Following the recent Government updates with COVID-19 and the transition to “Plan B”, the Institute for Apprentices (IfATE) have extended the deadline for the withdrawal of Covid flexibilities from the 31st December 2021 to 28th February 2022. To read the full update, please select this link COVID-19 Discretion update. 

We have updated the table below where we will outline the Apprenticeship Standard, the current temporary dispensations in place for that standard, and the approach going forward from March 2022, based on recent Government updates.  

Any updates from the original table provided have been emboldened and underlined below. We will continue to communicate any additional changes or clarification as we receive them. As a summary, the following standards have been updated within the table: 

  • Healthcare Support Worker 
  • Senior Healthcare Support Worker 
  • Healthcare Assistant Practitioner 
  • Hair Professional 
  • Hospitality Standards (please note, TQUK have withdrawn from this suite of Hospitality Standards and are not accepting new registrations) 

 

Sector/Standard  Current COVID-19 Dispensation  January 2022 onwards Delivery  
Business Generics  
Customer Service Practitioner   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice. 

 

The observation may be replaced with witness testimony from someone familiar with the Apprentice’s work. The Apprentice would then be assessed through Q&A with an external assessor  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 
Customer Service Specialist  

 

The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice. 

 

The observation may be replaced with witness testimony from someone familiar with the Apprentice’s work.  The Apprentice would then be assessed through Q&A with an external assessor.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 
Healthcare  
Healthcare Support Worker  

 

 

The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice. 

 

The observation assessment may be replaced with a reflective statement written by the apprentice and validated by an expert witness. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session of up to 30 minutes with an independent assessor  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Senior Healthcare Support Worker   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice. 

 

The observation assessment may be replaced with a reflective statement written by the apprentice and validated by an expert witness. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session of up to 30 minutes with an independent assessor.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice. 

 

The observation assessment may be replaced with a reflective statement written by the apprentice and validated by an expert witness. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session of up to 30 minutes with an independent assessor.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Education 
Teaching Assistant   The observation may be replaced by an alternative assessment consisting of a reflective account written by the apprentice and an expert witness statement. The apprentice will then undertake a question-and-answer session of up to 30 minutes with the external assessor.   The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 
Hair and Beauty 
HairProfessional   New 

 

The apprentice must produce a package of information that shows evidence of their summative assessment. This will include a mapping document, utilising reappropriated evidence provided from the apprentices on programme period, which is mapped to the knowledge skills and behaviours detailed in the EPA plan.  

An employer authentication of the apprentice’s competence statement can be used.  

A professional discussion will be used to confirm the apprentice’s knowledge and understanding  

   

Original 

 

Where End-Point Assessment cannot be carried out in accordance with the EPA plan the following Covid-19 temporary discretions may be applied to the Hair Professional standard.  Further guidance and scenarios have been produced by the Trailblazer Group HBA D2 [https://www.nhbf.co.uk/advice-and-resources/apprentices-and-t-levels/apprenticeships-in-england/] and the End-Point Assessment organisation will decide whether discretion is appropriate.  

 

General (all pathways) as detailed in HBA D2:  

 

 

Additional 20% time for the practical observation  

Multiple styles and services can be demonstrated on a single model.  

Hairdressing pathway:  

 

A blockhead may be used only where Government guidelines preclude the full EPA being completed due to social distancing or limited space restrictions to demonstrate a hair-up style, curly blow dry and/or setting technique.  

     

Barbering pathway (facial hair and shaving services KSBs):  

 

Where apprentices are unable to complete the full EPA due to Government restrictions but have completed facial hair and shaving services units of the Diploma before lockdown, these may be submitted to the End-Point Assessment organisation in lieu of direct observation by the external assessor.  

 

As a minimum that evidence will consist of consultation and assessment sheets used in the summative assessment of the units.  

The external assessor will review the evidence and question the apprentice (15 minutes on facial hair and 15 minutes on shaving services) before making a final decision.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 28th February 2022.  

 

 

Digital Marketing  
Digital Marketer   The EQA provider for this standard has agreed the following temporary flexibilities for this standard until further notice and has informed the relevant End-Point Assessment organisations.  

 

Employers can request EPAO permission to allow apprentices to take the project at home.  

 

A dispensation is in place for the mandated qualifications on this standard, please see details below. For further information please discuss with your Training Provider and End-Point Assessment Organisation.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 28th February 2022. 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Development 
Learning and Development Practitioner   On programme project can replace or supplement a post Gateway project where this has not been able to be completed.  

Where there is no recording, or the recording has not been possible this can be replaced by witness testimony from an appropriate member of staff from the employer.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 
Learning and Development Consultant/Business Partner   The work-based project in Learning and Development standards are pre-EPA and can be now used as part of the EPA assessment.   The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 
Hospitality and Catering (Note – TQUK have withdrawn from the Hospitality standards, so are no longer accepting registrations) 
Hospitality Team Member   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.   

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.   

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. 

 

 

 

Hospitality Supervisor   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.   

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.  

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. 

 

Commis Chef (AP01)   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.   

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.  In addition, the Culinary Challenge may be replaced by evidence from apprentice, training provider, witness statement and Q&A.  

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. 

