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EPAO eases stresses for Training Providers during Challenging 2020

Helen Shinner

@1stforEPA – An end point assessment organisation (EPAO), launched in 2020, has found its supportive online approach has been a hit with training providers across the UK as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact normality in the sector.

1st for EPA is an EPAO that supports apprentices through EPA by working collaboratively with training providers and employers to reduce costs, improve achievement rates and grow. The company provides guidance on how to approach EPA, supporting apprentices to prepare for their assessment and increasing their chance of passing first time. The admin burden on providers is greatly reduced with the ACE360 portal, which allows online scheduling of EPA and links directly to apprenticeship management systems.

1st for EPA, which has worked with colleges and training providers throughout England, has had great feedback since its launch in March 2020.

Peter Lang, Head of School at Croydon College, said: “Undoubtedly this year has been an unusual one and more than ever confidence in our providers is crucial. We at Croydon College are very pleased to work with 1st for EPA. The tools, support and ease of registering apprentices has been excellent, giving us the apprenticeship provider real confidence in the delivery and end point assessment process.”

Paul Drew, Managing Director at Apprentify, said: “Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, our apprentices are going into their assessment feeling more confident and it’s great to see. 1st for EPA identifies areas that apprentices typically struggle with and tackle them head-on. We’re sure our retention rates will improve as a result of working with 1st for EPA.”

1st for EPA’s Managing Director, Helen Shinner, said: “2020 has been such a tough year for everyone, so we’re glad to be doing what we can to support providers and apprentices. Launching during a pandemic means we have had to work hard to prove the benefits of our approach and it’s certainly been well received.

“From our experience in the industry we know that to get the best from apprentices they need to feel confident and ready to give their best. To support apprentices, we produce guidance on how to prepare for EPA, sharing tips and best practice. Our remote assessment allows us to keep prices competitive and pass savings onto providers. We’ve seen huge growth already and are looking forward to working with more providers and employers in 2021.”

1st for EPA assesses a range of apprenticeship standards, including Business Administrator, Digital Marketer, Marketing Manager, Marketing Executive, Marketing Assistant, HR Consultant and Partner and HR Support.

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