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Preparing for an end-point assessment (EPA)

Your employer and training provider should have talked to you about your EPA at the start of your apprenticeship. Your EPA plan should contain all the information you need to prepare for this, including: 

  • what's expected of you in your EPA
  • how you’ll be assessed 
  • what your portfolio of evidence needs to have 
  • your Gateway requirements 
  • how you can retake an EPA

Your EPA plan can vary depending on the apprenticeship you’re doing.

What does an EPA involve?

An EPA can vary depending on the apprenticeship but could include: 

  • a practical test of the skills learnt during an apprenticeship
  • a presentation 
  • an interview 
  • written or multiple-choice tests 
  • workplace observation

An EPA can also include tasks that aren’t listed above. You can find out more about EPAs in an apprentice guide to assessment.

What is Gateway?

Gateway is the time between when you complete your apprentice training and get ready for your EPA. Your employer and training provider will decide with you when you’re ready for Gateway. You’ll need to meet your apprenticeship’s Gateway requirements first, which could include: 

  • a portfolio of evidence
  • an evidence tracker, where portfolio evidence is demonstrably mapped to your apprenticeship’s knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) 
  • a signed Gateway declaration form 
  • proof of English and maths qualifications (if necessary) 
  • completion of mandatory on-programme qualifications (where applicable)

Gateway requirements can vary depending on the apprenticeship you’re doing. These requirements should be set out in your EPA plan and will be based on the standard for your apprenticeship. You can find your apprenticeship standard on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education IfATE website.

What should I ask my employer and training provider?

Your employer or training provider should help you prepare for your EPA. You can ask them: 

  • how to prepare for your EPA, for example gathering materials for portfolios
  • how to practice for your EPA, for example mock assessments or tests 
  • what format your assessment will take  
  • who will be assessing you, their role and what criteria they’ll use to evaluate your work 
  • what you can expect on the day

If your employer or training provider haven’t discussed your EPA with you yet, you should ask them about this.

Who assesses apprentices?

Your employer or training provider will choose an independent end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to assess you. This makes sure your assessment is both independent and impartial. You’ll be assessed on the KSBs you’ve learnt during your apprenticeship.

Degree apprenticeships

With most degree apprenticeships, the EPA and degree are completed, passed and awarded together. An independent assessor who is working in or knows the industry you’ll be training for will also be part of the EPA. There are some degree apprenticeships where the EPA isn’t integrated. You can read more about degree apprenticeships on the IfATE website.

Concerned about redundancy?

You need to be employed until you have completed your EPA. If you’ve recently been made redundant, or are facing redundancy, ask your training provider for advice.

The government will fund your apprenticeship training for at least 12 weeks following redundancy. This is to give you time to find other employment, so you can continue with your apprenticeship.

Even if you don’t find a new employer, you may be able to take your EPA and complete your apprenticeship. You’d need to:

  • have completed 75% or more of your training
  • have fewer than six months of your training to complete

You can read more in redundancy support for apprentices.

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