The TQUK EPA Team are always hard at work applying for new Apprenticeship Standards, and we’ve now been approved to deliver EPA for five more! The TQUK EPA Digital Marketer, Sales Executive, Learning Mentor, Assessor/Coach and Learning and Skills Teacher Apprenticeship Standards are now all on our books.

Do any of these TQUK EPA Apprenticeship Standards pique your interest? Get all the details below!

Digital Marketer

Apprentice doing digital marketing on a laptop

All companies need an online presence, and offering a Digital Marketer Apprenticeship is a great place to start.

Digital Marketers define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, engagement and retention. They will usually work as part of a team and report to a Digital Marketing Manager, Marketing Manager or IT Manager.

Apprentices must achieve one internationally recognised vendor or professional qualification in order to complete the Digital Marketer Apprenticeship.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Digital Marketer Apprenticeship include:

  • Summative Portfolio
  • Synoptic Project
  • Employer Reference
  • Interview

Sales Executive

Apprentice conducting sales activities on a laptop

Need to drive up your organisation’s revenue? A Sales Executive is just what you need!

A Sales Executive works in B2B or B2C markets to sell a specific product line or service. They plan sales activities, oversee deals from start to finish and manage sales within their organisation. They are in charge of retaining and growing a number of existing customer accounts and generating new business by contacting prospective customers, qualifying opportunities and bringing the sales process to a mutually acceptable close.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Sales Executive Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project
  • Presentation (including sales pitch, with questions and answers)
  • Professional Discussion (supported by Portfolio of Evidence)

Learning Mentor

A mentor teaching in front of a whiteboard

Mentoring is the key to professional development. Without it, people would find it much more difficult to get to where they want to go.

A Learning Mentor supports learners of all ages and levels to develop within a new role.  These learners may be apprentices, trainees, new recruits or in any vocational learning environment. A Learning Mentor will have sector-specific experience and qualifications, as determined by their employer or professional body, which they use to guide and advise those who are less experienced.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Learning Mentor Apprenticeship include:

  • Learning Mentor Observations
  • Professional Discussion (with accompanying Showcase project)


Two assessors talking over a laptop

An Assessor/Coach uses up-to-date professional knowledge and skills to support vocational and professional development across the formal Education and Training Sector as well as in any employer setting. They may coach and assess apprentices, trainees or new recruits (ranging from young entrants to new CEOs) commensurate with their own level of experience and qualifications.

Assessor/Coaches teach and assess vocational learners, usually on a one-to-one basis, in a range of learning environments.  Coaching skills involve complex communication techniques used to actively listen, provide feedback and engage learners in planning their individualised learning programme. These skills are also integral to assessing learners’ competence in-relation to work-related/industry standards and life skills.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Assessor/Coach Apprenticeship include:

  • Assessor Coach Observations
  • Professional Discussion (with accompanying Showcase project)

Learning and Skills Teacher

Learnign and Skills Teacher completing her TQUK Apprenticeship Standard

A Learning and Skills Teacher (LST) will be specialised in a certain vocational or subject field and will also have trained as a teacher.  The LST role is pivotal to the success of traineeship and apprenticeship programmes in delivering effective vocational education and training that meets both learners’ and employers’ needs.

Learning and Skills Teachers teach young people and adults within all parts of the education and training sector, including work-based/independent training provision; further, adult and higher education; offender-learning; and within the voluntary sector.

The End-Point Assessment components for Learning and Skills Teacher apprenticeships include:

  • Professional Discussion (Thematic Case Study and Online Presentation)
  • Teaching Observations


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

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We get a lot of questions about the Adult Care Worker EPA.

After all, the Adult Care Worker standard is by far one of the most popular apprenticeships in the UK. The shortage of skilled workers in adult care and other healthcare sectors makes a subsidised apprenticeship program all the more attractive. Hospitals, care homes, day centres and other employers are jumping on the opportunity.

