End point assessment (EPA) is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that your apprentice has learned throughout an apprenticeship, which confirms that they are occupationally competent.
Assessments have been designed by employers in the sector and are conducted by independent bodies known as end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs).
The apprentice will only get their apprenticeship certificate after they have passed all the elements of their EPA, including any required standards in English and maths
Before an Apprentice can progress to the End-Point Assessment stage, they must have achieved the relevant Functional Skills qualifications in English, maths and ICT, or achieved equivalent qualifications.
When the apprentice has completed their formative training, there will be a short period of time where the Employer, Training Provider and apprentice will assess the apprentice’s progress. The Employer will then determine whether or not the Apprentice is ready to take on the End-Point Assessment.
Generally, the Gateway stage is where all aspects of the apprenticeship must be completed. These could include:
- Any on-programme qualifications, including Functional Skills
- Any finalised projects, such as portfolios or projects
- Any other requirements outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard
For some apprenticeships, there will need to be a meeting between parties involved in the apprenticeship to determine how and when the assessment process will unfold.
What does the assessment involve?
Each apprenticeship includes an end-point assessment plan, which describes how the apprentice should be tested against appropriate criteria, using suitable methods. For example, your apprentice may need to complete:
- a practical assessment
- an interview
- a project
- written and/or multiple-choice tests
- a presentation
It is worth getting in touch with your EPAO early on in the apprenticeship to check what the assessment involves.
This will give your apprentice plenty of time to prepare. For example, they may need to gather evidence to show how they’ve been working towards the core knowledge, skills and behaviours required.
When your apprentice successfully completes their apprenticeship and passes their EPA, they’ll be awarded a certificate.
For some apprenticeships, passing the EPA and completing the apprenticeship will also lead to professional recognition by an authorised body. This is outlined in the apprenticeship details on the qualification fact sheet. You can view all the qualification fact sheets by visiting the Employer Apprenticeship section.