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Northern Skill Network publish EPA – Reasonable Adjustments Report

students sat on steps with books and laptops

The Northern Skills Network (NSN) are aware that members report challenges with the End Point Assessment (EPA) process. NSN have launched a Business Plan and Manifesto for 2023 and tackling the issues related to EPA is one of NSN’s key priorities for the year.

NSN member, the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) facilitated a webinar in June on ‘Understanding reasonable adjustments: implementation and execution’ with Dr Louise Karwowski, Director of Education at Cognassist. The session explored the importance of reasonable adjustments and highlighted how they impact upon neurodiverse learners. Attendees from a range of different provider types were in attendance such as FE Colleges, Independent Training Providers etc.  During the webinar, attendees were polled on a range of questions related to EPA, End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) and the challenges with the reasonable adjustments process.

NSN member networks distributed the poll post-webinar to their own members to gather more intelligence. In total 72 participants have completed the poll.

NSN are involved in discussions with a range of stakeholders on these challenges e.g. the Department for Education, Cognassist, NCFE and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. The report has been shared in advance with Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education who are actively working on revised guidance for EPA.

Based on the findings of this report, NSN suggest the following recommendations:


  • Ensure that reasonable adjustments are discussed as early as possible with apprentices and employers and are embedded throughout all of the stages of an apprentices’ journey, not just at EPA gateway.
  • Discuss Reasonable adjustments with the EPAO as early as possible in the journey

End Point Assessment Organisations:

  • Work with providers to ensure understanding and confidence in the EPA system and reasonable adjustments

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education:

  • Look at standardisation of process and policies across EPAOs
  • Continue to develop and promote:
    • Guidance for Providers on what is expected of them
    • Guidance for EPAOs on what is expected of them

NSN would like to thank all providers who participated in this research, Cognassist for supporting the research and all stakeholders engaging in conversation.

Read the report here: EPA / Reasonable Adjustments report – for NSN (

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