Frequently Asked Questions
Please be aware that the answers provided in this section relate to the apprenticeships where we are approved to deliver end-point assessment services. Other apprenticeships standards and their associated assessment plans may have differing approaches.
The apprenticeships we are approved to provide end-point assessment for, are as follows:
- Power Network Craftsperson
- Water Process Technician
- Utilities Engineering Technician
- Dual Fuel Smart Meter Installer
- Gas Network Craftsperson
- Gas Network Team Leader
- Gas engineering
- Electrical Power Protection and Plant Commissioning Engineer
- Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician
- Electrical Power Network Engineer
Apprenticeship standards and funding
Yes, but the cost must be included in the overall price recorded by the lead provider on their individualised learner record and/or by the employer on their digital account.
Only where permitted within the funding rules. These rules detail actions to take when there is prior learning. Relevant information can be found in paragraphs 4, 110 and E57.
The rules state:
“We will fund an apprentice to undertake an apprenticeship at the same level as, or at a lower level than, a qualification they already hold, if the apprenticeship will allow the individual to acquire substantive new skills and you can evidence that the content of the training is materially different from any prior qualification or a previous apprenticeship.”
You must be satisfied that you have met, and can evidence, the funding rules and meet the knowledge skills and behaviours of the standard.
To determine this you must read the SFA funding rules for apprenticeships. They detail the requirements of an apprenticeship in terms of level, duration, on and off the job training requirements and so on. You must be satisfied that you have met, and can evidence, the rules of an apprenticeship and meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours as determined in the standard.
As an end-point assessment organisation, we are unable to mandate the on-programme design and delivery; we must remain independent and ensure no conflict of interest between on-programme delivery and end-point assessment.
The curriculum/programme that you design must be mapped to the published apprenticeship standard and its associated description of the competencies, knowledge, skills and behaviours.
There are no mandated qualifications relating to any of the apprenticeships we deliver end-point assessment for. Employers can flexibly choose what is best for their workforce and reflects the eclectic nature of the apprenticeship. The employer, with the training provider, can also design a programme that meets the knowledge, skills and behaviours stated within the standard.
Please be aware that some other apprenticeships may require a qualification, so we do recommend reading the standard applicable to the apprenticeship you are interested in.
Only if they are stated as mandatory within the published apprenticeship standard.
The most recent SFA Apprenticeship funding guidance states the following will not be funded:
“Registration and examination (including certification) costs for nonmandatory qualifications (qualifications that are not specifically listed in the standard).”
Our end-point assessment price is subject to the specific end-point assessment requirements of the published assessment plan (i.e. knowledge tests, trade tests, final decision panel), and the capacity and capability of the employer (i.e. ability to provide facilities for end-point assessment activities).
As this is a new service prices will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they reflect the cost of delivery.
Once the employer has selected us for end-point assessment and the main provider has registered (and contracted) with us we will provide a range of support, training and documentation in preparation for, and delivery of, end-point assessment, including:
- Introductory training on end-point assessment
- Scheme handbooks
- Apprentice guides to end-point assessment
- ‘End-point assessment in brief’ help sheets
- Technical experts risk assessment, training and approval
- End-point assessment scheduling tools.
At the gateway to end-point assessment we will provide detailed training on end-point assessment tools and all the tools for end-point assessment.
Please be aware that the tools for end-point assessment are only released to the approved technical experts who will be required to sign confidentiality declarations.
The employer must select us as their end-point assessment organisation but the organisation that pays us is the ‘main provider’, the organisation that is approved on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and is drawing down the public funding for those apprentices. The main provider will be paying for end-point assessment on behalf of the employer. The End-point Assessment Organisation is not treated as a delivery sub-contractor of the main provider.
Ideally, as close to the start of the apprenticeship as possible. This enables us to record an accurate price. However, the SFA have allowed the price of the apprenticeship to be varied under certain circumstances:
“E111. Once the price has been negotiated, we do not expect the total price of the apprenticeship to change. The only exceptions to this are when there is a change of circumstances or when the end-point assessment cost is not known at the start of the apprenticeship.”
Our end-point assessment price is broken into two stages.
This covers the technical expert approvals, end-point assessment training, scheme handbooks and supporting documents and all management and administrative activities to plan and schedule end-point assessment activities.
Entry to end-point assessment fee
Payable at the gateway to end-point assessment, this covers the end-point assessment activities, in accordance with the assessment plan, the final grading decisions, certification, audits, standardisation, monitoring and quality assurance.
