Magnifying glass

@1stforEPA - As a training provider, you must make sure you’re prepared for an Ofsted inspection. Ofsted doesn’t inspect EPA itself, but does inspect the preparation up to end point assessment.

Ofsted may well look at your end point assessment (EPA) processes. What exactly will they look for, and how can you prepare?

  1. Planning for individuals

As EPA is the same for all apprentices, training providers need to consider how they plan differently for individual apprentices, as everyone will need different types of preparation for EPA. This process should begin right from the beginning of the apprenticeship. Training providers should consider the apprentice’s learning style, their strengths and any areas for improvement. Their learning and development should then be tailored to maximise their learning.

Key to this is really understanding the competency required by the assessment plan and planning the apprentice’s learning journey to achieve that competency. Be mindful that this journey will differ for every apprentice.

  1. Reporting on EPA achievement rates

A past Ofsted inspector told us that they would regularly ask training providers:

  • What are your past EPA achievement rates?
  • How many apprentices were awarded a Distinction?

Having this information to hand is imperative. It’s advisable to either prepare these figures or use a management system that can create reports instantly.

1st for EPA uses ACE360 as its management system for EPA. The secure platform allows training providers to instantly pull reports on past achievement rates and grades.

  1. Preparing apprentices for Ofsted’s questions on EPA

When Ofsted inspectors speak to your apprentices, they may well ask if the apprentice knows what to expect from EPA. They might then probe further to see if apprentices are fully prepared for EPA.

Inspectors have been known to ask apprentices:

  • How has your training provider prepared you for EPA?
  • Have you practised your EPA, for example with a mock professional discussion?

Where EPA includes work-based assessment, such as a project, the inspector may well take a look at this. The purpose is to see the quality of work the apprentice is producing. It’s therefore imperative that your apprentices are prepared.

Too often, training providers focus heavily on the core qualification of the standard and apprentices are not fully prepared for the EPA assessment methodology. Apprentices should know how to achieve a Merit or Distinction, as should their employers.

1st for EPA offers full support to help apprentices prepare for end point assessment. We have a range of support materials so apprentices know what to expect, and the standard that is expected of them. Apprentices registered with us receive a comprehensive Toolkit, which is full of tips to prepare for successful EPA.

  1. Information Security

Make sure your information is audit-ready. Data protection, GDPR and cyber security are prevalent concerns and you may be asked how your systems meet the required standard.


1st for EPA uses ACE360, where training providers can choose to input their apprentices’ data directly or securely link to their existing management system.

The system manages the entire EPA process, creating a full audit trail for each apprentice. This includes:

  • Gateway documents and sign off
  • Assessment materials submitted
  • Assessment decisions
  • Reports on achievement rates and grades.

Data on ACE360 is securely held in the UK. The system is GDPR compliant and each user can only access the information necessary for their role.

  1. How did you choose your EPAO?

You may be asked why you chose your end point assessment organisation (EPAO). What does this organisation offer? If you had negative experiences with an EPAO in the past, what action did you take to correct it? These are all areas the Ofsted inspector may explore.


Helen Shinner, Managing Director, 1st for EPA

1st for EPA offers full support to help apprentices prepare for end point assessment. We use secure systems that create a full audit trail. Our assessors are experienced professionals and we offer remote EPA to maximise flexibility and convenience.

1st for EPA offers end point assessment for the Digital Marketer, Business Administrator, HR Support and HR Consultant apprenticeship standards. Our mission is to support apprentices to succeed in their apprenticeship. We do this by making the EPA process easy, providing apprentices with all the support needed to go through EPA and complete their apprenticeship.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

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

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page