Ever since TQUK EPA started offering End-Point Assessment for the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship Standard, we’ve gotten a lot of questions from employers about how they can help their apprentices prepare for it.

It’s great to see employers so invested in their apprentices, so we wanted to do a bit more to help them out! If you have an apprentice about to take their End-Point Assessment, there’s a lot you can do to make sure they succeed.

Your Teaching Assistant

Even before your Teaching Assistant apprentice undertakes their End-Point Assessment, they already bring a ton of value to the classroom.  Teaching Assistant apprentices can work in primary, special and secondary education, across all age ranges. Their roles can include providing for special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. They are vital assets to have to make sure classes function for all students involved.

Throughout their apprenticeship they’ll attain vital knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to excel in their job, including understanding how pupils learn and develop, getting familiar with curriculums and knowing how to deliver them, developing strategies for learning and support, understanding how to promote professional standards and learning how to maintain professional relationships across your organisation. Throughout their programme they’ll complete their training, ace their work and pass Gateway.

Now, it’s time for the final test: the End-Point Assessment.

The End-Point Assessment for Teaching Assistant apprentices is made up of the following assessment activities:

  • Practical Observation with Question and Answers
  • Professional Discussion supported by Portfolio of Evidence

Practical Observation with Question and Answers

Teaching Assistant Grading

What is a Practical Observation?

In a Practical Observation, the End-Point Assessor will observe the apprentice undertaking a defined set of tasks related to their job role. The apprentice will be observed undertaking these activities while the End-Point Assessor notes and records performance and achievement against defined criteria outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. Generally, Practical Observations assess skills and behaviours, but a well-designed Observation will assess knowledge, skills AND behaviours. An Observation also pairs well with a Professional Discussion to bring out the underpinning knowledge, so the End-Point Assessor can get a broad view of the apprentice’s competence by both observing them undertake tasks and asking them about these tasks (ie ‘I just saw you do it – now tell me why you did it’).

What Happens in the Assessment?

All details of the event (venue, date, time) will be planned by the employer, the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor before the assessment takes place (ideally during the Gateway stage).

The Practical Observation for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will take place on location and will be conducted by the End-Point Assessor. The Observation will last approximately 2 hours. The Question and Answer session will last for approximately 15 minutes after the end of the Observation.

The Observation will:

  • Reflect the apprentice’s genuine and typical working conditions;
  • Allow the apprentice to demonstrate all of the Apprenticeship Standard criteria;
  • Take a synoptic approach to assessing the knowledge, skills and behaviours (ie will assess how knowledge, skills and behaviours are connected and overlap);
  • Be carried out on a one-to-one basis (only one apprentice is allowed to be observed at a time).

During the Observation, the apprentice will demonstrate the ability to, among other things:

  • Deliver/lead small group teaching within clearly defined/planned parameters using initiative, sensitivity and understanding;
  • Implement current statutory guidance including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Part 1, safeguarding policies and the Prevent Strategy;
  • Use specific feedback to help pupils make progress;
  • Use relevant technology competently and effectively to improve learning;
  • Recognise the difference between pastoral and academic issues and model good behaviour for learning;
  • Contribute to a range of assessment processes and use information effectively – for example, written records;
  • Work closely with teachers to ensure their own contribution aligns with teaching.

Once the Observation is complete, the End-Point Assessor will conduct a Question and Answer session with the apprentice. This session will allow the End-Point Assessor to further question the apprentice in areas that they have partially demonstrated during the Observation in order to provide additional assurance.

Questions that the End-Point Assessor asks the apprentice will be written by the End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). All EPAOs will keep a bank of test questions ready for the Question and Answer session, which is reviewed regularly to ensure unpredictability.

