Gateway tips

The change from Apprenticeship Frameworks to the new standards – while rewarding for employers and apprentices – has brought planning challenges, writes Lee Reddington, OAL Head of Customer Support. Here are seven top tips to help avoid delays- make sure your provider is aware.

  • Engage early with your EPAO

    OAL can then advise and support you from the start about the detailed aspects of the EPA that might not be im-mediately obvious. Early registrations enable OAL to ensure you have the right Independent Assessors trained and available when and where you need them.

  • Check quality assurance planning with your provider

    Ensure your provider has considered the mandated or supporting qualifications built into the delivery model. Most of these qualifications are new and often therefore require external verification before results can be issued.

  • Clarify Gateway Requirements.

    Check that you, your apprentice and your training provider know what is required in order to progress to EPA The minimum requirement for all apprenticeships is a delivery period of over 12 months and a minimum Maths and English requirement that varies depending upon the level of the apprenticeship.

  • Build functional skills into the delivery model early

    If your apprentice already has previous qualifications, your provider can upload these with OAL at any time. If not, functional skills and assessments need to be built into the delivery model as soon as possible – don’t leave tests until the end.

  • Pick your 12-week period carefully

    Once you declare the apprentice ready for EPA and the Gateway evidence is approved, most apprentice-ships, will allow only 12 weeks to complete all assessments and any required re-sits. So, it might be worth avoiding peak timings like Christmas, or summer holidays.

  • Ensure sites are pre-approved by OAL

    Whether the EPA will be carried out on your site or the provider’s premises, ensure the locations are pre-approved by OAL. We have a duty of care both to our Independent Assessors and to apprentices to ensure certain requirements are met. Your provider has access to an EPA Site Recognition Form, which is specific to individual apprenticeship standards.

  • Ask your provider to book EPA slots well in advance

    Ensure you have the right assessors available at the right time by asking your provider to reserve EPA slots using the OAL EPA Reservation form. This way you can book the time and dates you need up six months in advance.

Download our top gateway tips

Top Ten Tips
for a Successful
Portfolio

  • Align to the standard

    Make sure the portfolio presented aligns to the standard statements that are being assessed.

  • Hitting the mark

    Only include what is necessary for the assessment method- remember they are timed so don’t give the IA unnecessary information and miss out key information to meet the assessment plan criteria.

  • Map it out

    Use the indexes supplied in Standard Handbook- they are there to help ensure you present information for each of the portfolio sections.

  • Labels

    Clearly label everything

  • Simply the Best

    Make it easy to find information

  • Volume control

    Select only the strongest pieces of work

  • Depth and breadth

    When selecting evidence, think ‘is there enough depth and breadth’ as that starts to take you into Merit or Distinction criteria

  • Own it

    Ensure the apprentice demonstrates where they have taken active responsibility and ownership

  • Understand the business

    Ensure the apprentice presents information that clearly demonstrates their enhanced understanding of the business

  • Include passwords etc.

    If submitting the portfolio using OneFile please make sure the account and password is accessible for the Independent Assessor on a Word Document on the Gateway Section of EPA Live

Preparing your apprentices for their End Point Assessments (EPAs) should be straight-forward and stress-free, writes Lee Reddington, OAL Head of Customer Support. All apprentices must now complete an EPA at the end of their training; instead of continual assessments throughout their programme.

Top Ten Tips
for a Stress-free EPA

Following our six top tips will ensure your apprentices truly shine in their assessments and reflect well on themselves, you their training provider and their employer.

  • Know your stuff

    Make sure you and the apprentice have read the assessment plan and the Standard Handbook provided by OAL and are fully prepared

  • Prepare your learner and employer

    Make sure everyone is aware of what is happening on the assessment date – employer, provider, apprentice, surrounding colleagues

  • Plan and prepare

    Complete and share with apprentice, employer and provider a clear schedule of activity so there are no surprises.

  • Use the tools provided

    Ensure you use the schedule tasks form for the observation requirements and upload to the Gateway section of EPA Live

  • Timings

    Double check assessment timings

  • Communicate with your apprentice

    Make sure that the apprentice understands exactly what will happen on the day with each activity

  • Practice, practice, practice

    There is a copy of all our assessment documents in your standard handbook please use them to prepare the apprentice for each assessment activity

  • Is your apprentice ready?

    Be 100% sure your apprentice is ready and comfortable with what is going to happen at End Point Assessment

  • Relax

    Let them know the Independent Assessors are nice people and that they are keen for the apprentice to showcase their abilities and do well – but they will not give them any feedback as they are not allowed to