Welcome to ICME’s End Point Assessment Organisation, this is our central hub of information and guidance to the EPA services we offer against our approved standards for delivery.


What is End Point Assessment?

End Point Assessment is a process in which apprentices are assessed at the end of their learning programme. Previously apprentices were assessed continually throughout their apprenticeship programme. Moving forward, with End Point Assessment, it means that apprentices will now have their on-programme learning work and competence assessed by an independent organisation against the apprenticeship standard that have been created by groups of employers, educators and sector specialists known as ‘apprenticeship trailblazers’. The EPA is graded as defined in the published assessment plan.

An apprenticeship certificate is only awarded after successful completion of the EPA; this is claimed by the EPAO.


How does EPA Work?

The apprentice is assessed against the assessment plan. This was produced by the trailblazer group to show what would be involved in the EPA. The assessment plan focuses on the knowledge, skills and behaviours (also known as KSB’s) that the apprentice will have learnt and developed through their on-programme training. The KSB’s can be evaluated by a variety of assessment activities including practical observations, technical interviews or examinations. Each assessment plan makes it clear which EPA methods are to be completed during the assessment phase. These assessments are designed to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate all of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours outlined in their chosen Apprenticeship Standard, these criteria are required for them to be fully competent in their role.


When does the EPA take place?

Apprentices must complete their on-programme training for the duration set out in the apprenticeship standard. They must complete all of the mandatory aspects of the apprenticeship standard including any other work that is specified as being assessed. The second part of the programme is known as the ‘gateway’. Once the gateway requirements have been achieved, the apprentice can be put forward for the EPA by their employer or training provider.



When the apprentice has completed their on-programme training, there will be a period of time where the Employer, Training Provider and Apprentice will assess the apprentice’s progress to date. During this small window all parties will determine whether or not the apprentice is ready to take the End-Point Assessment.

During this gateway stage it is where all aspects of the apprenticeship must be completed and evidenced with the EPAO unless stated otherwise, these could include:

  • Any on-programme qualifications including Functional Skills qualification
  • Any finalised projects such as a portfolio of evidence or project
  • Any other requirements outlined in the individual standard

Who carries out EPA?

An independent End-Point Assessment organisation (EPAO) must be involved in the EPA of each apprentice to ensure that apprentices following the same standard are assessed consistently, fairly and independently from their on-programme delivery. The End-Point Assessment will be conducted primarily by the Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA).

The End-Point assessor will be an industry expert relating to their field. The IEPA will be assigned to the apprentice by the EPAO. The IEPA will conduct and lead the End-Point Assessment process, for some assessments. In some assessments they will actively engage with the apprentice and in others they will remain an observer.


Selecting an EPAO?

The EPAO must be chosen by the employer and be an organisation that has been approved to carry out independent assessments of apprentices and can be in receipt of public funds. These organisations can be found on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. The register is maintained by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Unless stated within the assessment plan, employers cannot select an apprentice’s training organisation to be the EPAO.


Why choose ICME?

  • We are industry experts leading the charge to drive and develop Technical Apprenticeships for the sector, working with Training Organisations and Employers to give added value to Apprentices
  • Clear and informative guidance on the End point assessment process, including invaluable resources and documentation
  • The heart of our ethos is high quality delivery underpinned by rigorous internal and external quality assurance
  • We pride ourselves on our flexible and supportive approach for apprentices, employers and training organisations through the end point assessment process
  • Invaluable ongoing support from our dedicated EPA team, who are committed to providing you with the best possible service
  • We are open and transparent about pricing. There are no hidden charges
  • We meet the needs of the Apprentice and Employer


What can ICME offer you?

  • Industry expert independent assessors
  • A named contact from start to finish
  • Guidance documents for all parties
  • Specific EPA guidance for apprentices
  • Assessments to be booked to suit the apprentice and employer
  • Use of digital technology to increase flexibility


What if my Apprentice fails an assessment?

Apprentices get the opportunity to re-sit assessments should they fail. Any re-sits/re-takes must be completed within the EPA window as outlined in the assessment plan. Apprentices who are not successful within the 6-month window may re-take the whole end-point assessment provided a period of further study/training is undertaken. A re-sit does not require any additional learning to take place, a re-take requires additional learning to take place before another assessment can be taken.

A resit/re-take is not an option for an apprentice who has passed but wishes to gain a higher grade.

All learners have the right to appeal an assessment decision. ICME has an appeals policy which is available to view in the apprentice toolkit handbook.


The assessment period is complete once all assessment activities have been passed by the apprentice. The IEPA will then assign a final grade for the Apprentice based on the outcome of each individual assessment against the assessment plan.

Grading for an apprenticeship is split into specific grading scales which are outlined on the individual assessment plan, these scales are either;

  • Fail/Pass/Distinction
  • Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction


Certification – When will the Apprentice get their certificate?

Once all assessment activities have been completed, moderated and passed, the EPAO will request a certificate on behalf of the apprentice from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The ESFA aims to issue publicly funded certificates within 10 working days of the request.


Apprenticeship Standards we cover

We currently support employers and training providers by offering EPA in the following sectors:

Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeship Standards

Level 3 Metal Casting, Foundry and Patternmaking Technician


If you would like to discuss any aspect of our End-Point Assessment service please contact epainfo@icme.org.uk

Need for Speed

Did you know…

  • All the turbine blades in modern jet engines are castings
  • Foundries in the UK cast all of the engines for Formula One
  • All brake discs in passenger cars are castings – so we keep people safe!

A Green Industry

Did you know…

  • Most castings are made from recycled metal, so without castings there would be piles of scrap metal damaging our local environment.
  • Castings are used in wind turbines and tidal power installations, so we help the global environment.
  • Foundries recycle most of the sand they use, over and over again.