you.

So get out there and find it!

A great place to start is with the Find an Apprenticeship service. You’ll be able to search for any job title or employer you’re interested in, input your postcode, and the website will come up with all of the relevant apprenticeships available in your area. If you’re unsure of what specific job role you’d be interested in, you can also use the ‘browse’ function and look for an apprenticeship by category.

2. Conduct Research Into Your Role

Once you’ve found an apprenticeship that you’d like to apply for, make sure you thoroughly research the role. Familiarise yourself with all of the responsibilities along with the qualities that your employer is looking for. Spend a good amount of time reading through the job description and researching the company itself by looking at its website and learning about its values. You’ll need to think about how you will suit the role and the company to optimise your application and interview chances.

3. Personalise Every Application

That research that you conduct will come in handy once you write your application. Once you’re more familiar with what your potential employer is looking for, you can start to write about your own qualities and experiences and connect them with how you’d be perfect for the role.

Write about specific examples to back up your claims. If you say that you have great leadership skills, then give an example of how you’ve demonstrated this in the past. Also make sure that you have excellent spelling and grammar throughout your application as small mistakes never look great.

Furthermore, if you’re applying for multiple apprenticeships, make sure you personalise every application you send. Even if you’re applying for apprenticeships that have the same job role, each role and company will be different, and changing your application to match each role will give you a greater chance of securing several interviews

4. Look Smart and Remain Calm

If you manage to secure an interview, then well done! You should refresh yourself on all of the research that you conducted into your role and company. You can also research some questions that they might ask you in the interview and practice your answers beforehand so that you’re not caught off guard.

Your interview attire will depend on the role and the company. If you’re applying for a role in a more formal company then smart business attire, such as pressed shirts, blazers and trousers will be the way to go. However, if you’re not sure, then it’s best to check with the company before the day. Some employers don’t mind smart casual, or even casual wear, and wearing a suit and tie to an interview like this would look out of place.

Nerves are only natural before an interview. However, by preparing as best you can, having some faith in yourself and remaining calm and professional throughout your interview, you’ll put yourself in the best position to be accepted onto an apprenticeship and start your career off with a bang!

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We hope this helped all you aspiring apprentices out there with your applications!

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

See you around The Hive!

 

We’d like you to join The Hive!

We’re looking for Freelance Assessors across a range of apprenticeship standards to help us provide excellent, fair and comprehensive assessment of our apprentices. If you have an assessor qualification and a minimum of two years’ experience in assessing then check out all of our standards below and get all of the juicy details! If you’re interested, email epa@tquk.org with a CV and short cover letter to apply!

Freelance Associate Project Manager Assessors

Associate Project Manager apprentices manage business projects to ensure their success and work closely with a motivated and integrated project team to effectively meet the required project outcomes.

This assessor role requires you to have:

  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of the Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship Standard
  • The ability to contextualize the relevant work based project(s)
  • Current, relevant occupational knowledge and expertise at the relevant level of the occupational area(s) you are assessing, which has been gained through ‘hands on’ experience in the profession within the last 5 years

Find more details here!

Freelance Hair Professional Assessors

Hair Professional apprentices must have an intimate knowledge of hair types and will be able to instantly work with a diverse set of hairstyles. This standard contains two routes that apprentices can choose to pursue. To be an assessor, you must have:

  • Route 1: Hairdressing Level 3 qualification or equivalent experience of working at or above this level
  • Route 2: Barbering Level 3 qualification or equivalent experience of working at or above this level
  • 5 years’ worth of hands-on experience, with sufficient depth, as a hairdresser or barber at a senior level

Find more details here!

Freelance Healthcare Support Worker Assessors

Healthcare Support Worker apprentices will work in a team to deliver excellent and compassionate care to those who need it the most. They will attend to a range of clinical duties which includes monitoring health conditions and tracking the overall recovery of their patients.

This assessor role requires you to:

  • Be occupationally competent across the whole Healthcare Support Worker Standard
  • Be a registered healthcare professional or have completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship or regulated occupational competence qualification at Level 3 or above
  • Have experience of working in a health or social care setting within the last 2 years

Find more details here!

Freelance Senior Healthcare Support Worker Assessors

Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprentices will act as the main assistant to registered healthcare practitioners to help them deliver an excellent healthcare service to people of all ages.

