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

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When I Grow Up…

Where are you from?

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

Did you go to college or university?

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

Why those?

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

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

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

Would it really be so surprising?

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

Beginning in education

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

Yeah, actually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you keep in touch with him?

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

MKC, TQUK and EPA

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

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

What was your first impression of TQUK?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guiding employers and training providers through the final assessment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts and reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Mai Tais on a beach! (Laughs.)

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

Lightning round!

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

Oh God!

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

Haven’t seen either, so couldn’t say.

Men or women?

Women.

How many streets have you lived on?

Too many, probably about 20.

Favourite member of Take That?

Gary Barlow.

What animal does Ash have tattooed on his arm?

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

Love Island or Survivor?

Neither!

Favourite person in the office?

Katie, for sure.

Biggest pet peeve?

People who eat too loudly.

Favourite flavour of Fanta?

Lemon, but only while on holiday.

What is the meaning of love?

When you feel fizzy.

Like Fanta…

Yeah.

Thanks for your time!

Thanks!

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

See you around The Hive!

We have some exciting news today!

TQUK EPA has been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for six more apprenticeship standards!

We look forward to working with our training providers to assess the next generation of professionals in retail, hospitality and catering.

Find details on our new standards below:

Retailer

Retailers can work in a variety of shops such as high street chains, supermarkets and department stores. They are dedicated to assisting customers and providing quality service that exceeds expectation. In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn key skills such as how to serve customers in line with the brand’s standards, how to use a till and process payments and how to use a variety of sales techniques to complete sales.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Retailer Apprenticeship include:

  • A 30 minute On-Demand Test
  • A Practical Observation
  • A Professional Discussion

Successful apprentices can progress into team leading, supervisory or first line management roles within retail, higher level training or apprenticeships.

Retail Team Leader

A Retail Team Leader should deliver excellent customer service while providing critical support to managers. Retail Team Leaders can also guide and coordinate the work of the team when needed. In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn key skills such as how to coach and support team members, how to coordinate the work of the team and how to hit financial targets by using resources effectively.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship include:

  • A 60 minute On-Demand Test
  • A Retail Business Project
  • A Professional Discussion

Successful apprentices can progress onto other retail management positions.

Retail Manager

A Retail Manager is responsible for delivering sales targets while providing a fantastic experience to customers. They must also lead their team to achieve their company’s vision and objectives. Apprentices will learn skills such as how to provide clear direction and leadership to their team, how to communicate marketing objectives to their members to drive results and how to ensure that members behave in line with the brand vision.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Retail Manager Apprenticeship include:

  • A Two Hour Written Exam
  • A Retail Business Project
  • A Professional Discussion

Successful apprentices can progress on to a retail store manager, senior retail manager or area manager position.

Chef De Partie

A Chef de Partie is responsible for running a specific section of a professional kitchen which they’re assigned. They usually manage a small team of workers and must make sure that all of their dishes go out on time while keeping their work station organised. Apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to prepare, cook and finish a range of advanced culinary dishes, how to implement the correct food safety practices and how to handle and store ingredients to maintain quality.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Chef De Partie Apprenticeship include:

  • A Two Hour On-Demand Test
  • A Practical Observation
  • A Culinary Challenge Project and Observation
  • A 90 minute Professional Discussion

Successful apprentices can progress onto a senior culinary chef role.

Senior Chef Production Cooking

A Senior Production Chef is responsible for producing food in high volumes, both consistently and to a high quality. This role requires high energy, good organisational skills and excellent attention to detail. Apprentices will learn vital skills such as how to create standardized menu items, how to work to agreed practices to ensure a safe and hygienic kitchen and how to support team members to deliver high-quality products.

The End-Point Assessment Components for the Senior Chef Production Cooking apprenticeship include:

  • A Two Hour On-Demand Test
  • A Practical Observation
  • A Business Project
  • A 90 minute Professional Discussion

Apprentices who successfully pass can progress onto a higher level position within the kitchen, a higher level apprenticeship or further training.

Hospitality Manager 

A Hospitality Manager must be a highly motivated team leader who has excellent management skills and who thrives on providing outstanding customer service. Apprentices will learn how to manage finance to minimise costs within hospitality businesses, how to use operating models to help achieve the business vision and how to monitor customer satisfaction to ensure the product is delivered to the highest standards.

The End-Point Assessment Components for the Hospitality Manager Apprenticeship include:

  • A 90 minute On-Demand Test
  • A Business Project
  • A 90 minute Professional Discussion

After their apprenticeship, apprentices can work across a huge variety of organisations including bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels and more.

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If you’d like to see the full range of standards we provide EPAs for, visit our page here. Otherwise, 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!

 

Levi is our new Exams Officer who joined TQUK back in mid-July. She previously worked in the marking department at AQA, but years before that she completed a hairdressing apprenticeship on the old frameworks system.

