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Differentiating for apprentices at different stages: The impact of End point assessment on the role of trainers

Chris Jones, HMI Specialist Advisor for Apprenticeships, Ofsted

The impact of End point assessment on the role of trainers

One of the things around the Ofsted inspection is that we don’t inspect endpoint assessment, in the same way that we don’t inspect A levels. We inspect the preparation up to endpoint assessment.

That means that providers really do need to think about the end point assessment right from the beginning of the program, so that they know exactly.

Having looked at the assessment plan, and the standard, the expectations and knowledge, skills, and behaviours, that they then begin to think when they do the initial assessment and interviews of apprentices, that they’ve got that end point in mind, so that the whole curriculum, the whole program of learning for the Apprentice gets them ready, right from day one, for the endpoint assessment.

Preparation for Gateway and End point assessment: Differentiating for apprentices at different stages

In order for End point assessment to be effective, or therefore for apprenticeships to be effective, get the initial assessment right. Know what it is an apprentice brings to the table when they start their apprenticeship.

On a level 3 apprenticeship, for example we can take any standard you like, we may well have brand new starts, and also on the same apprenticeship with the same employer, staff who’ve been employed for some time.

Because End point assessment is the same for everybody, you have to really think about the curriculum plan differently for each of those apprentices, because they’ll need different types of preparation for that end point assessment.

That’s why I say building in thinking about that all the time will really help the apprentices, and the provider, and the employer know what it is an apprentice has to do.

Providers who really get that right, know what an apprentice brings and differentiates the curriculum, support and experience for apprentices at different stages throughout the curriculum.

That’s what really does make a difference. It’s about also having the milestones ready, understanding what it is, the different steps that apprentices have to take in order to reach competency.

Applying the principles of Milestones

For example, I’m going into Gap to buy a T-shirt and there will be retail apprentices on the floor and some of them will be, your job is to do the merchandising, fold those t shirts in a special way that they have them do in Gap. So, there’s that opportunity, so they’ll be doing that.

Now the next phase might be, yes you can do that really effectively, but now what we want you to do is to have the eye on the customer.

It’s a bit like being in a restaurant as well isn’t it, when the waiter comes around and you know as a customer that you want them to have “waiter eye” so that they recognise you and will come over and support you.

The supervisor in each of those circumstances will be, in a sense, planning the preparation, saying, “OK you’ve got this bit, you’re folding T-shirts, you’re clearing tables well, you’re recognising customers, now move on to the next stage.

There’s a milestone there, and then we’ll begin to develop you further. You can apply that principle of milestones to any apprenticeship, and any time an apprentice has to begin to do things fluently and independently before moving on to the next stage.

Chris Jones, HMI Specialist Advisor for Apprenticeships, Ofsted

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