Guidance

What you need to know before applying to be an apprentice end-point assessment organisation

For organisations who want to offer independent end-point assessment for apprenticeship standards.

Important information about the changes to external quality assurance

The external quality assurance (EQA) arrangements for apprenticeship standards and end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) are changing, following consultation by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute).

Apart from integrated degrees, the EQA for most standards will be conducted by Ofqual. Standards will transition to Ofqual in 2 main phases:

  • by the end of December 2021 all standards where the Institute is the EQA provider (year one)
  • by summer 2022 all standards where the EQA is currently provided by other external bodies will move to Ofqual (year two)

All 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.

Details of the current EQA provider for each standard can be found on the Institute’s website.

The application process to the register of EPAOs is in 2 stages.

Before you start stage one, you must:

We are particularly encouraging applications for standards where there are currently no EPAOs or low numbers of EPAOs relative to learner numbers.

We will prioritise the review of applications for standards in this category. Therefore, the review of applications for standards with greater EPAO numbers will take longer.

EPAO in principle

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Institute are working to make sure that every apprentice, employer and training provider can have confidence from the start of their apprenticeship programme that there will be an EPAO committed to delivering the end-point assessment (EPA).

As new apprenticeship standards are approved for delivery, we require a commitment upfront from EPAOs that they will apply to the register of end-point assessment organisations.

Funding for apprenticeship starts on new standards will only be permitted where we have recieved and confirmed an EPAO in principle commitment.

EPAOs willing to commit to being an EPAO in principle should complete the commit to being an EPAO in principle form.

Stage 1 – about you and your organisation

You must provide:

  • your company number and UK provider reference number (UKPRN) if you have one
  • details of the person(s) with significant control (PSC) over the organisation
  • details if any PSC has any criminal convictions
  • a copy of your organisation’s most recent statutory accounts (or management accounts if you have been trading for less than 1 year)

Before you proceed to stage 2, you must submit stage 1 to the ESFA to see if you meet these requirements. If you are successful, you will be invited to complete the competency and capability section to assess a standard.

Stage 2 – policies, procedures and evidence of capability

Documents

You must upload your:

  • Information Commissioner’s Office registration
  • internal audit policy
  • public liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • employers liability insurance
  • safeguarding policy
  • Prevent agenda policy
  • conflict of interest policy
  • monitoring procedures
  • moderation processes
  • complaints and appeals policy
  • fair access policy
  • consistency assurance for assessing a standard

Evidence

You will need to provide evidence from the last 3 years of your organisation’s:

  • occupational competence for each of the standards that you’re applying for
  • experience of working in the occupational area for the standard you are applying to assess

You will also need the following information about each assessor:

  • what skills, experience and qualifications they have that are relevant to the assessments they’ll be doing
  • what skills, experience and qualifications they have in the occupational area that you’re applying for
  • how you will keep their occupational expertise up to date

Readiness and delivery areas

You will need to indicate:

  • when you think you will be ready to conduct your first end-point assessment
  • the regions where you can conduct end-point assessments

Apply to the register to become an EPAO.

After you have submitted stage 2

As part of your stage 2 application you will be asked to agree to the conditions of acceptance.

Your organisation will be added to the Register of end-point assessment organisations once your application has been approved.

Published 11 April 2019
Last updated 26 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to the new find an end-point assessment organisation service. Added section on becoming an EPAO in principle.

  2. Added more details about the transition of external quality assurance (EQA) to Ofqual between now and July 2022 and added a list of standards that Ofqual will be assessing from November 2020.

  3. Updated to prioritise applications where there are currently no EPAOs or low numbers of EPAOs relative to learner numbers.

  4. Updated to extend the processing time for applications.

  5. Launch of a consultation on the future of external quality assurance for end-point assessments.

  6. First published.