Our FAQs

The answers provided in this section relate to the apprenticeship standards where we are approved to deliver end-point assessment services.  Other apprenticeship standards may have differing approaches.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, contact us on epainfo@icme.org.uk.   Alternatively you can call us on: 0121 752 1810.

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 newly gained knowledge, skills and behavior competence assessed by an independent EPA organisation against the apprenticeship standard that have been created by groups of employers, educators and sector specialists known as ‘apprenticeship trailblazers’. This allows employers to be confident that the apprentice is competent in their job role. 

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.

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 and achieve their apprenticeship overall.

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 satisfied, the apprentice can go forward to sit their End-point assessments.

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.

This is known as the Gateway.

Each assessment plan details the gateway requirements before an apprentice can enter end-point assessment. Your training provider can also provide support and guidance with this.

The employer must conduct a gateway review, supported by their training provider, to confirm that the apprentice is:

  • In their view competent in their role
  • Has achieved mandatory on-programme qualifications (where applicable)
  • Has achieved English and maths at the appropriate level
  • Has achieved all other requirements stated in the assessment plan (for example a portfolio of evidence)

As an end-point assessment organisation we will require the employer and provider to confirm readiness in writing, via a standard review template that we issue.

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

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.

The employer must select us as their end-point assessment organisation but the organisation that pays us is the ‘main provider’.

This is the organisation that is approved on the ‘Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers‘ and is drawing down the public funding for those apprentices. The main provider will be paying for end-point assessment on behalf of the employer. The End-point Assessment Organisation is not treated as a delivery sub-contractor of the main provider.

Our end-point assessment price is payable at the point of booking end-point assessment activities. 

Our fees are inclusive of registration, all management and administrative activities including scheduling end-point assessment activities, gateway processing, end-point assessment activities, quality assurance, moderation, audits, standardisation, monitoring and certification

Further information about our fees and charges can be found in our policy, contact epainfo@icme.org.uk for further details.

Our end-point assessment price is subject to the specific end-point assessment requirements within the published assessment plan (i.e assessment methods, specific stipulations) and the assessment requirements. 

As this is a new service, our prices will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are suitable. 

Contact epainfo@icme.org.uk for our end-point assessment fees.

Ideally, as soon as possible. Our advice is within 3 months of the start of the apprenticeship.

This is because there are a range of pathways and activities that may need to occur before end-point assessment takes place and to support those with responsibility to prepare for end-point assessment.

We need to work with you to ensure that the apprentices are ready, the apprentice data has been collected and validated for registration and that activities are scheduled in plenty of time to make sure that the appropriate independent end-point assessors are available for the final judgement of apprentice completion and grade.

Contact us directly on epainfo@icme.org.uk or call us on 0121 752 1810

Our services will start from the moment we receive an enquiry from an employer or training provider. Our services are wide ranging and specific to the assessment plan but will include:

  • Named contact from start to finish
  • Experienced and knowledgeable industry expert assessors
  • EPA specific guidance for apprentices from experts
  • High quality end-point assessment support materials 
  • Guidance on how to prepare for end-point assessment
  • Behind the scenes we provide assessment tools for end-point assessment, final grading decisions (via moderation), certification, standardisation, monitoring and quality assurance
  • An inclusive digital platform

There is a range of information available on our website to introduce you to end-point assessment. We are happy to discuss anything further with training providers and employers.

Once the employer has selected us for end-point assessment and the main provider has registered (and contracted) with us we will provide a range of support and documentation in preparation for end-point assessment including:

  • Toolkit handbooks for apprentices, training providers and employers 
  • Apprentice support documents to prepare for end-point assessment
  • End-point assessment digital platform

These support documents are available once the apprentice is registered on the digital platform. 

The assessment plan details the grading criteria for a portfolio, which can be used as the guide to its contents.

As an end-point assessment organisation we will provide support documents such as readiness checks and matrix grids to support with preparation as well as guidance within our Toolkit handbooks.

Your training provider should support you and your apprentice with this throughout the duration of the on-programme delivery.

Yes, where applicable we are providing mock assessments to support apprentices in preparation for end-point assessment. 

We have a Reasonable Adjustments Policy and application process for end-point assessment, this can be found on our Policies page.

End-point Assessment – Delivery

In short, no the training provider cannot be involved in any part of end-point assessment.

The purpose of end-point assessment is to ensure that those making a decision about apprentices competency are completely impartial. This means that the assessment must be completed by an independent third party. This third party must not be involved in the management or training of the apprentice.

This depends on the assessment plan and expertise of the independent end-point assessor. Where possible, we will try to ensure this happens. However, there may be instances due to specialist skills the assessors it may require different assessors for each end-point assessment activity. 

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 apprentices have the right to appeal an assessment decision. ICME has an appeals policy which is available to view on our Policies page. 

End-point Assessment – Results and Certification

The assessment period is complete once all assessment activities have been assessed, moderated and graded by the independent end-point assessor.

The specific grading will vary between each apprenticeship standard. The specific grading outcomes will be detailed within the published assessment plan. 

The IEPA will then assign a final grade for the Apprentice based on the outcome of each individual assessment against the assessment plan and produce an overall grade outcome report. This final grade will be used to claim the certificate. 

An apprentice has the right to appeal their grade outcomes, for more information visit the Appeals Policy on our Policies page. 

The official certificates are produced by the Institute for Apprenticeships via the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The certificate will state the completed apprenticeship title, optional specialist route, achievement date and grade.

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.