We’re always striving to keep you informed and up to date on key End-Point Assessment issues during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This latest update details some positive steps forwards in relation to a range of End-Point Assessment delivery areas.

  • Healthcare Standard- Approved Alternative Assessment Method to Observation LIVE
  • Retailer- Approved Alternative Assessment Method to Observation
  • Hospitality & Catering- Approved Alternative Assessment Method to Observation
  • Teaching Assistant Standard- Update
  • Customer service Practitioner & Customer Service Specialist- Update

As well as a further update and/ or reminder regarding:

  • Functional skills
  • Positive Success Stats

And finally to request:

  • COVID-19 Apprenticeship success stories

Healthcare Standard- Approved Alternative Assessment Method to Observation LIVE

We would like to thank you for your patience recently, enabling us sufficient time to update our assessment and support documentation and conduct vital End-Point Assessor training. We are pleased to confirm that all support materials for the following three apprenticeship standards are now live:

  • Healthcare Support Worker
  • Senior Support Worker
  • Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

We are also able to confirm that from Monday 4th May 2020 this temporary assessment method will be live for delivery. A reminder that if you have already progressed an Apprentice through Gateway you do not need to contact us. EPA Assessors will be in contact directly with Apprentices to discuss their option to undertake the replacement assessment component and schedule as applicable.

For all future Apprentices you submit for Gateway we have made an Alternative COVID-19 Gateway form which we ask you to complete. This confirms the Apprentice’s assessment preferences for this observation or replacement assessment.

Retailer Standard

We have in the last day received confirmation from the External Quality Assurance Provider that the IfATE have approved a replacement assessment method that can be conducted during this period in place of the Practical Observation.

Guidance we have received confirms that Apprentices are to be assessed by:

  • End Point Assessment Organisations completing the Assessor Observation form based on evidence of practice provided by the Training Provider
  • Evidence will be validated by an Expert Witness Statement
  • The Assessment will be accompanied by a short 30 minute Question & Answer session between the Apprentice and End-Point Assessor to further validate evidence

We currently await further detail and a list of permitted evidence forms, range and volume to be shared by the EQA provider. At which point we shall offer and further update and seek to offer wider support materials

We advise you to continue to progress Apprentices through Gateway so that we can undertake all necessary Gateway evidence checks and commence with assessments that are currently able to take place.

Hospitality & Catering Standards

On Friday 1st May, we received confirmation from the External Quality Assurance Provider that the IfATE have approved a replacement assessment methods that can be conducted during this period in place of the Practical Observation and Culinary Challenge assessments, as applicable, for the following standards:

  • Hospitality Team Member
  • Hospitality Supervisor
  • Commis Chef
  • Chef De Partie
  • Production Chef
  • Senior Production Chef

The replacement to Observation assessments will comprise of a combination of On-Programme evidence provided by the Training Provider and a Question and Answer session between the Apprentice and End-Point Assessor.

As applicable for Commis Chef and Chef De Partie, which include a Culinary Challenge assessment, this will be temporarily replaced with a combination of a completed menu and time plan and evidence of MOCK EPA with expert witness statement supported by a Question and Answer session.

The duration of the Question & Answer session is individual in duration to each standard/ assessment. Our updated guidance will provide further detail on these which range between 20 and 50 minutes.

We currently await further detail and a list of permitted evidence forms, range and volume to be shared by the EQA provider. At which point we shall offer and further update and seek to offer wider support materials.

We advise you to continue to progress Apprentices through Gateway so that we can undertake all necessary Gateway evidence checks and commence with assessments that are currently able to take place.

Teaching Assistant Standard

We are pleased to report that positive steps are being taken towards seeking approval for a temporary Observation replacement assessment. On Friday 1st May, we participated in a special Task Force meeting chaired by the IfATE, and attended by other EPAO’s, the Trailblazer group Chair and Ofqual.

Whilst the outcome of the meeting is required to be formally reviewed and approved by further teams within the IfATE we can confirm that the group found consensus of a proposed alternative assessment method.

We anticipate communication of the IfATEs decision within the next 10-14 days and will provide a further update at this time, when we are able to share the detail of what is approved and an indication as to when we will be able to deliver and go live with the replacement assessment.

We advise you to continue to progress Apprentices through Gateway so that we can undertake all necessary Gateway evidence checks and commence with assessments that are currently able to take place.

Customer Service Practitioner & Customer Service Specialist Standards

We are pleased to report that positive steps are being taken towards seeking approval for a temporary Observation replacement assessment. On Friday 1st May, we participated in a further meeting following the initial Task Force meeting chaired by IfATE to review the details for the proposed alternative assessment.

