Steps to success within Apprenticeship Standards

As a levy paying employer delivering apprenticeships and Pearson's experience of designing and delivering EPAs, we know that the key to success with Apprenticeship Standards is planning and preparation from the start. 

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To help you navigate the EPA process smoothly and to ensure that EPA planning is embedded at the start of your apprenticeships journey, we have designed a step-by-step guide, with sign-posts to our key supporting information, resources and services available at every stage of the process. Simply select a step within the apprenticeship journey and part of the EPA process below for more information.

This updated process will start on 1 October 2019.

Step 1: Getting Started

Employers, providers and apprentices should all have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities and processes within the on-programme learning stage, gateway and EPA of the apprenticeship.

In order to prepare apprentices effectively, employers and their training provider partners should:

  • Have a good understanding of the apprenticeship standard and the structure and format of the EPA. Our EPA specifications give detailed information on each EPA component and should be read in conjunction with our additional resources documents. Our specifications can be found on our website and the Additional Resources documents will be shared, once an EPA service agreement is in place.
  • Plan and implement a learning and development programme based on the Apprenticeship Standard associated with regular reviews of progress and end-point assessment readiness, to ensure apprentices develop the required knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • Use formative assessments and mock assessments to help prepare apprentices for their EPA.

See examples of some of our our EPA Specifications across different standards below.

Our EPAs are managed through ACE360 system which will enable you (the training provider) to:

  • Register your apprentices, upload evidence and view your results.
  • Training providers receive on boarding to ACE360, as well as ACE360 training guides and recorded webinars.
  • Support is on-hand, throughout the EPA journey, from Pearson.

Step 2: Meeting the standards and gathering evidence  

It is essential that apprentices understand how, and in what form, their knowledge, skills and behaviours will be assessed in their upcoming EPA.

  • Our additional resources documents detail the content that will be assessed within each EPA component.

  • Within our additional resources documents, you will find a break down of the evidence requirements/indicative evidence, associated with the apprenticeship standards/criteria. It is essential that the apprentices have an in-depth knowledge of these requirements, so they can prepare for their EPA.

  • Within those documents, we also provide guidance regarding the types of work-based evidence  expected, and when the apprentice should start collecting/submitting their evidence, via their training provider.

  • Sometimes work-based evidence should be submitted via ACE360 at the Gateway and in other cases, we expect the evidence to be submitted after the apprentice has done some further work, during the EPA period. The specific requirements can be found for each component within the EPA specification.

  • Apprentices and relevant staff within the Training Provider will sign a declaration form, found in the back of the EPA Specification, regarding the authenticity of their submitted evidence.

  • The step-by-step process for each EPA component can be found in the Delivery and Conduct sections of our EPA specifications.

  • Apprentices should become familiar with the process, in addition to the evidence requirements mentioned above.

Step 3: Getting ready for EPA

The employer and training provider must determine if the apprentice is ready for EPA before progressing to EPA.

  • It is essential that the training provider, employer and apprentice meet regularly to discuss and record progress, against the standard, and in preparation for EPA.
  • Roles and responsibilities during gateway and the EPA period/day(s) should also be agreed, in advance, to ensure the apprentice is supported throughout their apprenticeship journey.

  • Before progressing to the EPA, all apprentices must be signed off by their employer, through the ‘gateway’. This gateway sign-off confirms that apprentices have the level of occupational knowledge, skills and behaviours required to achieve the apprenticeship and that they are therefore ‘ready for EPA’.
  • The training provider may contribute to the gateway review process but the employer and apprentice will sign our gateway declaration form. The training provider will upload this form, as well as the relevant evidence, to ACE360. Our EPA Delivery Team will check and sign-off that evidence, before officially scheduling the EPA.
  • Each training provider / employer will be allocated an independent end-point assessor, who will be responsible for signing off the apprentices gateway evidence and scheduling the date of end-point assessment.

  • Within five working days of all gateway evidence being uploaded, your allocated independent end-point assessor will review and confirm that all is correct. Once this activity has been completed, the apprentices progress bar on ACE360 will be updated.

  • Following gateway evidence being signed off, the independent end-point assessor will have three working days to contact the key contact to schedule the assessment date. We anticipate assessment to occur within six to eight weeks of the gateway sign off.

  • Once the EPA has been booked, the apprentice’s employer will be contacted by the allocated independent end-point assessor (IEAs), who will run through the EPA day(s) in more detail and find out a bit more about the apprentice’s job role and context. This information will help to ensure the EPA is well planned and supported.

Step 4: The EPA

  • Following the gateway, the apprentice may need to collate or produce further evidence for submission by the training provider, before their EPA. In some cases, the evidence needs to be completed in a supervised environment. These details can be found in the EPA Specification.
  • The apprentice should also take the time to re-familiarise themselves with their work-based evidence, if they need to refer to it during particular EPA components e.g. professional discussion/interview.
  • Our IEAs will conduct the EPA and will access apprentice evidence via SEPA. 
  • The IEAs assessment records will not be available to view on ACE360. This is to maintain the security of assessment questions for future apprentices; however, the progress bar on ACE 360 will advance to show movement through this stage.

  • All assessments will be subject to internal quality assurance, before the apprentices overall grade will be available to view on ACE360.

Step 5: Results and certification

  • We provide the overall EPA results, within 5 working days of the EPA.
  • The Notification of Results (NOR) details the achievements, providing rich feedback.
  • On successful completion of the EPA, the training provider uses the date of the NOR to close the apprentice’s ILR.
  • Within the the back of the specification, we provide a declaration form which should be signed by the apprentice to confirm they are happy for us to claim for their certificate.
  • Pearson claims apprenticeship certificates, from the ESFA, who then send the certificates straight to the apprentice’s employer.

Step 6: Post Results

  • The enquiries and appeals process is a two-step process.
  • Visit our complaints and feedback page for information on how to make a complaint
  • For on-going support, contact our support team.