Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award for End-Point Assessment
All you need to know about End Point Assessor Course
The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award for End-point Assessor (EPA) is suitable for candidates who set sight on Assessing Apprenticeships in various sectors as an End-point Assessor. This qualification teaches candidates to comprehend the End Point Assessment processes, develop suitable skills in EPA and get a nationally acknowledged Level 3 NVQ.
If you do not currently work as an EPA and do not have access to apprentices whom you can assess, then you should aim for the L3 Award in Understanding EPA which consists of the theory unit only with no practical evidence. At least this way you will get the knowledge required and half the qualification which should help you get a job as an EPA. For more advice and guidance on your options within the End Point Assessment sector visit our help and advice page.
An End-point Assessor is then employed by an independent organisation and will assess learners from their specialist vocational area based on their knowledge, skills and competence in their specialist area. Each learner is assessed uniquely.
The EPA assessment system is known as the Gateway. It is a process for the employer and training organisation to approve the apprentice when they consider them to have reached the knowledge and practical criteria as set out in the relevant apprenticeship standard. Generally, at this stage all aspects of the apprenticeship must be completed. These include:
- Any on-programme qualifications including Functional Skills
- Any finalised projects such as portfolios or projects
- Any other requirements outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard
The role of an independent End-point Assessor is to assess the apprentices and conduct an independent assessment (written test, professional discussion and work observation etc) at the end of their training period. If apprentices clear the assessment, it signifies that they have reached professional competence as per the apprenticeship standards. This role is suitable for candidates who plan to assess apprentices in their specialist areas, such as Beauty, Construction, Dental technician, Clinical, Business Administration etc. The guidelines for assessment criteria for each vocational sector are unique. Each End-point assessor assesses vocations of their specialist area. For instance, if you are a Beauty specialist, you will get to assess apprentices from the Beauty industry.
The purpose of an end-point assessment is to test whether the apprentice is fully capable of doing their job before receiving their apprenticeship certificate. It is also useful to demonstrate what an apprentice has learned and can be applied in the real world.
Each apprenticeship involves an end-point assessment plan that describes how the apprentice should be tested against appropriate criteria. Your apprentice may need to complete:
- A practical assessment
- An interview
- A project
- Written answers and multiple-choice tests
- A presentation
End-point assessment requires the EPA Assessor to prepare valid assessment tools to assess learners from different vocational backgrounds. The assessment method completely depends on the occupational profile, apprentice’s duties and skills. This is set according to the subject area.
For example, in the beauty industry, the end-point assessment stage consists of a knowledge test and practical observation that can take place at a salon, spa or clinic. Assessment areas include professionalism, values, core behaviours and working practice like hand and nail treatments, facial treatments, basic make-up application, massage treatments, etc.
Hence, it is a good idea for apprentices to build a portfolio of before and after photographs to be used as evidence and shown to independent assessors during the EPA.
To become an end-point assessor, you must pass the two units for knowledge and practical skills. To pass the knowledge/ theory-based unit, you must complete theoretical assignments based on the learning outcomes and assessment criteria laid by the Awarding Body. On the other hand, for skills units, you must present evidence of assessing two apprentices.
The format of knowledge and skills-based assessments may vary. You can provide two or more pieces of evidence per learner. The evidence may include documents such as observation records, reflective accounts, witness testimony and products of learner work.
Becoming an EPA will allow you to get jobs in Public and Private companies as there is a high demand for people with the right skills. End-point assessors are paid well and there is a good chance of career growth in the sector. While the demand for end-point assessors is already high, the area is only expected to grow as the government continues to fund apprenticeships across all sectors in the UK. This means that the industry needs an influx of new end-point assessors to cope with all these apprentices.
Apprenticeship frameworks are standards that are designed by employers rather than awarding bodies. This encourages continuous growth of apprenticeships and more relevant competence and will further lead to successful alternative routes of getting professional qualifications. Moreover, there are great job opportunities for end-point assessors in the UK as more and more sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, social care, customer service, sports and other sectors continue to advertise jobs for EPAs every day!