ESFA today (25 Jun) published this guide to the process for assessing apprentices doing apprenticeships in England. 

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying skills development programme. An apprenticeship can be a standard or a framework. Apprenticeship standards will replace all the old apprenticeship frameworks by 2020.

Through their apprenticeship, apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their job and career. The apprentice gains this through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment.

Assessing the apprentice’s knowledge and experience depends on the type of apprenticeship they’ve completed:


Apprentices doing standards have their skills, knowledge and behaviours evaluated at the end of their apprenticeship by taking an end-point assessment (EPA). This is known as synoptic assessment.

Assessment plans set out the specific criteria for each EPA.


Apprentices doing frameworks have their skills and knowledge continually evaluated by their training provider during their apprenticeship. Individual qualifications might be graded, but the overall apprenticeship is simply ‘achieved’. This is known as formative assessment.

Who assesses apprentices


Assessments must be carried out by a government-approved end-point assessment organisation (EPAO), or in such a way that no party who was involved in the apprenticeship can make the sole decision on competence and passing the end-point assessment.


  • conducts a full and independent EPA of an apprentice’s skills and capabilities
  • adheres to any specific arrangements or additional criteria set out in the standard’s assessment plan
  • adheres to quality assurance requirements
  • informs the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) when an apprentice has passed their EPA so that the ESFA can issue the apprenticeship certificate


Assessments are usually carried out by the training provider, and externally assured by an awarding organisation for recognised qualifications.

Contact the training provider to find out who assess a specific framework.


An apprenticeship certificate provides formal recognition that an individual has achieved their apprenticeship.

Responsibility for processing an apprentice’s certificate depends on the type of apprenticeship:


EPAOs must request a certificate on behalf of an apprentice through the record apprentice end-point assessment grades service.

Requests for certificates on behalf of apprentices who have done privately-funded apprenticeships must be made offline by EPAOs:


Apprentices and training providers can apply for a certificate from Apprenticeship Certificates England.

Does an end-point assessment count towards a qualification?

No. The EPA is separate from any qualifications or other assessments that the apprentice may undertake during their apprenticeship.

Finding an end-point assessor

Apprenticeship standard summaries published on the find apprenticeship training service have a list of approved EPAOs for that standard.

You can’t select an apprentice’s training provider to be the EPAO unless the assessment plan allows it.

End-point assessment costs

The cost of each EPA varies according to the requirements set out in the standards – such as assessment tools, location, methods and estimated completion times. However, the EPA is not expected to cost more than 20% of the overall funding for the standard. The expected cost of the EPA is set out in the assessment plan.

How to become an end-point assessment organisation

ESFA operate a monthly application process for organisations interested in carrying out end-point assessments.

EPAOs must have:

  • current and relevant occupational experience of the standard
  • relevant assessment experience and expertise
  • expertise and capacity to design, develop and deliver the EPA methods as set out in the assessment plan

Becoming an apprentice

Pay and conditions, how to apply, become a higher or degree apprentice. Apprenticeship levels, training, find an apprenticeship.

Hiring and training an apprentice

Become a training provider, recruitment and funding guidance, standards and assessment plans, how to register.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:

Electrical Installation Lecturer

Protocol are working with one of the largest colleges based in the North West of England and are looking to recruit an exceptional Electrica...

Salary : Up to £28000 per annum

Maths Lecturer

Permanent, Full Time, Maths Lecturer required to work within a fantastic FE College based in Cheshire!

Salary : Up to £25000 per annum

Built Environment/ Surveying Lecturer

Protocol are working with an FE College based in Shropshire and are looking to recruit a specialist Built Environment/Surveying Lecturer to ...

Salary : Up to £20 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay

Pastoral Support Tutor

We are working with a college of further education based in Stockport that offers qualifications up to degree level as well as bespoke vocat...

Salary : Up to £16 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay

A level Sociology Lecturer - Long Term, Top Sixth Form College

A fantastic opportunity is available at a top sixth form college based in Leicestershire.

Salary : Up to £20 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay



FE News gives you the latest breaking news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation.

Providing trustworthy and positive news and views since 2003, we publish exclusive peer to peer articles from our feature writers, as well as publishing user content from our network of over 2000 contributors, offering multiple sources of news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also ‘shoot’ video interviews and news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page