From education to employment

Start looking at the end from the very beginning: The critical importance of initial assessment

Teresa Frith, Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges

How are colleges faring in the transition to apprenticeship standards?

There is quite a lot going on at the moment.

Colleges, like most providers have found generally a downturn in numbers, but I’ve been visiting some colleges who’ve been bucking that trend, that have increased volumes by 20 percent over the last year.

Those colleges have been working to a strategic plan. That seems to be a really critical factor in how they’re approaching their changes in delivery.

The transition period is stirring up its own challenges. Again I don’t think colleges are seeing different challenges from other providers.

Very different environment, working to a standard that’s a little bit more ethereal perhaps than the old frameworks that they take over from. So, a lot of changes, particularly in the job role of the assessor. Clearly that role has changed a lot.

It’s much more about delivery of training, and delivery, and improvement, and enhancement of behaviours, which is obviously a very new thing. A lot of transitional issues, I think most colleges are probably about 60 to 70 percent through the transitional phase.

We’re beginning to see some much more involved questions coming from colleges about how the funding’s really working, and how some of the ongoing issues within standards can be addressed.

Emerging good practice in preparing the Apprentice for Gateway and End Point Assessment

Some of the discussions I’ve had with those successful colleges, they have really taken on board the need to start looking at the end at the very beginning.

Effectively what they’re doing is saying we’ve got to keep a weather eye on the end game, on the Gateway and the End Point Assessment process for this particular standard.

We need to look at the initial assessment from the perspective of what is going to be required and that holistic End Point Assessment. There’s a lot of work going on to make sure that happens.

The initial assessment is become an incredibly important tool in the process of assessing progression, because it gives you the clear starting point. Progression also keeps track every time the candidates are formally assessed, as to how they’re progressing through their learning.

That is also reflected back to, OK they’ve progressed this far is this in line with when we’re expecting gateway to happen?

Is this in line with what we need that candidate to be developing, in order to be successful in the End Point Assessment process?

Teresa Frith, Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges

Related Articles