If your Adult Care Worker apprentices are about to go through EPA, this blog will take you through all of the assessment activities that this standard entails to help you ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Situational Judgement Test

adult care worker epa situational judgement test

First up, knowledge. This is the assessment activity that will primarily assess your apprentice’s knowledge against all of the standards set out in the Apprenticeship Standard. Your apprentice should ideally be reviewing the Apprenticeship Standard regularly to make sure they’re fulfilling all of the required standards.

The Situational Judgement Test is a multiple choice question test containing 60 questions. These questions are drawn from a question bank created by TQUK EPA and are specifically designed to address all knowledge standards. The test will primarily focus on higher-order competencies.

The questions asked are situational in nature – that is, they will present scenarios based on real-life work-based activities to which the apprentice will have to provide an in-depth answer or solution.

The grade for the Situational Judgement Test is determined based on the following thresholds:

  • Pass: 40-49 correct answers
  • Merit: 50-55 correct answers
  • Distinction: 55+ correct answers

In order to help your apprentice achieve the best possible result in their Situational Judgement Test, here are some things you can do to help them along the way:
Top Tips

  • Do a mock test: In order to familiarise your apprentice with the format of the Situational Judgement Test, your apprentice can take a mock test. This test will include questions created by TQUK designed to be similar to the questions that your apprentice will encounter in their real Test. Doing the mock test will give your apprentice a sense of what the test criteria will be, the format and the types of questions they will be asked. Get in touch with TQUK if you’d like to do a mock test.
  • Review knowledge standards with your apprentice: Check out the full Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship Standard to see all of the knowledge standards included. You might be able to provide some insight into the standard that your apprentice may find valuable.
  • Help your apprentice relax: Not everyone is great at sit-down tests. Nerves can take over and your apprentice may not perform at their very best. Here are some tips to help your Adult Care Worker get in the right frame of mind for their EPA.
  • Get the time and date right: The test might take place on your premises, or it may take place at a registered TQUK test centre. Either way, make sure your apprentice knows where to go and what to do.
  • Get a paper exam if needed: Although most Situational Judgement Tests will be completed online, paper exams can be provided to those who need them.

Professional Discussion

adult care worker epa professional discussion

Once the Situational Judgement Test has been achieved, your Adult Care Worker will move on to the second half of their EPA: the Professional Discussion. This is where your apprentice’s skills and behaviours will be assessed, along with some bits and pieces of knowledge here and there.

The Professional Discussion is a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor. It will last approximately 45 minutes.

The Discussion addresses many areas of the apprentice’s prior learning and experience during the apprenticeship. During the assessment, the End-point Assessor will ask the apprentice a series of standardised questions. These questions are developed by TQUK and are designed to address the skills and behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. The answers the apprentice provides should be supported by self-assessments, supporting evidence and testimonies from service users, which they will bring to the Discussion.

The grading criteria used by TQUK will also be freely available to all parties so that employers and apprentices can prepare for the assessment. Please contact TQUK EPA if you have any questions about the Professional Discussion.

Top Tips

  • Do a mock discussion: Doing a mock Professional Discussion with your apprentice will help prepare them for the format of the assessment and will give them a better idea of the questions. Please contact TQUK EPA for further guidance on how to conduct a mock discussion.
  • Review all ACW terminology: The adult care sector has a lot of terminology and jargon. Be sure to review commonly-used terms so that your apprentice is using them correctly. After all, it’s vital that your apprentice demonstrates that they know what they’re talking about!
  • Get reasonable adjustments made: Your apprentice might need to have adjustments made to the assessment, for instance, if they have any disabilities. Be sure to anticipate whatever needs they may have.
  • Seek guidance from the End-Point Assessor: The End-Point Assessor is there to help you and the apprentice, and will provide whatever guidance and information they can supply about the EPA.


The final grade for the apprentice will be determined based on the following table.

Professional Discussion
Pass Merit Distinction
Situational Judgement Test Pass  Pass  Merit Merit
Merit Pass Merit Distinction
Distinction Merit Merit  Distinction





And that’s all! We hope this gives you a better idea of what’s involved in the Adult Care Worker EPA and what you and your apprentice can do to prepare.

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

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Ramadan is one of the largest religious observations in the world and will begin this Sunday, May 5. This holy month will be celebrated by 1.8 billion Muslims all over the world and approximately 2.5 million Muslims over the UK.

