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Training Qualifications UK is now an approved Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO). This means that we are qualified and approved to deliver end-point assessment services for a number of apprenticeship standards.

As per the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations, ‘The register is a list of organisations that have been assessed as being suitable to conduct independent end-point assessments of apprentices and be in receipt of public funds.’

Only organisations present on the register are eligible to conduct an independent end-point assessment of apprentices.

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Download our Apprenticeship Standard Factsheets below

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So how does it work?

End-point assessment (EPA) is probably one of the biggest apprenticeship reforms in recent times, and will work hand in hand with the new Trailblazer apprenticeships new Trailblazer apprenticeships.

The new trailblazer model consists of two components:

Standard: Each standard details the requirements for the successful achievement of the apprenticeship which generally includes Knowledge, Skills and Behavioural criteria. In addition to this criteria, the standard will contain other mandatory content which could include a relevant industry-based qualification, along with recognised maths and English qualifications (e.g. functional skills).

Assessment Plan: Every published standard will be accompanied by a more detailed assessment plan. This document details the requirement for the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of that standard.

Let’s break this down, an EPA is essentially a GCSE-style examination process that offers confirmation of knowledge, skills and behaviours (known as KSBs) for a particular job role once the apprenticeship training has been completed.

When an apprentice reaches the end of their training, the employer, training provider and EPA organisation will make the joint decision to initiate the assessment process.

Things to note:

  • In order to complete and achieve an apprenticeship, the apprentice must pass an end-point assessment
  • The Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAO) and the assessor must be completely independent of and separate from the training provider and the employer
  • The EPA organisation must be approved by the Skills Funding Agency and on the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations
  • During the training of an apprenticeship, the end-point assessment is completely separate to any qualifications or other assessment procedures.

The majority of assessments will be graded through the EPA process, it’s important to note that some exemptions may apply, subject to an agreement being given during the approval process.

However, a grading system has many advantages for employers, enabling them to distinguish between pass, merit and distinction learners.

Assessment Planning

The manner of conducting end-point assessments will also be developed and outlined by each Trailblazer group once the standard has been approved. Here, when choosing the criteria, employers will be able to decide how to test for each learning outcome and criteria within their specific industry parameters - this is one of the main drivers behind the apprenticeship reform.

Trailblazer groups are free to select and assign a range of methods to the apprenticeship, such as examinations, interviews, observations and professional assignments, the assessment plan must achieve four key objectives:

  • Explanations as to what will be assessed – i.e. the skills, knowledge and behaviours listed within the standard
  • Explanations as to how the apprentice will be assessed, outlining the proposed methods
  • An indication as to who will carry out the assessment and who will make the final decision on competency and grading
  • Proposal of quality assurance measures to ensure the assessment is reliable and consistent across different locations, employers and training and assessment organisations

During the apprenticeship development process, Trailblazer groups are able to liaise with special Relationship managers. They are assigned at the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage of the process for advice and guidance, ensuring that all boxes are ticked during the design of the apprenticeship.

Once the plan has been approved, it will be published to Apprenticeship register. From here, specialist organisations are then able to offer their services and whilst they must remain neutral when it comes to providers in order to ensure freedom of choice, they are permitted to mention organisations that been instrumental in the development of the standards.

In Summary

The EPA is not a qualification in its own right, but an independent assessment of an individual apprentice’s standard of work and competence towards the end of their learning. An end-point assessment will usually last three days, and be conducted by an independent, experienced and qualified third-party assessor who has not been involved in the learner’s training.

Once the assessment process is completed, the assessor will judge as to whether the learner meets the criteria established by the employers as part of each apprenticeship standard’s assessment plan.

Want to know more about the end-point assessment process? Contact the TQUK team by dropping us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or alternatively, give us a call on 03333 583 344.

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