This assessor role requires you to:

  • Be occupationally competent across the whole Senior Healthcare Support Worker Standard
  • Be a registered healthcare professional or have completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship or regulated occupational competence qualification at Level 3 or above
  • Have experience of working in a health or social care setting within the last 2 years

Find more details here!

We are also looking for other freelance assessors to join us! If you are occupationally competent in the standards below, then click the links to find out more details on how you can apply!

Business

Business Administrator Assessors

Learning and Development Practitioner Assessors

Learning and Development Consultant / Business Partner Assessors

Childcare and Education

Teaching Assistant Assessors

Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Assessors

Children, Young People and Families Manager Assessors

Healthcare

Adult Care Worker Assessors

Lead Adult Care Worker Assessors

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Assessors

Hospitality

Hospitality Team Member Assessors

Hospitality Supervisor Assessors

Commis Chef Assessors

Chef De Partie Assessors

Senior Production Chef Assessors

Hospitality Manager Assessors

Production Chef Assessors

HR

HR Support Assessors

HR Consultant / Partner Assessors

Management

Operations/Departmental Manager Assessors

Team Leader/Supervisor Assessors

Retail

Retailer Assessors

Retail Team Leader Assessors

Retail Manager Assessors

Sales, Marketing and Procurement

Customer Service Practitioner Assessors

IT Technical Salesperson Assessors

Customer Service Specialist Assessors

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

See you around The Hive!

Hiring an apprentice is the perfect way to improve your business in 2019!

As we’ve said before, hiring an apprentice brings a wealth of benefits to your organisation. 75% of employers reported that hiring an apprentice had improved the quality of their product or service while others saw a decrease in their turnover rates and an influx of new ideas in their workplace.

To help all of the interested employers out there, here’s a useful step-by-step guide on how to hire an apprentice

1. Choose a Standard

Line of doors.

There are still apprenticeship frameworks to choose from, but they are slowly being phased out as the government replaces them with the new and improved Apprenticeship Standards. So, the first step to hiring an apprentice is to choose an Apprenticeship Standard that would benefit your business. There are a huge variety of standards available spanning numerous sectors, from Healthcare to Business to Retail. By hiring an apprentice, you’ll join the many businesses who’ve benefitted from a 76% productivity increase, an increase in retention rates and will give back to your local community by helping combat youth unemployment in your area.

2. Find a Training Provider

Laptop on a table.

After you pick a standard, you should find a training provider that offers training for your chosen standard. We partner with many training providers that train apprentices for employers across the country. The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers is a good place to start looking, as it contains the extensive list of training providers who are eligible to train apprentices.

3. Check Your Funding

U.K. pounds.

You can receive government funding to pay for your apprentice’s training. If you’re an employer with a pay bill of over £3 million every year, then you automatically pay the apprenticeship levy. This means that you’ll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices and the government will add 10%. If you’re a business that doesn’t need to pay the levy, then you only need to pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You’ll need to agree to a payment schedule with your training provider and pay them directly for the training. The government will then pay the remaining 90% up to the assigned funding band directly to your training provider.

The standard that you choose will have a funding band allocated to it, which is the maximum amount of money that the government will contribute towards your standard. If you’d like more information on funding bands, then check out our handy Funding Band page that’ll give you all the details

4. Advertise Your Apprenticeship

Man shouting on megaphone.

You’ll then have to advertise your apprenticeship vacancy and wait for an influx of applicants. Conveniently, your training provider will do this for you so that you won’t have to lift a finger!

5. Select Your Apprentice

Hand shake.

Once you’ve assessed your pool of candidates, you will select your apprentice and sign an apprenticeship agreement with them. You’ll also have to sign a commitment statement with your apprentice and your training provider. This includes details such as the planned content and schedule for training and what is expected from all parties involved.

Apprenticeships will last for a minimum of a year and can last up to five years depending on the programme. If you’d like more information on the apprenticeship process, then you can contact the National Apprenticeship Service at 0800 015 0600.

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We hope this useful guide helped you take that first step towards hiring an apprentice and taking your business to the next level 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!

 

With the recent additions of the Production Chef, Children, Young People & Families Manager and Children Young People & Families Practitioner Standards, we’re proud to announce that we now offer EPA for a nice, even 30 Apprenticeship Standards!

