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

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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