Recent changes to assessment plans and clarification from EQAs, has provided guidance regarding the role and the presence of the employer in a professional discussion.

For the 17 standards that we offer currently, the following table details when an employer’s presence at the professional discussion is required.  Typically this will be denoted in an assessment plan as ‘the employer will be present’. Where the employer’s presence is optional, the assessment plan may well note ‘the employer may be present’. The ‘may’ in this context means ‘optional’.

In most cases, the employer cannot be involved in, or lead the professional discussion.  However, with some standards, such as Event Assistant, the employer can put forward questions for approval to be used in the PD and can actively participate in the PD, with the assessor chairing.

It is also worth noting that some standards, such as Operations/Departmental Manager have a professional discussion where the employer is not required, but a panel interview for the presentation of the work-based project and presentation is needed.

The standard advice is to always check the assessment plan, but as a quick guide, the following table can be used until such time there are further amendments to assessment plans.

Apprenticeship Standard Title Is Professional Discussion an assessment method (Y/N)Is Employer presence required (Y/N) – No does not prohibit the employer presence, but they are not obliged to be present
Hospitality SupervisorYesNo
Hospitality Team MemberYesYes
Hospitality ManagerYesNo
Senior Production ChefYesNo
Production ChefYesNo
Commis ChefYesYes
Chef de PartieYesYes
Event AssistantYesYes- and employer can present and ask questions. Employer questions must be submitted before the PD and approved by the assessor/EPAO
Business AdministratorNoN/A
Adult Care WorkerYesNo
Lead Adult Care WorkerYesNo
Maritime Caterer NoN/A
Team Leader/SupervisorYesNo
Operations/Departmental ManagerYesNo
Retail Team LeaderYesYes
Retail ManagerYesYes


Please note, it is expected that assessment plans and standards currently under review (Commis Chef/Chef De Partie/Hospitality Team Member) will be subject to change.  The review of the Retail standards will also consider the employer presence at the professional discussion.