 

Chef de Partie (AP01)   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.  

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.  In addition, the Culinary Challenge may be replaced by evidence from apprentice, training provider, witness statement and Q&A.  

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. 

 

Production Chef   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.   

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.  

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. 

 

Senior Production Chef (AP02)   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.   

 

The practical observation may be replaced by evidence from Training Provider, assessed through a Q&A with an external assessor.  

 

The current discretion continues. The use of a witness testimony covering an observation was felt to be efficient, keeping the burden on the employers manageable. Allowing the external assessor to undertake the question-and-answer session will ensure independence and verify and check the apprentice’s coverage of the KSBs.  

 

The competency framework document will support the evidence gathered and will be signed off by the employer, moving away from the time-bound evidence which cannot be achieved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the industry.  

The dispensation has been extended to be utilised up until 30th June 2022. 

 

Discretions will continue to be available to the date stated, however, they are only to be used where it is not possible for apprentices to be assessed using the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan.  

   

Retail (Note – TQUK have withdrawn from the Retail standards, so are no longer accepting registrations) 
Retailer   The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.      

 

The Observation may be replaced by evidence of practice, validated by an expert witness statement, and assessed through a Q&A session with the external assessor of up to 30 minutes.  

Apprentices are required to complete a 120-minute hour observation as per the published assessment plan.  

 

The table below outlines the standards that will not have the assessment delivery affected by the removal of the applied COVID-19 flexibility from January 2022 onwards.   

 

Standard  Current COVID-19 Dispensation  January 2022 onwards Delivery 
Adult Care 
Adult Care Worker   The EQA provider for this standard has agreed the following temporary flexibilities for this standard until further notice and has informed the relevant End-Point Assessment organisations  

 

Flexibilities agreed to accept suitable evidence of achievement offered as a ‘proxy’ for certification or achievement  

Assessment delivery will not be affected but the flexibility for Level 2 attempt at Functional Skills will not be available from 31st December 2021 onwards, as detailed within the funding rules. 

 

Functional Skills at Level 2 must therefore be attempted prior to End-Point Assessment and Gateway submission.  

Lead Adult Care Worker   The EQA provider for this standard has agreed the following temporary flexibilities for this standard until further notice and has informed the relevant End-Point Assessment organisations.  

 

Flexibilities agreed to accept suitable evidence of achievement offered as a ‘proxy’ for certification or achievement  

Assessment delivery will not be affected by this change.   
Leadership and Management 
Operations/ Departmental Manager   It has been agreed due to Covid-19, that the panel can be hosted by the independent End-Point Assessment only. However, every effort should be made to ensure a sector expert is a part of the panel. If the decision is to have only the independent End-Point Assessment then this needs to be authorised by the employer.   There will be no changes to the End-Point Assessment following March 2022 as the current method of assessment delivery regarding not having the sector specific panel member was approved with the EQA prior to COVID-19.   
Business 
Associate Project Manager   It has been agreed due to Covid-19, that the panel can be hosted by the independent End-Point Assessment only. However, every effort should be made to ensure a sector expert is a part of the panel. If the decision is to have only the independent End-Point Assessment then this needs to be authorised by the employer.   There will be no changes to the End-Point Assessment following March 2022 as the current method of assessment delivery regarding not having the sector specific panel member was approved with the EQA prior to COVID-19.   
Human Resources 
HR Support   Pre-gateway work examples can be used for the consultative project. Apprentices can only use work examples from the last 6 months of the apprenticeship.   We have confirmed with the EQA that our interpretation from the assessment plan is that pre-gateway evidence may be used to support the project as the published assessment plan defines the completion of the project being post-gateway rather than the start.   
HR Partner   Pre-gateway work examples can be used for the consultative project. Apprentices can only use work examples from the last 6 months of the apprenticeship.  

 

Additional Support 

We will be offering additional training and support sessions on the original assessment methods, as outlined within the assessment plan, to support where a flexibility is due to end. Further detail to follow shortly! 

To support the progression of Apprentices and the delivery method that must be followed in March 2022, based on the above-outlined updates, please refer to the below. 

Gateway approvals from March 2022 

  • Apprentices that progress through Gateway from 1st March 2022 will be assessed against the original requirements of the End-Point Assessment plan unless the temporary COVID-19 discretion has been extended. 

Apprentices approved through Gateway by 28th February 2022  

  • Apprentices that progress through Gateway prior to the end of February 2022, but have their End-Point Assessment planned from 1st March 2022, will be assessed against the requirements of the original End-Point Assessment plan, unless the COVID-19 discretion has been confirmed as extended until the end of June 2022. 

However, where End-Point Assessment components have commenced in 2021, and are due to complete in 2022, all components must take place by the end of February 2022 to make use of the temporary COVID-19 discretion if the COVID flexibility has not been extended. Where the COVID flexibility has been extended, then the assessment components can continue to be assessed against the discretion, until end of June 2022. 

EPAO’s must discuss and agree on the action with the EQAP for any cases where the End-Point Assessment has been carried over but cannot be completed before the end of February 2022. 

Should you have additional questions to those listed above, please feel free to contact us via epasupport@tquk.org and a member of our team will be happy to support you.  

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