A reasonable adjustment relates to an adjustment that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or a physical or mental health condition, which may place the apprentice at a disadvantage compared to others.
During the end-point assessment the types of adjustments offered may include, but aren’t limited to, changes to elements such as:
the location and timing of the assessment
the format, wording or type of assessment activity
the availability of support personnel for additional needs
the availability of adaptive software or hardware, or specialist equipment
These adjustments should mirror the types of reasonable adjustments and additional support that the apprentice has received from their employer and/or training provider during their apprenticeship programme.
If you have received additional support from your employer or training provider during your apprenticeship, please speak to your Trainer about possible Reasonable adjustments that can be applied to your EPA.
Click here to find out more from the Institute for Apprenticeships on Reasonable Adjustments in EPA
PAL Guidance on Reasonable Adjustments
Click here to find out more about the Reasonable adjustments that PAL offer to support you in EPA.
Helping every diverse mind thrive in education and employment.
ADHD UK has been created by people with ADHD for people with ADHD.
“Every human brain on the planet is as unique as each fingerprint. It follows that there is a virtually infinite diversity of humans on the planet, with infinitely diverse minds complexified further by experience in equally diverse bodies.”
Join S4Nd by becoming a member. Membership is free and open to neurodivergent people as well as their families, friends and our allies.
As a member, you can access their unique online community area where you can find practical help and resources and find information and take part in their social, creative, therapeutic and learning activities. Find out more.
British Dyslexia Association
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has been the voice of dyslexic people since 1972.
‘Dyslexia can have an impact on many aspects of everyday life. We look at common issues such as: studying in further or higher education, learning to drive, looking for work and the support you should expect in the workplace.’
It is perfectly normal to feel stress or anxious about sitting your EPA. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare yourself mentally to sit exams in the right mindset:
1) Breathe – here are some exercises that can help you prepare for an up-and-coming assessment – Click here. A simple technique is breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 7 seconds.
2) Be on time for your assessments and be ready early to start.
3) Have a glass of water with you and clear any unnecessary objects, paper etc on the workspace that you do not need in the assessment.
4) Make sure your environment is suitable and you are free from distractions.
5)Read the resources that you have been provided with and ask any questions in advance of the assessment date.
14 ways to beat exam stress – Mind
Hear from others sitting exams to find out their tips on handling worries relating to exams and how to ensure preparation supports your mindset.
I’m a current apprentice; what support is available for me?
Recognising a change in you
As you work through your apprenticeship and building up to your EPA, you may notice a change in yourself due to pressures, either in your life or through pressure to perform.
Stress can effect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works.
Common symptoms of stress include:
Click here for confidential support, information, or a listening ear.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness can help you:
understand your emotions better
cope better with difficult thoughts
boost your attention and concentration
improve your relationships
Click here for advice and guidance about mindfulness and how you can build your skills in mindfulness
Click here to find out more from the Mental Health Foundation on maintaining a good work-life balance.
Building emotional resilience
Emotional resilience is your ability to respond to stressful or unexpected situations and life’s ups and downs.
Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties, but allows you to tackle or accept problems, live through adversity and move on with life.
Steps that can help to develop your emotional resilience:
Set boundaries, practice being more assertive. If those around you are placing unrealistic demands or asking too much of you, practice being able to say no.
Practice acceptance. Stress, pain and changes are a part of living. Acknowledge pain, knowing that it comes and goes, and that you can survive by looking after yourself. Reflect on what is in your power to change and what is not.
Connect with others. Spending time with those we love, accepting their support, and speaking to them about things we find difficult can all help to feel more positive, and keep things in perspective.
Find balance in your life. We all need to have a balance between routine, necessary and pleasurable tasks.
Develop your self-awareness. How are you feeling? How is your body feeling? Name your feelings. Notice patterns in your feelings…why? Think about what’s helpful and what’s unhelpful to you. Adopt what is helpful and look after yourself.
Allow yourself to be imperfect. Making mistakes is part of healthy living. Keep going and don’t be discouraged by ‘getting things wrong’.
Allow others to be imperfect. All of us are fallible. When you are less critical of yourself, you are more able you will be able to extend this grace to others, and to allow them to extend the same to you.
Look after yourself – practice self-care. Exercising, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, being with loved ones, receiving and giving help, having fun, relaxing, having quiet time, and avoiding too much alcohol or stimulants are all good for us.
Keep things in perspective. Try to look at day-to-day issues from a broader perspective. Humour, a sense of purpose, love and giving to others, and other spiritual perspectives may also help.
