May Newsletter

Hello and Welcome, 

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

  • General Update
  • New Additions to the OAL Family
  • OAL Portal Development
  • Qualification of the Month
  • EPA Update
  • On-line FREE Webinar training events in May & June 2021
  • Functional Skills Flexibilities for EPA

General Update

2021 marches on and we are into May already! As the various constraints of lockdown continue to ease we are able to offer more face to face EPA, on request, but in the interests of public safety are still advising remote EPA where possible. If you would like face-to-face EPA please request this through prior to booking. The team at OAL are working hard to ensure every apprentice is assessed in the most appropriate way for their individual circumstances and as ever we keep the apprentice at the heart of everything we do.

In this month’s newsletter we will look at the latest Awarding Centres to join OAL, the continuing development of the OAL Portal, shine a light on not just one but two OAL qualifications, provide a general EPA update and look at the range of webinars and training events that we will host throughout May and June that are exclusive and free to all OAL customers.

New Additions to the OAL Family

OAL welcomes four new training providers to our ever increasing family of Awarding Centres. Guardian AngelsSR ApprenticeshipsComplete Lean Solutions and Skills Office Network have all joined OAL as Approved Centres, having successfully applied for Centre Approval. Guardian Angels will be delivering the OAL L5 Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and more excitingly have been instrumental in the development of a new qualification the OAL Level 3 Award in Epilepsy and Administration of Buccal Midazolam. SR Apprenticeships will be delivering the OAL Level 3 Diploma in Supply Chain Practice  as well as working with us for EPA on the Supply Chain Warehouse Operative  and Supply Chain Practitioner Apprenticeship Standards. Complete Lean Solutions will be delivering the OAL L2 Diploma in Manufacturing (see more about this qualification later on in the newsletter) as well as working with us for EPA across our range of Lean and Continuous Improvement standards, including Lean Manufacturing Operative. And last but not least Skills Office Network will also be working with us on the OAL L2 Diploma in Manufacturing, the OAL L2 Award in Health & Safety in the Food Supply Chain Business  and also partnering with OAL for EPA. We are pleased to welcome them to OAL and look forward to working with them in the future. 
OAL Portal Development

You may have noticed you now have new options and forms to complete through the online portal, covering both qualifications and End Point Assessment.  A further release in May will add to the forms as we work towards having the majority of our standard communications and applications submitted through the portal.  This month, you will be able to report any instances of Malpractice or Maladministration; together with the release for Complaints, Appeals and Enquiries.  The Enquiry form needs to be used for Reasonable Adjustments/Special Consideration applications, as well as any requests to remark a Knowledge Test as part of End Point Assessment.
Full training is available for the use of these new forms and on the updates to EPA forms on the OAL Portal. Please see the events calendar on the OAL Website and also at the end of this newsletter.
Qualification of the Month

Each month this section of the OAL Newsletter we will focus on a specific OAL Qualification. To get us started with a bang, this month only, we are going to focus on two OAL qualifications.

OAL L3 Diploma in Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance (FDEM)

We have a fantastic and long-standing reputation for our End Point Assessment Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer package and the service that we offer our provider and employer partners for this End Point Assessment but did you know that we also offer the FDEM qualification? This Level 3 Diploma is a mandated qualification required to achieve Gateway for the Food & Drink Maintenance Engineer Apprenticeship Standard. The OAL L3 Diploma is the only qualification that is fully mapped to cover the entirety of the standard and unlike any other qualification on the market, not only covers the engineering elements of the standard but also:
  • Food Processing (Including Food Manufacturing/Processing Product Knowledge)
  • Quality (Including Quality Management Systems)
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Compliance (including VACCP & TACCP)

If you want reassurance that your delivery is meeting all of this complex and challenging standard, the OAL L3 Diploma is the only qualification you need. For more information and to download the full qualification specification visit the OAL website

OAL L2 Diploma in Manufacturing

The Lean Manufacturing Operative standard requires the completion of the level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing (Knowledge and Skills). OAL are delighted to have this qualification approved and listed as a required qualification for the standard. This Level 2 Diploma is a mandated qualification required to achieve Gateway for the Lean Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship Standard (LMO). This qualification covers the Knowledge & Skills requirements for the LMO Standard. Although this qualification has been specifically designed to be embedded with the delivery of the LMO standard, it can be delivered as a standalone qualification for individuals looking to advance their careers within the manufacturing sector.
For more information and to download a copy of the qualification specification for the OAL L2 Diploma in Manufacturing visit the OAL website.
End Point Assessment Update

The EPA resources for Maintenance Operations Engineering Technician more commonly referred to as MOET are currently being reviewed and revised. Some development and updating work is going on behind the scenes with our resources for MOET and brand new handbooks and guidance will be coming your way this month. All updated resources will be available through the Product Library on the OAL Portal and an email will be sent to all MOET Providers to inform them when this is live. Don’t forget to book into our upcoming MOET Webinars, check the events calendar on our website as well as at the end of this Newsletter for dates and times.
OAL have recently added Retail Manager to our growing portfolio of retail, trade and warehousing standards. This means OAL can now offer the complete package of Retail EPA, from Level 2 Retailer, through Level 3 Retail Team Leader to the Level 4 Retail Manager as well as Trade Supplier and the retail pathways for BakerButcher and Fishmonger. You can register apprentices, download resources, submit Gateway and book EPA for all of these standards through the OAL Portal. To find out how to appoint OAL for these or any of the 30+ standards we are approved for contact

OAL Events Calendar Update May/June

Functional Skills Flexibilities for EPA

Please be aware that the flexibility for progressing through gateway without first achieving functional skills requirements ends on the 31st May.

Eligible apprentices can start EPA before they achieve their FSQs that are ordinarily mandated as a Gateway requirement, if they have been prevented from completing their FSQs due to Covid-19. This flexibility is only available to apprentices where all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment have been exhausted, and they have confirmed their intent to continue and complete their FSQ within three months of starting their EPA. Confirmation of this must also be evidenced in the learner file/evidence pack. Apprentices who are waiting to take their FSQ assessment now have the opportunity to pass through gateway and take their EPA without any further delay. Please refer to the guidance email sent out at the beginning of March and the Functional Skills Flexibilities application form available through the OAL Portal.”
– Extract from OAL April 2021 Newsletter.

If this flexibility is extended we will inform all of our EPA centres via email and in the next newsletter.

We will be sending out regular newsletter updates to all our customers this year to keep you all up to date and informed of our continued work.  In the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or one of our team if you have any feedback, queries or concerns.

Thank you for your continued custom.
Jan Richardson-Wilde
Chief Executive Officer