Ideally, as soon as possible. This is because there are a range of pathways and activities that need to occur before end-point assessment takes place and to support those with responsibility to prepare for end-point assessment. We need to work with you to ensure that the apprentices are ready, the technical experts are approved and trained, the apprentice data has been collected and validated, and that activities are scheduled in plenty of time to make sure that the appropriate independent experts are available for the final judgement of apprentice completion and grade.
End-point assessment – delivery
Our services start from the moment we receive an enquiry from an employer or training provider. They are wide ranging and depend on the assessment plan but will include:
- Technical expert appointment and approvals.
- End-point assessment training, scheme handbooks, apprentice guides, management and administrative activities to plan and schedule end-point assessment activities.
- Assessment tools for end-point assessment, final grading decisions (via panels, examiners and moderators), certification, standardisation, monitoring and quality assurance.
The DfE Strategic Guidance to the Institute for Apprenticeships, April 2017, has stated that:
“a training provider must not train and assess the same apprentice in any circumstances”.
The SFA Funding Rules state that:
“Although the provider will be involved in arrangements for end-point assessment, the assessment itself must be independent of both the provider and employer.”
The SFA Funding Rules state that:
“Some assessment plans give the employer and provider specific roles but providers who have delivered the training cannot make end-point assessment judgement for that same group of apprentices.”
As each assessment plan is unique in this area, please contact us for more information at email@example.com.
Not for the apprenticeships we deliver end-point assessment for. Where the assessment plans allow the employer to nominate the technical experts for end-point assessment, they can only come from the employer, other employers or an assessment organisation. There is only one exception to this, and this is the assessor of the work observation in Dual Fuel Smart Meter Installer. In this instance the assessment plan allows the work observation to be assessed by a trainer.
Yes, but only where the assessment plan permits, and subject to the confirmation of independence, in accordance with the SFA Funding Rules:
“Although you will be involved in arrangements for end-point assessment, the assessment itself must be independent. The end-point assessment requirements are set out in the assessment plan for the standard. Some assessment plans give the employer and provider specific roles but employer-providers who have delivered the training cannot make the end-point assessment judgement for that same group of apprentices”.
Yes, we welcome contact from any experts that may be able to offer technical expertise to employers delivering apprenticeship end-point assessment activities. We have a process to follow in order to assure competence and independence of experts, and can discuss this further if you get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 0121 713 8251.
This is known as the Gateway. Each Assessment plan details the gateway requirements before an apprentice can enter end-point assessment. The employer must conduct a gateway review, supported by their training provider, to confirm that the apprentice is:
- In their view competent in the role
- Has achieved mandatory on-programme qualifications (where applicable)
- Has achieved English and maths at the appropriate level
- Has achieved all other requirements stated in the assessment plan
As an end-point assessment organisation we will require the employer and provider to confirm readiness in writing, via a standard template that we issue.
This depends on the Assessment plan but is it unlikely due to the specialist skills the technical expert assessors will require for each end-point assessment activity.
Details of the requirements for end-point assessment can be found on our website and in the published assessment plans. Just like in the delivery of a qualification and its examination, we do not publish the end-point assessment tests. Where a trade test is required these will be made available to the approved independent technical experts for the delivery of end-point assessment activity. We will notify the employer and training provider of any specific requirements to deliver the end-point assessment tests such as equipment.
The assessment plan details the grading criteria for a portfolio, which can be used as the guide to its contents. For example, in gas engineering, the portfolio would be expected to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills to undertake diagnostic, fault funding and repair and so on. As an end-point assessment organisation we will provide a portfolio summative assessment document for approved technical experts to use, to enable them to produce a preliminary grade recommendation.
There are no requirements to provide mock knowledge assessments in the apprenticeships we deliver end-point assessment for. However, we will be developing example knowledge assessments during 2017 and 2018.
Some assessment plans state the requirements for re-sits and re-takes whilst others do not. However, if an apprentice fails an element of their apprenticeship the employer and training provider must work with the apprentice to produce a remedial action plan. This may be for a withdrawal from the end-point assessment to undertake more training, or it may be a re-take, with for example a 2 week break for further revision.
Depending on the end-point assessment activity and the standard, there may be a cost for re-sits and re-takes.
It is important to note that all apprenticeships have a set period allowed for end-point assessment so if an apprentice fails an element they will need to re-sit or re-take it within the time frame stated within the assessment plan. If they fail to do this, they will need to re-take all end-point assessment activities.
In principle, certificates can be issued to apprentices who have completed an approved English apprenticeship Standard who live and work outside England, in the devolved administrations. The SFA would need to know the individual circumstances for these apprenticeships to ensure they have met all other conditions of an English apprenticeship.
The official certificates are produced by the Institute for Apprenticeships via the Education and Skills Funding Agency. These certificates state the apprenticeship title and specialism (pathway), achievement date and grade.