We’ve come a long way from our founding, when TQUK EPA was approved to deliver End-Point Assessment in April 2017. Since then, we’ve reached a lot of milestones on our journey to becoming a lead End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) in the apprenticeship sector.

2018 was a particularly big year for us, as we were approved to deliver a huge number of Apprenticeship Standards and were the first EPAO to pass apprentices on a number of new standards in the U.K.! This includes passing the first apprentice in the country on the new Adult Care Worker Standard as well as the first apprentice on the new Lead Adult Care Worker Standard.

Now, we offer End-Point Assessment for an impressive 30 standards across a wide range of sectors! Some of our most popular sectors include Healthcare and Management, where we offer standards such as Adult Care Worker, Lead Adult Care Worker, Healthcare Support Worker, Operations/Departmental Manager and Team Leader/Supervisor. To see all of the standards that we offer End-Point Assessment for, head over to our Sectors page and give them a browse!

Stay tuned as we continue to grow in 2019 and gain approval for many more Apprenticeship Standards. We’re not planning to stop anytime soon!

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

See you around The Hive!

Do you have what it takes to join The Hive?

TQUK EPA is growing at lightning speed, and we’re looking for more busy bees to join our team!

We’re on the hunt for an EPA Assessor Coordinator and an EPA Health and Social Care Assessor/Trainer to hop on board as we continue to establish our place as an industry leading EPAO. To see the full job descriptions of these roles, head over to our Join The EPA Team page!

EPA Assessor Coordinator

This role sits at the heart of our EPA team. This individual will support the growth of our assessment provision and maintain consistently high quality assessment practices. They will be responsible for growing our team of assessors, including an associate bank, and establishing rigorous assessment practices that meet and exceed customer expectation. They will recruit, train and monitor EPA performance through a series of structured training, standardisation and performance review activities that deliver excellent assessment practice.

This individual must be organised, have significant experience in both assessment and internal quality assurance and will thrive on keeping up with developments in an ever changing landscape.

A few key responsibilities include:

  • Taking a lead role in the active recruitment of End-Point Assessors in line with our current and upcoming EPA offers
  • Managing the on boarding process of all EPA Assessors, both permanent and associate
  • Managing and growing a bank of associate EPA Assessors
  • Implementing a programme of pre and post assessment standardisation activities / events
  • Monitoring the performance of assessors to ensure high quality practice is consistently maintained

The essential skills and qualifications that this individual must have are:

  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience within the specialist vocational sector
  • A 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 they will assess
  • Relevant assessor / IQA qualification
  • Level 2 English and Maths qualifications (or equivalent)
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including report writing

We’d like someone who is confident and ambitious with a “can do, will do!” attitude. They should be motivated, energetic and take responsibility for their own area of work. But most importantly they should work well with others and have fun as they join the TQUK Team!

EPA Health and Social Care Assessor/Trainer

An apprenticeship End-Point Assessor is responsible for providing independent, fair, reliable and consistent assessment services to our customers working with apprenticeship standards. This EPA Health and Social Care Assessor/Trainer must use their assessment experience with relevant industry knowledge of the Health and Social care sector to form judgements and grading decisions on a variety of apprenticeship assessment activities. This individual must be flexible in their approach to all tasks and have exceptional assessment abilities with the independence to travel.

This is a dynamic role which requires the post holder to manage a caseload of both EPA and IQA activities, as well as provide training and guidance to new and associate EPA assessors and deliver EPA process training to partnering training providers and employers. As with the EPA Assessor Coordinator role, this individual must be organised, have significant experience in assessment and internal quality assurance and must be able to keep up with developments in an ever changing landscape.

A few key responsibilities of this post will be to:

  • Deliver outstanding End-Point Assessment and Internal Quality Assurance services to assigned 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 their assigned caseload to ensure all stages of the EPA journey are completed in a timely manner and to the expected standard
  • Produce accurate and well informed assessment feedback and written reports to validate assessment grading decisions
  • Support the on boarding process of EPA assessors through delivering training and wider induction activities

Their essential skills, experience and qualifications include:

  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience within the Health and Social Care sector
  • A minimum of a relevant Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma
  • A minimum of 2 years’ assessing experience with robust knowledge of assessment techniques
  • Evidenced experience of preparing and delivering training
  • A relevant assessor and IQA qualification
  • Level 2 English and Maths qualifications (or equivalent)
  • Sound IT and digital literacy
  • Outstanding organisational and time management skills
  • The ability to work in a flexible manner, adapt to different environments and solve problems independently
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including report writing

As with all of our staff at TQUK, we’d like someone with confidence, bravery and ambition. They should be able to maintain professional standards and boundaries, develop great relationships with team members, customers and stakeholders and be motivated and enthusiastic in their work!

