News story

Institute for Apprenticeships announces its External Quality Assurance delivery partner

The Institute announces contracting of Open Awards to deliver External Quality Assurance on its behalf

Institute for Apprenticeships

The Institute for Apprenticeships has today announced that is has contracted with Open Awards to deliver External Quality Assurance (EQA) of apprenticeship end-point-assessment on the Institute’s behalf in 2017-18.

External Quality Assurance ensures that assessment of apprentices is being delivered effectively and consistently and is fit for purpose. Trailblazers – employers who collectively propose a new apprenticeship standard – select one of four options to deliver EQA for that standard: an employer-led group, a professional body, Ofqual or where these options are not appropriate the Institute for Apprenticeships. Today’s announcement confirms the Institute will act as a provider of EQA, through its delivery partner, Open Awards.

The Institute’s Chief Executive, Peter Lauener, said:

This is an important step forward for the Institute for Apprenticeships. We have a duty to ensure that apprenticeships equip learners with the right skills and provide the basis for lasting employment. That means putting the right structures in place to ensure that those delivering assessments are accountable and held to the highest standards themselves.

We put employers’ needs and choices at the heart of our work, and it is important that they have a choice in how external quality assurance is undertaken. I’m delighted that with today’s announcement we are able to offer the option of the Institute taking that role.

Heather Akehurst, Chief Executive of Open Awards added:

We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Institute for Apprenticeships and look forward to helping them hold apprenticeships and assessments to the highest quality.

Further information

The decision was made following a period of public tender. The contract commenced on 1 August 2017. It includes those standards for which the Institute is the nominated external quality assurance provider and where the EPA starts before the 31 March 2018. The Institute has an option of extending the contract for a further a six months to cover standards where EPA starts before 31 September 2018. Previous estimates suggest that between 1500 and 2500 apprentices will undertake end point assessment across 36 standards which have nominated the Institute to provide EQA before March 2018.

Open Awards is an Awarding Organisation approved by Ofqual and an Access Validating Agency approved by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

Contact

For further information about this release please contact Ed Hickey, Institute for Apprenticeships, via edward.hickey@education.gov.uk, 07469 412924

Published 2 August 2017