Here at Training Qualifications UK, we like to make sure you’re kept aware of all the most important goings-on in the world of End-Point Assessment. With that in mind, this week we provide information about a live date for the Hair Professional standard and a new temporary flexibility for Functional Skills Qualification achievement amongst a range of other things.

Hair Professional – Live Date 

Great news! As per the latest government guidance, we will be going Live again with our Hair Professional standard as of Wednesday 14th April.

Our End-Point Assessors will be reaching out to all Apprentices that have already been submitted through Gateway to reschedule any bookings that were previously put on hold due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions. This will be prioritised by Gateway date. 

From 14th April onwards, onsite declaration forms will be required. Training Providers must make sure that this form is completed for each and every assessment location being requested. This is to ensure it is safe and that all necessary health and safety checks and precautions have been made.

As per the guidance in the on-site declaration form, available on Verve EPA, this declaration does not supersede judgements made on the day of the assessment, at the assessment location. Therefore, upon arrival to the assessment location or during the assessment, if the Apprentice or End-Point Assessor determines that their health is being put at risk, then both parties can unilaterally abort the assessment. In this scenario, the Apprentice will not be disadvantaged, and the assessment will be deemed as void and not failed.

Functional Skills Qualification achievement

A new temporary flexibility has now been introduced. This flexibility allows apprentices at all levels that are ready and waiting to take their FSQ assessments in English and maths, to enter Gateway and complete their End-Point Assessment, and later return to complete FSQ assessment. This flexibility is in place until Monday 31st May. 

Please note, as per the latest government announcement, this flexibility is only available to Apprentices where all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment have been exhausted, and they have confirmed their intent to continue and complete their FSQ within three months of starting their EPA. 

For an Apprentice to be eligible to take their EPA, before achieving the required Functional Skills Qualifications, the Apprentice must:

  • Not be on a break in learning (an Apprentice may return from a break in learning to take their End-Point Assessment) 
  • Meet all other Gateway criteria to progress to their EPA, as specified in the apprenticeship standard (except meeting the English and maths requirements).
  • Have been confirmed by you and their employer as ready for both their EPA, and to take a functional skills qualification assessment
  • Start their EPA on or before 31 May 2021 

It is essential that Training Providers are able to demonstrate that they have exhausted all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment through their awarding organisation. 

A declaration form, confirming the above, is now available on Verve EPA. This declaration form must be uploaded in place of Functional Skills evidence at Gateway. 

In order to proceed to certification, Training Providers will be expected to provide prompt confirmation of their Apprentice’s FSQ results, once these have been awarded, to allow certification to be issued via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 

Children, Young People and Families Manager

As per our previous communication, we are delighted to confirm that the dispensations for this standard have been approved and we will be accepting Gateways from Monday 1st March. Our resources for this standard are now Live and ready to download on our Verve EPA suite, within the Support Material area. 

Process Training commenced this week. However, if you missed out on this session, we have another available date running on Thursday 4th March at 2pm, and are happy to organise more sessions. To book in, please email us at epa@tquk.org.  

MCQ Resit/Retake Submission

We have implemented an exciting new approach for submitting resit/retake requests for MCQs. This approach utilises an online form, therefore streamlining the approach for submissions by removing the need to email attachments. The link to the online form can be found on Verve EPA, within the Supporting Materials – Generic section, under the title ‘ Multiple Choice Test Resit/Retake Form’. 

This replaces the need to capture all the required information on the Assessment Preference Document interactive PDF form. For the near future, we will still be accepting Assessment Preference Documents. However, at the point of acceptance by the Assessment Team, reminders will be provided on using the new approach.

Learning and Development Consultant Business Partner – version change

The Learning and Development Business Partner Standard has now gone through a version change, from version 2 to version 3. 

Please note, the process of assessment has not changed. Our Verve EPA Suite has been updated with all relevant documents and our summary of change document can be viewed here.

We kindly ask that you read the summary of change document and re-download all resources from Verve EPA.

One final reminder of our new and exciting updates that will be LIVE on the 1st March

This includes the below:

  • Appeals timeframe update
  • Apprentice consent 
  • New Gateway Meeting records

Appeals timeframe update

We would like to offer one final reminder of the changes we are making to our appeals process and Gateway Meeting Records.

Currently, we allow four weeks for any appeal submissions, following the issuing of the result to be appealed.

Our new and more streamlined approach will allow for a period of two weeks for any appeal submissions or intention to appeal requests, following the date of receiving an End-Point Assessment result. If we don’t receive an appeal or an intention to appeal request within this two-week period, we will proceed to certification and the Apprentice’s certificate will be posted via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). This will enable all Apprentices to receive their End-Point Assessment certificate much sooner.

This process change will come into effect from Monday 1st March. A flow chart of the outlined changes can be viewed here!

Gateway Meeting Records

As per our previous update, from Monday 1st March, our Gateway Meeting records will be updated and modernised. In doing so, we will be altering the way in which we capture Apprentice consent for claiming an Apprenticeship certificate. As of this date, Apprentice consent will be captured on our new Gateway Meeting record, via a signature.

Once an Apprentice then receives their End-Point Assessment result, we will allow a period of two weeks for any appeals or intent to appeal submissions before proceeding to certification via The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Our new and more streamlined Gateway Meeting forms will be live on our Verve EPA Suite as of the 26th February. The change removes the need for our additional Assessment Preference form to be used for MCQ Bookings, based on this, the Assessment preference section on Verve EPA will be removed by the 26th February

As of the 1st March, please ensure our new and improved Gateway Meeting records are used for all Gateway submissions. 

For any Gateway Meetings taking place on or after Monday 1st of March, our new Gateway forms must be used. However, during the initial stages, we will not reject an Apprentice at Gateway if an older version has already been completed, prior to our new records going live. 

Under these circumstances only, to further support the initial stages of this process change, we will have a supplementary document available, here,  that will ask for a signature of consent separately. If an older version of the Gateway Meeting record has been used, please upload the Assessment Preference document alongside the Gateway Meeting record, to ensure we have all applicable details for any MCQ Bookings. 

To support with the Gateway Meeting record changes, our generic guidance document can be viewed here

As always, if you have any questions in relation to any of our updates, please feel free to contact us at epa@tquk.org

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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