As mentioned above, if you’re interested in these roles then you can go to our Join The EPA Team page and find the full job descriptions there. If you think you’d be a good fit, then email kelle.mcquade@tquk.org with a CV and a short cover letter to apply!

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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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It’s only a week into 2019 and we already have an exciting staff announcement!

Matt Garrod, one of TQUK’s shining Client Relationship Officers, is hanging up his hat as CRO and moving to the TQUK EPA team as an End-Point Assessment Officer!

His addition comes as the EPA Team continues to expand as a result of our non-stop growth as an EPAO. 2018 was full of exciting action for us, and we’re sure that Matt’s addition to the EPA Team is the first step to an even bigger and better 2019!

In his time at TQUK, Matt has already dazzled as a Client Relationship Officer, forming lasting relationships and providing world-class TQUK customer service to our centres. As an EPA Officer, he’ll provide invaluable support to our training providers and will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the quality of our EPA provision.

On his move, Matt says:

“I wanted to join the EPA Team as it’s a fast growing part of TQUK and I wanted to become a part of the team before it could expand even more quickly! My role as an EPA Officer will also be more service oriented which is something that I really enjoy, and I look forward to providing fantastic support to our internal and external EPA staff. Here’s to a brilliant 2019!”

Kelle McQuade, our Head of End-Point Assessment Organisation, chimes in with her own thoughts:

“I’m delighted for Matt to be joining the EPA Team! His level of knowledge and experience of TQUK and our EPA services means that he’ll be the perfect addition to The Hive as we keep expanding into 2019 and beyond. I have no doubt that Matt will help us thrive as we solidify our position as a leading EPAO in the apprenticeship sector. We’re glad to have you on board, Matt!”

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

See you around The Hive!

We’ve got more exciting news!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • On-Demand Test
  • Business Project
  • Professional Discussion

On-Demand Test

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

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

Business Project

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

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

The Project will contain the following:

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

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

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

Professional Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you around The Hive!

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

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

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

1. Go All Out with the Decorations

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

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

2. Social Media Is In

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

3. Customer Service Sells

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

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

4. Focus on Upselling

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

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

5. Provide Free Gift Wrapping

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

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

6. Support a Charity

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

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

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

See you around The Hive!

 

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

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

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

Decorations

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

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

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

Secret Santa

Presenting a present

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

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

A Nice Christmas Do

Christmas dinner table

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

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

Christmas Songs

Choir angel statues

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

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

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

See you around The Hive!

We know the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to apprentices and businesses alike. They’re one of the best ways to train individuals in their job role and teach them skills that have practical and real-world applications that help both their business and the UK economy grow.

What’s the Healthcare Situation?

Although multiple sectors across the UK are currently experiencing a skills shortage, no sector feels this shortage more keenly than healthcare.

According to Health Education England (HEE), the NHS is currently short of 42,000 staff including nurses, midwives and therapists. Staff shortages are particularly bad in mental health services, with more than 20,000 positions vacant for mental health staff in the English NHS. There is also a demand for more ambulance staff, with ambulance services in England short of almost 1,000 frontline staff.

There are multiple factors that contribute to this staff shortage. Firstly, the UK’s growing ageing population will require more healthcare services, putting more strain on the NHS and private health services. The clinical workforce is also ageing. UK nurses have an average age of 42 and 29% of nurses are aged over 50. When these workers retire, there will be a huge shortage of staff in the industry, which means that the healthcare sector must take action soon to deal with the future loss of these workers.

The current shortage of healthcare staff is already affecting the industry. According to a survey which interviewed more than 1,000 NHS employees, 80% of respondents including nurses, doctors and managers raised concerns about there being an insufficient amount of staff on duty to give patients high-quality care. One senior nurse who worked in a large A&E department said that she had to regularly manage over double the number of patients her department had capacity for, with another midwife adding that “on average, every other shift is short staffed.”