Top Tips: How to Help your Apprentice Prepare for their Practical Observation

  • Do a mock assessment: Conducting a mock observation with your apprentice will help prepare them for the assessment format and give them a sense of what kind of tasks they will perform. Get in touch with your EPAO for guidance on how to conduct a mock assessment.
  • Make sure the apprentice knows the time and date: The End-Point Assessment can be a very busy time. It’s easy for apprentices to fudge their schedules. Double-check that they know where to go and what to do.
  • Review specific topics and terminology: Check out the Apprenticeship Standard to ensure that your apprentice is meeting all the knowledge, skills and behaviours criteria that will be assessed during the Observation and the Question and Answer session.
  • Prepare for the Question and Answer session: It can be easy to assume that the Observation will only cover skills and behaviours, but the Question and Answer session will test the apprentice on various knowledge standards. Encourage your apprentice to review all the necessary criteria to be sure everything is up to snuff.
  • Prepare the premises so that the apprentice has everything they need to succeed: Ensure all the necessary equipment and materials are at hand and that there won’t be any unnecessary or avoidable disruptions during the assessment.
  • Speak with the Training Provider and/or On-Programme Assessor: You may be able to identify areas where the apprentice needs improvement.

Professional Discussion Supported by Portfolio of Evidence

Teaching Assistant Grading

What is a Professional Discussion?

A Professional Discussion is a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor whereby the End-Point Assessor will ask the apprentice several pre-prepared, open-ended questions and the apprentice will provide responses. It is normally used in conjunction with an Observation or Project Assessment. It will allow the End-Point Assessor to probe deeper into the apprentice’s knowledge and to confirm any questions they had about their performance.

What is a Portfolio?

A Portfolio is a collection of evidence of work, progress and activity which the apprentice compiles over the course of their programme that may include testimonials, journal entries, projects and more. It will give the End-Point Assessor a detailed, tangible view of the apprentice’s abilities and accomplishments.

What Happens in the Assessment?

The Professional Discussion for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will last for approximately 90 minutes. It will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor following the Practical Observation and will establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours. It will take place in a quiet room away from distractions.

The Portfolio of Evidence will serve as the basis for the Professional Discussion. The evidence within the Portfolio can be used by the apprentice to evidence and support their responses to the questions posed by the End-Point Assessor.

The purpose of the Professional Discussion is to:

  • Make judgements about the apprentice’s quality of work;
  • Explore aspects of the work, including how it was carried out, in more detail;
  • Discuss how the apprentice would behave in specific situations, with the End-Point Assessor asking scenario based questions;
  • Ensure there are no gaps within the evidence ;
  • Provide a basis for the End-Point Assessor to make a decision about the final grading.

The Portfolio is completed during the apprentice’s on-programme learning and is meant to support the Professional Discussion. It will contain a minimum of 10 pieces of evidence and a maximum of 15 which may include:

  • Feedback from a performance management review system;
  • Evidence of pupil progression;
  • Work produced by the apprentice (eg interventions);
  • Evidence from Practical Observations and general observations obtained over time;
  • Observations carried out by competent Teaching Assistants and HLTAs, Line Managers, Class Teachers and Mentors;
  • Assessor reviews;
  • Naturally occurring pieces of evidence (eg feedback from visitors/parents);
  • Details of any training and courses attended;
  • Notes from professional discussions.

Top Tips: How to Help Your Apprentice Prepare for their Professional Discussion

  • Make sure your apprentice hands their Portfolio in on time: The Portfolio of Evidence should be given to the End-Point Assessor two weeks before Professional Discussion takes place. Be sure to remind your apprentice of the assigned date.
  • Do a mock assessment: Lots of apprentices can get very intimidated by a Professional Discussion. A mock assessment will help prepare them for the format and the types of questions they will be asked. Contact your EPAO on how to conduct a suitable mock assessment.
  • Support your apprentice by helping them compile their Portfolio: The evidence your apprentice submits needs to be of sufficient quality, and the final Portfolio should not contain any gaps, particularly with regards to Safeguarding and Health and Safety.
  • Help your apprentice relax: It won’t do your apprentice any good to head into their assessment all stressed out. Provide them with some tips to get into the right headspace for their End-Point Assessment.

