Gone are the days where an apprentice would study a qualification and their assessor would tick off which units they had completed before signing off their apprenticeship with a pass or fail.

Apprenticeship standards have changed the way apprenticeships are delivered, now the focus has shifted to concentrate more on the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) an apprentice learns, before completing an end point assessment to judge how well the learner has applied these KSBs during their course.

How can you, the apprentice, demonstrate your knowledge during your EPA

Aim high

If you’re aiming for a distinction in your apprenticeship, try to include as much detail as possible, don’t just demonstrate what you did and why. Whilst this is what the end point assessor will ask you to do, those aiming high will provide reflection upon how this will affect future tasks and opportunities, making recommendations is a great way to add detail, or showcasing a lesson learned.

Complete mock assessments

Your assessor will probably have these planned into the apprenticeship programme, ready for you to practice along your learner journey. The idea of a mock EPA is to get you comfortable with the possible EPAs you may undertake, whether this be a mock panel discussion, interview, presentation or something else.

Taking part in mock assessments means you can identify any areas for further study, work on these with your assessor or through self-learning and improve upon for your next mock or the real thing.

The best way to prepare is to practice, practice, practice.

Speak up

As the apprentice, you should be doing the majority of the talking, especially if your EPA includes a professional discussion or interview. Aim to speak around 75-80% of the time, with the assessor accounting for the remaining time. The assessor will explain the process before you get into the actual EPA, making it clear what to expect and dispel any confusion.

Try and think how you can expand your answers to ensure maximise talking time, but make sure it’s relevant to what you’ve been asked – you don’t want to be talking for the sake of it. An example of this could be if the criteria mentions ‘can adapt to change and is able to solve problems’, rather than just relaying the problem, explain what happened, your reaction, why you chose that solution and what happened as a result. The more your knowledge and understanding is expressed, the better performing you will be during your end point assessment.

It’s all about you

Whilst you may have worked as part of a team during your apprenticeship, your end point assessment is there to assess you and you only. Ensure you write and speak in the first person, using ‘I’ instead of ‘we’, if you’re explaining a time when you worked in a team, share this but then further highlight your own role and your responsibilities’

“As a team, we worked on…. I volunteered to…. My role on the project was…”

Reflect the assessment plan

Your assessment plan may mention ‘demonstrate a time you…’, to mirror this your answer could start ‘a time I demonstrated this was…’, not only will this help you to formulate an answer clearly, it will ensure you meet the necessary criteria whilst drawing the assessors attention to how you did it.

You’re a stranger

Remember the assessor has to be an independent person, not someone you have worked with or knows your organisation. The only information the assessor has to go on during your end point assessment is what you tell them, which is why it’s essential to be clear in your responses and what you share. Don’t assume that something is obvious, the assessor cannot grade what you don’t tell them.

We hope you find these tips helpful if you’re in the process of preparing for your end point assessment. Remember to prepare and relax, it’s nothing to be scared or worried about – your assessor will only put you forward to complete your EPA once ready.

Good luck!

Note: Due to COVID-19, many standards have been approved for remote delivery of the end point assessment. You will need to confirm with your EPAO if this is possible for your standard. You can read more updates regarding end point assessment during COVID-19 here 

You can read the benefits of remote end point assessment delivery here