So we thought we’d sit down with her to talk more about her experience and how it compares to the new End-Point Assessment system.

Here are the results!

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What apprenticeship did you take?

I completed an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing six years ago, in 2012.

What was your experience like during the apprenticeship?

It was really useful. I learned a lot of practical skills and knowledge vital for the hairdressing industry. For the majority of the 12-month apprenticeship, I’d work 5 days a week at a salon. Then, once every fortnight, I’d go to my college to study theory and do more training. I completed another hairdressing course prior to this, but the apprenticeship really honed all my hairdressing skills so by the end of it I was confident in colouring, cutting and styling hair, and also dealing with clients.

Did you feel like you were properly prepared for working in that sector?

Yes definitely! The invaluable thing about apprenticeships is that you’re employed and working while you train. This means that you’ve already learned all the skills you need for your job, so you know exactly what to do once you’re qualified. Also, if you’ve done well in your programme, your employer is likely to offer you a job at the end of it! So there’s a good chance you’ll secure a job after your training, which is different to pursuing a degree in higher education where you have to find a job after you’ve graduated.

Once you receive your qualification, you also have other options. My employer offered me a job at the end of my apprenticeship, but I chose to become a freelance hairdresser instead. I also knew people who became self-employed and rented a chair in a salon to use with their own clients.

What do you think of apprenticeships as a form of education?

I think apprenticeships suit people differently depending on their learning style. If you prefer to learn practically like I do, with only a little classroom studying involved, then apprenticeships are perfect. But if you want to go down a more academic route, then pursuing higher education is a better option.

I think apprenticeships have been stigmatised a lot in the past. They weren’t viewed as an equal form of education to programmes in higher education, such as A levels or Bachelor degrees. It’s quite unfair because thinking of higher education as a more ‘valid’ form of education doesn’t take into account that people learn differently.

However, I think the view around apprenticeships is changing. There’s now more people who view further education and higher education on an equal level. I think a large part of that is because there’s a much larger range of apprenticeships available now than there were before. There are still apprenticeships in sectors such as hairdressing and hospitality, but now you’ve got apprenticeships in business, science and engineering. That means that, if someone wants to go into business, they can choose between university or an apprenticeship depending on which they’d enjoy more, which is great!

How were you assessed on the Frameworks system?

I was assessed continually throughout my programme. I had different units that focused on different aspects of hairdressing, such as styling hair, basic cutting techniques and washing hair. I’d be trained in these units, then at the end I was assessed with a short online or paper test. I also needed to compile a portfolio for each unit I completed and submit it at the end of the apprenticeship.

What do you think of the new End-Point Assessment compared to the Frameworks style of continual assessment?

I think continual assessment has its strengths, as it helped my employer and training provider see that I had the correct hairdressing skills and knowledge from one month to the next. But I think the End-Point Assessment is a better way to assess an apprentice’s skills. First of all, employers effectively write the standard. Major employers in each industry are brought together to form groups called trailblazers. These trailblazers outline all the knowledge, skills and behaviours which are required and assessed within the EPA. This means that apprentices are learning the exact skills and knowledge needed to be fully competent in their jobs. It also means that there’s less disconnect between employers and training providers, as employers are more involved in writing the apprenticeship standard. They now know that apprentices are learning everything they’re meant to at their training providers.

I also think that having a major assessment at the end allows apprentices to purely focus on learning and training for the length of their programme. Instead of having to worry about constant assessments, they can now spend their time learning the necessary skills and knowledge for their role. I also think having the assessments at the end encourages apprentices to spend significant time preparing for their EPA, which will help them achieve a higher mark.

I’ve got a friend who recently completed her End-Point Assessment on the new standard. She said that she was nervous at first, but ultimately went into it confidently, and saw it as a chance to show her assessor everything she had learned. I think the EPA should give apprentices a sense of validation in this regard. If you prepare and work hard, just like my friend, you should come away thinking “oh, I’ve actually learned quite a bit!” and feel proud of themselves.

Thank you very much for your time!

No worries!

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We hope you enjoyed the interview! If you’re interested in learning more about the End-Point Assessments we provide, you can find them all 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!

The Importance of HR

Every company has their employees, and HR professionals play an integral role in managing workers and upholding workplace culture. HR employees are responsible for a large range of tasks including recruiting new hires, maintaining benefits and payroll, mediating conflict and managing training and development. Effective HR management can create an inclusive and healthy working environment, and happy employees can lead to higher productivity and an increase in worker retention.

57% of businesses who invest in apprentices report that a high proportion later go into management positions within the same company. This means that apprentices are likely to remain working for the company they completed their programme with, saving them on training costs and valuable time recruiting an outside hire.

The HR Support Apprenticeship

Shaking hands.

