The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has published its consultation outcomes which confirmed the plans to simplify the External Quality Assurance (EQA) of apprenticeship End Point Assessments.
The new arrangements will see EQA delivered by Ofqual, except for degree apprenticeships which will be delivered by the Office for Students.
The new system will be overseen by the IfATE, with EQA continuing to be delivered within the institute’s framework and will continue to have the responsibility to evaluate the quality of end-point assessments.
Forming part of plans, the institute will set up a new directory of professional and employer led organisations for Ofqual and OfS to draw on industry expertise. This aims to strengthen the employer’s voice and keep them at the heart of protecting apprenticeship quality. Employers who have a deep knowledge of their occupation will work together with Ofqual and OfS to share intelligence and quality assure apprenticeships. This hopes to give assurance to employers that their apprentices finish their course with the right skills for the occupation.
The consultation highlighted that flexibilities are needed during the transition period, especially while organisations are responding to the effects of COVID-19. The transition period will be over two years, where Ofqual and OfS will communicate closely with EPAO’s to ensure that apprenticeship delivery is uninterrupted. The current EQA providers will also work alongside Ofqual to ensure a well-managed transitionary period.
Jennifer Coupland, Chief Executive at the Institute said:
“We believe that the new system will be stronger and much simpler for end-point assessment organisations. Most importantly it will ensure quality for apprentices.
“I’d like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our consultation and we now look forward to taking the next steps.”
Sally Collier, Chief Regulator of Ofqual, said:
“We welcome this decision, which we hope will increase confidence in the apprenticeship system and provide clarity and consistency for employers and end point assessment organisations (EPAOs). Taking on board the insights from respondents, we will proactively engage with EPAOs making clear our requirements and how we will work with them. The opportunities these simplified arrangements bring to work with professional bodies and employers, drawing on their perspective and occupational expertise as we do in our regulation of many other qualifications, is something we particularly welcome”
SEPA (Smart End Point Assessment) is an end-point assessment management platform from Smart Apprentices. SEPA provides EPAO’s with a robust process for end-point assessing and also enables remote assessment, through features such as integrated web conference rooms, conflict of interest management, standardisation, and scheduling.
SEPA not only safeguards your reputation as an EPAO, but it will also reduce administration costs & travel time while also ensuring you are audit compliant.