Operating end-point assessments during the current restrictions

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During these unprecedented times, there are many challenges and barriers to running apprenticeship programmes and undertaking end-point assessments.

We recently hosted a live webinar to provide an overview of the apprenticeship landscape, linking to the process of end-point assessment with the current lockdown restrictions. We shared how we have been using alternative approaches to assess the Level 3 Retail Team Leader standard. We explained the options that are available for employers and training providers whose learners are ready to go through gateway.

For anyone who was unable to attend, you can watch the full recording of the webinar below. You can also access the presentation slides, which you can refer to.

*Please note, additional guidance from the external quality assurance provider People 1st International has resulted in new changes to the Level 2 Retailer Apprenticeship end-point assessment. These changes occurred after the webinar took place and allow some apprentices to complete an alternative assessment instead of the observation. Please see below for further details.

Download presentation slides

Frequently asked questions

Can end-point assessment arrangements be modified?

Modifications can be made to end-point assessments to allow them to be completed remotely.

For the Level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship, this means the following changes:

Multiple choice question paper

  • Changes to the process: invigilation needs to be conducted remotely. Work with your external quality assurance provider to develop a suitable approach.
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment: the apprentice and the independent assessor who will act as the invigilator.
  • Duration of assessment: one hour.

Business project or presentation

  • Changes to the process: this can be done remotely as stated in the end-point assessment plan.
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment: the apprentice and the independent assessor.
  • Duration of assessment: 30 minutes.

Professional discussion

  • Changes to the process: this can be done remotely as stated in the end-point assessment plan.
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment: the apprentice and independent assessor. The employer such as a line manager can be present but if this is not possible, the apprentice can agree to go ahead without them.
  • Duration of assessment: one hour.

The Level 2 Retailer Apprenticeship has additional challenges due to the need for the observation to take place at the apprentice's workplace. This part of the assessment can be rescheduled for a later date and the order of the assessment can be changed to support this. More details can be seen below.

Multiple choice question paper

  • Changes to the process: invigilation needs to be conducted remotely. Work with your external quality assurance provider to develop a suitable approach.
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment: the apprentice and the independent assessor who will act as the invigilator.
  • Duration of assessment: 30 minutes.

Observation

The observation is usually undertaken on the employer's premises so this will need to be rescheduled unless the following applies: 

  • Apprentices are currently within their assessment window.
  • Apprentices are at the gateway stage and can pass through.

If either of the above applies, the following temporary changes have been made to the assessment plan:

  • The end-point assessment organisation will complete the assessor observation form, based on evidence of practice supplied by the training provider.
  • Evidence will be validated by an expert witness statement.
  • The end-point assessment provider will supply a list of acceptable evidence types.
  • A 30-minute question and answer session will take place with the apprentice to validate the evidence.

These changes are in place until further notice. For further information, please see https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/covid-19/recent-announcements/list-of-standards-with-temporary-discretions-or-flexibilities/

Professional discussion

  • Changes to the process: this can be done remotely as stated in the end-point assessment plan.
  • Who needs to be involved in the assessment: the apprentice and independent assessor. The employer such as a line manager can be present but if this is not possible, the apprentice can agree to go ahead without them.
  • Duration of assessment: one hour.
     

I have apprentices that are ready to complete their Level 2 Retailer Apprenticeship but I have to reschedule the observation. As the end-point assessment period for completion is 12 weeks, what happens if the COVID-19 lockdown continues?

Both the Retailer and Retail Team Leader end-point assessments must be completed in 12 weeks, but this has now been extended for a further 12 weeks to allow apprentices the time to complete.

It is the responsibility of the end-point assessment organisation to notify their external quality assurance provider where apprentices will need a time extension.


What about apprentices that need to go through the end-point assessment gateway process?

Gateways can be completed remotely through video conferencing or over the telephone. This process varies depending on the apprenticeship standard but for the retail apprenticeship standards, this can be done with minimum disruption.

Where there may be issues would be if employers have furloughed all their staff and the apprentice’s line manager or other management are unable to be contacted.
 


Can apprentices continue training if they are furloughed?

Yes, they can. Although, it is their choice whether they wish to continue while on furlough.


We have put together a range of resources which you may also find useful:

Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education response to COVID-19:
https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/response-to-covid-19/

The government's response to COVID-19 regarding apprenticeships:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

The wage retention scheme:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
 

If you have any further questions about our end-point assessment service, please contact Joe Ryan, End-Point Assessment Manager at [email protected]