As a result, many restaurants across the UK are set to offer special Ramadan menus. Challenging your staff to add Ramadan-themed dishes will be a great way to test their creativity, particularly for your hospitality apprentices.

What is Ramadan?

The holy month of Ramadan will begin this Sunday, May 5, and end on Tuesday, June 4, culminating in the spiritual festival of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by undertaking several activities, including:

  • Sawm (fasting)
  • Zakat and Sadaqah (almsgiving)
  • Taraweeh prayer (Sunni Muslims)
  • Commemorating Nights of al-Qadr (Shia and Sunni Muslims)
  • Reading the Qu’ran
  • Abstaining from all bad deeds and staying humble

The month commemorates the first revelation of the Qu’ran to the Prophet Mohammed, and its annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.


The act of fasting during Ramadan is meant to redirect an individual’s attention away from worldly distractions in order to focus on the maintenance of the soul. Fasting also allows people to practice discipline and self-restraint.

Fasting doesn’t apply to everyone, though. Children who have not yet reached puberty, people with illnesses and disabilities are exempt, as are people who are travelling and pregnant. Those who are unable to fast can make it up on later days.

The fast takes place between two events of each day: Suhoor and Iftar.

Suhoor is the day’s pre-fast meal and is consumed before dawn. It is usually done around 4:00 AM and followed by the Fajr prayer. After Suhoor no food should be consumed before sunset when Iftar, the main meal, is served.

So, to give some inspiration to your staff and apprentices to include some spectacular Ramadan recipes to your menus, here are a few dishes from that they can cook for the holy month:


If your restaurant has an early start, or if your employees are observing Ramadan, you might want to consider whipping up a quick and nutritious Suhoor meal. Suhoor should be small, straightforward yet hearty enough to keep people going until sunset. The recipe below is also something you can sling to busy commuters who need an extra hit of food before the sun cracks into the sky.

Egyptian Feta Cheese Omelette Roll


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Tbs crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil

In a bowl, beat the eggs and pepper together. In another bowl combine the cheese and milk.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the eggs, ensuring the bottom of the pan is covered. When the edges appear cooked, place the feta mixture in a line in the centre of the eggs. Using a spatula, fold the eggs over the top and bottom of the cheese.

Serve with sliced cucumbers and Baladi bread.


Iftar is the meal that comes after the traditional eating of dates to break the fast and the Maghrib prayer, all of which occur after sunset.

The time Iftar occurs depends on where in the world you are. The fast can last a long time on some days, with the sun going down at 9:13 PM on June 3rd, the second-last day of Ramadan. Check out this timetable by the East London Mosque for Iftar times in the UK.

After sunset prayers, Muslims are free to eat a big feast. While many people prefer to eat at home, some groups and families make a night of it and go out.

Here are some cool recipe ideas to keep in mind to serve for Ishtar.

Turkish Fish Stew

This is a non-traditional variant of fish stew that blends various Mediterranean influences. It’s tasty, aromatic and filling. What more could you want?


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups dry couscous
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 12 small green olives
  • 1 can chopped stewed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp sumac powder
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and stir in the couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let sit.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion and green pepper until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, capers and olives. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice and 1 cup water. Season with sumac powder, red pepper, basil, cumin, ginger and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the fish. Reduce heat and simmer until the fish is easily flaked with a fork. Serve with couscous.

Duck Fesenjan

This recipe uses duck legs instead of the traditional chicken while maintaining the classic ingredients of pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts. Tailor it to the tastes of your guests.


  • 8 duck legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 60ml water
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 300g diced onion
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1420ml chicken stock
  • 160ml pomegranate molasses
  • 60ml honey
  • 360g walnut halves

Season duck legs all over with salt and black pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat. Lay in duck legs. Fry until golden brown on all sides. Transfer the legs to a plate and remove the fat from the pan to use later.

Pour water into the pan and bring to the boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat.

Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat and olive oil in a heavy casserole pot over medium heat. Cook and stir in onion until golden brown. Add turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook and stir until fragrant.

