Ofqual regulation of end-point assessment
Ofqual is the qualifications, examinations and assessments regulator in England. We maintain standards and confidence in qualifications and assessments, including end-points assessments (EPAs).
We set the rules that awarding organisations (AOs) must follow. AOs that offer EPA are sometimes known as end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs).
Ofqual is responsible for making sure that:
- regulated EPAs reliably indicate the knowledge, skills and understanding apprentices have demonstrated
- assessments show what an apprentice has achieved
- apprentices and employers have confidence in the assessments that Ofqual regulates
- EPAs are delivered in accordance with the requirements of each apprenticeship’s assessment plan
Each apprenticeship standard comprises an occupational standard and an assessment plan developed by a trailblazer group of employers. The assessment plan is the blueprint on which AOs build their assessment.
AOs 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 we regulate, you will need to be recognised by us.
Learn more about Ofqual’s approach to regulating EPA.
Ofqual regulates EPAs in the interests of apprentices of all ages. We make sure EPAs are delivered by fit-for-purpose organisations that are capable of developing and awarding valid and reliable assessments. This means we:
- ensure that only organisations that can demonstrate sufficient capacity and capability to deliver EPAs become regulated
- work with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to strengthen the assessment plans which determine how EPAs must be delivered
- implement a rolling programme to monitor AOs’ delivery of assessments
Ofqual recognition ensures that EPAs are only delivered by high‐quality organisations. 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 .
Ofqual organisations recognised to offer EPA are required to comply with the General Conditions of Recognition and the EPA Qualification Level Conditions on an ongoing basis.
Once you have achieved Ofqual recognition for apprenticeship EPA(s), the Department for Education (DfE) requires you to apply to join the apprenticeship providers and assessment register (APAR), if you have not done so already. Details of the DfE requirements and process can be found on their website.
Find out which apprenticeship EPAs are regulated by Ofqual.
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 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. We have also published a YouTube playlist, EPAO recognition: guidance and webinars where you can find more information.