Guidance

Introduction to the register of end-point assessment organisations

Information about the register of end-point assessment organisations for organisations involved in the assessment of apprenticeship standards.

1. Introduction

1.1 Employers are working together to design new standards and assessment plans for apprenticeships. The standard describes the skills, knowledge and behaviours that an individual needs to be fully competent in an occupation. The assessment plan sets out how the apprentice will be assessed to demonstrate that they have met the standard.

1.2 The sole purpose of the Register of End-point Assessment Organisations (the Register) is to provide employers with a list of organisations who have shown us that they are capable of delivering independent end-point assessment (EPA). The Register is not for the training elements of the apprenticeship. If you are interested in training apprentices, you should refer to the criteria for apprenticeship training providers.

1.3 The information here sets out the general principles of how EPA is delivered and how we expect end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) to operate. More detailed information is contained within the conditions of acceptance.

1.4 The Register will enable the delivery of EPA and help employers select who should deliver their EPA. Employers can only select organisations to conduct EPA from the Register. They can do this using the find an end-point assessment organisation service.

1.5 Because the decision to select an organisation will be made by the employer, we will not be contracting with organisations on the Register. Being on the Register does not guarantee that an organisation will be selected to deliver EPA. Once the employer selects their EPAO, they will confirm this with their training provider.

1.6 There is no link between this Register and other registers such as our Register of Training Organisations, Register of Apprentice Training Providers or Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications

2. About end-point assessment

2.1 Although each standard has an employer-designed synoptic EPA, the nature and approach to assessment varies across standards. The detail of the assessment is set out explicitly in each assessment plan.

2.2 The EPA is separate to any qualifications or other assessment that the apprentice may undertake during training. The apprentice will not be able to achieve the apprenticeship without passing the EPA.

2.3 As well as being separate to the delivery of the apprenticeship, the EPA must be independent. Assessment plans are developed according to published guidance, from which an extract is included below:

An independent EPA ensures that those making a decision on the competency of the apprentice have nothing to gain from the outcome of the assessment. To ensure high quality apprenticeships, it is vital that all apprentices are assessed in a fair and objective manner. Independence and impartiality are critical to ensuring rigorous and high quality assessment and that the standard is maintained over time.

3.The end-point assessment organisation

3.1 The EPAO will, in line with the assessment plan:

  • design and develop the content of the EPA- for example, test questions, project topics or interview scripts
  • check and verify that the apprentice has completed any prerequisites to EPA, including any mandatory qualifications
  • conduct EPA of apprentices
  • quality assure the EPA they deliver
  • adhere to the external quality assurance (EQA) arrangements
  • ensure EPA is synoptic and independent
  • identify and record when the apprentice has passed the EPA
  • apply and pay for the apprenticeship certificate

4. How the Register will assist employers

4.1 Employers will use find an end-point assessment organisation to select an organisation from the Register to deliver EPA for them. Once the employer has selected their EPAO, their lead training provider will contract with them for their services, on behalf of the employer. You can find out more about funding apprenticeships.

4.2 Employers may use the Register in different ways. Employers will determine who they will select and the process for selection. The ESFA will have no involvement in selection decisions.

5. The Register process

5.1 You can apply to join the Register at any time. Through the application process we ask organisations to give us evidence of their corporate governance, financial standing, occupational and assessment capacity and capability and delivery model, including conflict of interest policy. We then assess these, to seek assurance that they have the right experience, personnel and procedures in place to deliver independent EPA.

5.2 We invite applications for all standards on the Register. Organisations will be able to apply against other standards that are approved for delivery as they are added.

5.3 Some assessment plans are specific about the type of organisation that can carry out EPA. We do not assess applications from organisations not permitted to deliver EPA by the assessment plan. Please see the EQA framework from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). For example:

  • where the Institute states Ofqual will be the EQA assessor, we will only accept applications from organisations who are recognised by Ofqual for that purpose
  • if the Institute names one organisation as the sole EPAO for the standard, we will invite them to apply

5.4 We will continue to evaluate and prioritise the review of applications for standards where there are no EPAOs or low numbers of EPAOs relative to learners. We will refine the Register to support apprenticeships as more standards become available for delivery and more organisations are approved to deliver EPA.

Published 11 April 2019
Last updated 26 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on external quality assurance.

  2. First published.