Whilst the outcome of the meeting is required to be formally reviewed and approved by further teams within the IfATE we can confirm that the group found consensus of a proposed alternative assessment method.

We anticipate communication of the IfATEs decision within the next 5-10 days and will provide a further update at this time, when we are able to share the detail of what is approved and an indication as to when we will be able to deliver and go live with the replacement assessment.

We advise you to continue to progress Apprentices through Gateway so that we can undertake all necessary Gateway evidence checks and commence with assessments that are currently able to take place.

Functional Skills

We recently provided an update on the relaxation of the requirement for Level 2 Apprentices to “attempt” Level 2 Functional Skills assessment before progressing through Gateway. This relaxation is applicable to all Apprentices who progress through Gateway before 31st July 2020.

As many of you will be familiar with our EPA Management system VERVE EPA, which is custom designed per standard to require evidence against individual standards. As such we have produced a generic document titled “Functional Skills Level 2 Exemption Form”

This can be found under the General Support Materials tab on VERVE EPA.

Training Providers are asked to read and use this form to upload in lieu of attempt of assessment evidence when submitting an Apprentice through Gateway.

All other Functional Skills evidence should be provided/ uploaded as per usual requirements.

Positive Success Stats

During this challenging time we thought it might be helpful to share with you some positive statistics in relation to how we have been able to apply approved flexibilities and adapt practice to work with you to enable as many assessments to take place as possible.

Since 23rd March:

  • 70% of Apprentices that have progressed through Gateway are on standards where we can currently offer 100% remote assessment options.
  • This will increase to 81% as we go live with the approved alternatives across Retailer and Hospitality
  • We aim to see this further increased to 92% when Customer Service and Teaching Assistant alternative assessments are also approved
  • Of the Apprentices passing through Gateway we can currently undertake 86% of all included assessments via remote assessment options.
  • Again we hope this will rise to 97% with final agreements as noted above
  • Feedback from a small sample of apprentices has included:
    • Remote assessment was more straightforward than I expected
    • Assessment was fine, easier, less pressured remotely
    • Assessment planning meetings with EPA Assessor helpful
    • Remote assessment was really easy and really good to have the opportunity to talk to someone – nice to see someone and have the discussion
    • The technology was smooth, and it felt normal
    • I was able to have time to discuss and no difference to face to face with living in a world of new technology. Time to think of answers and conversion flowed and it feels comfortable
    • Conversation was the same and flowed as in room together (natural conversation)
    • Employer support – kit and equipment given to allow the virtual meeting to take place (best up to date kit)./ Provider – was well set up, prepared and support through call.

COVID-19 Apprenticeship success stories

Please share with us your good new stories so we can help celebrate all the hard work you are doing to keep Apprenticeships progressing and innovative ways you are working with your Apprentices

The global outbreak of coronavirus has created a state of uncertainty for everyone up and down the country and around the world. We here at Training Qualifications UK are acutely aware of the impact this has had on the education sector and we’re deeply grateful to our centers, who have been active in engaging with us to work through solutions that will keep assessments taking place.

Continue reading “Remote assessment of Apprentices during the coronavirus outbreak”

We are now live with the process changes we have been communicating over recent weeks. We are confident these changes will improve the experience for everyone involved and most importantly the Apprentice on their End-Point Assessment journey.

An update of all the processes that have changed is below.

Continue reading “Update! Process changes now live for our End-Point Assessment services”

Some might say that the role of an End-Point Assessor is the best role in apprenticeships. Training Qualifications UK’s End-Point Assessor Rachel Blood talks sense of achievement, flexibility with workloads and a company dedicated to supporting Apprentices. Oh and that she loves being an Assessor.

Continue reading “The rewarding role of an End-Point Assessor: Find out how you can make a difference working as an Assessor.”

We are always working on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our processes to improve the service we can provide to yourselves and your apprentices. We will be making the following changes and will send full details for each change over the coming weeks to help you better understand them. There are changes to Gateway requirements, MCQ bookings and the introduction of an Apprentice survey.

Gateway Changes

Required Information on Verve at Gateway

From Monday 10th February, we will be putting all Apprentices on hold who do not have the ‘Apprentice Profile’ page fully completed on Verve EPA. This is to assist us in:

  • Fully informing End-Point Assessors of significant Apprentice information vital to the assessment.
  • Implementing internal processes including assessment bookings and certificate claims.

When we do not have all the information we require for the entire EPA journey, it can lead to the journey stalling or becoming disjointed as we put apprentices on hold at Gateway or delaying assessment components due to having to request information. With this new change, we will have all the information we require at Gateway to enable a smoother process. Full details of this will be communicated prior to this change coming into place.

