End-point Assessment (EPA) is the final part of an Apprenticeship Standard, designed to formally and independently assess and validate that an apprentice has met the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the standard. End-point Assessments have been designed by employers in the sector.

The End-point Assessment must be carried out by a regulated awarding organisation that offers independent End-point Assessment, such as Gateway Qualifications.

What is EPA Gateway?

When an apprentice reaches the end of their training, their employer and training provider will decide if they are ready to enter end-point assessment or if they need more time to practice and learn.  This is called the “gateway” to end-point assessment.

Each apprenticeship has its own set of rules to determine when an apprentice is ready to enter end-point assessment and will include:

  • evidence of or pass functional skill levels in English and maths; at a level 1 for a level 2 apprenticeship, and at a level 2 for an apprenticeship at level 3 or above
  • completion of a minimum of 12 months training
  • completion of any qualifications that have been specified in the standard
  • completion of a portfolio, if specified within the standard

What does end-point assessment involve?

The assessments are different for every apprenticeship, but they all follow the same overall structure. It usually comprises up to three methods of assessment, for example:

  • a multiple choice test
  • a practical assessment or observation
  • an interview or professional discussion
  • a project
  • a presentation

Who carries out the assessment?

As an end-point assessment organisation, we use qualified assessors who are experts in the sector they assess. They must be independent so that they can be objective and unbiased in their assessment judgements, but we will have briefed them on the individual apprentice work settings and trained them on all assessment methods prior to carrying out the assessment.

Where do you deliver end-point assessment?

We offer both face-to-face and remote assessments. All remote assessment methods are secure and tested with our customers prior to use to ensure the smooth operation of the assessments. If you would like face-to-face assessments, we are able to discuss a range of options and delivery locations to suit your requirements.

How long does end-point assessment last?

End-point assessments generally take up to 3 months, and it is usually a lot less – although some standards do have longer for EPA. Some standards require the assessments to be taken in a set order, others allow flexibility in terms of how and when they are delivered. We work closely with the employer and training provider to schedule end-point assessment activities and associated timescales.

What grades can be achieved?

Every apprenticeship is different, all will contain thresholds for a fail and pass, others will contain merits and/or distinctions. We provide guidance on the grades for each apprenticeship we end-point assess.

What happens if an apprentice fails?

All apprentices are given the opportunity to resit an assessment activity that they have failed. Each apprenticeship provides the details of timescales and gradings for resits.

What about certificates?

All apprentices that have passed their apprenticeship will receive a certificate containing their name, the apprenticeship and their result. The certificate will contain the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education logo.