End-point Assessment Arrangements for 2022

At the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic in May 2020, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) introduced a range of assessment flexibilities and temporary discretions to ensure that apprentices were able to progress through EPA safely and complete their programme.

The assessment flexibilities relate to all apprenticeship standards.

The temporary discretions relate to specific apprenticeship standards.

The arrangements for the current assessment flexibilities and temporary discretions apply until the 31st of December 2021.

IfATE has now made clear the approach for assessment arrangements from the 1st of January 2022. Some assessment flexibilities are to be retained. However, the temporary discretions will be discontinued.

Summary of Assessment Flexibilities from the 1st of January 2022

Currently, 10 flexibilities are operational. Of these 10 flexibilities, 7 will be retained and 3 will be removed from the 1st of January 2022.

The seven flexibilities that will be retained are:

  • Remote sign off of the gateway meeting is permitted;
  • Pauses between elements of end-point assessment are permitted (note, the EPA still has to be undertaken within the relevant assessment window);
  • Assessment components may be undertaken in any order;
  • Use of a simulated environment instead of observation in workplaces may be permitted, providing that the EPAO considers this to be reasonable and has the prior approval from the EQAP;
  • Remote delivery of assessment (including test invigilation) is permitted;
  • Assessment outside of usual venues is permitted (subject to suitability checks);
  • Online exams instead of paper-based are permitted.

The three flexibilities that will be removed are:

  • Extension of the assessment window to allow for assessment completion;
  • Acceptance of alternative evidence for mandatory qualifications, where such qualifications form part of the gateway requirements (valid maths and English evidence will be required at EPA referral);
  • Employer involvement in assessment (where the assessment plan states that this is a requirement) will be reinstated.

Please note, Apprentices with assessment components planned on or after the 1st of January 2022 will not be able to utilise the temporary discretions unless the temporary discretion has been extended or dispensation approved.

Summary of Temporary Discretions from the 1st of January 2022

IfATE has confirmed that all temporary discretions relating to assessment plans will be discontinued from the 31st of December 2021. This means that, for example, the alternative assessment options introduced in May 2020 for the hospitality and retail standards will be removed. The original assessment plan (including observations where applicable) will be the only EPA option available.

IfATE recognises the possibility of restatement of the temporary discretions, subject to the status of the pandemic and the COVID guidelines at the time.

PAL’s Approach to EPA from the 1st of January 2022

PAL has reviewed all applicable assessment plans and has defined preferred delivery models for EPA, favouring remote assessment wherever possible to ensure the safety of all involved.

Where the assessment plan stipulates that site visits are required, or it is considered that remote assessment will disadvantage the apprentice, PAL will provide on-site assessment subject to health and safety checks and employer approval.

Please contact us if you want to discuss how this information affects current and future end-point assessment arrangements.