@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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.