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First External Quality Assurance annual report published

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) has published the first External Quality Assurance (EQAP) annual report.

This focuses on key findings around how end point assessment (EPA) and EQA has been delivered throughout 2020.

It acknowledges that the past year has been incredibly challenging for everyone involved with apprenticeships – but a flexible approach to assessment that preserves quality has served the sector well.

The Institute has worked closely with EQA providers, employer groups, and assessment organisations to design and approve over 100 flexibilities to the way EPA can be delivered.

This has included allowing for greater use of technology so assessment can be done remotely.

These flexibilities have been extended until at least the end of March to provide much-needed stability.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, said: “I’m incredibly proud of all the fantastic work the sector has done with the Institute to ensure that EPA and EQA has continued successfully throughout the pandemic, allowing large numbers of apprentices to complete and move on with their exciting careers.

“While there are areas to improve on, this report shows that the vast majority of assessment is being delivered to a high-standard which is encouraging as we look ahead to 2021.”

EPA, taken at the end of the apprenticeship, allows the apprentice to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for the occupation they have trained in.

Its introduction was a major step forward for quality from the old apprenticeship frameworks, which did not require assessment after training had been completed.

The report published today reflects that most employers and apprentices who have experienced EPA consider it to be relevant, reliable, and robust.

It also reflects on how the EQA system is working and areas for improvement.

The Institute announced its plans to move to a simplified EQA system back in August. It means that in future all EQA will be delivered by Ofqual or, for integrated degree apprenticeships, the Office for Students (OfS), under a framework set by the Institute.

The first wave of apprenticeship end-point-assessments changed over to Ofqual as their new EQA provider from November and we will manage the transition of all apprenticeships over the next two-years.

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