The HEE warns that the health service workforce will need to increase by 190,000 workers by 2027. The industry must be able to cope with this increase in demand for health care staff in the next few years.

So what’s the solution?

How Apprenticeships Can Help

Investing in apprenticeships is a great way to address the staff shortage problem in the healthcare industry and create a dedicated, capable and long-term workforce that will secure the future of the health service. Taking on apprentices also offers organisations a large range of benefits.

As we talked about in a previous blog, apprentices can offer businesses innovative solutions to old problems. They also increase productivity, as research has shown that employers who had an established apprenticeship programme had their productivity improved by 76%. Apprentices can also help decrease staff turnover, as nurturing apprentices throughout their programme can secure their loyalty to their company. Whitbread found that their turnover rates were 15% lower on the apprenticeship level, while nearly three-quarters of their apprentices stayed with the company for more than 12 months, compared to only a quarter of non-apprentices.

The NHS is subject to a public-sector target of 2.3% apprenticeship starts every year, which means that they already offer apprenticeships in a range of levels and careers. There are apprenticeships available across a range of jobs like Ambulance Practitioners, Clinical Healthcare Support, Emergency Care Assistance and many more.

There are many other healthcare apprenticeships out there. Some of the apprenticeships we offer End-Point Assessment for include Adult Care Worker, Healthcare Support Worker and Healthcare Assistant Practitioner. These apprenticeships will be vital in training staff to do the important, everyday work of the health service.

Adult Care Workers help provide support to individuals who face physical, emotional or intellectual challenges so that they can live as safely and independently as possible. Increasing the number of these apprenticeships will provide much needed care to the ageing UK population, as Adult Care Workers can work in residential or nursing homes, day centres, an individual’s own home and more establishments.

Healthcare Support Workers work as part of a team to deliver care to those who need it the most. They have a range of clinical duties including monitoring health conditions and tracking the recovery of their patients. An increase in Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeships will help a large variety of healthcare organisations, as after their programme, apprentices can work in hospitals, community clinics, mental health settings, GP surgeries and more.

Healthcare Assistant Practitioners work at a level above Healthcare Support Workers, and have a more in-depth understanding of the factors that influence health and ill-health. They will have skills and experience in a particular area of clinical practice. Upon completing their apprenticeship, Assistant Practitioners can work in most departments in the NHS. They will also be able to mentor healthcare assistants, trainee assistant practitioners and student nurses and provide support to the next generation of workers. If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the healthcare apprenticeships we offer EPA for, click here.

The good news is that there are already a large number of healthcare apprenticeships available. It is now up to healthcare organisations, both public and private, to promote and push the apprenticeships they offer. This way, they can increase their numbers and fill their staff shortage. They will also be rewarded in the long run with a large number of dedicated, quality staff that will help the health service survive for future generations.

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

See you around The Hive!

In this week’s installment of A View from the Inside, we chat with Kelle McQuade, TQUK’s Head of End-Point Assessment Organisation, about EPA, the Apprenticeship Levy, her pride in helping learners and what employers and training providers need to think about when conducting an End-Point Assessment.

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When I Grow Up…

Where are you from?

I started off in Milton Keynes, moved to Nottingham for ten years and then moved back to Milton Keynes for a long while… almost 25 years now!

Did you go to college or university?

Did A levels at college — French, Drama and History.

Why those?

Some of that was driven by my secondary school teachers. I had this one great French teacher. There were only three of us in her class at A level so the teaching experience was very close. History, I loved. I had another great teacher. He’s still teaching Music now and also just made his first movie. He was brilliant. And Drama just because I’m ever so dramatic.

What do you think your younger self would think of you today?

I think she might be surprised. I’m a little too sensible. I always wanted to be an ice skater. I equally thought I would do something within the performing arts. Turns out I can’t act, so that was out. But I definitely didn’t think I’d end up in education.

Would it really be so surprising?

When you’re young, you’re told you can do anything. You think you’ll grow up to be an actor or an astronaut. But then you turn around and say, “Hang on, this job that I was only supposed to be in for 15 months turned out to be a 15 year career.” You let things grow organically and learn not be too prescriptive about taking a particular path.

