Frequently Asked Questions
Please be aware that the answers provided 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
Apprenticeship Standards and Funding
Yes, but the cost must be included on the overall price that is 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. The funding rules detail what action to take when there is prior learning, in particular paragraph 4, 110 and E57: https://www.gov.uk/government/EMPLOYER_RULES_Final_010217.pdf
To determine this you must read the SFA funding rules for apprenticeships as 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. You will also need to take account of prior learning/qualifications as 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.
As an end-point assessment organisation, we are unable to mandate the on-programme design and delivery as 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.
- The Education and Training Foundation is currently delivering training on curriculum development for apprenticeship standards, you can find out more via their website: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/events/curriculum-development-for-apprenticeship-standards/.
- For some energy and utility based apprenticeship standards, employers have worked together to design an on-programme journey that meets the needs of the standard. Click here to view.
None of the apprenticeships we deliver end-point assessment for, have mandated qualifications. They allow the employer to flexibly choose what is best for their workforce and reflects the eclectic nature of the apprenticeship, for example, those who can utilise Maintenance & Operations Engineering Technician. 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 mandate a qualification, so we do recommend reading the standard applicable to the apprenticeship you are interested in.
Only if they are stated as mandatory part within the published apprenticeship standard. The SFA Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for employers, version 1 May 2017 – March 2018 states the following will not be funded “Registration and examination, including certification costs, for non-mandatory qualifications (qualifications that are not specifically listed in the standard).”
You can find a list of approved end-point assessment organisations on the SFA register of apprentice assessment organisations: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/register-of-apprentice-assessment-organisations
The end-point assessment price will never be more than 20% of the funding band/cap value but will be subject to the specific requirements of the published assessment plan (i.e., knowledge tests, final decision panel), the likely volumes of apprentices, and the capacity and capability of the employer. As this is a new service prices will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that the prices reflect the cost of delivery.
Ideally, as close to the start of the apprenticeship as possible, so that an accurate price can be recorded. 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.”
We advise as soon as possible. This is because there are a range of pathways and activities that need to take place 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If the assessor is an employee of a training provider, no they cannot provide the assessors for end-point assessment. However, we would recommend contacting us to discuss in detail, as each assessment plan has a differing set of requirements.
Yes, 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, please do contact us to find out more via email@example.com, or by phone 0121 713 8251.
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, for example, 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 to them produce a preliminary grade recommendation.
There are no requirements to provide mock knowledge assessments in the apprenticeships we deliver end-point assessment for. All the knowledge question banks are being designed by employers to meet the needs of the standard.
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.