Apprenticeship end-point assessments

A collection of documents showing Ofqual's approach to external quality assurance of end-point assessments.

Apprenticeship External Quality Assurance (EQA)

Ofqual provides EQA of apprenticeship end-point assessments (EPAs) through the regulation of end-point assessment organisations.

Each apprenticeship standard comprises an occupational standard and an assessment plan developed by a trailblazer group of employers. EPAOs use the assessment plan to develop their EPA, which measures the competence of apprentices. All apprentices must take an independent EPA at the end of their training to confirm that they have achieved occupational competence.

We approach the regulation of apprenticeship EPAs with the same seriousness and focus as other qualifications that we regulate. If you want to offer an EPA where we provide external quality assurance, you will need to be recognised by us.

Ofqual recognition ensures that EPAs are only delivered by high‐quality organisations who have the capability to design, develop and deliver EPAs. It’s a consistent and objective process for all applicants, which ensures fairness and provides assurance. Each organisation is considered for recognition in the context of the number and type of EPAs they want to offer.  You can find further details about this process in this briefing pack for EPAOs.

Which standards do we provide EQA for?

We have produced guidance on which standards we provide EQA for. Following a consultation to simplify and strengthen the EQA system, we are working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to transfer standards from other EQA providers, beginning in August 2020.

During year one of the transition period, we will focus on standards for which The Institute is the current EQA provider. These standards will be considered as six groups, which are in the main aligned to routes:

  • mixed standards where EPAOs are already recognised by Ofqual

  • construction

  • engineering & manufacturing

  • business administration

  • legal, finance & accounting

  • others

In year two of transition we will transfer standards from other EQA providers.

EPAOs on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO) will be contacted to explain how and when they can apply for Ofqual recognition.

Key documents to support with your application

We assess applications against our Criteria for Recognition. You will need to demonstrate that you can meet these criteria in order to become recognised. You will also need to demonstrate that you comply with the General Conditions of Recognition and the EPA qualification level conditions on an ongoing basis. We have published guidance for the criteria and EPA qualification level guidance to support with your application.


Speeches, presentations and events

Published 21 November 2017
Last updated 16 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. List of apprenticeship standards updated to reflect change in EQA arrangements.

  2. Findings from Ofqual’s technical evaluation of apprenticeship End-Point Assessment materials added to document collection.

  3. Document collection updated to include EPAO recognition briefing.

  4. Link added to end point assessment quality assurance report.

  5. Added recent speeches, a link to related regulations and a link to the application form.

  6. Added Ofqual's guide for employers, and a speech and presentation from Ofqual's employer event on 21 November 2017.

  7. First published.