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Fish and Meat Skills Training School
Tel: +44 (0)1473 270757

Meat Skills Training School

Tel: +44 (0)1473 270757

End Point Assessment

End Point Assessment 

End Point Assessment (EPA) is the name given to a series of tests an apprentice must take to prove their ability to do the job they have been training for. These tests take place at the end of an apprenticeship following a period of training and development often referred to as the ‘on-programme’ period. In some Standard based apprenticeships the on-programme stage may include mandatory requirements, such as supporting qualifications. These must be achieved prior to applying for the EPA. At this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and training provider, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment. EPA’s can only be taken a minimum of 12 months after the start of an apprentices training and must be successfully completed before an apprenticeship completion certificate can be issued.

What does an EPA involve? 

All EPA’s are developed from ‘assessment plans’, drawn up by the trailblazer group responsible for the apprenticeship standard. Assessment plans set out the main requirements for the final testing and what methods should be used. As the experts for their respective workforces, employers can determine the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for job roles, and they will be guided on how best to test for occupational competence in their particular industry. Importantly, EPA’s are not designed to test every single aspect of a Standard. Instead they are designed to enable an apprentice to demonstrate that overall they have developed the key knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to be able to do their job effectively.

An End Point Assessment in the food industry will involve the following testing methods:

• multiple choice test

• evidence portfolio (such as a logbook)

• observed practical skills tests

• professional discussion with independent assessor

Who can deliver EPA?

Only approved Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAO’s) registered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency can deliver End Point Assessments. They can either be awarding organisations, like FDQ, training providers or employers. Without exception all should:

Be impartial – assessment organisations and their assessors must be independent of, and separate to the training provider and employer. This is to avoid bias, by ensuring that neither have anything to gain from the outcome of the EPA

Feature on the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RAAO). This is the list maintained by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and is the ONLY register an AAO needs to be on to provide End Point Assessment services

Underpin their EPA services with independent quality assurance. This gives employers confidence in their ability to deliver End Point Assessment professionally and also protects the interests of the learner

  • Have relevant occupational experience of the apprenticeship standard

Where does EPA take place? 

EPA’s are taken under exam conditions, so need a suitably controlled environment to allow the apprentice to concentrate and do their best. This can either be at their employer’s premises or an agreed external location. Travel costs will not be reimbursed by MEAT.

What about grading and certificates?

Unlike the old qualification, the new apprenticeships are graded. Individual grades are decided by the results of End Point Assessment tests. Most are graded at Pass, Fail, Excellence or Distinction. This not only motivates apprentices to reach for the top grades but also allows employers to spot their star performers.

Can an apprentice re-sit their EPA?

If an apprentice fails all or part of their End Point Assessment they are able to resubmit for testing on a further two occasions. Re-sits should usually only be arranged after extra training and are chargeable to employers. Exact fees vary from one apprenticeship to another due to the differing type of tests involved.

End Point Assessment services will be: 

• Clear – after booking an EPA with us we will outline the process in a straightforward way, so everyone knows what is expected and there are no nasty surprises

• Supportive – above all we want your apprentices to achieve what they are capable of. We will provide a variety of support materials, including sample questions, checklists and an outline of what happens on EPA day to help them do their best

• Fair – tests will be aligned only to the key knowledge, skills and behaviours agreed in the Standard and the assessment plan. Our experienced independent assessors will use their judgement as to whether an apprentice meets the overall requirements

• Collaborative – end point assessment is the last stop on our journey with you. Our independent assessors are committed to working with you to get your apprentices to the finish line, by ensuring that your training style and content meets all the needs of the EPA

• Tailored to your business – one size doesn’t fit all! Your apprentices EPA, whilst satisfying the requirements of the assessment plan, will be aligned to the business they are in. This way not only do they have the best chance of succeeding, but employers can be confident that they will be competent in the workplace

How do I book an EPA?

MEAT will be able to apply on behalf of the apprentice via the FDQ Awards portal. Non-FDQ centres should contact FDQ directly for further information on how to apply.

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