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End Point Assessment update

Key EPA information

COVID-19 Updates

IMI have a dedicated support hub which includes how IMI are approaching EPA during the pandemic. Please visit https://www.theimi.org.uk/landing/covid-19/

EPA Flexibilities update 

The Institute of Apprenticeships & Technical Educations have shared the following press release in relation to the current COVID flexibilities and discretions. This press release details what flexibilities will remain, which will revert back and how the current discretions will be removed  

 See the latest article here

Retailer ST0327 – Readiness meeting clarification & release of provisional results 

Readiness Meeting Clarification: 

Following recent communication with EQAP for the Retailer apprenticeship standard, we have had clarification that the readiness meeting can be conducted remotely and via email communication (where practical to do so) to confirm the plan of forthcoming EPA activities.  

The confirmation of activities via remote email communication will consist of IMI scheduling in the requested EPA dates submitted by the training provider and the assessor accepting them within SEPA. The email notifications received for these assessments from SEPA is the remote email communication confirming the dates. 

Release of Provisional results – Professional Discussion: 

IMI have had confirmation from EQAP to release results for professional discussion post IMI’s moderation process which can take up to 21days. The apprentice will receive professional discussion results alongside overall grade for EPA if the assessment is the last assessment taken. 

If you have any queries relating to this process, please do contact the EPA team, epa@theimi.org.uk  

Clarification on resit/retake limit within Heavy Vehicle ST0068 assessment plan

Page 6 of the assessment plan states that that: “Retakes can only result in a pass / fail result, a maximum of three retakes on each assessment activity is permitted”. During a meeting held with representatives of EPAO's, employer groups/trailblazer leads, OFQUAL and IfATE on the 7th June 2021, discussions were held around the limited options for apprentices that had exhausted their three attempts on one or more assessment activities. The conclusion and agreement from the meeting resulted in clarification of how this wording must be interpreted by all EPAOs and providers - 'where an apprentice exhausts their resits/retakes for one or more assessment method, they would have to go back to gateway and resit/take all assessments in the EPA'.

If  you have any questions or require further information, please contact the EPA team epa@theimi.org.uk

Update for IMI Centres engaged on Light Vehicle EPA (AP03 only).

As part of our continuous improvement activities, we have been working closely with our centres and a number of stakeholders in the sector, regarding Light Vehicle Apprentices undertaking AP03 assessments.

This has included a lot of communication with the chair of the employer group and the external quality assurer (EQAP) for this standard, we want to ensure Apprentices have the best possible chance for success and know we can have a positive impact by making an adjustment to the skills assessment approach.

This update is straightforward to implement and we have notified the employer group and EQAP that it will come into effect on EPA’s conducted from June 1st, 2021. The criteria this update relates to within the skills task is B6.  

Please note, IMI centres, Apprentices and their employers do not need to do anything differently, everything is accommodated by the IMI Assessor, during the skills assessment. If you have any questions, please contact the EPA Team at epa@theimi.org.uk 

IMI continues EPA services inline with Government Guidance

Inline with the Government guidance, IMI will be continuing to provide EPA services for apprenticeship standards. 

Flexibilities for apprenticeship standards will be in place to at least 31st August 2021, as confirmed by IfATE.

If you should need to cancel or rearrange any scheduled EPAs due to closures of centres or change in circumstances related to COVID-19, please contact epa@theimi.org.uk with as much notice as possible. 
Cancellation fees will not apply for special circumstances, as per End-Point Assessment Cancellation Policy.

Please visit  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response 

Apprenticeship Service Support – Videos

Users can find videos on how to use different functions of the apprenticeship service in the “Using the apprenticeship service” playlist available on the ESFAGOVUK YouTube Channel.

ESFA have recently made improvements to the following support videos:
•    reserving apprenticeship funds
•    adding an apprentice to an account

There is also a new video demonstrating how to apply for an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice.

Alongside these ESFA have recordings from their webinars available on the “Apprenticeship service – webinar recordings” playlist and any future recordings will continue to be uploaded here.

Videos created to support the delivery of apprenticeships are available on the “Apprenticeship Support Videos” playlist.

You can also search for help in the apprenticeship service.

ENGLISH & MATHS ACCEPTABLE QUALIFICATIONS UPDATED

ESFA have updated the list of acceptable qualifications for English and Maths for apprenticeship standards at level 2 or above. Please click here for the latest list.

EPA bookings for FACE TO FACE ASSESSMENTS COVID-19

As many businesses start to reopen, we are seeing a positive increase in EPA assessments at providers facilities and at workplaces. IMI are fully supporting and conducting face to face EPA assessments for apprentices. 

With government guidance we must ensure all persons involved in EPA assessments are staying safe and protected at all times. To book in your EPA face to face assessment, we do ask for a Risk Assessment to be provided upon booking. We will preliminary accept all booking dates and only confirm once we have recieved, reviewed and approved a risk assessment of the premises in which the EPA will be taking place. 

For more information on risk assessments, please click here.

EPA assessment and Cancellations

We would like to provide guidance and clarity on our EPA Cancellation Policy in relation to current and recent circumstances. 

IMI have continued to conduct and support EPA assessment delivery during COVID19. Unfortunately, in early stages of lockdown, face to face EPA assessments were cancelled due to government restrictions across the country. These cancellations were made under special circumstances therefore no cancellation fee applied. 