Beginning in education

When some people look back on their careers, they see the path they took as almost inevitable. Did that ever happen to you?

Yeah, actually.

The first teaching role I had was working with NEET learners aged 16-25 through the Prince’s Trust trying to give people a second chance.

It wasn’t a traditional classroom setting. When I was working at the leisure centre, I set up a rookie lifeguard programme. It was for learners who had been on their swimming lesson programme and wanted to know what came next. It kept them engaged.

We applied and got accredited to deliver the course. It was from there that a couple of lessons got taken on by a couple of schools. One of them was in one of the more deprived areas of Milton Keynes.

Sometimes, the internally suspended students would end up in our bar area. When the PE lessons were happening in the leisure centre, they weren’t allowed to take part, but they also weren’t allowed to be home. I ended up just talking to some of these students.

I remember one of them gave me so much abuse. He wanted to call everyone every name under the sun. But one day, I said to him, “What happens if I tell you my name, and you call me that?”

I don’t know how it happened, but it worked. The next time I saw him he was like, “Oh, Kelle mate, how are you?” And I thought, “Wow.” So I said, “I’m good, how are you? How was your day?” He’d say he wasn’t back in lessons yet because this happened and that happened, so we sat down and had a chat. Every time he came in he seemed a little bit calmer and a little bit more respectful to the staff.

Did you keep in touch with him?

I still see him. And he seems to be a very well rounded person, very lovely. Lots of my students have gone on to do some really wonderful things.

MKC, TQUK and EPA

You were Head of Curriculum and Innovation at Milton Keynes College. What did that involve?

I was in charge of quality and professional development. That meant I organised cross-college teaching and learning fairs, looked after the teacher training curricula and reviewed our assessor and IQA qualifications. I also had a team of innovation leaders — outstanding practitioners who taught maybe ten hours every week and taught other members of the training staff to develop their practice. We asked ourselves: what could we do to improve the learner experience and make sure that teaching, learning and assessment were as good as they could be? We wanted our learners to achieve the best results, whether that meant going for jobs, applying for an apprenticeship or going into higher education.

What was your first impression of TQUK?

Very different from other Awarding Organisations. Talking to Andy didn’t feel like a sales pitch. It felt very relaxed and open. He seemed to understand what training centres’ frustrations were. That certainly struck a chord with me. I was head of quality and point of contact for all Awarding Organisations when I worked at the college. There were frustrations with other organisations and how they operated. So there was something different about what TQUK were offering.

When you started at TQUK you were BDM, then moved to head of EPAO. Could you talk more about that?  

It was almost a natural transition. My background lent itself a lot more to EPA. It was brilliant to be involved with creating the EPAO from day one. I was already involved in the thick of the EPA conversations, looking at the directions we might go in. We needed to identify a decision maker and I guess I was just best placed. When it came down to the day to day nitty gritty of EPA, that was where I needed to be.

When you came in, the whole sector was getting used to the new reforms. What was it like to jump into a new regulatory landscape?

Coming from a college into an Awarding Organisation is so different. I don’t think I really appreciated all the work that an Awarding Organisation does. I certainly underappreciated the massive amounts of work that TQUK does with the staff size. When I started, I was overwhelmed and impressed with what was being achieved by the team. I still continue to be.

But I think coming in at a time whilst I was having to learn all about awarding and not having been exposed to the behind the scenes aspects of that before, there was a certain comfort that everybody was learning about EPA at the same time. You’re laying the track as you go along with everybody else. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes the information you need isn’t there yet — we’re still experiencing that on a weekly basis. I get impatient — I want everything to be perfect, and I want it to be perfect right now!

Guiding employers and training providers through the final assessment

What’s one question you get asked by employers or training providers that you hear too often?

What we seem to get asked a lot about recently is the 20% off-the-job training. Sometimes with that, it’s just a matter of linking people to the right information. We also get a lot of questions about VAT and how that’s different for levy and non-levy payers — where the cut-off points and the variations are. These things can get pretty complex and they need to get sorted out.

What’s one thing you wish employers or training providers knew already going into EPA?

The one thing I would say is that just because it’s called ‘End-Point Assessment’ doesn’t mean they don’t have to think about it until the very end. You need to start thinking about it at the very beginning because you need to know what that assessment is going to look like. We expect to have employers or training providers knocking at the door saying they’ve got a learner at Gateway, can we help? People should come to us at the start. That way, we could advise on the best practices throughout the process. We expect to see that shift over the next six months.

