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How apprentices in England are assessed using end-point assessment

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Apprenticeship Assessment #EPA 

All apprentices in England are assessed at the end of their training to ensure they are competent in their occupation and can perform all the aspects of their role.

They are assessed to check the knowledge, skills and behaviours they have learned throughout their apprenticeship. This is called an end-point assessment.

End-point assessment is different for each apprenticeship. The end-point assessment plan will outline the end-point assessment for each apprenticeship.

An end-point assessment usually includes:

  • a practical assessment
  • a project
  • an interview and presentation
  • written or multiple choice tests

Who can assess your apprentice?

End-point assessment is carried out by an independent organisation known as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO). They must be different to the training provider that trains the apprentice.

All approved end-point assessment organisations meet our conditions.

Find an end-point assessment organisation

You need to find an end-point assessment organisation for your apprentice early on during the apprenticeship.

This will give you and your apprentice enough time to prepare for the assessment. You will be able to access any support the end-point assessment organisation offers such as:

  • sample assessments
  • resources to help prepare for end-point assessment

To help choose an end-point assessment organisation, you can:

  • ask your training provider for advice
  • contact end-point assessment organisations for more information on their services

Cost of end-point assessment

You’ll need to agree the assessment cost with your chosen end-point assessment organisation.

It should usually cost no more than 20% of the apprenticeship’s funding band maximum.

Tell your training provider which end-point assessment organisation you have chosen. They will make a contract with the end-point assessment organisation and pay them on your behalf.

Preparing for end-point assessment

You or your training provider should contact the end-point assessment organisation at least 3 months before you think the end-point assessment will take place.

You should make them aware of any additional needs the apprentice has so they can make reasonable adjustments.

The end-point assessment plan will help you understand what to expect from the end-point assessment. You can find the end-point assessment plans for each apprenticeship on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website.


During a period called gateway, you and your training provider decide if your apprentice is ready to take their end-point assessment.

Before considering if your apprentice is ready, the apprentice must have:

  • completed the minimum duration of their apprenticeship
  • met the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan

Once the apprentice has met these requirements, you and your training provider should use the end-point assessment plan to decide if you think the apprentice has the skills to pass the end-point assessment.

If you decide the apprentice isn’t ready for end-point assessment or disagree whether the apprentice is ready, you should discuss whether more training is needed.

Once a final decision is made, you should notify the end-point assessment organisation to confirm whether the apprentice is ready for end-point assessment.

Certificates of completion

An apprentice can only pass and complete their apprenticeship if they pass the end-point assessment. This includes any requirements in English and maths set out in the end-point assessment plan.

The apprentice’s grade is decided as part of the end-point assessment.

After your apprentice successfully completes their apprenticeship and end-point assessment, the end-point assessment organisation will request their certificate.

We usually post certificates within 10 working days. Privately funded apprenticeships can take longer.Some apprenticeships will also include eligibility for professional recognition by an authorised body.

Resits and retakes

Apprentices who fail their end-point assessment are able to resit or retake.

A resit involves the apprentice resitting one or more components of their assessment without further training.

A retake involves an apprentice doing further training before they do their assessment again.

A resit or a retake cannot be taken to improve the original grade if an apprentice has passed their end-point assessment.

End-point assessment temporary flexibility

Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a new flexibility has been introduced to allow apprentices waiting to take their functional skills qualification assessments (FSQs) in English and maths, to progress to end-point assessment.

They will have to complete their FSQs within 3 months of starting their end-point assessment. You should discuss this with your training provider.

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