Hiring an HR Support Apprentice will provide support to the HR department of any business, and will also teach the apprentice valuable skills relating to their HR role. HR Support Apprentices will help your business by:

  • Handling day to day queries from employees and providing HR advice;
  • Working on a range of HR processes such as recruitment, hiring, training, performance management and employee retention;
  • Keeping employee records using HR systems;
  • Providing relevant HR information to the business;
  • Providing advice to managers on a large range of HR issues in regards to company policy and current law, and giving guidance to prevent employment tribunals or legal risk to the business.

An HR Support apprenticeship will typically last for 18 – 24 months. Apprentices will develop vital skills through:

  • Delivering excellent customer service on a range of HR queries;
  • Developing communication and interpersonal skills through dealing with customers and colleagues;
  • Building strong work relationships and developing teamwork skills;
  • Developing problem-solving skills through actively listening and understanding the root causes of any problems before providing HR solutions.

The End-Point Assessment

Writing in a notebook.

The End-Point Assessment for an HR Support apprenticeship includes two components which are equally-weighted. These components are:

  • The Consultative Project
  • The Professional Discussion

The apprentice must pass each component in order to pass the apprenticeship. Here’s a table with further information about the weighting and pass marks:

Assessment Method
Weighting
Pass Mark
Distinction Mark
Consultative Project

50%

60-84 marks

85-100 marks

Professional Discussion 50% 60-84 marks

85-100 marks

The Consultative Project

Typing computer.

The Consultative Project is a 3000-word document that outlines how the apprentice has applied their knowledge and HR related skills on the job. The Project should describe a situation where the apprentice has successfully worked with a customer to deliver a specific piece(s) of HR advice or provide an HR solution(s) for them.

The content of this document should include:

  • The project objectives;
  • The scope of the work;
  • A description of the situation/problem/business need;
  • The methodology used;
  • The information gathered;
  • Any conclusions and recommendations;
  • Details of the implementation plan.

Examples of the Project might be:

  • Providing guidance to a manager or a team on a range of HR matters, including recruitment, retirement and more;
  • Taking a defined role in a larger project run by more senior members of the HR team;
  • Carrying out analysis of HR information and producing recommendations for action.

The Professional Discussion

Meeting at a table.

The Professional Discussion is conducted after the TQUK End-Point Assessor has reviewed and marked the Consultative Project. It focuses on testing the skills and behaviours outlined in the Standard, along with any knowledge and skills components that weren’t covered in the Consultative Project.

To ensure consistency, TQUK EPA will provide a bank of standard questions that the TQUK End-Point Assessor will use in the Professional Discussion. There will be 13-16 questions asked during the Discussion, each of which will focus on a single component of the knowledge, skills or behaviours listed in Appendix 1 of the End-Point Assessment plan. The Professional Discussion should last between 60 – 75 minutes.

After the Apprenticeship

Business man in a suit.

Once the apprentice has completed their apprenticeship, they can choose to develop into more advanced roles such as:

  • HR Consultant/Partner;
  • HR Manager;
  • Employee Relations Manager;
  • Training and Development Manager.

We hope this blog gave you some more insight into the HR Support Apprenticeship! TQUK EPA is dedicated to delivering quality assessments at a competitive price to ensure that employers receive confident, skilled workers at the end of their apprenticeship. When you work with TQUK EPA, everyone wins!

To keep up to date with the latest apprenticeships and end-point assessment news, return to TQUK EPA’s blog or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

See you around the Hive!

You’ve taken a multiple choice test before, right?

Of course, you have!

They’re everywhere, from the multiple choice question tests we take in schools to the latest addictive Buzzfeed questionnaire.

As an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) assessing apprentices, TQUK is responsible for creating a variety of assessment materials, including the test papers that apprentices will encounter. Multiple choice questions will make up, or will included in,  many of these test papers.

Now, you’d think that creating an multiple choice questions test would be simple. After all, they’re everywhere; how hard can it be?

Well, as it turns out, it’s a complicated business.

It may be easy to create a Buzzfeed questionnaire — it’s a whole other order to create a quality multiple choice questions test for an apprentice’s end-point assessment (EPA).

Here are just a few factors that the EPA Team takes into account when creating one of our great test papers.

The Role of Multiple Choice Question Writers and Subject Experts

An intrepid EPAO beginning their journey towards creating an amazing multiple choice question test must gather some friends along the way.

After all, you can’t just pick up a pen and decide, willy-nilly, to write the 33rd question on an multiple choice question test for a Commis Chef EPA. Hold your horses!

In order to write appropriate questions for an assessment activity, you need expert help. You need professionals on your side who know what skills an apprentice should know, and when they need to know them, during their course of learning.

TQUK consistently commissions questions from our huge bank of question writers — subject experts, all, from healthcare and hospitality to management and retail — to ensure we are creating rich, high quality questions that populate our real and mock multiple choice question tests.

