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AIM Assessment
Frequently Asked Questions


Q What is an EPA?

A  An end-point Assessment (EPA) is the name given to a series of tests an apprentice must take to prove their ability to do the job they have been training for. These tests take place at the end of an apprenticeship following a period of training and development often referred to as the 'on-programme' period.


Q What is the gateway?

A  The gateway is a term used to describe that the apprentice is ready for end point assessment – that they are competent in their job and that apprentice, employer and training provider are confident that they can pass the EPA. Additionally, they need to have met any requirements set out in the standard and assessment plan, including achieving the current minimum government English and maths requirements:

  • for level 2 apprenticeships: level 1 English and maths and take the test for level 2 prior to taking their end-point assessment
  • for level 3 to 7 apprenticeships: achieve level 2 English and maths prior to taking their end-point assessment.


Q I’m a training provider interested in working with AIM on EPAs, what should I do?

A   If you’d like us to work with you and your apprentices’ employer(s) to deliver the end-point assessment for your apprentices, please contact us at  We will arrange a phone call to discuss all aspects of the EPA and the employment context of your apprentices which we will follow with a quote for our fees. If you, on behalf of the employer(s), decide to register your apprentices with us, we’ll issue you with our standard contract. We will then issue an apprentice guide, an employer guide and the training provider guide, plus a set of sample assessments that you can use to inform training and use to judge how ready for gateway the apprentices are. We will work with you to schedule assessments. Once your apprentices are ready, you’ll complete the gateway form and pay the fee. Once the assessments are completed, we’ll issue a statement of achievement to each apprentice, inform their employer and provider of results and final grades to the ESFA for certification.


Q Does my organisation need to become an AIM approved centre in order to use your end-point assessment service?

A   No. You will have been appointed by an employer and, technically, they also appoint us.


Q What is the cost of becoming an approved AIM centre to deliver optional apprenticeship qualifications?

A   The following standards have optional AIM qualifications that can be used to support the 20% off-site delivery of the training element of the apprenticeship. They were developed in partnership with the Trailblazer employer groups and have been mapped to the knowledge skills and behaviour requirements of the Standard and activities support the requirements of the assessment plan.

Q How much do you charge for your EPA service?

A   Our fees are based on a per apprentice basis and are individual to each standard. More information can be found on our resources webpage.


Q What notice do you require in order to carry out EPA?

A   It is in your apprentice’s interest to register them with us as soon as possible in order to take full advantage of our guides and sample assessments. We request a minimum of four months’ notice in order to ensure that we have assessors available and to enable assessment scheduling that meets your proposed gateway date.


Q How do re-sits/re-takes work?

A   There is a difference between a re-sit and a re-take. A re-sit means that the apprentice has partially failed the EPA and they may re-sit a paper within the same assessment schedule. Should an apprentice fail all components of the EPA there is an expectation that additional learning would need to take place before re-assessment. You should consult each standard’s assessment plan for full details and contact us if there are mitigating circumstances. We also have a policy on reasonable adjustments. We charge an additional fee for re-sits and any re-marking. Please see our additional charges list.


Q Can we use our own team of assessors?

A   No. The EPA must be undertaken by an EPAO and by assessors who have taken no part in the delivery of the apprentice’s training programme prior to gateway.


Q How are end-point assessments graded?

A   Each standard’s assessment plan has its own grading criteria. In addition to pass and fail, there may be additional grades of merit and/or distinction. It should be recognised that pass confers full occupational competence, additional grades give an apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of achievement.