Be positive. Is there a good side to a bad situation? Look for it. Is possible, see crises as challenges to overcome. Remind yourself of previous successes. Imagine how you think about and treat loved ones, extend the same kindness to yourself. What care, love, patience, kindness, hope, encouragement and forgiveness would you offer this person?
Express Yourself. Tell others how you feel or express them in other more creative ways. This can help you to unload and ‘let go’ preoccupying thoughts.
Notice your warning signs. Tiredness, hopelessness, enjoying things less, loss of appetite etc. Then take steps to look after yourself. Practice self-care, talk to someone and if things continue, see your GP.
Do you have your Apprentice Extra card yet?
The NUS Apprentice Extra card is a simple way to cut costs and is the ONLY discount card dedicated to apprentices. You can either buy a card for 1 year (costs £11) or for 2 years (costs £19) – and 1000s of people are already saving an average of £13.50 per month on everything from food and fashion to travel and tech.
Click through to the NUS website to find out more and get your discount card!
Click on the image above for information on the National minimum wage for apprentices.
Click on the image above for online advice on saving and making money in all areas of your life.
Additional support with soft skills when working towards your EPA
Watch this short video to find about additional support you can receive.
AoA Learn offers short courses that support your skills as a person
Click on the above image to view AoA information on Self-awareness (NB: This is a video with audio content if you are a member and access it through their website)
AoA support Emotional Intelligence in apprentices
Click on this link to hear the resource from AoA Learn (NB: this has accompanying video content if you are a member and access it through their website).
How to view more resources like these?
Use your free membership as a PAL Apprentice by visiting their website.
Visit AoA Learn for these resources for learning and many, many more!
Free membership as a PAL Apprentice!
We are delighted to share that Professional Assessment has partnered with the Association of Apprentices (AoA), a membership organisation that connects apprentices across the UK via a dedicated social and professional networking platform. Through our partnership, you are now eligible for free AoA membership.
What does this mean for you?
You can get free access to:
Connect with a community of other apprentices
Build your professional network
Get information, advice, and tips to help during your apprenticeship
Advice to help you get assessment ready and successfully complete your apprenticeship
Great content that you can use as part of your 20% off-the-job training
Insight from experts and leaders across different sectors and specialisms
Support with life skills, mental health and well-being and soft skills development
Free events both on-line and in person
It’s really easy – all you have to do is sign up using Professional Assessment’s unique link:
Step 1 – Click here to register
Step 2 – Complete your registration details in a few minutes
Step 3 – Get instant access to all AoA’s networking platform and learning resources
Step 4 – Download the apps for Connect and Learn to access services on the go!
At Professional Assessment, we are committed to providing you with excellent experiences and helping you to achieve the best outcomes. In working with AoA, we will provide you with access to social and professional networks, learning, guidance, and support to enhance your journey.
Association of Apprenctices (AoA)
Watch this short video to find out who the AoA are and the great support they can be for Apprentices.
Here is a list of events in England and on line that you can attend to gain more confidence as an apprentice completing your apprenticeship.
What does going through ‘Gateway’ mean?
At Gateway, you will me confirming that you are ready for your EPA. Your employer confirms that they are happy that you have the right knowledge, skills and behaviours to go into your assessment period.
At the gateway meeting it is confirmed that you have met the minimum requirements for your standard to go into your EPA (in Maths, English and other requirements such as portfolios, proposals etc are ready to be submitted if needed at this point).
Reasonable adjustment should be communicated for you by your training provider prior to your Gateway but can be raised at this point as well.
How can my employer help me prepare for my EPA?
Your employer can help you develop the required knowledge, skills and behaviours in the workplace. They can work with your trainer to support you with work-based challenges and situations that you find along your journey.
Your employer should know what your end-point assessments will be and what standards you will be meeting in each of them. Your trainer can explain these to them during the learning journey.
Your employer will be with you at your Gateway meeting. They will be confirming that you are ready for your EPA.
How long will my assessment period last?
Each standard has its own specific EPA window for you to complete your assessment components in (2 months, 3 months, etc). Your assessments will be booked in accordance with this. Please ask your Trainer how long this is for your Standard. You will be informed of this at your Planning meeting by your assessor.
What happens if I fail an assessment?
If you fail an assessment the first time you will be given an opportunity to resit or retake the assessment. You will be informed about the resit/retake rules in your Planning meeting with your assessor.
How can I best prepare for my End-point assessments?
