Information for employers looking for an independent end-point assessment organisation and potential applicants to the register of apprentice assessment organisations.
Applies to England
Important information about the changes to external quality assurance
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) published the response to its consultation on external quality assurance (EQA) on 4 August 2020.
The consultation proposed a simplified and improved system for EQA of apprenticeship end-point assessment, with all EQA delivered by Ofqual, or the Office for Students for integrated degree apprenticeships, under a common EQA framework set by the Institute.
Having taken into account all the responses, and listened to feedback, the Institute has strengthened the proposal and is now proceeding with the changes.
Standards will transition to Ofqual in 2 main phases:
- by the end of December 2021 all standards where the Institute is the EQA provider (phase 1)
- by the end of September 2022 all standards where the EQA is currently provided by other external bodies will move to Ofqual (phase 2)
You can find out more about changes to EQA and a timetable of when standards will transfer to Ofqual.
Introduction to end-point-assessment organisations
As well as containing information about training and assessment, all apprenticeship standards must contain an end-point assessment (EPA). An independent organisation must be involved in the EPA of each apprentice so that all apprentices following the same standard are assessed consistently.
Only organisations on the register of end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) are eligible to conduct the independent EPA of apprentices. Although a number of different people and organisations may be involved in an apprentice’s EPA, only the independent organisation needs to apply to and be listed on the register.
Find an end-point assessment organisation
Unless the assessment plan states otherwise, employers cannot select their apprentice’s training organisation to be the end-point assessment organisation.
Training providers, prospective EPAOs and other organisations can use theto see lists of organisations that have been assessed as being suitable to conduct independent end-point assessment (EPA) of apprentices and be in receipt of public funds.
Theshows which organisations can provide assessment for specific standards.
Selecting an organisation that is not listed on the register
If employers want to use an organisation that is not on the register, that organisation will need to apply and be listed against the apprenticeship standard before you can consider them.
Selecting an organisation when none are listed on the register against an apprenticeship standard
Employers will not be able to select an end-point assessment organisation for their apprentice until at least one organisation is listed on the register for that apprenticeship standard. We operate a monthly application process for organisations interested in delivering end-point assessment and add to the register regularly.
Requesting further information about an organisation on the register
To help choose an end-point assessment organisation you can ask an organisation on the register for more information about the service they offer.
Find out more about the register of end-point assessment organisations.
You can help the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) build better services for potential and existing EPAOs by joining our research panel. If you’re considering an application to the register, we would like to hear which standards you’re considering applying for. We are trialling a new application process and need to test it with new applicants.
How to apply to the register of end-point assessment organisations
Ofqual external quality assured standards
As of November 2020, more standards are being quality assured by Ofqual.
EQA transition year 1
Organisations applying to the register of EPAOs to assess standards in the first phase of transition will also need to seek recognition by Ofqual. This must be in place before their application to the register can be approved.
This applies to organisations not currently on the register and those that have not yet applied.
EQA transition year 2
From 1 August 2021 any organisation applying to the register for the first time will need to be recognised by Ofqual before they can be approved by ESFA. This applies to those organisations seeking to offer assessment for standards that will transition to Ofqual in phase 2.
This does not apply to universities seeking to assess integrated degree standards as these will be externally quality assured by the Office for Students.
Details of the current external quality assurance (EQA) provider for each standard can be found on the Institute’s website.
Find an assessment opportunity
We have built a service for potential and existing EPAOs to understand the business opportunities for apprenticeship assessment.
Users will be able to:
- browse lists of approved standards, standards in development and proposed standards
- search for standards of particular interest to them
- filter search results by region, sector or level
To apply you will need to complete the online application in the apprenticeship assessment service. You will need to:
- respond to all the questions and make a series of declarations
- submit your latest financial statements
- submit accompanying documentation where the question asks for this
We are particularly encouraging applications for standards where there are currently no EPAOs or low numbers of EPAOs relative to learner numbers.
We will seek to prioritise the review of applications for standards in this category. Therefore, the review of applications for standards with greater EPAO numbers will take longer.
Help and support
Before applying to the register, you may want to consider the information and resources available to prospective EPAOs through Future Apprenticeships to support the EPA process.
If you need further assistance, you can:
- search for help in the apprenticeship service at any time
- call us on 08000 150 600 (option 1 then option 2)
- email us on email@example.com
We are open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.