A common misconception about End-point Assessment is that it replaces the need for the apprentice to produce evidence of their performance while on programme, and the need for that evidence to be assessed by the on-programme assessor. However, portfolios of evidence feature as an End-point Assessment component in various apprenticeship assessment plans, so on-programme trainers and assessors need to know how to support the apprentice to produce a good portfolio, what they need to do with it before submission, and how it is used during EPA.

What Should be in a Portfolio?

A portfolio of evidence is an opportunity for the apprentice to demonstrate the excellent progress they have made during their apprenticeship and highlight examples of competence within their job role. The portfolio should be produced by the apprentice, having first learned and applied the skills/competencies and behaviours set out in the standard, and should showcase their abilities. The evidence is collated so that it collectively demonstrates that the apprentice has learnt and applied the requirements of the standard. The employer and training organisation will assist the apprentice in producing their portfolio to ensure that it covers the relevant standards outlined in the assessment plan.

There will be several types of evidence within the apprentice’s portfolio. Some assessment plans stipulate some, or all of the types and amounts of evidence required. Where this is the case, it will not be possible to pass End-point Assessment if the required amount of evidence is not submitted, so it’s essential that the on-programme trainer or assessor has a clear understanding of the requirements at the start of the programme. If you’re unsure about what should be contained in a portfolio of evidence, refer to the assessment plan or ask your End-point Assessment Organisation if they can provide guidance.

How does the Portfolio fit into EPA?

At EPA, the portfolio will support the End-point Assessor’s overall decision of competence. The portfolio can also be used to inform other assessments, for example, highlighting areas of clear competence, or identifying where the apprentice could demonstrate further examples to support in gaining a higher overall grade. The portfolio usually feeds into the other assessment components and may be used to inform a Competency Interview or Professional Discussion agenda to assess the standard as a whole.

Submitting a Portfolio for End-point Assessment

The means by which the portfolio will be submitted for EPA should be discussed with the End-point Assessment Organisation as soon as possible. Portfolios could be viewed online, with written and/or audio or video evidence, or submitted as a paper-based collection. Whatever the format the end-point assessor will need access to the evidence in order to assess it within the EPA window, so it will need to be available to them following the Gateway.

On-programme assessors should support the apprentice to make sure that the evidence provided complies with usual assessment practice, such as:

– The evidence should be Valid, Authentic, Current, Sufficient and Reliable (VACSR) and this should be confirmed appropriately using, for example, signatures and dates

– The evidence should have detailed annotation to describe how it has been produced and used

– Audio files should be referred to clearly within evidence to show where supporting recordings are located, and the evidence number being discussed should be clearly confirmed within the recordings

– Evidence should be referenced to the specific criteria being claimed

– All evidence recordings and files should be clearly named as appropriate

– It may be appropriate to reference projects as a complete piece of work; where this is done it should be made clear which aspects of the project are showing the specific skills, knowledge and behaviours referenced.

– It’s really helpful to include an index of evidence

The on-programme assessor should support the apprentice to present their portfolio for EPA effectively. However, it’s important that the apprentice takes ownership of their portfolio – it’s their work and they will need to be able to explain it effectively to the End-point Assessor.

Evidence should also comply with data protection, so the on-programme assessor should review any documentation to ensure that it’s anonymised before submission.

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