Choosing the right End-Point Assessment Organisation for your apprentices
9 February 2024
By Debbie Tuisawau, End-Point Assessment Director at AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group.
As a training provider offering apprenticeships, one of the most important decisions you'll make is picking the right end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to test your apprentices' skills and knowledge. Making the right choice can ensure your apprentices are thoroughly and fairly assessed, giving them the best chance of successfully completing their training. Here are some tips on choosing the best EPAO for your needs:
Get early engagement
Don't leave choosing an EPAO until the last minute. Reach out to potential organisations while still designing your apprenticeships. This allows you to understand their approaches, services, and costs early on. It also gives them time to tailor their assessments around the specific skills and competencies your apprentices will develop. At AIM Assessment we like to get involved with employers and training providers at the beginning of the apprentice journey so we can support and advise early on. This prevents any ‘unwanted surprises’ later.
Understand the Assessment Plans
Each apprenticeship standard has a detailed assessment plan that lays out how the apprentice must be assessed at the end of their training. AIM Assessors are happy to work through these with you to make sure you fully understand these plans and what methods of assessment will be used, such as practical observations, interviews, portfolio reviews etc.
Prepare your apprentices
Work closely with your chosen EPAO to understand the assessment criteria and performance expectations. Use this knowledge to properly prepare your apprentices throughout their learning, allowing them to master the skills and knowledge they'll need to successfully complete their end-point assessments.
Research relevant experience
Look for EPAOs with extensive experience in assessing the particular apprenticeship standards and sectors relevant to your programs. Their familiarity and specialisation in these areas can help ensure efficient, meaningful assessments of your apprentices. For example AIM assessor specialise in working with the creative, cultural and digital technologies industries but also offer other non-specialised standards like Business Administrator and Content Creator.
Make sure any EPAO you're considering is approved and accredited by the relevant authorities. This demonstrates they meet the standards and have the expertise required to carry out quality, fair end-point assessments. Most EPAOs will advertise their accreditations openly.
Look for added value
Can the EPAO provide any additionality to support you or the apprentice? For example, AIM offers all apprentices free access to the Association of Apprentices which unlocks access to a host of free resources and peer support for your apprentices eg apprentice-led online community; elearning modules and live events and masterclasses.
Think about the reporting the EPAO can provide after assessments. Can they give you detailed insights into your apprentices' strengths and weaknesses? Their reporting should help you continuously refine and improve your apprenticeship programs. At AIM we provided tailored EPA clinics for both the apprentice and employer.
By carefully choosing the right end-point assessment organisation early on, engaging with them regularly, and using their insights to prepare your apprentices, you'll be setting your apprentices up for the best chance of successfully completing their training.
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