In the FE media, the reforms seem to be fairly controversial. Employers and training providers are raising concerns about how to implement the off-the-job training requirement and how the Apprenticeship Levy isn’t working. How do you address those concerns and still get people on your side?

One thing we always try to do is take the headache away from the partners we work with. We make it clear from the beginning that we know what we’re doing and understand assessment. We were very early to market with EPA so we learned some very valuable lessons with an initial low volume of learners. We’re now so well-versed that the volume has increased massively and we’re able to pass those key messages and lessons onto employers. It’s important for us to be that calm face that can offer reassurance and provide answers where we can. And where we can’t, we’re able to make some pragmatic, educated assessments of the situation. We have a reputation for being one of the best and most knowledgeable EPAOs in England — and we want to keep it that way.

Thoughts and reflections

Looking back on your time in education, what’s the one thing you’ve accomplished that you’re most proud of?

I’m really proud when I see a learner — whether it’s a student or a member of staff — achieve their goals. I get to think, “I had something to do with that.” Those are the things that matter, and that’s why we do what we do — to see the end product of the services we deliver.

What about situations you look back on that make you think, “I could’ve done that better”?

When I was first teaching the NEET program covering social skills and social development, half my students were older than I was. Sometimes, you can struggle when you’re trying to offer help and it isn’t being accepted. But it isn’t until you’re a bit older that you can reflect back and think, “They weren’t in a place to acknowledge or receive that help. It wasn’t about you. It wasn’t personal.”

You’re one of the only real athletes in the office. Was exercise always a big part of your life?

I’ve always been very sporty, played hockey and netball. I’ve always been very accident-prone too. As we sit here I’m three weeks into a sprained ankle. (Laughs.)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Mai Tais on a beach! (Laughs.)

Professionally, who knows? I don’t try to predict these things – the landscape in education is always changing. If you told me two years ago I’d be head of EPAO for an Awarding Organisation, I wouldn’t have believed you. I just enjoy the ride.

Lightning round!

You’ve now entered the lightning round! You must answer the following questions within 3 seconds or less!!

Oh God!

Who do you think would win in a fight: old Godzilla or new Godzilla?

Haven’t seen either, so couldn’t say.

Men or women?

Women.

How many streets have you lived on?

Too many, probably about 20.

Favourite member of Take That?

Gary Barlow.

What animal does Ash have tattooed on his arm?

I think it’s supposed to be a bee but it ended up being a wasp.

Love Island or Survivor?

Neither!

Favourite person in the office?

Katie, for sure.

Biggest pet peeve?

People who eat too loudly.

Favourite flavour of Fanta?

Lemon, but only while on holiday.

What is the meaning of love?

When you feel fizzy.

Like Fanta…

Yeah.

Thanks for your time!

Thanks!

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

See you around The Hive!

Our EPA team is constantly working hard to add to the list of apprenticeship standards we deliver End-Point Assessment for. As a result, we’re in the works to deliver EPA for five more standards in the very near future!

Here’s a sneak peek of all the standards to come:

Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistants can work with students across all ages in Primary, Special and Secondary education, including those who have special educational needs or emotional vulnerabilities. Their primary role is to support their class teacher and enhance their pupils’ learning by ensuring that they understand the work set, know their learning objectives and stay on task in order to make sufficient progress.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn key skills such as how to support their pupils towards independent learning, how to implement effective behavior management strategies and how to work closely with teachers to ensure that their own contributions align with the teaching objectives.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship include:

  • Practical Observation with a Question & Answer session
  • Professional Discussion with a Portfolio of Evidence included

Successful apprentices can progress into a number of career paths in the Educational sector such as Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Assistant Teacher and Teacher.

IT Technical Salesperson

An IT Technical Salesperson specialises in selling the technical products and services of a company, such as data storage and cloud services. They must maintain good relationships with existing clients and approach potential customers with the aim of winning new business. They should also maintain a good understanding of existing and new technologies that are emerging.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will gain knowledge of the basic elements of computer systems, learn how to negotiate and close sales and acquire a thorough understanding of the business products they are selling.

