End-point assessment is the final test for apprentices during their apprenticeship. It is designed to be an objective and impartial assessment of an apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours.
Apprenticeship assessment is administered by independent bodies called end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs). They offer their services in a controlled marketplace that is quality assured by external quality assurance organisations.
Employers need to choose an EPAO to assess their apprentices.
Which EPAOs you can select from
To find out which EPAOs are able to offer these services for the apprenticeship standard, you need to check the Register of end-point assessment organisations.
Look for the spreadsheet that lists all the apprenticeship standards as a list and shows you all the EPAOs registered to offer end-point assessment for them. This register is regularly updated. So make sure you are working with the most recent one, rather than a version you've downloaded before.
If you want to use an organisation that's not on the register, that organisation will need to apply and be listed against the apprenticeship standard first.
What to consider when choosing an end-point assessment organisation
If more than one EPAO offers assessment, you'll need to choose which one best serves your needs.
You can ask an organisation on the register for more information about the service they offer. Some of this should be on their website. They should set out a clear value proposition to their potential employer customers.
Or, you can ask about an EPAO's application. To see information from an application, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only employers involved in delivering an approved apprenticeship standard can access more information about organisations on the register.
These questions should help you choose an EPAO:
- Is the EPAO ready to offer assessment, or will they be ready when you need them to be?
- How much will the end-point assessment cost?
- What are the resit arrangements, and are they included in the price?
- What else is and is not included in the price, for example support materials?
- Do the payment arrangements and processes suit your own needs?
- Is a copy of the service level agreement or contract available to look at?
End-point assessment frequency and convenience
- How many windows of end-point assessment opportunity are there in the year
- Are the assessment arrangements manageable?
- Is it clear how you book end-point assessments for your apprentice?
- Are there any location or physical environment requirements or restrictions for the assessments?
- How will the EPAO manage the relationship with you? Will you have someone to contact about the end-point assessment?
- What guidance is available to help employers and apprentices?
- Will there be meaningful feedback on apprentice performance provided to help you, the training provider and the apprentice improve?
- How can you complain or appeal if you want to challenge an assessment decision?
- What arrangements are accessible or in place if an apprentice has special requirements?
- Are the assessors occupationally competent and competent as assessors?
- Will it be the same assessor for all parts of the end-point assessment, for example assessing the portfolio or project and conducting the interview?
- Can we choose an assessor based on the suitability to the role specialism?
- What happens if an assessor is unavailable on the planned day - do you have a back up?
Gateway to assessment
- What help or guidance is available to help with any gateway decisions an employer has to make, for example deciding if the apprentice is ready for assessment or if the work they need to submit is sufficient?