Grading for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment

A Teaching Assistant apprentice EPA being graded

The final grade for the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment will be awarded based on the table below:

Practical Observation with Q&As Professional Discussion with Portfolio of Evidence EPA Grade
Fail Fail Fail
Pass Fail Fail
Fail Pass Fail
Distinction Fail Fail
Fail Distinction Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Distinction

~

We hope this blog gave you a better picture of what’s involved in the Teaching Assistant End-Point Assessment. To keep up to date with all the latest End-Point Assessment news from TQUK, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

See you around The Hive!

Our EPA team is constantly working hard to add to the list of apprenticeship standards we deliver End-Point Assessment for. As a result, we’re in the works to deliver EPA for five more standards in the very near future!

Here’s a sneak peek of all the standards to come:

Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistants can work with students across all ages in Primary, Special and Secondary education, including those who have special educational needs or emotional vulnerabilities. Their primary role is to support their class teacher and enhance their pupils’ learning by ensuring that they understand the work set, know their learning objectives and stay on task in order to make sufficient progress.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn key skills such as how to support their pupils towards independent learning, how to implement effective behavior management strategies and how to work closely with teachers to ensure that their own contributions align with the teaching objectives.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship include:

  • Practical Observation with a Question & Answer session
  • Professional Discussion with a Portfolio of Evidence included

Successful apprentices can progress into a number of career paths in the Educational sector such as Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Assistant Teacher and Teacher.

IT Technical Salesperson

An IT Technical Salesperson specialises in selling the technical products and services of a company, such as data storage and cloud services. They must maintain good relationships with existing clients and approach potential customers with the aim of winning new business. They should also maintain a good understanding of existing and new technologies that are emerging.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will gain knowledge of the basic elements of computer systems, learn how to negotiate and close sales and acquire a thorough understanding of the business products they are selling.

The End-Point Assessment components for the IT Technical Salesperson Apprenticeship include:

  • Summative Portfolio
  • Synoptic Project
  • Employer Reference
  • Interview

Those who are successful in completing their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration onto the Register of IT Technicians.

Associate Project Manager

Associate Project Managers help manage business projects by using their resources and management skills. They will know what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take, how much it will cost and will work with the project team to achieve the required outcomes.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to develop project budgets, how to prepare and maintain project schedules and how to respond to any project issues.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Associate Project Manager apprenticeship include:

  • Presentation supported by a Portfolio of Evidence
  • Professional Discussion supported by the same Portfolio of Evidence

On starting the apprenticeship, apprentices can become student members of the Association for Project Management (APM). After they complete their apprenticeship successfully, they can then become eligible for associate membership. Full membership can later be attained through further experience and professional development.

Learning and Development Practitioner

Learning and Development (L&D) Practitioners are responsible for identifying learning and training needs within a business and designing training programmes to improve their organisation.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to identify and analyse learning needs, how to design training resources to meet these needs and how to monitor a learner’s progress to deliver motivational and developmental feedback.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Practitioner Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project and Professional Discussion
  • Presentation based on a Learning Journal

Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

Learning and Development Consultant / Business Partner

Learning and Development (L&D) Consultants are responsible for identifying areas of improvement in individuals, groups and organisations and finding appropriate learning and development solutions to improve their organisation. L&D Consultants must also measure the outcomes and return on investment of any learning interventions they implement. This role can exist in a range of organisations that span across the private, public and third sector.

In the apprenticeship, apprentices will learn a range of valuable skills including how to identify organisational skills gaps and risks, how to present a range of innovative solutions to fill these gaps and how to construct and manage an L&D project.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Consultant Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project with Professional Discussion
  • Presentation and Q&A based on a Learning Journal

Just as with the L&D Practitioner, apprentices who successfully complete their programme are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

~

We hope you enjoyed that little taste of the new standards to come! If you’d like to see the existing range of apprenticeship standards we provide EPA for, 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!

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.

~

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!

 

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

Latest From the Hive Read All >

Five New TQUK EPA Apprenticeship Standards

Say Hello to Five New TQUK EPA Apprenticeship Standards Read More >