EPA is the name given to a series of tests that an apprentice must complete at the end of their Apprenticeship in order to receive their certificate. The EPA confirms apprentices are capable of undertaking the job that they have been training to do. These tests are undertaken with an external organisation (known as an end point assessment organisation) to remove any bias from the examination process. The employer will choose the end point assessment organisation and PMA will support them to obtain information pertinent to this if needed.
When apprentices enrol on to an apprenticeship, they study various units covering a wide range of relevant topics for their job enhancing their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This is often referred to as being ‘on programme’ and apprentices must complete all of the mandatory components of this including Functional Skills where appropriate.
Once this is completed, it is at this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and PMA, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment.
The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job. This testing will examine that the apprentice is capable of doing their job. After the EPA, the apprentice is graded by pass, merit or distinction. Clear grading descriptors set out the requirements for each grade.