July Newsletter

Hello and Welcome, 

In this newsletter we will be updating you on the following:

  • General Update
  • EPA Emergency Framework
  • Case Studies
  • Annual Customer Feedback Survey
  • EPA & Qualifications Update
  • Qualification of the Month
  • OAL Online (EPA & Qualifications Portal) Update
  • Upcoming FREE Webinar training events this Summer

General Update

This month we will focus on the new EPA Emergency Framework, shine a light on some of the good news stories and case studies published on our website, invite you to contribute to our customer survey, ask you to review and update your records on OAL Online, see what the Product Development Team have been up to, have our regular look at the qualification of the month and look at the range of webinars and training events that we will host throughout July and August that are exclusive and free to OAL customers.

Emergency EPA Framework

OAL have been recognised as one of the leading EPAOs in the country achieving one of the highest possible positions on the EPA Emergency Framework.

We have been selected, by the ESFA, as a high quality EPAO who can step in at short notice to provide EPA for standards where there may not be an EPAO in place. This will enable apprentices, who were at risk of being unable to complete their end point assessment, due to a lack of an EPAO, to be able to complete their apprenticeship.

A select few EPAOs were successful in making it through various rounds of bidding to be placed on this list and OAL were amongst the highest ranking outperforming practically every other EPAO. OAL are extremely proud to be successful in being awarded a place on the Emergency Framework and delighted that our ethos of putting the apprentice at the heart of everything we do has been recognised.  We will now be able to help those “at risk” apprentices to complete their journey.

Case Studies

For those of you who are regular visitors to the OAL website you may have noticed the increasing number of case studies and good news stories appearing both in our News & Events section and also on our LinkedIn page. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to look, links to a few of our recent case studies can be found below. We are always looking for more case studies and good news stories so if you would like to work with OAL on creating a case study to sing the praises of your apprentices/students and your apprenticeship/study programmes then please contact z.wilde@oawards.co.uk

EPA Project creates return on investment and helps secure promotion

OAL & Why??Change celebrate 2-year partnership

Annual Customer Feedback Survey

As an EPAO that prides ourselves on our customer service and responsiveness, we would like to get your feedback on what you think about OAL. The survey asks for your opinion on the range of products and services we offer as well as the level of customer service and support you feel you receive.

The survey only comprises of 10 questions so should only take a few minutes to complete and is your opportunity to give us your views on OAL. The information you provide will help us to continually develop our service and product offering and help us to improve what we can do to support you either as an Awarding Organisation, an End Point Assessment Organisation or both.

We had an excellent response to our annual survey last year and we’re really looking forward to seeing what progress we have made in what has been an extremely unusual and challenging year.

You can find the link to the survey here:https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VS5J2VV

Please complete before the end of July 2021, your support with this is appreciated, as always.

EPA and Qualifications Update

The product team have been working hard on the development of our EPA products and are delighted to be introducing Rehabilitation Worker to OAL’s End Point Assessment portfolio. In addition, Business Administrator has had a facelift following changes to the Assessment Plan from AP02 to AP03 and new resources are now available to use to prepare your apprentices for end point assessment. 

A new version of the Baker standard and assessment plan has recently been introduced and this will be live on our systems for employers and trainers by the end of July.


We are continuing to grow our portfolio of qualifications. We are working closely with Tameside College to build a level 2 Diploma in Design, Manufacture and Installation of Fitted Furniture- specifically designed for centre delivery and assessment.  
In addition, we are extending our furniture offer with a specialist qualification in stone surface manufacturing and instillation.

Widening the scope beyond furniture qualifications, the team is also working on a Train the Trainer RQF for LGV driver training and assessing.

Qualification of the Month

Last month we focussed on our qualifications that related to retail and could be used to support retail apprenticeships at levels 2, 3 & 4. These are OAL L2 Diploma in Retail Operations, OAL L2 Diploma in Visual Merchandising and Retail Operations, OAL L3 Diploma in Retail Team Leading and OAL L4 Diploma in Retail Management.

This month we will be looking at the OAL Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Practice. The Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) for Graduate Member (Grad IOSH). This qualification can be offered as a stand-alone qualification and is the first in our current series not to be linked to an apprenticeship.

The OAL Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Practice is listed on LARS (reference: 60312762) and is eligible for ESFA funding. Learners must complete all the mandatory units and one optional unit, achieving a minimum of 38 credits. The total qualification time is 401 hours with 126 Guided Learning Hours.

For more information on this qualification click on the links above or apply for qualification approval through OAL Online.

OAL Online Update

USER Contact Details
Due to an increasing incidence of user contact details being incorrect on OAL Online (the OAL Portal) can we ask you to designate a member of staff in your organisation who can check that all OAL Online Users have the correct contact details please? 

Any members of staff who are registered as Users, but are no longer in a role which requires this, or have left your organisation should be deleted.  This can be done through OAL Online. First, access your list of users found in the USER tab, located in the top menu bar, then amend or delete user details as appropriate ensuring that email addresses particularly are correct.

EPA Emergency Contacts

It is very important that the OAL EPA Team are able to contact a designated member of your staff, should the need arise, on the day of an apprentice’s EPA. If there is an issue with EPA, such as, Assessor illness or more commonly, the assessor is unable to contact the apprentice or their employer, it is imperative that we can make contact with you quickly; this is often first thing in the morning. 

In this regard we request that you designate two members of staff, who can be available in emergency situations and send their name, email address and mobile number to  customerservice@oawards.co.uk for this purpose.
We would like to re-iterate the importance of keeping Start Dates and End Dates as accurate as possible on the booking forms. OAL use this information for capacity planning and to anticipate assessment peaks for specific standards which enables us to give you the quick turnaround you want from Gateway Submission to EPA Booking. We wouldn’t want to offer you the service levels of some EPAOs where you need to book two to three months in advance! You can change the expected end date as often as you like on the form and it is easy and simple to do – Please referrer to guidance and videos if you are unsure of how to do this
Support Videos
We now have a number of short support videos to help you with a range of tasks and functions on the Portal, this includes, setting up new users, Gateways submissions, EPA bookings and requesting Reasonable Adjustments through the OAL Portal.
We also have an Apprentice Welcome video that contains EPA guidance for your Apprentice.

To access any of these videos please contact customerservice@oawards.co.uk.
Covid-19 Adaptations
All Covid-19 adaptation for EPA continue to be available and IfATE and the ESFA will give a minimum of 12 weeks notice before removing the adaptations and this will be on a standard by standard basis and not a wholesale approach to all standards. IfATE have recognised that various standards and sectors will be impacted in different ways by Covid-19 and the timescale for removing adaptations should reflect this. 


July 14th, 10-11am and 2.30-3.30pm: We are hosting a webinar for the NEW Level 4 Hygiene Specialist, whether you already deliver this or intending to you need to attend this session!
July 21st, 10-11am and 2.30-3.30pm:  Webinar on the new version of the Level 2 Baker – this is a revised standard and Assessment Plan so anyone working with or intending to work with OAL on the Baker Standard should attend.
August 3rd, 100-11:30am and 3pm-4:30pm: Webinar covering the full retail suite; Retailer, Retail Team Leader and Retail Manager. This will focus on the best approach to EPA preparation for all three standards.

August 5th, 10-11am and 2.30-3.30pm: Portfolio and Logbooks for the Improvement standards, this webinar will focus on the volume and types of evidence required for the portfolio and logbooks of Improvement Technician L3 and Improvement Practitioner L4

To book on to one of the webinars listed above, contact customerservice@oawards.co.uk
Thank you for your continued custom.
Jan Richardson-Wilde
Chief Executive Officer