The End-Point Assessment components for the IT Technical Salesperson Apprenticeship include:

  • Summative Portfolio
  • Synoptic Project
  • Employer Reference
  • Interview

Those who are successful in completing their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration onto the Register of IT Technicians.

Associate Project Manager

Associate Project Managers help manage business projects by using their resources and management skills. They will know what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take, how much it will cost and will work with the project team to achieve the required outcomes.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to develop project budgets, how to prepare and maintain project schedules and how to respond to any project issues.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Associate Project Manager apprenticeship include:

  • Presentation supported by a Portfolio of Evidence
  • Professional Discussion supported by the same Portfolio of Evidence

On starting the apprenticeship, apprentices can become student members of the Association for Project Management (APM). After they complete their apprenticeship successfully, they can then become eligible for associate membership. Full membership can later be attained through further experience and professional development.

Learning and Development Practitioner

Learning and Development (L&D) Practitioners are responsible for identifying learning and training needs within a business and designing training programmes to improve their organisation.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to identify and analyse learning needs, how to design training resources to meet these needs and how to monitor a learner’s progress to deliver motivational and developmental feedback.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Practitioner Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project and Professional Discussion
  • Presentation based on a Learning Journal

Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

Learning and Development Consultant / Business Partner

Learning and Development (L&D) Consultants are responsible for identifying areas of improvement in individuals, groups and organisations and finding appropriate learning and development solutions to improve their organisation. L&D Consultants must also measure the outcomes and return on investment of any learning interventions they implement. This role can exist in a range of organisations that span across the private, public and third sector.

In the apprenticeship, apprentices will learn a range of valuable skills including how to identify organisational skills gaps and risks, how to present a range of innovative solutions to fill these gaps and how to construct and manage an L&D project.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Consultant Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project with Professional Discussion
  • Presentation and Q&A based on a Learning Journal

Just as with the L&D Practitioner, apprentices who successfully complete their programme are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

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We hope you enjoyed that little taste of the new standards to come! If you’d like to see the existing range of apprenticeship standards we provide EPA for, click here.

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!

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Managers are an integral part of every business. Although their day-to-day duties differ, managers must oversee their employees, manage their budget and departmental goals and carry out all their duties in accordance with their company’s vision. A great manager juggles all of these elements seamlessly while creating a fantastic work environment where their employees are motivated and happy to work.

We thought we’d get some insight from our wonderful TQUK staff members about what makes a great manager. Here are their thoughts:

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Thomas Concannon, Junior Graphic Designer: “A great manager is able to communicate well with their team and doesn’t act as if there are any barriers between themselves and their staff. They also give constructive feedback so that their employees can learn from their mistakes and grow as a result.”
Kit Jenkin, Content Officer: “A great manager is someone who’s able to effectively motivate their team, discovering the best qualities in every person and creating roles and environments where those qualities can be fully realised. Managing also means showing leadership and providing clear direction and boundaries.”

Samuel Rossiter, Content Officer: “I think a great manager leads by example and creates a positive and rewarding work environment which their staff are happy to walk into every morning. I also think great managers trust their employees, and allow them the space and time to manage their own work. This empowers their staff and allows them to thrive!”

Matt Garrod, End-Point Assessment Officer: “A great manager knows how to keep their team and staff motivated throughout the week. Regardless of whether it’s a Monday or a Friday, they should receive the same level of enthusiasm no matter what!”

Ash Smith, Client Relationship Team Leader: A great manager understands the strengths and weaknesses of their team and uses this knowledge to properly develop their members. They’re also great in bringing their ideas to the table, using their team’s strengths to work together and bring these to life. It also helps if they can keep team morale high!”

Rochelle Crichton, End-Point Assessment Team Leader: “A great manager is approachable, open to suggestions and actively looking for changes and improvements to help their team and department. A great manager is also happy to guide and assist their staff when necessary. They should understand the pressure and stress you may be under and be appreciative of you as an individual.”

~

There you go! Our TQUK members value honesty, approachability, great communication and the ability to develop their team in their managers. We’re grateful to our Senior Management Team for embodying these values here and driving TQUK forwards while helping their employees every step of the way!

If you’re interested in pursuing a managerial position, then why not earn while you learn and enroll in a management apprenticeship? To start exploring, check out the range of management apprenticeship standards we provide End-Point Assessment for here.

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

See you around The Hive!

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