Our Covid-19 Update

OAL continue to follow the guidance implemented by the UK Government and review our approach to delivering EPA on a daily basis.

Currently we are treating all EPA bookings as Remote, using the Covid-19 Adaptations as appropriate for each assessment plan. If you would like a Face-to-Face assessment please contact the Customer Service team, customerservice@oawards.co.uk in advance of submitting gateway and before booking your EPA.

The OAL Policy for Face-to-Face EPA during the current Pandemic can be found here. 

We will continue to review the on-going situation regularly following the latest guidance as well as the wishes of our customers to ensure everyone is kept safe.

To date we have had no incidents of infection, within the OAL Team or the wider assessment team. All of our Independent Assessors adhere to the Social Distancing and PPE guidelines and due to our background in the food and drink sector, hygiene and cross contamination is always at the forefront of our minds.

What does this mean for you?

Our approach to Face-to-Face visits is client led and following the relevant risk assessments being completed we will accommodate these where they are requested. We will continue to monitor this going forward and should guidance change we will let you know.

We continue to accept Gateways and EPA Bookings, as we have done throughout the pandemic, but recommend you read the OAL Covid-19 Assessment Guide and share this with your customers prior to booking. Information on Zoom, the Assessment Platform we currently use can be found here.

We are treating all bookings as Remote Assessments unless a Face-to-Face assessment is requested and agreed with the Customer Service Team in advance of booking. We require a Covid-19 Risk Assessment Completing for all Face-to-Face Assessments and the OAL Independent Assessor will complete a Risk Assessment on themselves prior to any EPA going ahead. The Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Employers/Providers can be found here.

The Remote Assessment options vary between standard so please ensure that you are fully aware of the requirements of EPA, under the various Covid-19 relaxations before booking. If you are unsure please contact the Customer Service Team who will advise you and provide you with any additional Standard Specific Covid-19 guides.

Covid-19 update for qualifications 2021

Virtually all of our qualifications are being delivered as close to normal as possible in the light of the ongoing pandemic restrictions. 

Where an individual centre is struggling to complete observations on site because of the restrictions in accessing employer premises in the light of the pandemic then they can apply to OAL to adapt assessment methods to try and ensure vocational competence can be demonstrated in other ways.  We have an application process for this – please email quality@oawards.co.uk if you wish to discuss a potential adaptation, or need some advice on how to meet the requirements of the qualification.

If circumstances at the time of completing a qualification impact on that completion, the individual can apply to their centre for special consideration arrangements to be applied retrospectively to cover that situation.  The centre can then discuss with OAL whether the special consideration arrangements will apply.

If as an individual you have received your results and are not happy with the outcome, you can appeal to your Centre in the first instance.  Following that appeals process, if you remain unhappy you can appeal directly to OAL by emailing us at quality@oawards.co.uk.  A copy of our Appeals Policy and Complaints Policy can be found under OAL Policies and Procedures.

We will continue to provide updates as the situation develops.

In the meantime if you have any queries do not hesitate to contact us.