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End-point assessment

The introduction of independent end-point assessment (EPA) is one of the biggest changes in the Government’s Apprenticeship Reforms.

End-point assessment is a new way of assuring quality in the apprenticeship system. It replaces the existing model of continuous assessment resulting in qualifications.  

Once an apprentice has completed their apprenticeship, they will be ‘signed off’ by their employer as ready for end-point assessment of their knowledge and practical capabilities. In most cases, the assessment will be graded and must show the apprentice is fully competent and productive in the occupation.

The registered assessment organisation and the assessor must be independent of, and separate from, the training provided by the provider and employer.

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Development and delivery

How is end-point assessment developed?

Requirements for end-point assessment are written into the assessment plan for each new Apprenticeship Standard. This is done by groups of employers, known as Trailblazers, who develop the Standards.

The assessment plan will set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required, together with an outline of the assessment methods to be used, for the end-point assessment. The assessment plan should guide assessment organisations, enabling them to deliver the high-quality and rigorous end-point assessment as designed by the Trailblazer group.

In order to allow individual employers choice over who delivers their EPA, the assessment plan must be ‘organisation-neutral’, which means that it must not name any specific training or assessment organisations.

Who will deliver end-point assessment

End-point assessment will be delivered by assessment organisations that are on the Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RoAAO ). Individual employers have the freedom to select their own training provider and assessment organisation from the RoAAO.

Once an Apprenticeship Standard is ready to deliver, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will list the apprenticeship for tender by potential assessment organisations. Organisations wishing to register for delivering end-point assessment should respond to the tender. They must prove their capacity to carry out assessments and develop assessment instruments, tests, examinations and assessment centres.

City & Guilds is a registered assessment organisation for a number of Apprenticeship Standards.

Find out about our End Assessment service


Assessment methodology and cost

What methods of assessment will be used?

Assessment methods can vary depending on the type of occupation and can include workplace observation through to projects both in and out of the workplace.

assessment methods

Examples of different assessment methods include:

  • For assessing a body of knowledge

    Options include:
    • Tests
    • Examinations
    • Professional discussions
    These could involve multiple-choice tests and be administered on paper or online.

  • For assessing practical competence

    Options include:
    • Workplace observation
    • Testing in a practical test facility
    • Workplace projects
    • Portfolio of work
    • Assignments

  • For assessing knowledge-based competence

    Options include:
    • Workplace projects
    • Projects away from work (invigilated or otherwise)
    • Professional discussions
    • Assessment of work output


How much will end-point assessment cost?

The cost for an end-point assessment will vary according to the requirements set out by the Trailblazer group. Each end-point assessment is costed individually based on the specific assessment tools and methods needed.

An important element of the costing for end-point assessments is the type of occupation and the time taken by the independent assessor in face-to-face, telephone or online assessment activity.

Part-funding by the Government is available for end-point assessment.  

Read more about apprenticeship funding

Why has end-point assessment been introduced?

The Richard Review, an independent report on apprenticeships commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), recommended a move to end-point assessment for three reasons:

  • A more holistic assessment at the end of an apprenticeship would allow apprentices to be assessed once they had gained the maximum experience possible
  • Assessment at the end of training gives employers and providers much more control over the design and structure of the on-programme training of the apprentice
  • End-point assessment also frees up providers from continuous assessment allowing them to focus more on training and learning


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