Following on from our previous update, the Institute for Apprentices (IfATE)  have now confirmed the withdrawal of the following COVID-19 flexibilities, against the below Standards as of the 31st March 2022:

  • Hair Professional
  • Digital Marketer

Full Guidance 

IfATE Flexibilities – Full Guidance

We have updated the table below, which outlines the above-named apprenticeship standard, along with the current temporary dispensations in place for that standard, and the approach going forward from 1st April 2022, based on recent Government updates.  

For apprenticeship standards where the dispensation is extended until June 2022, these remain in place and can be viewed on our previous update and also on the IfATE – Standards


Sector/Standard   Current COVID-19 Dispensation April 2022 onwards Delivery
Hair Professional 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 


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 [] 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 will end on the 31st March 2022
Digital Marketer The EQA provider for this standard has agreed on 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 will end on the 31st March 2022


 Supportive and operational details are below

Based on this new update, EPA assessments must be scheduled and completed by the 31st March 2022, in order to use the temporary COVID-19 discretion. 

Gateway Submissions and required Completion dates

What does this mean for my Apprentice?

  • Apprentices that are successfully accepted through Gateway from the 1st April 2022, will be assessed against the original requirements of the Assessment Plan unless the temporary COVID-19 discretion has been extended.
  • Any assessments booked in from the 1st April 2022 will be assessed against the requirements of the original Assessment Plan, unless the temporary COVID-19 discretion has been extended. 
  • Please note: As the dispensation for the above-named standards ends on the 31st March 2022, this also applies to Apprentices that were approved through Gateway prior to the end of March 2022, but are scheduled/ booked to complete from the 1st April 2022 onwards. 

Question: What does this mean for my Apprentice? 

Answer:  This means that all Apprentices that require the use of the temporary COVID-19 discretion must be submitted and approved through Gateway by the 28th February 2022. 

This date is to allow TQUK sufficient time to complete the Assessment Planning Meetings, review submissions of evidence, and book and conduct assessments within the timeframe provided on 31st March 2022.

To avoid any delays at Gateway, please refer to our Standard specific Gateway Support Documents, available on Verve EPA, and ensure Apprentices are progressed through Gateway successfully at your earliest convenience. 

Assessments that have commenced prior to the 31st March, but are not all complete.

Any assessments where EPA Components begin prior to the end of March 2022, but remaining components are completed in April 2022, the temporary COVID-19 discretion can be carried over and used until the end of April 2022.  In these circumstances, TQUK will discuss and agree on actions with the EQAP if the assessments cannot be completed before the end of April 2022. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 

Question: What does this mean for my Apprentice? 

Answer:  For any Apprentices where the assessment is carried over with the temporary COVID-19 discretion into April 2022, all remaining components must be complete by the last working day in April, Friday 29th April 2022, to utilise the temporary COVID-19 discretion.

If there are extenuating circumstances that will prevent your Apprentice from completing their assessment using the temporary COVID-19 discretion before the 29th April 2022, please notify TQUK at immediately.

Apprentices who require a resit/retake 

Apprentices who have attempted their End-Point Assessment under the temporary COVID-19 discretion method, are permitted to resit/retake using the discretion, after the 1st April 2022

TQUK will continue to monitor this on a monthly basis, to enable Apprentices to complete their resits/retakes, using the temporary COVID-19 discretion method.

What does this mean for my Apprentice? 

Answer: If your Apprentice completed their End-Point Assessment using the temporary COVID-19 discretion, a resit/retake using the discretion can be completed after the 1st April 2022. TQUK will be closely monitoring all outstanding and incomplete assessments requiring a resit/retake on a monthly basis.

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 flexibilities are due to end. 

Where the COVID-19 flexibility has been extended, the assessment components can continue to be assessed against the discretion, until the end of June 2022.

Should you have any questions please feel free to email us at

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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