With new IfATE confirmation of flexibilities applied to EPA assessment delivery, up to at least January 2021, and the latest government guidance for businesses to reopen, all cancellations will be treated in line with our EPA Cancellation Policy. If cancellations are requested under special circumstances, IMI will review on case by case basis as stated in the policy.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact epa@theimi.org.uk

Task set-up instructions ST0033/AP03 - flexibility applied

The External Quality Assurance Proivder, RMISC, for ST0033/AP03 apprenticeship standard has confirmed EPAOs can released task set-up instructions for EPA skills test 21 days prior to assessment date, instead of 14 days, as stated in the assessment plan.

This will allow more time for training providers to prepare for the assessment day, especially under current working circumstances.

Update to EPA Contracts - Subcontractor Providers Only

If you are a subcontractor provider you will need to request a new EPA contract from the IMI which has been updated to now include main provider details you are contracted with for the specific apprenticeship standard/s. You can request a new a contract via the EPA Contract Request Form. Full details will be included in the form.

eLogbook redeem codes

If you are an IMI approved centre delivering apprenticeship standards through the IMI and are using eLogbook for on-programme learning, you will now receive redeem codes once registrations are made.
The volume of redeem codes issued will be based on 1 per apprentice, 1 per mentor, 1 per centre co-ordinator and 1 per trainer/assessor.
We will be working with centres during the implementation of this new process of issuing codes.

Where centres have high volumes of unredeemed codes, we will work with you to manage and remove those not required.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at epa@theimi.org.uk

ESFA ‘APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE’ WEBINAR SERIES

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is running a series of free apprenticeship service webinars for employers and training providers.  These webinars are hosted by subject matter experts, who can help understand the service and any new developments.

For more information, please see the ESFA webinar registration page, click here.

View previous webinar and information videos on the ESFA YouTube channel

For the latest apprenticeship service developments from ESFA, follow them on Twitter @ESFAdigital  and subscribe to the ESFA Digital blog

off-the-job training - best practice examples

The have DfE published off-the-job training gudinance explaining to employers and training providers how to meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices.

Incuded in the guidance are simplified fact sheets explaining the true interpretation of what off-the-job training actually is.

Click on links under 'See Also' for more information.

claiming Gateway Certificates and EPA ‘Record of Achievements’ for apprentices

You can now claim certificates for your apprentices upon completion of each gateway during on-programme learning on an apprenticeship standard with the IMI. Records of achievement for EPA are also available to claim for successful apprentices completing their end point assessment with the IMI. 

Certificates for gateways may be used as evidence to demonstrate progression and development of an apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours during the course of an apprenticeship standard.

Gateway delivery is highly recommended within most apprenticeship standards and mandatory within others. By certificating at gateways, it can help verify the apprentice’s readiness to undertake EPA to an employer/provider.

Where gateways are mandatory within apprenticeship standards, you must ensure the gateways are certificated prior to requesting an EPA.

IMI offer ‘record of achievement’s’ for EPA only. This is to validate the apprentice has undertaken an EPA with the IMI and successful gained a pass or above in all elements of the end point assessment. The IMI do not issue the official apprenticeship standard certificate, however we do submit the claim on behalf of the apprentice under their consent.

To claim a ‘record of achievement’ for EPA, you must have received an official Overall Grade and Results from IMI of a ‘Pass’ or above at EPA.

For claiming gateway certificates and records of achievements for EPA, please follow Section 6.1 of the operating manual.

booking an EPA

To book an EPA with the IMI you must be an IMI approved centre with approval to offer apprenticeship standards. For more information on how to apply to offer apprenticeship standards through the IMI please visit HERE.

We would like to remind you that if you have an apprentice(s) on programme, coming up for readiness to take their end point assessment, you are required to book a minimum of 35 days in advance of the first EPA date.

If you would like to book an EPA for apprentices, please contact epa@theimi.org.uk.

EPA ACCREDITED ASSESSOR WORKSHOP

Be one step ahead in preparation for End Point Assessments and get your staff fully trained and certificated as EPA Accredited Assessors.

Specific apprenticeship standards have clear guidelines regarding EPA Assessment staff, subject to meeting the requirements as set out in the assessment plan and meeting IMI EPAO criteria. IMI approved centres and Apprentice employers, can use trained and certificated staff as part of the EPA process, along with IMI Appointed Independent Assessors.

Included within the IMI EPAO criteria, all EPA staff will be required to complete a conflicts of interest statement, per EPA event to ensure total independence of assessment.

IMI are offering EPA Accredited Assessor workshops across all approrpiate apprenticeship standard routes. Refer to Section 9 of the Operating manual to confirm if your required apprenticeship standard allows centre staff to be involved in EPA assessments.

For more information and details on getting your staff fully certified to support IMI EPA events, please contact epa@theimi.org.uk. Fees and charges can be found on the right hand side panel.

Invigilation for EPA online knowledge tests

Just a little reminder that you can use your own approved centre personnel to invigilate EPA online knowledge tests.

However, it is important to ensure that any invigilator has;

  • no involvement with the apprentice(s) on programme learning
  • a declaration of no conflicts of interest between themselves and the apprentice(s)
  • is non-technical
  • an IMI PIN with invigilation rights and is attached to the apprenticeship standard

For more information on invigilation and online assessment requirements please refer to section 5.0 of the IMI Operating Manual (links on the right hand side panel).

Any other queries please see Centres Hub or contact your EQA for advice.