New EQA arrangements and the impact on customers
Earlier this year the IfATE confirmed that Ofqual will be taking over the external quality assurance of end-point assessment organisations for all apprenticeship standards except for degree apprenticeships. Ofqual is prioritising those standards where the nominated EQA body is Open Awards acting on behalf of IfATE. This covers most of the standards that the EUIAS operate, and we are already engaged in the process of becoming recognised by Ofqual as an end-point assessment organisation. At the heart of Ofqual regulation are the General Conditions of Recognition and the EPA Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements. These conditions are effectively a blueprint for the development and delivery of valid and reliable assessments, and they are ‘rules’ against which our performance as an awarding organisation are monitored.
One section in particular, condition C2, applies to employers and training providers, known as ‘centres’. This condition requires a ‘written and enforceable agreement’ between EUIAS and the centre, including the requirements for centres to assist the EUIAS and Ofqual in any investigations, to retain a workforce and resources of sufficient capacity and competence to undertake the delivery of the end-point assessment and to operate a complaints procedure or appeals process for the benefit of apprentices. You can read all the details here.
The written agreement that we use with our customers is the Service Level Agreement, and most of the Ofqual requirements are already covered there. However, some amendments are needed, so over the next few months, all customers will be asked to complete and return the updated Service Level Agreement. We will contact you about this in due course, but in the meantime, if you have any questions please contact our Service Delivery team via firstname.lastname@example.org.