Add chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, honey and reserved sauce from the pan into the onion and spice mixture in the casserole pot. Bring to a simmer.

Grind walnuts to a fine powder in a food processor.

Cook and stir walnuts in a pan over medium heat until fragrant. Stir ground walnuts into the casserole pot. Add the browned duck legs. Reduce heat and simmer until duck legs are tender, approximately 3 to 4 hours.

Bring stock mixture to the boil. Cook until reduced and desired sauce consistency is reached. Season with salt. Ladle sauce over duck legs.

Lamb Tagine

This one is a classic Moroccan dish, the fragrance of which will quicken the heart of anyone, whether fasting or not. It might take a bit of preparation, and you may need some extra equipment (a tagine pot) for optimal results, but if you have the means, it’s worth your while!

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1kg diced lamb
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • ¾ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 medium onions, halved and cut into wedges
  • 5 carrots, quartered and sliced lengthways
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs honey

Toss lamb with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and set aside. In a large resealable bag, toss paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, saffron and coriander. Add the lamb to the bag, and toss to coat well. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the lamb, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb. Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh garlic and root ginger. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.

Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken stock, tomato puree and honey. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.

Rose petal pound cake

This traditional pound cake comes with a twist by using rose water, which you can find at most import shops or large supermarkets. In a pinch, you can also substitute the rose water for orange water. It will make a fragrant and delicious finish to a meal.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbs ground almonds
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 tbs confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9-inch tube pan.

Sift together flour and salt and set aside.

Beat butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat sugar and eggs together until doubled in volume. The mixture should be thick and lemon-coloured.

Add sifted flour and salt gradually to the egg mixture, mixing until fully combined. Fold in creamed butter and mix thoroughly.

Divide batter into two equal parts. Into one part, add the almond extract and the ground almonds. To the other part, add the rosewater. Spoon the two batters alternately into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a cake tester comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes; then remove from pan to cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.


We hope these recipes inspire you to create the best possible Suhoor and Iftar to make this year’s Ramadan extra special.

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

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

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

On Demand Test

Hospitality Team Member EPA On Demand Test

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

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

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

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


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


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

Practical Observation

Hospitality Team Member EPA Practical Observation

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

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

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

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

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


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

Business Project

Hospitality Team Member EPA Business Project

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

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

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

The Project should demonstrate how the apprentice has:

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

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

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


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

Professional Discussion

Hospitality Team Member EPA Professional Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Hospitality Team Member EPA Grading

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

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


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

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

Total score Overall grade
4-8 Pass
9+ Distinction


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Who makes the rules?

A group of people discussing the rules of EQA of EPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

EQAs and EPAOs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment plans

Fixing the EQA of EPA can help create good assessment plans

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

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

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

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

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

Moving forward

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

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


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

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This is big news for our employers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A good EPA mindset

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

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

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

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

Review early, and often

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

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

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

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

Read your notes…backwards

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

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

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

Power Stance!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Find a puppy

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Who is PGL?

People tubing down a river

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

The Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship

Apprentice benefiting from the TQUK and PGL partnership

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

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

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

PGL Talks About the TQUK EPA Partnership

PGL talking about the TQUK EPA partnership

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Davies said that:

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

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

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

Nikolay Petrov also thought that:

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

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

Rebecca Pill also had this to say:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Apprentice changing her mind about how to prepare for EPA

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

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

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

Planning is key

Apprentice planning for EPA

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

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


Apprentice relaxing before her EPA

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

Bring additional evidence to your EPA

Additional evidence needed for EPA

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

Ask your assessor

Apprentice asking questions during EPA

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

Stick to what you know

Apprentices reviewing what they know

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

Review your work

Apprentice reviewing for EPA

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


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

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

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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.


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
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.


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.

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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.


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)


























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.


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!


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 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 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


Adult Care Worker Assessors

Lead Adult Care Worker Assessors

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Assessors


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 Support Assessors

HR Consultant / Partner Assessors


Operations/Departmental Manager Assessors

Team Leader/Supervisor Assessors


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


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!

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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