In the list of common phobias, examination and assessment nerves rates pretty highly. However for me the End Point Assessment part of my apprenticeship was almost an enjoyable experience.
I started my Operations / Departmental manager Level 5 apprenticeship in March 2018, as I was new to my managerial role at Gordon Franks Training. I was excited to take up my new position managing 15 tutors, but I knew it would be challenging and I wanted to back up what I was doing at work with high quality training. Before this I was a freelance assessor, so my new role was a big step up.
I was lucky enough to work for a company which is invested in and values apprenticeships, so my manager was really supportive. A big part of staff development programmes at Gordon Franks is undertaken through apprenticeships, so I knew I was following a very well-established path, which would stand me in good stead for further progression. The company is keen to promote managers within the business, so they use the management apprenticeship standards to form their own development programme, meaning the apprenticeship I did was very tailored to my own job.
I took part in off the job training each week for about 6 hours per week. This was time away from the office, attending training sessions and doing independent research to learn the theory behind management. When we went into lockdown in March I started to work from home and all training was delivered remotely instead of face-to-face. The off-the-job part of my apprenticeship help confidence soar as I learned new ways to manage people and teams. I also learned about project management because I had to complete a 3000 word project towards the end of my apprenticeship. I chose the topic with the help of my managing director. Together we chose an area that was of concern to the business. Working on it was really beneficial to myself, my team and the organisation, as it was all about reducing the number of over-stayers (learners who have exceeded their target date so are no longer funded) that we had.
When it came to completing my end-point assessment I was nervous at first as no-one likes the idea of a test. However, there was nothing to worry about. My training provider prepared me for the EPA by going through how the assessment would be carried out remotely and by making sure I was familiar with the e-portfolio. As part of my assessment, I completed a knowledge test, presented my project, and had a professional discussion about my job role and the CPD that I had obtained throughout. We were in lockdown, so it all had to be done remotely. I was assessed at home and the invigilator joined via Teams.
I found out I had been successful approximately two working days later. I was delighted and to celebrate I treated myself and my family to a takeaway, as COVID-19 meant we couldn’t go out.
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship for other people. It is a great way to get ahead and meet new people who can show you different perspectives to help you to do your job, whatever sector your work in. If people are worried about the final assessment, I’d like to set their mind at ease. I can say from experience that the assessor wants you to achieve and show all you can do. There’s nothing to catch you out. It’s a world away from sitting in an examination hall for two hours – you’re basically showing the assessor that you know how to do your job and can cope with challenges. Just go for it!
Emma Clee, Former Management Apprentice, Gordon Franks Training