Preparation is key for you as you approach your EPA. Speak to your Trainer to access resources that will support mock assessments in all areas of your standards EPA. PAL have resources relating to each standard that we deliver that can support you in preparing for the assessment stage.
Once you have completed the Gateway meeting, you will move on to have a Planning meeting with your assessor. Make sure you ask any questions that you have or raise any concerns you might be feeling so that your assessor can reassure you with answers and support.
If you have completed your Planning meeting, make sure you prepare for your assessments by building notes for the assessments (that are allowed them), gain an understanding of your portfolio (should the standard require it) and its contents, and read the grading criteria in the Annex of the assessment plan (found on the library of resources provided in your Welcome email or email that followed the Planning meeting or via the Ifate website here).
Supporting you to be mentally healthy in work
The Department for Work & Pensions provides a free service to support you to be mentally healthy in work.
If you have a mental health problem, you may feel embarrassed to ‘admit’ to it. You may feel that you’re bothering or upsetting someone else, fear being labelled, or worry about how if you tell a friend, your friendship might change.
You don’t have to tell your friends – and you certainly don’t have to tell everyone. Think about who you might feel comfortable talking to. It might help to write a list of the pros and cons of telling or not telling people about your problem.
Tough as it can be, talking to close friends can be important for both of you. Even if you don’t talk about it again, having the issue out in the open means that you don’t have to worry about mentioning your mental health problem by accident or ‘explaining away’ medication or appointments. It may also clarify why you’re behaving in a particular way or don’t want to go out or talk to them much.
How do I tell my friend?
You may want to practise your opening sentence or you may want to play it by ear. Choose a time and a place where you will both feel comfortable. Think about whether:
the place is quiet or noisy, indoors or outside
you’re on your own or among other people, for instance, in a pub or café
you’re doing an activity together, such as going for a walk or just sitting down for a chat
You could phone or write to your friend if it’s easier than talking to them face to face.
Understanding mental health problems can be difficult, despite how common they are. Be ready for your friend to be shocked or react badly. They may feel awkward and not know how to respond. This may be because they feel so worried about you, or perhaps your news has struck a chord with something in their own life. They may even suggest that you’re fine and just need to ‘pull yourself together’. Give them time to process what you’ve said.
Most people don’t know very much about mental health issues so it may be a good idea to tell your friend about the problem itself but don’t overwhelm them. You could show them a book or website that’s helped you understand what you’re experiencing.
Getting help from people other than friends
If you don’t feel that turning to a friend is an option, there are other forms of informal help.
Self-help and peer support groups are often useful. By sharing your experiences, you can support other people and learn about how they cope with challenging situations.
You could join a group centred around an activity: a book group, a chess club or an exercise class.
If you don’t want to join a group, try going to places where there are lots of people such as a library, leisure centre or café. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to, but just being around other people can help you feel more connected.
Online communities can also be supportive, whether or not they are focused on mental health problems. Mind’s online community, Side by Side, is where you can listen, share and be heard.
Source: Mind – Side by side
See the above infographic in video by clicking on the image above.
Useful information from the Institute for Apprenticeships which provides a basic explanation of different methods of assessment.
Putting you at the centre of your EPA
Here at PAL, your confidence and determination is encouraged in EPA. We want to support you in being able to showcase your very best in EPA!
Whilst working towards your Gateway, you have full access to our suite of resources that contain information on completing your EPA and mock assessments that support your preparation and readiness. Further to these, there are useful hints and tips that will support you preparing for the assessments and feeling more confident when it comes to completing your EPA. Please ask your Trainer for access to these or email email@example.com.
Once you have successfully passed through your Gateway, your PAL Assessor will support you by planning your assessments with you and being on hand to support your preparations for the assessments. Please speak to your assessor if you have any concerns or are worried about any elements of your assessments as they are dedicated to see you succeed as an Apprentice.
Further more, the following content of this resource is here to support you as a person as you go through your period of learning and then assessment for your apprenticeship.
PAL look forward to meeting you when you are ready for your EPA.
Who is Professional Assessment?
PAL is your End-point Assessment (EPA) organisation. We will guide you through your EPA. We will plan and assess your EPA and certificate for your Standard once achieved.
PAL Assessors are experts in their sectors. Knowledge of the industry and sectors that they assess are key in their delivery of the End-point assessments. All of the PAL Assessors are here to both support you as Apprentices to achieve success in your EPA, whilst ensuring that their assessment decisions are fair and reflect your performance during your assessments.
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