Assessment Preference

We are currently working on reviewing and updating all our assessment documents across all 36 standards that we offer. As part of this change, we will be updating all Gateway meeting documents to require an assessment preference for all components. In the meantime, whilst we work our way through these, we have put together an Assessment Preference document that must be completed from Monday 10th February before the Apprentice can pass through Gateway. We would suggest that this is completed during the Gateway meeting. Please note, if the assessment preference document is not completed, the Apprentice will not be able to pass through Gateway. The completion of this document will be key to us being able to allocate End-Point Assessors to apprentices within our agreed SLA and understand the requirements of the assessment.

Portfolios required at Gateway

To allow our End-Point Assessors to be suitably prepared for the EPA process and to improve the experience for apprentices along their journey, from Monday 10th February any standard with a component that is to be completed prior to gateway, whether assessed or not, will require this component to be uploaded to Verve EPA or provide an E-Portfolio link and password before the Apprentice can pass through Gateway. We will send a full list of components where this is required prior to this change coming into place. This allows the End-Point Assessor to familiarise themselves with the portfolio and prepare relevant questions for the assessment component. This will also apply to standards where these components are not graded by the End-Point Assessor but are instead used as a support tool as it still provides important context to the End-Point Assessor when preparing for the assessment components.

Other

MCQ booking process moving in-house

The booking of MCQs onto our Verve EPA system will be managed internally from Monday 10th February, taking the responsibility off our EPA assessors and thus freeing up their time to focus on the rest of the End-Point Assessment. This will require MCQ dates to be agreed prior to the Apprentice being submitted through Gateway (we suggest the dates to be arranged at the Gateway meeting) and added to the meeting record or assessment preference document. The date agreed for the MCQ must not be within five working days of the Apprentice coming through Gateway and may be subject to change if Gateway requirements are not met. We require this five day minimum lead-time to ensure the booking is included on our report that the Assessment team use to send out MCQ links. When the Apprentice is then submitted through Gateway on Verve EPA, our EPA team will complete their usual Gateway review and update the system with the dates submitted, before informing the End-Point Assessor so they are aware of dates in preparation of the assessment planning meeting.

Apprentice Surveys

We will be introducing an Apprentice Survey that will be sent to apprentices after their assessment components have been completed. It will be a short 10 question survey that will provide us with some invaluable feedback to assist us in our continual strive for improvement. We would really appreciate any support you can offer in asking the apprentices to complete this.

A final note, the Verve EPA system has gone through an update and the system operators have made some changes that will come into effect from week commencing 20th January. We will communicate these changes closer to the time to help you better understand them.

If you have any questions please email epa@tquk.org.

Season’s greetings from Training Qualifications UK. We hope that you are all in the Christmas spirit and preparing for a well-earned break with family and friends. Before we all crack open the mulled wine and break out into sudden and uninterruptible carolling we have a few key announcements in the lead up to the office closing for Christmas.

Continue reading “Key information from Training Qualifications UK for the Festive period”

In July the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education published its highly anticipated and long sought after EQA framework. An attempt to standardise the activities of numerous EQA bodies and improve consistency in practice across the developing End-Point Assessment and Apprenticeship sector, there’s just one problem…

Continue reading “Changes to Assessment Plans: Is there a plan?”

Functional Skills are an integral part of delivering apprenticeships in the UK. If you’re an employer employing an Apprentice or a Training Provider training an Apprentice, you will have seen them listed as requirements on the apprenticeship standards.

No matter which apprenticeship you are delivering, your Apprentice will need to provide evidence that they have achieved Functional Skills qualifications or an equivalent as part of the Gateway requirements.

Continue reading “Does my Apprentice need Functional Skills as part of their Apprenticeship Standard?”

In July, Training Qualifications UK was happy to learn that the Link Academy had earned not one, but two more End-Point Assessment distinctions on the Hair Apprenticeship Standard. One of those apprentices was hair-stylist-to-be Chloe Jackson.

Continue reading “‘The apprenticeship route was the natural choice for me’ – EPA distinction Apprentice Chloe Jackson talks Hair apprenticeship with TQUK.”

Being an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) and working with a range of different External Quality Assurance bodies (EQA) can often feel like playing on a football team where all the players are doing their own thing, writes TQUK End-Point Assessment Director Kelle McQuade.

The striker is pacing back and forth, the centre-backs are running in the other direction and the goalkeeper is taking a snooze.

Continue reading “Playing as a Team: The New EQA Framework for Apprenticeships”

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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