Language

Certainly, language is a key consideration when composing a test question. Clear phrasing and appropriate difficulty are paramount.

Seems straightforward, right?

Guess again!

Appropriate language levels are the subject of a tremendous amount of debate. What kind of language is appropriate for particular apprenticeships?

Let’s explain.

Say you’re in a level 2 apprenticeship in customer service. Most likely, you and most of your peers will between ages 16-19.

Any test you or they take must be reasonably written to the reading level of someone that age and, by extension, the level of that apprenticeship. You wouldn’t expect to find command verbs like “collate” and “tabulate” in those test questions — such complex words would be more appropriate for a higher level apprenticeship.

The questions we have to ask are, Which words and phrases belong at each level? What kind of sentence structure is too complex? Which words are appropriate for a level 4 but inappropriate for a level 3?

The natural place to start, we thought, was the Ofqual guidance on qualification and component levels. It is helpful at first, but perhaps can’t quite provide the level of detail required. After all,  detailing alignment of language within new apprenticeships was not the aim  of this document from Ofqual.

But there are models that could provide guidance.

For instance, Bloom’s Taxonomy offers a template on what type of questions and language can be used to assess low and high level thinking skills. These frameworks can be applied to lower and higher level apprenticeships.

In Bloom’s Taxonomy, lower level thinking skills can include knowledge recall, the demonstration of the basic understanding of facts and the application of those facts to particular situations. (ie “What are the different types of chicken meat?”, “Compare the taste profiles of white and dark meat”, or “Could eating undercooked chicken be a risk for contracting salmonella?”)

Higher level thinking skills could include knowledge dissection, synthesising compiled information in a different manner and the ability to evaluate and defend positions and judgments. (“List four ways free range chicken imparts more health benefits. Provide references.” “Take a sweet chicken recipe and convert it to a savoury chicken recipe. Explain how your recipe substitutions will work towards your goal.” “Would dark meat be better paired with red or white wine? Why?”)

As a general rule of thumb, TQUK uses the following criteria in creating level-appropriate test questions:

  • Level 1 questions should be one simple sentence with no conjunctions;
  • Level 2 and 3 questions should include only 12 words per sentence, and one conjunction per question. Language should be kept as simple as possible;
  • Level 4 and 5 questions can be made up of several sentences but should not extend past a reading time of 20 seconds.

This is only one model, however. TQUK relishes the chance to work with our training providers to produce the best possible EPA questions.

Stems

The “stem” is the questions or problem presented at the beginning of the multiple choice question.

EPAOs and their question writers have the benefit of consulting the apprenticeship standards. These lay out all the knowledge, skills and abilities that apprentices need to learn over the course of the apprenticeship.

Stems should be

  • Self-contained and meaningful on their own;
  • Free of irrelevant material.

A great stem must focus on relevant subject material, should prompt the apprentice to complex thought processes and use scenarios that apprentices could likely encounter.

This is where the experience of our question writers comes in. They will be able to draw on their industry knowledge to create plausible and challenging “what if” scenarios.

Distractors

How difficult should a question be?

Creating the ideal test question requires a certain amount of empathy. You need to make sure the question is appropriately difficult for that apprenticeship while keeping in mind what the apprentice should know at that stage.

For instance, take the following stem question: What are the ingredients used in a white sauce?

The correct answer is: flour, butter and milk.

Distractors are the main source of difficulty with a multiple choice question.

When the other distractors are a) black pudding, milk and mint b) red wine, shallots and calvados or c) gravy granules, water and black food colouring, the correct answer should not be overly difficult to guess. This would be a bad test question.

However, when the distractors are a) flour, olive oil and milk b) rice flour, butter and cream c) flour, butter and cream, the correct answer would be more difficult to choose. This would be a better test question.

Choosing the best possible distractors is always a big consideration when writing test questions. All effective distractors should be:

  • Plausible;
  • Stated clearly and concisely;
  • Mutually exclusive;
  • Homogenous in content;
  • Free from clues about which response is correct;
  • Presented in a logical order.

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It’s always fascinating how seemingly simple things can demand so much attention!

We’ll continue to do the little things well to ensure apprentices get the best possible assessment service in England today.

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

See you around The Hive!

Joseph Bailey was delighted to complete his Adult Care Worker apprenticeship in mid June at Creative Support. But on top of this achievement, he received another feather in his cap: Joseph was the first Adult Care Worker apprentice in the UK to receive a Distinction.

Joseph’s achievement is unique and impressive since he is one of a small minority of male apprentices in the care sector.

Both Creative Support and Training Qualifications UK were amazed with Joseph’s drive, expertise and confidence.

Continue reading “TQUK passes the first adult care worker apprentice in the UK to receive a Distinction”

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.

Bee

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